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The on/off switch on my Canon 50D is broken - as long as the battery is charged, the camera is on.

I have set the automatic shutdown to 1 minute and try to avoid accidentally turning on Live View or image viewing.

Is there anything else I can do to minimise battery loss, short of removing the battery?

Note that I’m on a long trip, rarely staying in one place long enough to find camera repair stores (in many places I don’t expect to find one at all). Thus, “repair it” is not an option.

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    Possible duplicate of Turning camera ON/OFF to preserve battery? – Tetsujin Dec 6 '17 at 14:04
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    i rarely use the on/off switch of my camera. I leave it on all the time and rely on its automatic shutdown, even over relatively long periods of time and it doesn't seem to drain the battery too much for me – laurencemadill Dec 6 '17 at 15:06
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    What makes you think this is actually a problem in the first place? DSLRs are very power efficient. Combined with auto shut, off it's unlikely to have a big impact to leave the switch in the on position. – Semaphore Dec 7 '17 at 12:09
  • @Semaphore when it’s switched on and in a backpack for a day trip, it’s easy for it to accidentally hit the live view switch, wasting battery. – HenricF Dec 7 '17 at 19:29
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My Canon 50D is always on. What can I do to minimise battery loss?

Get the On-Off switch fixed?

Sounds reasonable, however I’m on a several months long trip, unlikely to stay long enough in one place to get it fixed. In addition, few places I’ve visited have camera stores that could fix it. I’d like to know what I can do now, before returning home where I can have it fixed.

When it’s switched on and in a backpack for a day trip, it’s easy for it to accidentally hit the live view switch, wasting battery.

To disable Live View, under the [Setup 2 (yellow wrench)] menu tab, select [Live View function settings] → [Live View shoot.] → 'Disable'

It's on page 116 of the EOS 50D Instruction Manual.

Before packing your camera away you may also want to set one or several or all of the following to minimize battery usage from buttons accidentally pressed:

  • Turn off Image Stabilization via the switch on the lens, if applicable.
  • Set the MF/AF switch on the lens to MF, if applicable.
  • Set [C.Fn III -3: AF point selection method] to [1: Multi-controller direct] so that a press of the multi-controller does not bring up the Quick Control screen.
  • Set [Shooting (red camera) tab 1: Shoot w/out card] to [Off] and remove the memory card from the camera.
  • Set [Shooting (red camera) tab 1: Review time] to [Off] so that an accidental image taken will not display the photo on the LCD.
  • Set Drive Mode to [Single shooting]
  • Set the Mode Dial to [Disable Flash] to prevent the flash from popping up and firing.
  • Set [AF mode] to [One Shot]
  • Set [Setup (yellow wrench) tab 3: Flash control] → [Flash firing] to [Disable]
  • Set [Setup (yellow wrench) tab 2: LCD brightness] to the minimum value.
  • Set [C.Fn IV -1: Shutter button/AF-ON button] to [4: Metering + AF Start/Disable] so nothing will happen when the AF-ON button is accidentally pressed.
  • Set [C.Fn IV -3: Assign SET button] to [0: Normal (disabled)] so nothing will happen when the SET button is accidentally pressed.

From any of the P-Tv-Av-M modes you can set all of the above suggested settings (with the obvious exceptions of setting the mode dial to [Disable Flash] and setting the lens to 'MF' and turning IS off) and then register them to the < C1 > or < C2 > user settings. Use [Shooting Menu (yellow wrench) tab 3: Camera User Setting] → [Register] to set the 'C1' or 'C2' mode dial position to the selected settings. It's on page 186 of the EOS 50D Instruction Manual.

You can then use the other positions on the camera's mode dial to set the camera however you would like with regard to those settings. When you get ready to put the camera away, turn the mode dial to 'C1' or 'C2' (whichever one you registered) and those settings will all take effect without having to change them individually. Later turning the mode dial back to another position should restore all of the altered settings back to where they were before you moved the mode dial to the 'C1' or 'C2' position.

Beyond that, you can crack open the memory card door or the battery door and the camera will not power up until they have been properly shut. The battery door is easily removable to facilitate the use of a battery grip. Just be sure to not break the tiny plastic tabs on either of those doors that must press a switch in the body when the doors are closed for the camera to power up.

  • Sounds reasonable, however I’m on a several months long trip, unlikely to stay long enough in one place to get it fixed. In addition, few places I’ve visited have camera stores that could fix it. I’d like to know what I can do now, before returning home where I can have it fixed. – HenricF Dec 7 '17 at 7:03
  • Then perhaps that info should have been included in the question? – Michael C Dec 7 '17 at 8:49
  • Added the info now. – HenricF Dec 7 '17 at 19:33

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