This is article #6 in the DSLR Video Weekly series. If you’d like the whole thing in one shot, check out the book Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots.
How many DSLR camera batteries do you own? If the answer is less than three, you should probably plan on picking up more. You see, when you’re shooting video, your camera will need much more power than you usually use when just shooting stills. The reason is that the LCD panel’s Live View function is a big drain on batteries. Additionally, when shooting stills, your camera only records for a few bursts, but with video it works much harder.
Batteries and Chargers
Your camera likely came with one battery and one charger. Well, prepare to take your credit card back out. You might be used to capturing hundreds or even thousands of shots using a single battery when shooting stills, but when shooting video, you can drain a single battery in just a couple of hours.
So the question is how long do you want to be able to shoot? If you’re just taking a few shots at a time, one battery might do it. But do you really want to miss that perfect shot because of a dead battery? Just as you likely have a spare tire for your car, you should keep at last one spare battery.
If you plan to spend long days shooting (such as vacations or making an independent film), more batteries are in order. I carry four batteries and two chargers so I can have two batteries charging and two with me at all times. Less is fine too, but a spare battery is critical.
If you’ll be shooting from a stationary position (such as at a concert or a child’s play), it might be a good idea to carry and use an AC adapter. Many DSLR cameras offer an optional unit that you can purchase (typically priced between $60 and $150). You can look for units from the same manufacturer as your camera or third-party sellers (just be sure to read the reviews first). If you plan to use wall power, consider using an extension cord to extend your reach.
Join us each Saturday for the next installment of this weekly series.
Rich has published over 100 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.
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