Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

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Valentin Remy

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Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 3:40 pm

Hi everyone !

Quick question for run n gun situations with my Ursa Mini. Is it harmful to the camera if I often switch it on/off during the day to save battery life ?
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rick.lang

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 9:24 pm

It could as with anything using electricity. A light bulb, a computer, a camera. The surge of electricity is likely suppressed as much as possible in a camera, but I recommend using a 270 Wh camera that might get you through the day. I shoot for several hours with that battery and if I had a much longer requirement, it would be nice to have two batteries!

I’m going to have the same issue in June on a shoot that occurs for about 8 hours but when I have a break I’ll partially charge the battery.

Sure turn it off between shoots, lunch, etc. But frequently turning it off and on might defeat the goal of saving electricity in the battery. The camera likes to be powered on for several minutes to become stable so in run’n’gun you might miss a shot or cause other delays. And I’m sure the battery itself actually continues to drain slowly if it’s mounted on the camera with the camera off. If it’s critical to conserve charge, remove the battery when the camera is off.


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OwenCrowley

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 10:04 pm

Yes, I have noticed that batteries drain slowly when attached to my turned off UMP.
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Stephen Press

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 am

Is it just me or do they seem to drain less quickly with the camera turned off since the last update?
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Valentin Remy

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm

rick.lang wrote:but I recommend using a 270 Wh battery that might get you through the day. I shoot for several hours with that battery and if I had a much longer requirement, it would be nice to have two batteries!


Not an option in this case unfortunately !
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Brad Hurley

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 3:00 pm

rick.lang wrote:It could as with anything using electricity. A light bulb, a computer, a camera.


Just a note on computers: back in the 1990s when I was working as a journalist, I interviewed an engineer at Apple who said their computers were designed so they could be powered on and off multiple times per day with no ill effects over the lifetime of the computer; if I remember correctly he said they had run tests with a bank of computers that were automatically turned off and powered back on 10 times per day for five years and showed no problems. Nowadays with ultra-low-power-consumption sleep modes there's not much reason to turn off a computer anymore, but I've seen no convincing evidence that it causes any harm.
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rick.lang

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Brad, I seldom turn off my iMac but that’s good to know. Any opinion though regarding the URSA Mini?


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Denny Smith

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 5:16 pm

The Ursa Mini is a Pro Video Camera, that is designed to be powered up and left on for the duration of a shoot. Like most pro cameras, it requires a short warm up time to stabilize and get the system balanced. Turning it off and on every 5-15 min, and then back off again, is not going to save the battery, and the restart up time is going to drain the battery more, than leaving it idle.

On ENG cameras, they had a “Stsndby” position on the lower switch, which kept the camera ready, but shutting down only part of the camera, so it could come right back up very quickly.

That said, if you are shooting an event, and yiu have a long break, like an hour or more, than shutting down the camera and restarting agin when the action returned would be OK. I would say, shutting down the camera for breaks more than 30 min should be OK, anything shorter, I would just cap the lens and shut down or cap the EVF, leave the camera on. :roll:
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Valentin Remy

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:34 pm

Denny Smith wrote:The Ursa Mini is a Pro Video Camera, that is designed to be powered up and left on for the duration of a shoot. Like most pro cameras, it requires a short warm up time to stabilize and get the system balanced. Turning it off and on every 5-15 min, and then back off again, is not going to save the battery, and the restart up time is going to drain the battery more, than leaving it idle.


Ok thanks, that's what I was worried about, but I wasn't sure.
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robert Hart

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Re: Is it harmful to turn on/off the camera quite often ?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 8:10 am

There has been a theoretical debate running for years on whether a modern electronic device left operating in continuous duty will fail in calender time any sooner than one which is turned off and on.

One argument for continuous duty was that of there being fewer thermal cycles which cause mechanical failures through expansion and contraction of joints and parts themselves. Another was that mechanical parts like switches were used less and unlikely to wear out or break.

One argument for intermittent duty was that the lifetime of individual life-limited components was more likely to be expended by continuous duty before the appliance became obsolete and was replaced by the new trendy thing. Another was that parts which deteriorate in heat are more likely to fail sooner from being in a continuous hot environment, if heat transfer is inadequate in the machine's design.

For most folk, it goes until it stops.

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