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Author Topic: 550D battery discharging with camera off.  (Read 13915 times)

Offline Chris Lewis

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550D battery discharging with camera off.
« on: April 26, 2015, 11:46:59 PM »
OK here goes ... I've seen a few posts on this in the past but most seem to skirt right around the issue.
I've owned a 550D since late 2010 and mostly had excellent results from it. About 2 years back I shouted it a new zoom - namely an EFS 15-85mm USM (with image stabilisation of course).
Now, in the last few months I have noticed that my battery mysteriously discharges rather quickly over a few days of non-use with the camera switched off. Seems like it can be only 5 days to a week and when I switch the camera on, it is no go.  So I fit my second battery (usually charged at same time as other) and camera is operational again, indicating full charge.
So what? you may say ... your battery may be getting old ... not OEM ... (I've seen a few of these comments BTW  Grrr).
Well, A couple of days ago I tried something.  I switched OFF the Image Stabilisation.  Normally I leave this on for a lot of use and that's how it has remained when I power down.
Guess what? I'm monitoring this "stealth discharge" phenomenon and so far ... fingers crossed ... so far battery is holding up fine.  :P
Does anyone else find this?  I'm wondering if there may be a slight problem with the lense for IS to cause battery discharge when the camera is switched off.
Would be interested in comments. 

Offline Doodle

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 05:50:16 AM »
I've never heard of this phenomenon but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
I assume you are doing your stealth testing with the very same battery as the one that drained in 5 days?
If not, you haven't eliminated that battery as the issue.
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?

Offline AndyCivil

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 12:01:54 PM »
I've never heard of it either, but it sounds like you've fully diagnosed your problem. You may be the first one to discover it!

Understand that the camera never fully turns off; the power switch is a "soft" instruction to the processor that it should go into a standby mode.

Clearly the IS is not actually 'active' for all this time, or the battery would run down much faster than that; but the circuitry may be in a standby state, perhaps 'on' but not 'active' and using too much current.

It could be that your camera is failing to tell the lens that it should be powered off.

It could be that all instances of this lens are at fault (design) but no one's noticed.

It could be that your particular lens is broken, perhaps the shutdown circuitry is shorted so that it's always on.

If you had access to a different camera or a different lens, you could narrow it down, but I don't know what you could do with the information anyway - I can't think of any solution to it.

Offline Chris Lewis

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 04:49:54 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts guys! It's always good to bounce ideas off a couple of other folks.

Yes, same battery as the "5 day flat" one 'Doodle' - well it happens with either of the two - in fact I am fairly certain that both batteries are in good state still. 
Andy, these are good considerations - about the degree to which the camera really turns off.  I've wondered about this before.  Obviously it doesn't shut everything right down - as data like date/time is held, even when batteries are changed.  (Thank God for capacitors!) But it would be interesting to see some tech data about "sleep state" and the actual quiescent currents involved.
I think I have another lense or two with IS, so I'll proceed to try same test with one of those.
Thanks again for the comments.
At least I have found a way to preserve batt life for now!
Will report back.
Cheers!   :D

Offline bandmandq

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 06:11:17 AM »
I've never heard of it either, but it sounds like you've fully diagnosed your problem. You may be the first one to discover it!

Understand that the camera never fully turns off; the power switch is a "soft" instruction to the processor that it should go into a standby mode.

Clearly the IS is not actually 'active' for all this time, or the battery would run down much faster than that; but the circuitry may be in a standby state, perhaps 'on' but not 'active' and using too much current.

It could be that your camera is failing to tell the lens that it should be powered off.

It could be that all instances of this lens are at fault (design) but no one's noticed.

It could be that your particular lens is broken, perhaps the shutdown circuitry is shorted so that it's always on.

If you had access to a different camera or a different lens, you could narrow it down, but I don't know what you could do with the information anyway - I can't think of any solution to it.

A day late and a dollar short to this discussion.  Before I got to AndyCivil's post, I was thinking of MOST of the possible causes.  I think more like AndyCivil than I thought (When in "problem solving mode".)  :)

I would love to hear the results.  My bet is on the lens and that it is a RARE occurrence.
Canon T2i w/18-135mm lens, 55-250mm, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L

Offline Chris Lewis

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 01:15:40 PM »
Thanks Bandmandq -  Never too late!  This is something of a study over time anyway. (Time-lapse testing?!)
I'm with you on the lens bit, I'm proceeding to try another few days observation now with a different lens, IS switched on, camera off.
Oh, I'm waiting for someone to ask me "do you ever use your camera"?!  ;D  Haha, I have a few strings to the bow so there are times when poor old 550 sits in the bag.  And then, there is the iPhone 6 ...  which is with me all the time, like my DSLR really is supposed to be!  Oh.
I'll be back ...

