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G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits

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G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« on: 14 / March / 2013, 11:13:05 »
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Hey folks!

First of all: thanks for this awesome project, and thanks for the amazing documentation. The wiki, the pdfs, how everything's linked and all the informations are provided, that's something you can be truly proud of. If only some of the manufacturers out there had roughly similar documentation, the world would be a better place!  :) :) :)

I just played with CHDK g11-100L-1.1.0-2634-full_BETA on my G11. I managed it to make it run all on my own, and I'm very proud right now.  : 8)
Still, some questions came up neither the wiki nor a forum search could answer:

* Battery life:
Is it normal that running CHDK scripts consumes such tremendous amounts of energy I can literally watch the remaining battery percentage counting down? The batteries for my G11 work well outside of CHDK, I shoot for hours without having to change them.

* Hardware limits:
What are the actual hardware limitations for shutter speed and aperture on the G11?

I tried shutter speed values faster than 1/4000 via CHDK, but there doesn't seem to be any difference whatsoever (for a test: with fixed ISO and f values, brightness stays the same on 1/10.000 as on 1/4000, indicating that 1/4000 is the maximum?). Is it actually possible to use those super-fast shutter speed settings at all?
Similar question for aperture: Does the G11, in general, use ND to "simulate" smaller aperture stops? Is there any increase in depth of field using stops over f 8.0?

It'd be awesome if you could include those limits (if any ;) ) on the model specifics page of the wiki.

Hope I could express myself clearly, English is not my native language, sorry  :o)

I have a question off topic, too:
Anyone experienced problems with a malfunctioning setting wheel on the back of the G11? On my G11, it isn't completely broken, the button pushes left/right/up/down do work normally. Turning the wheel only works sporadically though. I have to turn it 50 times to get the aperture changed one step, by pure chance it seems, then it works normally for a few steps, then goes back to not reacting at all. Is my G11 going the way of the dodo, or is there any hope?

Thanks again, any insights are highly appreciated!
Love from Austria!
G11, g11-100L-1.1.0-2634-full_BETA

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Offline D@noosh

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Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #1 on: 14 / March / 2013, 14:40:53 »
your first question: Turning the CHDK on will force your camera to use more energy. even calculating the amount of remained battery voltage will eat the battery. it even make more heat when using CHDK.

and your second question. actually CHDK just can remove the "software limitations" not "Hardware limitations", why? because obviously CHDK can't "upgrade" the physical boards and things in the body of your camera. Shutter speed and Aperture are demand on a circle thing between the lens and the sensor of your camera, so the only way to get more shutter speed (for example) you should change some physical parts of your camera. That's the point... "physical parts of a camera" that's why Canon EOS 1Ds is much more better than a Powershot A series and also that's why the EOS 1Ds is much much much more expensive than Powershot A series camera.

Remember that sometimes software limitations are required for your device, so that it'll never crash or "destroy".
« Last Edit: 14 / March / 2013, 14:46:44 by D@noosh »
K O W A N O N ...

Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #2 on: 14 / March / 2013, 14:46:16 »
your first question: Turning the CHDK on will get more energy from your device. even calculating the amount of remained battery voltage will eat the battery. it even make more heat when using CHDK.
I have not been able to demonstrate this to be true using actual measurements with my cameras.

I suspect reports of battery life differences are related to actually using the camera more (more shots, keyboard entries,  adjustments, etc) while using CHDK.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Offline D@noosh

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Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #3 on: 14 / March / 2013, 14:50:46 »
your first question: Turning the CHDK on will get more energy from your device. even calculating the amount of remained battery voltage will eat the battery. it even make more heat when using CHDK.
I have not been able to demonstrate this to be true using actual measurements with my cameras.

I suspect reports of battery life differences are related to actually using the camera more (more shots, keyboard entries,  adjustments, etc) while using CHDK.

I've tested. For my cam (SX40 HS) there was a little difference. Even if you play game or use it's file browser for a period of time it'll be an eye-catching difference... at least in my camera,though.
K O W A N O N ...


Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #4 on: 14 / March / 2013, 15:09:28 »
Even if you play game or use it's file browser for a period of time it'll be an eye-catching difference... at least in my camera,though.
That's what I was trying to point out - if you are doing lots of things that you don't normally do with the camera - you will use more power.   If you just load CHDK and take pictures normally you will not see any difference in battery life just because CHDK is loaded.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #5 on: 14 / March / 2013, 16:19:39 »
Thank you for your answers!

Even if you play game or use it's file browser for a period of time it'll be an eye-catching difference... at least in my camera,though.
That's what I was trying to point out - if you are doing lots of things that you don't normally do with the camera - you will use more power.   If you just load CHDK and take pictures normally you will not see any difference in battery life just because CHDK is loaded.

Thanks! Alright. I did expect it to be more energy consuming when CHDK is running scripts, but not THAT extreme. I don't exaggerate when I say I can watch the % counting down. I just scrolled the CHDK menu, set some values, left <ALT> mode and took some pictures. The battery went from full to empty within 30 minutes.

and your second question. actually CHDK just can remove the "software limitations" not "Hardware limitations", why? [...]

As much as I appreciate your patience in phrasing this (giggles), but that was not my question. I may be a rookie at this, but not that bad... :lol

Let me rephrase the question:
What are the G11's physical limitations? Obviously the manufacturer builds in more possibilities than they provide to the consumer, otherwise there'd be no CHDK. But up to where does it make a physical difference to use the CHDK scripts?
So e.g. is 1/4000 the uppermost shutter speed the G11 physically can carry out? And what's its biggest/smallest aperture stop, physically? Does the G11 simulate aperture values by using the ND filter? From which stops on?

