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SX280 Battery Tests


I now have my third  SX280HS camera.  The first two were the result of an exchange with Best Buy.  The third was the result of an exchange with Canon.  Neither Best Buy local or Best Buy national was able to install the firmware update satisfactorily, but in all fairness to them, I did not know of the extent that battery quality made in the decision process at that time.  My present camera is probably the best that Canon can offer.  In the process of these exchanges, I now have 4 batteries.  Two are Canon and two are different aftermarket varieties.

The use of the zoom feature while videoing has a big effect on battery life.  If one is really keen on longer battery life while videoing, it is best to do the zoom first and then turn on the video.  It should be noted that even after shutdown in video mode, starting the camera again will enable many still pictures to be taken.  This was not evaluated due to the large amount of time involved.  To evaluate the video conditions, I performed a series of tests on the 4 batteries.  I used two types of test.  One is to video in 2 minute increments while using the zoom several times and record both the time that the battery light starts flashing and also the time the camera shuts down.  The other is to video in 2 minute increments without using the zoom at all, recording both when the light starts flashing and when the camera shuts down.  The results of these tests are shown below:

The degree to which a battery becomes a problem seems to relate to how long ago it was charged and whether or not it is still warm from a previous use.  I also think the outside temperature has a role.  While these effects on battery performance are common in the battery world, they seem to be particularly important with this camera because of the sensitivity of the voltage detection mechanism and the amount of battery used.  It behooves users of this camera to only use batteries having known performance.  As for me, I would only purchase Canon batteries and be careful to test them before deciding to keep or return for replacement.   Also, I would not enable the WiFi or GPS functions in the camera, because they present an additional battery drain.

It seems to me that Canon has created a camera which really pushes the limits of the lithium ion storage capability too far.  Not only that, the internal voltage measuring and shutdown settings seem to be far too sensitive.  I feel that Canon owes it to it’s customers to improve the situation and notify customers of the improvement via the registration route.  This is particularly necessary, since the camera is widely marketed with the known problem.