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How long does battery last while doing tethered time lapse?

January 22nd, 2009 · 9 Comments

I thought that this was going to be a major limitation — the battery life of the camera — as while connected via USB the camera is constantly “on” and never goes into a sleep mode.

However while I was doing recent testing with the Nikon D40 time lapse I started with a full battery and took schedule shots every 5 seconds for about an hour, and at the end the battery still said 100% full.  Both via the camera icon, and via the battery meter in my script.

So obviously some power has been used, but very little apparently.  While this is good news it is also a bit puzzling so I’d love to hear your experience with it.

My batteries are not brand new or anything, I’ve taken many thousands of frames with the D40 and swap between two original Nikon EN-EL9 Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries.  So far they have given me great service, and they last longer than the D300 batteries even though those are physically larger.

Tags: Hardware       

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ringo // Jan 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Raymond!

    First of all, thanks a lot for Camera Control!
    Since I own a D40x and would like to do TLP outdoors, I thought of buying a notebook to do the triggering. A cheap one would do, cause I won’t do anything else requiring much cpu power. But that’s the question: What are the minimum system requirements for CC? Perhaps you could ask your readers about what (low end) hardware they are using? This would be cool. Thanks in advance!

  • 2 raymond // Feb 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy a D70s than a laptop?

  • 3 Ringo // Feb 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Well, I thought of buying a used one on the bay. For example, you get a PII with 400MHz for 50-70 Euros. That’s a lot less than a D70s.
    Do you think CC is usable on a notebook like this?

  • 4 raymond // Feb 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Probably ok but of course I can’t be sure. I use it on a IBM X31 which is a 1.3-GHz/400-MHz Pentium M CPU and it is ok.

  • 5 Steve // Feb 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    The mini laptops that are being sold for around the $300 mark new should be more than enough. They tend to have a screen that is around 8″ that could be a bit of a drawback.

    I use a low end Toshiba satellite which cost around $400 a year ago with rebates etc. Processor is only a celleron 1.5gh and the RAM 1.5gb. This runs CC and Lightroom 2 with no problems at all.

    bit more than 70 Euros (to be honest I’m surprised PII’s are fetching anything at all.

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