And when I CHDK-set an ultra short shutter speed like 1/50000 that the camera cannot physically carry out, what value does it take the picture with? The maximum value it provides?

Thanks again  :D
G11, g11-100L-1.1.0-2634-full_BETA

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Offline lapser

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Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #6 on: 14 / March / 2013, 17:30:02 »
The battery went from full to empty within 30 minutes.
Did the camera low battery indicator flash when CHDK said the battery was "empty". Did the camera actually shut down?

Try going to the CHDK alt menu/CHDK/OSD/Battery settings. There's a minimum and maximum voltage that CHDK uses to show the %. If these values are off, the % display will be off.

Change the display to voltage and use the camera until the camera low battery indicator is flashing. You can set that as the low battery voltage limit in CHDK. Set the high voltage from the reading with a fully charged battery.

In other words, it may be a meter calibration problem, not an actual problem. (Those are famous last words for airplane pilots).
Quote
So e.g. is 1/4000 the uppermost shutter speed the G11 physically can carry out? And what's its biggest/smallest aperture stop, physically? Does the G11 simulate aperture values by using the ND filter? From which stops on?
The "H" in CHDK stands for... uh, I forgot. But sometimes you have to figure it out for yourself.

Just take some photos of a constant background, I'm partial to blank walls, and change the shutter speed until the pictures don't get any darker.

My SX260 can do 1/2000 without CHDK. With CHDK, it tops out at 1/3200. So you may be able to go a little faster than 1/4000, but not much. The shutter can only move so fast.

I haven't played much with aperture, but you could do the same tests to see if the picture changes at apertures smaller than the camera can select.

The G1X has a menu option to set the ND filter in or out. The sx260 and sx50 have an unadvertised ND filter than can be set from CHDK. I don't think the ND filter is involved in the aperture setting except on older, cheaper cameras (but I could be wrong).
EOS-M3_120f / SX50_100b / SX260_101a / G1X_100g / D20_100b
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrLapser/videos

Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #7 on: 14 / March / 2013, 18:32:07 »
Did the camera low battery indicator flash when CHDK said the battery was "empty". Did the camera actually shut down?

Now that you mention it, it was the other way round - the indicator flash went off when CHDK still said "30%", which still may indicate that you're right when you say

it may be a meter calibration problem, not an actual problem. (Those are famous last words for airplane pilots).

That is a witty thought! I'm going to check this out.

CHDK counted down from 30 to 0 rather quickly, maybe some more minutes, before the camera actually shut down. In other words, I did see CHDK say 0% before it actually shut down, but the time from 30 to 0% felt disproportionately short. (Maybe this is a feeling pilots also experience after having spoken those famous last words.)

Or it was just the damn low battery flash that sucked out the life from my battery so fast. :D

(Did you ever think that some in-device-batteries could be loaded way faster if there wasn't a light on the device left on indicating that the battery is being loaded? How many tons of CO2... Just sayin.)

Still, with this rapid power consumption, CHDK is not something I'm taking for a walk with me, when the battery has already died before I put my shoes on.

The "H" in CHDK stands for... uh, I forgot. But sometimes you have to figure it out for yourself.
Alriiight, I just thought the scripting demigod has full background information when he starts porting.

Just take some photos of a constant background, I'm partial to blank walls, and change the shutter speed until the pictures don't get any darker.

That's exactly what I did and implied in my original posting. My tests made me think the G11 tops out at 1/4000.

So are there any cameras out there you can actually use those ludicrous shutter speeds on, as CHDK "advertises"? Call me naive, but I was somehow really looking forward to ludicrous speed!  :'( ;)

I'm going to do some testing on the aperture, too. Soon as all my batteries are back to 100%.   :P

I don't think the ND filter is involved in the aperture setting except on older, cheaper cameras (but I could be wrong).

Couldn't we all be? But I appreciate your opinion very much! Thank you, dear lapser!
G11, g11-100L-1.1.0-2634-full_BETA


Re: G11 - Rapid battery consumption, hardware limits
« Reply #8 on: 15 / March / 2013, 14:06:11 »
Hey guys,

I did some more G11 testing today.

8)  Battery, hungry:
It seems to have gotten used to CHDK at last. It was less hasty today to reach the 0%, although I did use the menus and shoot like before.

8)  Shutter speed limitations:
I was wrong at first, there seems to be a difference up to 1/32000 s. With fixed values for f-stop and ISO, the test subject gets darker still from 1/4000 to 1/32000, above that there is no more difference visible.

On shots of spraying water, there is no real difference anymore from like 1/500 to 1/32000. Still I love the frozen look it gets, and it was fun trying this out as well.

8)  f-stop limitations:
The physical limit seems to be at f/11. From f/8 to f/11, there is still difference in both brightness and depth of field. Nothing changes anymore from f/11 to f/16.

8)  Exif Data:
It is useful to shoot raw and jpg, as the raw exif data shows the actual values:
Shutter:
from 1/4000 to 1/24000: decimal e.g. 0.000244 s; from 1/32000: exponential 3e-005 s -> i.e. 3*10^(-5)
f-stop:
correct in Exif-Data, in a way on both JPG and DNG:
JPG: Up to f/11 it says f/11, from there to f/16 it still says f/11 in the JPG (which corresponds with my tests)
RAW: Shows the set CHDK value (f/11.3 - f/16)

Cheers, and thanks again for your insights!
G11, g11-100L-1.1.0-2634-full_BETA

 

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