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Old Jun 28, 2011, 7:09 PM   #1
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Default A580 unusually short battery life

A friend of mine had a recital shoot last weekend. I loaned him my 70-200 for the shoot and talked to him today about how things went.
He said he got some good shots but he had to use his daughters A550 and 70-200 for most of the shots because he could only get about 50 shots per battery with his A580 + 70-200.
That sounds very unusual doesn't it?
Any ideas?
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Old Jun 28, 2011, 8:26 PM   #2
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The A550 and A580 use the same battery, and the A580 is supposed to be a little bit better than the A550. Were the batteries he used in his A580 new and fully charged?
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 1:01 AM   #3
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Yep, 3 different batteries all 100% indicated in the viewfinder. After burning through his 3 batteries so quickly he decided to use his daughters A550 rather then put her battery in his 580 and take the chance of depleting that battery too. He switched the lens to her camera and her camera and battery lasted the rest of the recital. He leaning towards thinking that something is wrong with the camera although I have been with him on a couple of all day photo trips where the camera worked fine.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 5:15 AM   #4
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Has he ever used his A580 with an SSM lens before?

Has he experienced reasonable battery life when using non-SSM lenses?
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 9:43 PM   #5
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Yes TCav
I recently spent a day shooting with him where he had a 70-400 attached all day no problems at all with battery life.

He's going through a battery test now. The process of elimination. I'm sure he'll find the problem it just may take a few days.

Thanks for your questions they where things to consider. I'll update the post when he figures it out.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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There's a setting which does autofocus when you put your eye to the camera. I turned that off because indoors it was getting confused and refocussing non-stop as I moved the camera around. That would drain the battery pretty quick.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 1:01 PM   #7
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That sounds like the likely culprit, especially if he's got the camera set to something like continuous AF. I've seen that happen before when using A5xx models (where a camera would start focusing when it got close to my shirt when wearing one around my neck).

U.S. models of the A700 have a grip sensor that works in conjunction with the eye start sensors to prevent that kind of thing from happening (the camera won't start focusing unless it senses pressure on the grip sensors *and* an object near the eye start sensors).

But, other models (European A700 cameras, all A5xx models) don't get the grip sensor that the U.S. version of the A700 has. I don't know about Asian versions of the A700, but they left it out of the European A700 model due to something about the nickel content causing a problem with European regulations; and they didn't include a grip sensor at all in the A5xx models for any region.

So, if you leave eye start autofocus enabled, anytime something gets too close to the eye start sensors (under the viewfinder), the cameras without a grip sensor can start focusing, even if you are not holding the camera.

Turning Eye Start Autofocus off should solve it if that's what is happening.
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Old Aug 22, 2011, 12:35 AM   #8
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Thanks Jim and Martin for your thoughts and suggestions. I'm going to see him tomorrow and will be able to mention your thoughts and suggestions and see if he has figured out the problem on his own.

I do know that he's used the camera since then and never mentioned any further problems.

Good information, I'm going to be using this camera for a wedding in a couple of weeks and will be sure the eye start function is turned off.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 12:13 AM   #9
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Confirmed! Eye start AF was on as was the continuous AF (for the recital). He has since turned the eye start AF off and has not had the problem since.

Eye start AF + continuous AF + SSM lens = very fast battery drain.

Thanks again.
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