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6D GPS Drains battery when idle


Got my new EOS 6D for christmas (present to self... how else did Santa know what I need want).


Great camera.  Love the low light.  Love the WiFi.  ALMOST love the GPS.  The GPS tends to drain the battery about 25% per day.  On a 8-10 hour heavy shooting day, that's not a problem.  I can still shoot 500-600 shots and the GPS only drains 8-10% during that time.


However, when the camera is in the bag... you can shut off the camera and shut off the GPS logging, and it still drains 25% per day.  Leave the camera in the back for 4-5 days... and the battery is shot.


Only option is to take the battery out or use the menus and disable GPS and re-enable when you use camera again.


I think Canon needs a separate GPS timeout of about 3-6 hours.  If GPS logging is disabled, GPS should shutdown after a few hours of non-use.


It's a drag to take your camera out after leaving in the bag for a couple of days and battery is already 50% down or more.




Please add my voice to the throngs in favor of having a simple way to turn off the GPS battery drain.

Well, Canon came out with a new Firmware update:  1.1.4 today.  No mention of GPS.  So I guess that means they aren't fixing before the 6D is obsoleted in another year or so.


But, GOOD NEWS!!!  The Magic Lantern guys that are building the extension for EOS cameras and a splinter group supporting the 6D... added auto-GPS-off TODAY.  Just downloaded their new version to test.  Works great.


My favorite MagicLantern feature is a built-in Intervalometer which lets you specify automatically timed shots for up to hundreds of unattended shots.  I use this all the time for astrophotography.  Just set it for 100 thirty-second exposures on my telescope and go inside and have a glass of wine.


But they added GPS-off today.  When you turn the 6D off, or when the 6D auto-sleeps, the GPS will go off.  Yay!!  Now I ALWAYS know I will have battery left even after leaving the camera in my bag for a couple of days.  Double-Yay!



It's a shame we have to install third party firmware to make our cameras work the way we expect them to, but I was looking for a reason to install Magic Lantern on my 6D anyway.

Magic lantern or Tragic lantern?


I installed latest magic lantern and don´t find the function. But I found the SET-button for centre autofocus. Perfect!


Good points. I think there is definitely a better solution with minimal setup complexity that can provide a best of both worlds. An option to shut off GPS after camera has been off for 2 hours would make me a very happy camper. Battery saved when I put away the camera. Instant recovery on a hike, even with a non-photo lunch break. Reasonably fast recovery if I've driven 50-100 miles over 2 hours. Longer recovery after a 3 hour flight. But, I'd expect that.

Jim in Boulder


Charge battery on Sunday after use, replace it in camera on Monday morning.  Grab camera for a quick news shot on Thursday morning and battery is so dead the camera will not power on and I have to take a news photo for publication with my cell phone.  Come on, CANON, that can easily be fixed by timing out EVERYTHING after power has been off for an hour.  GPS is a great feature, but it is not worth the price of missing important photos.  I am not convinced it is the GPS.  It is certainly not the battery, because a fully charged battery gets me as many as 800 shots and more, as long as it is in a few hours. 

If Canon will not address the issue in a timely manner, perhaps someone has a hack that can be installed to turn the camera totally off after a preset delay.

From my tests it most assuredly is the GPS that drains. I calculated about 25% drain per day or 4 days for a full meltdown... Which matched your experience. Turn off GPS, put the camera to sleep, and it's still 4 bars a month later.

I installed MagicLantern for 6D which is a "hack" that adds loads of functionality to Canon DSLRs. One of the developers added an Auto GPS off and restart. When camera sleeps, GPS turns off. When awakened, if previously on, it restores it.

Can't imagine why Canon refuses. Their users are speaking!!

Jim in Boulder

Use Magic lantern. And meanwhile, also check the function Focus shortcuts. 


Format your card, download the software (for firmware 1.1.3) put the software in the root menu and do a firmware update in the camera. Follow the guide in the camera thereafter,

Hello RobertFrei,

It's absolutely understandable that you would be frustrated at an attempt to use the camera once the battery had died.  Like others posting here, the common thread seems to be the GPS.  The camera implements a system thereby disabling the GPS in the Menu of the camera which will prevent the type of drain experienced.  The EOS 6D's GPS manual explicitly states, on page G-6, that if you choose to leave the GPS enabled it will drain the battery quickly.  

Battery Consumption

When [Select GPS device] is set to [Internal GPS] , the camera will continue to receive GPS signals at set intervals while the camera's power is switched off.  This will drain the battery faster, reducing the number of shots that can be taken.  Additionally, when [Log GPS position] is set to [Enable], the shorter update intervals will drain the battery even more quickly.  When you will not use the GPS function, when you are not traveling, or when GPS signals are weak, setting [Select GPS device] to [Disable] is recommended. 

Today's cellular telephones operate the same way; leave location services turned on, battery drains quickly.  Turn location services off and the battery lasts much, much longer. 

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Your reply shows how badly and fundamentally Canon misunderstands the problem.


If you leave your camera SWITCHED ON, and don't touch it for a few minutes, it goes into standby, right? If I have GPS enabled, I might expect my battery to drain in standby. Likewise, when I put my cell phone on standby by switching the screen off, I would expect location services to continue to drain my battery.


However, if I POWER MY PHONE OFF, it would be unheard-of and absurd if it continued to poll the GPS and drain my battery. When you turn your phone completely off, just like your camera, the EXPECTED BEHAVIOR is that the battery will be in a similar condition when you turn it on next time, because it shouldn't continue to run after you've shut it off.


When I turn my cell phone back on after having it turned off for a period of time, location services come back on and begin to poll my location again automatically, but NOT while I have the phone shut down.


So let me put this as clearly as possible:


We want an option to turn GPS on when the camera is powered on via the power switch, but then turn it off with the rest of the camera when the power is switched off. You know, the expected behavior of virtually all electronics.