How to preserve camcorder battery power
Keeping your camcorder battery going strong through long events
The battery that came included with your video camera is typically only good for a few hours of traditional recording, which can cause you to run into problems when you're headed to long events or traveling. Here are a few simple tips and trick to help ensure you have enough battery power to make it through your next special event.
Plug it in
If you have the option to plug your camcorder in, plug it in. Plugging in your camcorder is the easiest way to ensure you have enough power to make it through an event and an option that many people forget about. For long events such as school plays and concerts, select a seat near the back of the room where you can plug your camcorder into an electrical outlet. Choosing a seat in the back for long events also has the added bonus of being courteous to others who are attending the event. You wouldn't want to sit behind the guy with the camcorder; make sure no one else has to, either.
Bring a tripod
Bring a tripod with you to the event and set up your camcorder on a static shot, such as the entire stage. The image stabilization on your camcorder drains its battery. If you plan on leaving your camcorder on the tripod, power off the image stabilization on your camera (under the Settings menu) to gain some extra minutes of recording time.
Activities such as zooming in and out and will also use up battery power and in cases such as a school play can often make your video look unwatchable simply because of how often you'll have to move your camcorder around to keep the moving actors in the shot. A static shot that captures the entire event can be a great way to make sure you don't miss anything, help conserve your battery, and give you the freedom to sit back and enjoy the event yourself.
Close the LCD screen
The LCD screen on your camcorder uses a tremendous amount of battery power. When possible, turn the display off or close the display window so that you're not draining the battery while you shoot. If your camcorder has a traditional viewfinder, use it to frame shots rather than the LCD.
Save viewing for later
Navigating through footage and playing video you have recorded is a quick way to drain your battery. Save viewing footage for times when your camcorder is plugged in or when you are at home and don't intend on recording any additional video.
Carry an extra battery
Carrying an extra battery is the easiest and most obvious way to make sure you have enough battery power to make it through an event. Extra batteries can cost a bundle, sometimes upwards of $50 a piece, but can be well worth it when it comes to recording an important event such as a graduation, wedding, or other once-in-a-lifetime event. If there is a long-life battery available for your camcorder, you may want to consider purchasing it, just to have on hand for special events when you might need it. Make sure both of your batteries are charged up before you head out for an event, and bring along your charger (if you have an external one) so you can potentially charge one battery while you are using another.