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Thread: Sony A6000. Have I finally found a way to overcome the TERRIBLE battery life problem?

  1. #1

    Sony A6000. Have I finally found a way to overcome the TERRIBLE battery life problem?

    Ok, I know there are new models of the A6xxx series out, and I have had my A6000 for about 18 months now but it's only taken a couple of hundred photos and for most of its life in my hands (bought new) it has been in its camera bag in the cupboard because of its truly horrible battery life.. Here's a quick guideline as to how bad it was...

    Charge it today - 100%,,
    1). Leave it in the camera without taking any photos, switched OFF, and by tomorrow same time it will most likely be around 75-80% (from memory),, the day after it might be less than 55-60%,, the third or fourth day you'll probably have to seriously think of charging it back up or it may fail to to even start the camera. If it did fire up, it would not last long.. That's truly BAD BAD BAD...!!!
    2). Head out to take photos and you will see between 1 and 3% constantly disappearing with each photo you take, depending on how long between shots and how long you view them etc etc - Still bad bad bad...!!!
    3). Begin to go through the menu systems and try many new settings (trying to solve the problem) and within 20 - 30 mins max, and it's down to about 60% life left - Once again, horrible...!!!

    I tried carrying 2 extra Wasabi batteries as well but they suffered exactly the same.. I only ever charged all 3 batteries with the Wasabi charger and always at approx 50% life if I could catch them there...

    So as a result, I just locked it away after trying every possible setting and/or trick in the book and failing - it just eats batteries alive, Sony originals and Wasabi replacements - no noticeable difference in life time..
    That was until just over 2 months ago, when I tried charging it for the first time from a portable USB 5v battery, you know, one of those what do they call 'em.? - Power Bank battery or something. I have a TP-Link 10,000 ma 5v power bank,, the type you use to charge up cellphones and tablets on the go etc.. The camera's Sony battery held its 100% mark for nearly 2 weeks, then about a month later again, it was down to 86% and stayed there for another 2 weeks, then I forgot about it for a while, but looked at it again a week ago (well over two months, maybe up to 10 weeks, after the charge up) and it was down to about 62%.. I charged it back up the same way and a few moments ago it was still on 100%, again, so have I stumbled on something here..??

    I was thinking about updating to the new models, maybe an A6500, but with the possibility of it suffering from the same thing, that kind of put a damper on things. Maybe I'll just start to use the A6000 for a while as I was reasonably happy with its results...

    AlSony

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    i have 3 batteries and I never leave them in the camera when not in use......but they retain their charge for ages,,,,,,,,,,,,
    I charge it by simply plugging camera into USB slot on the PC.

    Never had an issue
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  3. #3
    Steve, thank your lucky stars..
    This is an issue that affects some A6000's, but it "IS" a known issue. I guess I just drew the short straw when I bought this one. It happened right from day one. I couldn't believe it, on the day of purchase I charged up the original battery to 100% then started playing with the menu's & settings and every time I came out of the menu's to try those settings, the battery life was dropping off like flies. Within half an hour or less I was jaw dropped to see it was around 50 - 60%.. I thought it was just the new battery syndrome and would need a few charge cycles to break in but it just kept on doing this. Then I did some reading on the internet and found out it "does" happen.. I updated the firmware about 9 months ago and for a while I thought it was better but I'm sure that was mostly wishful thinking. I think it did improve a bit but we're talking maybe a couple of percentage points and no more. The USB charge thing was hugely BETTER though, I mean, we're now talking maybe 1,000% (or 10x) better now..

    I just checked it again right now and it's still sitting on 100%,, so there ya go, something good has happened. Actually, I guess I had better try the two Wasabi batteries, see if they want to play ball too.. 1st one is now in at 81% and charging off USB, fingers crossed..

    Lucky you if yours is A-OK,, wish mine was,, maybe it is now..!!
    Cheers...

    AlSony

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    i think its not the battery or the camera...but the device charging as you have pointed out...some pc's may no be via the usb port supplying enough milliamps for the battery to charge properly so it declines quickly best opyion is to get a wall usb charger and use that...which I alos have and take this with we when going on shoots that last a day or 2 just in case.
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  5. #5
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    I have had my A6000 for nearly 3 years, with the original battery plus another (3rd-party) since the beginning. Both batteries behave the same, regardless of how I charge then (in the camera plugged via USB or charger plugged in the wall). I shoot almost every day so the active battery will discharge normally (about 250-300 shots RAW+JPEG, depends on temperature, using viewfinder or not, reviewing/deleting or not, etc), then I exchange it for the other to get it charged. The replacement always starts at 100% and goes through the same routine. Repeat the cycle ad nauseam.

