Friday, 7 November 2008

The Camera Battery Issue.

Alaska is a great place to take pictures, and I got many hundreds of keepers cluttering up both my laptop and my external harddrive. But taking pictures in Alaska is hard. You've got lots of issues with equipment alone, from camera grease coagulating, to brittle film in traditional cameras, to fragile plastic at low temperatures.

One of the biggest issues for me is batteries. Especially when I'm trying to get my camera to work at very low light, when the wind is blowing, it's not uncommon for me to only get 15 to 30 minutes of camera time before I get low charge warnings, and it kicks out. I usually use two Energizer 2450 mAh Li•Ion batteries in my camera (my camera is a CR-V3 compatible camera), while keeping two more batteries in my inner jacket pocket where they'll be pre-warmed. Yesterday (what prompted this whole blog post) I got 8 minutes of camera time. 8 minutes. That's not a lot. It's sort of `shoot fast!`

I think the biggest issue is they just shed heat too fast, especially in wind. What I'd really like is some sort of chord I could have, so that I could keep the batteries in my jacket where they wouldn't chill. Now, they make one for head lamps, for the musher crowd. I went down to Coldspot Feed to try and find something that connected to a dummy battery, but no dice - they were all D-Cell, and rigged to attach to special plugs on modded head lamps. You know, if someone made a jacket battery pack for things like GPSes, you could probably make a pretty penny.

But since no one in town carries anything remotely like that - probably because nothing like it exists (says the internet) - my new project is to make my own. What I need is some sort of dummy battery, or a plug that fits the 3 VDC port on the side. Three or four battery clips. Wire. A new soldering iron. A new hammer (not for the project, but because I broke my old one yesterday). Jumper wires.

Oh. And new boots. Not for the project, just it's *$&ing cold in my summer stuff. :p

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