Battery performance you won't believe.

Discussion in 'Leica' started by dalethorn, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Note: I'll try to get all the facts accounted for up front.

    I have a Leica X-E, which should be identical to the X2, but with a more economical exterior finish. I have 2 batteries - same battery as the other X's. I've been shooting with the current battery for about 4 days, the last 2 days at 1/3 charge according to the battery meter. I took around 150 shots to get down to 1/3 charge, and another 100 after that.

    I decided today to set the camera to forced flash on, ISO 200, and fire off flash shots in a dimly-lit area. I was in my car outdoors in hot and humid South Carolina for the first 350 flash shots, then had to break for lunch. BTW, the car (which has no air conditioning) was sitting in shade, and the camera was pointed at the dark floor. The pop-up flash unit got barely warm, and the flashes were bright.

    After lunch I continued in a dimly-lit room at home, for another 228 flash shots, for a total of 578 before the battery meter changed to red. Another 51 flash shots after that and the camera shut down.

    [] ~250 shots taken over 4 days in daylight, or night on tripod without flash - battery meter at 1/3 charge for the past 2 days.
    [] 578 forced-flash shots taken - battery meter now on red (zero charge).
    [] 51 more forced-flash shots taken - camera now shuts down.

    It's interesting that, with the meter on 1/3 charge at the start, I kept expecting it to shut down at any moment. I got to thinking that the camera was drawing "free energy" from somewhere. Or else there were gremlins inside running on a tiny treadmill. So I have no explanation, other than the X-E draws extremely little power (even with flash shots), the battery is fairly heavy-duty, and my batteries are genuine Leicas. 629 flash shots taken, one at a time, after the meter showed 1/3 charge.
  2. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    I know that with phones and tablets the biggest energy user is the screen. I wonder if cameras are similar (which kind of explains the relatively good battery life of mirrored vs. mirrorless cameras). If so, you may have taken a lot of photos but with relatively little time between shots thus using the screen less than you normally would for composition and shot review.

    Just a guess though.
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  3. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    That's impressive, Dale. I have two things to add, neither of which is useful, I'm sure...

    First, John's thoughts make perfect sense. What's more, I just remembered that a number of mirrorless cameras have published battery life figures that are worse if one is using the EVF rather than the rear LCD. It seems counterintuitive, but there you have it. And you weren't using an EVF on the X-E, were you? That could be a partial answer.

    Second, again in line with John's remarks, the best battery life I ever got with any digital camera was with my Pentax K200D DSLR. That camera required four AA batteries to operate (no option for a proprietary lithium-ion battery).

    When using Eveready Ultimate Lithium batteries, I reliably got 1500-2000 shots on each set of batteries. And that's with a fair amount of chimping and 1/4 to 1/3 of the shots using the K200D's built-in flash.

    It sounds like Leica has an inaccurate charge meter... but a very robust battery for the camera in question. Still, even if you don't know for sure, you have one more reason to love the X-E!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    A very good guess I think.
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    I liked the X-E so much that I ordered the special edition X2, used, "like new".

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  6. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I'd love an X-E... a Leica that needs no additional expensive lenses. But I'll have to get by with my Ricoh GR for such use.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    From what I've seen, the GR series are very popular here and produce beautiful results. I've had other compacts like the LX7, LX100, and Coolpix A. There's something special about the prime lens cameras, and while I liked the Coolpix and others, I'm getting along better with the 35 mm view of the Leica X series. I'll keep an eye out for new 35 mm equiv. focal length cameras from now on. My all time favorite is still the Rollei 35.
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  8. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    For me, the 35mm field of view comes from my Fuji X100T. Not as pocketable as the GR but a keeper nonetheless. But most of the prime-lens compacts are pretty great.
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  9. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY

    That's amazing!

    You might want to check this out -- My first attempt at a time-lapse video with the LX100.

    The LX100 is rated at 300 shots per charge. I was experimenting with timelapse, and got 1,200 shots over a sequence of several videos without changing the battery.

    (not Leica-related, I know, but didn't you/don't you have the Leica version of the LX100?)

    Cheers, Jock
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  10. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Those time-lapses were intriguing, for a few things I can imagine doing. I had the Leica D-Lux (same as LX-100), which is now in the hands of another local photographer. When my wife used it a little, when her Canon battery quit, she really gushed over it, and I've never seen her do that for another camera.
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