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General Development Discussion / Re: Power Usage Comparison/Investigation
« on: September 18, 2020, 12:28:52 AM »
I was encouraged to share my own findings on the M50.

My setup is using a dummy battery as well, but the power supply I have for it has a USB cable and a little step-up converter in the cable, and I have a USB power measuring device meant for testing USB power supplies as well as the power draw of USB devices. This sort of makes comparison vs the kill-a-watt method a little more difficult (for one, the measuring device is measuring at 5V DC instead of mains voltage AC), but it’s still good data.

Additionally, my power meter updates about once a second, which is far from ideal. I had to redo a number of measurements and estimate a little, too.

Anyway, here’s my data, for the Canon EOS M50. The power supply I used varied between 5-5.17V, which is within USB spec, but I am getting the wattage from a nominal 5 volts for sanity/calculation ease.

Camera on, idling: usually between 0.3-0.5A, (1.5-2.5W) but can peak to 0.7A (3.5W)

High speed burst mode at 1/160 shutter and 3200 ISO: peaked at 1.24A (6.2W)

Burst with flash at 1/160 and 3200: peaked at 1.30A (6.5W)

High speed burst at H/51,200 ISO: peaked at 1.34A. (6.7W)

4K@23.98P filming, while racking manual (STM lens) focus back and forth and shaking the camera (IS enabled): peaked at 1.05A (5.25W)

The short answer is that the camera is ridiculously power efficient. It appears that the biggest peaks were due to SD card writes, rather than much on the part of the camera body.

I want to mention that I did my best to estimate worst-case scenarios here. I used a lens with moderately fast STM focus (EF-M 15-45mm STM), I used autofocus and image stabilization on max, and I shook the camera while recording. I also had WiFi enabled and connected to the Canon app on iOS for some of this, though that in particular really didn’t seem to impact the readings at all and I didn’t keep any real logs of that.

But at the end of the day, this is a ridiculously power efficient camera for what it provides.

First question: Are you willing to put several hundred hours of work into it?
I'm certainly more than willing to try. I'm aware of the amount of work necessary for this sort of thing, and unfortunately right now I don't really have much else to put hundreds of hours of work into…

I'm not about to give a resume here, both because I don't want to dox myself and because I don't feel like trying to convince anyone that I've got experience hacking hardware. But I can assure you I do, and I've been needing an excuse to learn ARM/thumb assembly anyway.

A lot of work has been done on the M50, but there are no active developers working on the camera. If you have coding experience please help on the m50's development.
I'd personally like to help, but I don't know where to start, as I don't know all that much about the way the firmware works. Could I ask if there are any relatively low-hanging fruit regarding the M50 that I could try and pick at?

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