I found myself turning camera off very soon after I make shots. For example, I walk around, see something, turn it ON; then make some shots, wait a bit and then immediately turn it OFF.

Sometimes it happens that I turn ON/OFF few times in a one-two minutes.

I just subconsciously want to save battery juice :)

Is this particularly bad for some reason?

camera; Fuji x100t - but not relevant.

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    The camera & battery type it uses may be entirely relevant. I often leave my camera on for days [accidentally]; it nods off after a few seconds & doesn't appear to use any power in that state. Nikon D5500, EN-EL14a Li-ion power cells.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 16, 2017 at 14:34
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    It could wear out the on/off switch.
    – vclaw
    Feb 16, 2017 at 17:03
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    @Tetsujin in fact, on Nikons (at least my D3300), according to the manual the on/off switch is nothing but a "safety" to prevent the cpu from engaging when buttons are pressed. There is no difference, in other words. You will notice that inserting/removing the memory card causes the light to come on momentarily regardless of whether the switch is on. Feb 16, 2017 at 23:21
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    Have you tried not to turn camera off for a day of walking/shooting and see how much battery left? This is only way to know for sure what to do -- experiment. Feb 17, 2017 at 2:55
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    Many of the answers so far seem to be based on DSLRs, even though the question is about a mirrorless camera. These two cases seem, to me, to be far enough removed from each other as to be separate questions. Is this a fair distinction to stress? Feb 17, 2017 at 6:30

6 Answers 6


A lot can depend on the settings you have on the camera. Most cameras, when not used for a certain amount of time, will go into powersave mode to save battery for you. Yes this will still use a little power, but its so small almost not worth worrying about.

Some cameras will perform various actions when switching off/on which might end up using more power than just letting it go into power save. For example, I have the 5DIII which runs a sensor cleaning operation when doing this.

You can change these settings so that it doesn't do this of course. Its worth checking on your camera to see, as this might mean you are not saving power at all. I have left my camera on power save for days and it has hardly had a noticeable effect on battery as I believe most of the power requirements come from the powering of the processors and sensor when you actually take shots/use live view etc.

Hope that helps.

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    And on SLRs you can generally choose the powersave timeout (very short if you want). A more relevant setting is the screen blanking timeout as the camera doesn't use much power idling but the backlight can be hungry.
    – Chris H
    Feb 16, 2017 at 17:34
  • +1.. I'd be tempted to link to this, to save anyone the trouble of reiterating - What drains the battery of DSLRs the most? & say the rest of the time it uses practically nothing. Wearing out the switch ahead of time is likely to be the costly alternative.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 16, 2017 at 19:06
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    Not only days! I've left my T3i on for months in the bag with it on, and when I pulled it out and hit the shutter to focus it was instantly ready and was still reporting full battery. Feb 16, 2017 at 22:52
  • For a counterexample, if your camera has Wi-Fi or GPS, turning it off may save a lot of battery, because those functions may get partially or completely powered down while the camera is turned off. This is particularly true for the 5D Mark IV, depending on GPS mode.
    – dgatwood
    Feb 18, 2017 at 23:07
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    And for a mirrorless camera that keeps the screen on, obviously it makes a huge difference, because the screen soaks up a lot of power.
    – dgatwood
    Feb 18, 2017 at 23:08

Is this particularly bad for some reason?

It's probably not bad in the sense that it'll hurt the camera beyond possible wear and tear on the mechanical switch, but it's bad in the sense that it could cause you to miss a shot. Most cameras take a second or two to start up when you turn them on, whereas they're ready more or less instantly when left on, even if they've gone into their "sleep" mode. Leaving the camera on for the entire time when you're out shooting will keep the camera ready to go.

It's also unnecessary, and probably counterproductive. Electronic devices like cameras (and phones, computers, automobiles, televisions, etc.) generally go through a startup sequence called POST or power-on self test when you turn them on, and then they have some amount of work to do to get their operating system up and running. (This is why it takes a second or two to start up.) It's not unlikely that running those tests and starting the OS uses more power than the camera would use while idle.

Ultimately, it comes down to doing what makes you comfortable and happy, so instead of taking our advice you should try it both ways: shoot for a while using you existing practice and notice how long it takes to drain a fully-charged battery. Then recharge the battery, shoot under similar conditions while leaving the camera switched on, and see how long the battery lasts. How many shots do you get with each practice?

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    A second or two? Which decade do you live in? My 600d is starting up faster than my fingers take from the on switch to shutter button. The 300d had really annoying 3 seconds delay. But the times were always the same for "sleep" or shutoff. I think the only difference is that the switch prevents accidental shutterpress anyway.
    – ths
    Feb 16, 2017 at 18:48
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    @ths Even the 400d essentially started up instantly. However, non-DSLR cameras can take several seconds to turn themselves on. Feb 16, 2017 at 19:53
  • @ths Startup time really depends on the camera, and sometimes also on how the camera is configured. For example, the Canon 6D has a sensor cleaning feature that can be set to operate at startup, and that adds maybe a full second every time you turn the camera on. I don't have firsthand experience with the Fuji X100t that the author uses, but here's a thread where some X100 users complain about startup times in the 5-7 second range. It's great that your camera starts instantly, but not all do.
    – Caleb
    Feb 16, 2017 at 22:03

Camera type very much is relevant.

The micro-controller on that camera is probably a very low power one. That means that when it is not doing anything it is turning itself basically off along with the screen back-light. This it will do automatically without you turning it off.

When you turn it off it probably disconnects power from the micro-controller, meaning every time you turn it on it has to go through its boot cycle. It's boot cycle probably uses 100 to 1000 times as much power as sitting there in its low power state and the boot cycle probably takes about a second, so unless you have it off for 100-1000 seconds, it's not worth turning it off.


From an electronics background perspective - the most wear and tear to electronics equipment (the physical - switches), and the internals (the electronics) is the start up, the initial inrush of current for capacitors, LCD, the switchmode power supply etc.

For the most reliability its actually better to leave electronic equipment on.

As previously mentioned by someone else, modern cameras tend to be quite power sufficient when in standby mode so while it might seem counter intiuative you would actually be using more power potentially turning the camera off and back on.

My advice, take a second battery with you, keep in it in a warm (not hot place) like a pocket to limit discharge.


On most Pentax DSLRs this behaviour can actually use more battery than leaving the camera on.

When turning the camera on, the sensor is vibrated as part of its dust reduction strategy, this uses some energy, simply leaving the camera alone will cause it to go into power save mode. Waking up from power save mode doesn't (always) trigger the dust reduction shake (it does if it's been in power save for a long time)


The camera is very relevant in this case.

Ignoring all of the info about power-on cycles and wear... the biggest battery drain on an X100* is likely to be the EVF and screen - both of which may be reactivated as you move (the eye-sensor would be the most obvious candidate rather than bumps to any buttons).

Left alone, the camera will go to sleep (I've pulled my Fujis out of a bag days later to find that they haven't been switched off), but conversely I've found the screen running live view as I walk along a street because the camera hasn't been able to detect that I'm not using it (in this respect the Fujis are very different from traditional dSLRs).

If I'm in the studio, I don't worry about switching it off (it's in my hand or on a table). If I'm out and about I'm inclined to switch it off to stretch the battery life and also to prevent accidental shots (though that's not quite so easy with a Fuji as it is with most dSLRs).

Compared to most dSLRs, Fuji X-series don't have great battery life (and the power level indicators generally give very little warning from full to empty). However, given the weight of the gear and batteries, carrying one or two spare batteries isn't a hardship. From experience, if you're unsure about the state of the battery charge it (and carry a spare).

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