    I have heard that the conditions in which a battery is charged will affect its life duration. The idea was that you want to avoid heat while a battery is being charged. Faster recharge will yield higher battery internal temperature, lessening its life. USB charging is slower (than wall outlet) so the battery is charged in better conditions. I also heard that keeping Lithium ion batteries operating between 20% and 80% charged would increase their life. So don't drain them nor recharge them fully would appear to be a good strategy in the long term. I tend to apply the first "rule" but not the second.

    My batteries have degraded somewhat since being new. Initially I could take maybe 350 shots on a single charge. I expect to replace them when they fall under 200 shots per charge but will keep them as spares for emergency.

    I also read somewhere that there was a condition in which the A6000 did not fully turn off. Was it Wi-Fi or something, can't recall. The idea was then to extract the battery, count to 3 and reinsert it. I have never faced that issue but maybe your camera is still consuming power when the switch is "off". Something to research maybe.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Both points noted and thank you both for those points..
    Actually, I might just invest in a 5v USB type wall charger to do my A6000 charging from now. Why not..?? I mean I've been charging cellphones and/or tablets with them for years now and that's actually why I began to buy and use these Powerbank batteries, to let me recharge 'on the go'. They are definite life savers at times and the higher output units can last for several charges of your device(s) eg, literally anything that will charge up from a USB port. I have 10,000,, 16,000 and 20,000ma units and they all hold good power for a long time. One of the 16,000ma genuine Xaomi brand (excellent brand) units will hold virtually 100% over 12 months if not used. That's why I decided to try one on the A6000, which was a good move..

    I payed special attention to the Wi-Fi and Airplane modes etc when trying out different settings and I can't remember which I eventually settled on but they can stay right where they are as I believe for my usage I have the best combination of power saving settings I can muster up after all that time testing. Many people have made suggestions over power saving in these areas, so I have tried them all, so thanks. I do however like that suggestion as to the camera maybe not be fully switching off though. I have seen this mentioned before on websites etc.

    In the last few days, I have recharged both the Wasabi spare batteries and they too seem to be responding in the same way as the Sony battery when charged via USB, so for my A6000 there may well be something in this phenomena. What ever it is, I'll adopt it as something is definitely working. Also just last bight I updated Firmware - I had v3.10 in it and I download and installed v3.20, so maybe that might help to smooth things over. Maybe,, maybe not. I have to try. The one thing I did note was that the power drain while updating was quite a bit less that what I expected, so things might be looking up for a change. After taking a handful of photos and then performing that firmware update, I lost only about 7%, whereas before it would have drained right down to the 70% mark, I'm sure...
    Cheers guys and thanks..

    AlSony

  7. #7
    You may want to google "EUP Ready" or "ErP Bios Option" some PC's have these bios options set up so that there is constant power to the USB ports even when the PC is off, some PC's do not. It is an option that can be turned on or off in newer computers and it's great for keeping camera's charged up when not transferring images.
    However it is known to shorten the life of motherboard usb ports. I set my bios for a complete shutdown when off because i have an illuminated keyboard that glows all night if i don't.
    a6300, a6000 , x700 wMD-1, Pentax k30, a580, a560 , a100 (stollen), 650si Date, 9000+MD90/BP90, XG-M, srTmcII,Nikon EM, Nikon N80, Hanimex Practica, Konica AutoreflexA, Ricoh KR5 super
    Peacock Designs

  8. #8
    A final word/update to my own thread...
    Well, I've had the A6000 for about 2 & 1/2 years now and as a summary I could say it can amaze me at times with its quality images but to be honest the poor battery life thing still haunts me. Something that I have done along the road (maybe a firmware update or that and settings or even charging method), has improved the life noticeably but to be even more honest, it's far from acceptable when I compare it to any other camera I have. I only use it "occasionally" to sort of blow the dust and cobwebs off/out of it and to recharge those batteries, then it goes back into the cupboard. I also have a Panasonic TZ90 (ZS70 - same thing) which takes a good photo for a compact, when the conditions are right,, a Nikon D600 and D750 which are - well I'm sure I don't need to say just how well they perform,, I also have a couple of other compacts mainly for work and that's my lot. The A6000 has taken the least number of shots, just shy of 500. I think that says it all..

    A camera which is on my short-list at the moment, is the Sony A7-III, which I hear has a MUCH better, even great battery life. We'll see in the coming months...

    AlSony

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