TopTen Ways to Extend Your Digital Camera's Battery Life

By TopTenReviews Contributor
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Let’s face it - compact digital cameras are infamous for draining battery life. From snapshooters to professionals, everyone dreads that little flashing red light. Battery life varies from product to product, and from feature to feature, but until a solar-powered image capturing device comes out, batteries will always be a concern. For now, you can extend your digital camera’s battery life by following these Top Ten steps.

  1. Turn off your LCD display screen. I know this is hard—who likes shoving their face against the device to compose a shot through the little viewfinder? But the LCD screen single-handedly drains a lot of power.
  2. Minimize the picture preview to the least amount of time possible—usually one second. This uses less LCD screen time, thus less power.
  3. Dim the brightness on your LCD screen. A dimmer display extends battery life by consuming less power to light the screen. This might make the display harder to see, but usually only in direct sunlight.
  4. Set the power saver to the least amount of time. Power saver lets your compact digital camera “sleep” when not in use, but doesn’t shut it down entirely. To “wake up” your device, simply click the shutter button.
  5. Use your zoom as little as possible. The motor that moves the lens uses power. This also goes for repeatedly turning your image capturing device on and off if it has an extendable lens.
  6. Turn off the continuous focus. Again, constantly using motors and electronics to ready your shot drastically minimizes battery life.
  7. Don’t push the shutter button half-way down until you’re ready to shoot. Pushing the shutter button (constantly resetting and refocusing) will drain battery life.
  8. Use the flash only when necessary. Your product’s “auto flash” option should take care of this, but make sure your flash isn’t going off in broad daylight.
  9. Don’t delete pictures from your device unless necessary. This consumes power. Wait until you download the pictures to your computer before deleting.
  10. This one’s basic, but charge your battery often. Lithium ion batteries, which most image capturing devices use, don’t have “battery memory” like older alkalines. In fact, lithium ions work better and last longer if charged completely and regularly.


Following these Top Ten steps will help maximize your compact digital camera’s battery life. On a final note, when shooting in cold temperatures, keep your device warm—between your body and coat. Battery life drops drastically in cold weather. And when you store your image capturing device for a week or longer, take the battery out to avoid trickle discharge.

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Electronics » Digital Cameras » Compact Digital Camera Review » TopTen Ways to Extend Your Digital Camera's Battery Life