Photo Gear

Canon 6d Photographers, Don’t Forget to Turn Off the GPS

It is well known that the GPS feature on the Canon 6d will drain the battery quicker than when the GPS is not in used.  What is not so widely known is that the GPS will drain your battery even when the camera is turned off.

 
Canon 6d Disable GPS

 
I noticed that my battery level was down to 50% after several days of inactivity when I left the GPS feature turned on while the Canon 6d was switched off.   I was not sure that I had left a fully charged battery in the camera so I conducted a test.
 
I left the GPS function turned on in the Canon 6d, turned off the camera and checked the battery level periodically using the Battery Info feature in the 4th Wrench Menu. 

In a 24 hour period, 9% of the battery was drained.  I also tested the battery drain with the GPS feature turned off and witnessed no battery drain from the camera.  This may seem like a small amount of battery drain, but if you primarily shoot on the weekends, half the battery can be drained when you pick up the camera for a photo shoot.
 
The easiest remedy is to turn off the GPS function in the 2nd Wrench menu on the Canon 6d.  It is easy enough to turn back on when you want to use this feature.
 

9 Comments

  • Mulder

    just figured thatout myself. with GPS activated and the camrea switched completely OFF, the GPS symbol is blinking in the secondary display. That is quite annoying, there should atleast be a setting to tell the camera to leave GPS on standby or shut it down completely. hope this will be fixed in a software upgrade.

  • Doug

    I disagree hugely with your “easiest remedy”: If you have to remember to turn on your GPS each time you want to use it (which is ALWAYS), then you are inevitably going to forget. We shouldn’t have to do that!

    Another option is to remove the battery. But then you’ve got two potential problems when you grab your camera: 1) your battery is dead. 2) you forget to put it back in.

    The better (and obvious) solution is to have the GPS turn off when the power switch is turned off. If Canon makes that an option (“turn off GPS when power switch is turned off”) then that would solve the problem completely.

    • Martin Belan

      Doug,

      Thanks for leaving feedback on the blog post.  I agree with you that this is poor design on Canon’s part.  The GPS function should be turned off automatically when the Canon 6d is turned off.  

      Hopefully, Can can put out a firmware fix for this.  In the meantime, this post is a reminder that unless you want a dead battery, the GPS needs to be turned off before you store the camera.

  • Rui Matos

    I can confirm the above issues with GPS activated while 6D is off.
    Bought the camera and original Canon LP-E6 and activated GPS. It's the third time I fully charge the battery in a week.

    Rui

  • Todd

    I just noticed this on the 7Dmkii as well.   My guess is they are doing it so that the GPS always has a fix during a shooting day/weekend etc.   I know that using previous cameras with GPS built in it can easily take a couple minutes for the GPS to get a fix and I'd always get annoyed that I'd turn the camera on and either get on GPS or have to wait to get a GPS fix.  It's probably also required if you want to use the "log route" option.     It's too bad they don't map a button so that when you turn the camera off, you can also turn the GPS off without having to go through the menu system. 

     

    • Martin Belan

      Todd,

      Thanks leaving the comment.  I agree it would be nice to quickly turn off the GPS without going through the menu system.

       

  • Tariq

    Reading your blog in 2016. I bought the camera in 2014 and I'm still waiting for a firmware fix. I don't have any hope for a firmware fix now. I leave the GPS turned off but then forget to turn it on when I'm out shooting. That is also because I only shoot once or twice a month. My work around is that I ended up buying several third-party batteries (Wasabi) and keep them in my camera bag just in case I end up with a dead battery.

    • Martin Belan

      Tariq,

      Thanks for leaving the feedback.  I am also surprised that Canon has yet to provide a firmware fix for this simple problem.

      Martin

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