One of the first accessories I make sure to pick up when I buy a new camera is an extra battery. Since everyone these days has pretty much gone with proprietary batteries, it’s not a simple matter of just running to the corner store and picking up a few double-A’s when you need fresh power. As I often travel with a loaner, I’m not too keen on spending $100 on a battery that I will never use again. And, of course, these are the kinds of situations where Murphy’s Law plays out in its ugliest.
Yesterday I had appointments and meetings scheduled from 9:15 a.m. till past 10:00 p.m. with no opportunity to go back to the hotel and recharge the battery. According to the manual, the GH2’s battery is good for about 320 shots and since I wasn’t going to have much of an opportunity to take lots of photos I figured that I would be okay. However, on my way to the first appointment, I reached into the bag to get something else and noticed that the camera was unusually warm. I still haven’t figured out what happened exactly but apparently I had inadvertenyly turned the camera on while putting it in the bag and had left the LCD screen facing out. Since the GH2 has a touchscreen I can only assume that the bag was pressing against some function that the camera was trying to complete and within half hour I had practically drained the entire battery. In short I had one bar showing on the battery meter to get me through the day.
Fortunately, I had a backup—the five megapixel phone on my Blackberry Torch. I’m not a big camera phone user but having the Torch with me simply reinforces that old adage the best camera is the one you have with you.