Offline Doodle

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2015, 04:00:02 PM »
Thanks Bandmandq -  Never too late!  This is something of a study over time anyway. (Time-lapse testing?!)
I'm with you on the lens bit, I'm proceeding to try another few days observation now with a different lens, IS switched on, camera off.
Oh, I'm waiting for someone to ask me "do you ever use your camera"?!  ;D  Haha, I have a few strings to the bow so there are times when poor old 550 sits in the bag.  And then, there is the iPhone 6 ...  which is with me all the time, like my DSLR really is supposed to be!  Oh.
I'll be back ...

As in Bow (and arrow?)?  Or strings of a guitar per chance?
...or just busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest?

I look forward to hearing what that other lens does. For your sake, I hope it's the lens. Probably cheaper than replacing the body (most of the time).

And I love my iPhone 6 (plus) camera.  More for actual daylight photos though. I'm not as impressed with low light situations on it.
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?

Offline Chris Lewis

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2015, 04:20:02 PM »
Thanks folks,
@Doodle - yes a few musical strings, cello, bass, guitar mandolin etc.  My other passion, music and sound/vid editing.
Hence camera not always on the go.

Noted the comment on "what would you do about it anyway" which is quite true enough.  I was just wondering if anyone else had discovered the gradual discharge with IS on.

So far so good with different lense on camera, IS switched on.
Will be back...

Offline Doodle

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 06:12:20 PM »
Thanks folks,
@Doodle - yes a few musical strings, cello, bass, guitar mandolin etc.  My other passion, music and sound/vid editing.
Hence camera not always on the go.


Noted the comment on "what would you do about it anyway" which is quite true enough.  I was just wondering if anyone else had discovered the gradual discharge with IS on.

So far so good with different lense on camera, IS switched on.
Will be back...

I've got a Martin that has been at the Luthiers for 2 months now (crack in the body behind the bridge). Going through withdrawal symptoms, I swear.
So far so good on the camera huh?  Keep us posted!
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?

Offline Chris Lewis

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2015, 08:39:29 PM »
OK, bit of a break and I'm back, but unfortunately with no clear results.  Testing with second lense and IS left switched on did give similar effect, but really, I'm now not certain of my diagnosis.  Seeing as the batteries are coming up 5 years old, it is possible I guess that they just don't hold up charge as they used to, even under very light discharge. 

It's an effect I've noticed with mass produced re-chargeable batteries in most Chinese built gear these days.  They go really well for the first few months then need frequent re-charging.  Usually around that magic 24 month period, sometimes earlier. I've noticed this especially in gear like small hand-vac's, drills or dramatically in my "new" carpet sweeper!!!  Oh! 6 months and runs at proper speed for about 3 minutes then sounds like it is ready to quit, darn it.

Enough on that.  @Doodle, that's a long time to be without your Martin.  I had a D-35 back in 1975 thru 1986.  I've recently acquired a lovely Breedlove OM-Smye  small bodied orchestra style.  The finish on their instruments (Made in Bend, Oregon, USA) is faultless to the finest detail.  Already sounding great and is a real pleasure to play.
Try one! :)

Right, that's a tad off topic.
My final word is that (@Andy BTW) My camera is simply telling me to use it more.
As someone said - "you can't make your next best pic with your camera at home in the bag" - and in my case, discharged!!

Regards to all.  Save a little for replacement batteries, they don't last for ever!

Chris

Offline Doodle

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Re: 550D battery discharging with camera off.
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2015, 04:30:10 PM »
Hey Chris, I will see if I can find one of those Breedloves and give it a try!  (p.s.- I got my toy back last Thursday. I was going through withdrawals but I think I've sufficiently recovered)  ;)
As for your battery issue: have you splurged and tried a new battery? (or do you know someone who had a new one that you can borrow for testing purposes?)
Good luck on whatever the heck is causing this problem. It's GOTTA be annoying as hell.
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?