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SX280 - battery life shooting video




I apologize to the forum for mixing two different problems.  They are unrelated.


Problem #1:  User error.  I thought I was using a class 6 SD card but I was wrong. The yellow "!" indicates a pathologically slow card.  Upgrading to a class 10 resolved this problem.


Problem #2: UNRESOLVED.  Red battery indicator comes on prematurely.  On a fresh charge, it'll turn red after recording for a couple of minutes.  On a partially drained battery, it turns red immediately upon entering movie mode or pressing the record button.  Turn the camera off and then right back on in "still" mode and it shows full charge and works fine ... until trying to shoot video.  I have not precisely measured recording times but it'll record for at least 20 (maybe 30?) minutes while flashing red.




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@mylze thanks for posting your experience.
I saw another post where the guy claimed success with a micro sd card. I didn't connect the dots on the speed of the card.
How much video recording time did you get overall.

I just gave up on Canon and bought the Lumix ZS35 - on sale @ Costco for $190 last week - 3 month return period. Ok camera. Low light shots don't look that great compared to my Canon SX50.

If I can get 10-20 minutes video recording without the flashing battery light, I will return the Lumix and get the SX 280.

Hi  iamgeorge - in response to your 6/7/2014@4:52AM note to me, it was my experience that I got substantially more than 20 minutes video zoom shooting time. However, it occurred in bursts that ranged from 2 - 8 minutes at a time, interspersed (sp?) with a number of stills. I should have mentioned it in my original note, but I purchased a 16 GB memory card. Also, I was shooting video at the easier to use 1920 x 30 fps ( = push a button) rather than the highest video setting of 1920 x 60 fps (which requires turning a dial). For normal situations, the 30 fps produces decent video results for me.  However, I plan to subsequently test out the card at the 60 fps rate; if I get appreciably worse results in terms reduced zoom video time (before the flashing red battery icon shuts off the camera), I'll post that result on this site. I guess the main thing to remember is to buy the SX 280 and the Extreme Plus memory card at places where you can return them if your results are not as good as mine. Also, I wouldn't recommend downloading Canon's firmware fix for this issue. Before I downloaded it, soon after starting the video zoom, the red battery icon would flash, but wouldn't shut off the camera until most of the battery reserve was used. After doing the download, using the video zoom would result in the camera being turned off in about 1 minute.   ...Mylze 

Hi. Just want to give some reasons why I still find this camera something of the hottest I've seen. Used to do analog cameras before, then lost interest for a some decade or so 🙂 mainly because I was expecting just a camera like this one with the new medium of digital treatment, but it never seemed to happen?


All of those cameras represents new ways to make that photo, and they should invite to new ways to handle it too. Reading the reviews on this one made me interested enough though, to get one. And I'm sold on it. It's handling is 'incredibly' fast, hi-tech, and smooth. The processor seems really nice and the photos it takes are quite satisfactorily , well, as far as I'm concerned. And I do have some experience from both photographing and darkrooms, although of the older analogue variant. And anyway, we all have some software on our computer, if we now would like to add or retract, don't we? As for taking videos, well, I can see why it invites to it. But it's not a video-camera, is it?


To me it's a camera for taking photos, hopefully in all kinds of lights and preferably without that flash. I never liked flashes myself, it may add to the 'naturalness' for some, but I prefer a camera that can do it without. The gps and wi fi is a cool touch that I may have use for at times, but probably not too often. I don't need it to make a photo, but I do need a good camera. And this one is a seriously good camera, I like the way it feels a little heavy in my hand, the response I get from it, and the intuitive UI (user Interface) it presents me.


Canon has nothing to be ashamed about there, it reminds me of the way Window used to be, and why so many enjoyed it then. It really is intuitive. Another thing is that I don't think you can get away with is any less buttons, knobs, etc, than what you already have on it, not if you want to offer the same intuitive UI. So those complaining of that misses the point. It's perfect for its size, even that boring quirk with the flashlight position. Anyway, found a '2' on its serial and so I downloaded the update, but I think I'll wait. Got me some 12 minutes on 1920x1080 at 60 bps, zooming in and out every 10-20 second, before it gave up and started to flash that battery warning.


The real point to me though is that I never thought of it as a movie camera, I wanted a compact, small but well built, with a good zoom, good light sensitivity, fast handling enabling me to make those cool low light photos, and furthermore that tried to implement technology. Now I'm just hoping on some cool hacks for its soft-('firm' as in bios)-ware, to make this one into a 'cult camera', as we say in Sweden. What I don't like with the update btw, is that I found no speccifications as to what changes the developers had made? Makes it questionable to me as I prefer to know such before implementing the code. Another con might be if it is true that the lenses let in specs of dust etc, through the zooms motion? Saw some complaining about it, and that one I would deem a lot more seriously than any video camera abilities. But if youy want ten minutes of continious video then they are there, at least on this camera, without any update needed.



Can't you turn of 'emoticons'?

Like smileys but not those yellow overblown moons.

Wow!  Do you work for Canon?  

Weird stuff reading you guys?


Have a problem with being polite? Think I will be impressed by people acting as adolescents? You're not getting what I'm saying, do you? I'm really pleased with what this camera can do for its price. And I also find I like the Canon UI, it is intuitive. A lot of the complaining seems to be about the video opportunites, so I tested them at the highest resolution this camera had. And I've also tested it on lower, where I get out even more time. It's a good camera, so far, and I expect it to give me a lot of fun.



And no, I'm not affiliated in any way with Canon?


So ok.

Did one last test, just before writing here,  using 1280 x 720 at 30 bps, because I guess that's where I will like the video to be?

Btw, haven't done anything to this camera yet, except buying it. Got half an hour of (of constantly zooming in and out) video from it, before the battery 'gave up', without it closing the camera down. Read somewhere that the max file size Canon allow is 4 GB? That fits really good with the SD cards file size, that on my window XP register as 4 190 159 kb (3.99 GB). And yes, even though the camera closed down the movie making, it didn't turn itself of.

If you want it for concerts etc, using the 'video function' you then should get about 29 to 30 minutes, nota bene, if using my preferred settings, before it close itself down.

Been using a 16GB Transcend sd card, 45 MB/s 300x, for the camera, a bargain deal with the camera where I bought it .

What I do notice, and don't feel completely comfortable with, is that the camera gets really warm in the end. The Canon battery at 1000 ah seems to be struggling. What I have done with this on is to close down the flash, also turned of the AF as I don't find it esthetically pleasing having this green 'flash', as well as it saves on the battery. And naturally I don't have gps and and wi fi on. They are after all not what I want the camera to do, I just want it to take a moving pictures here, not chatting over the Internet or communicating with some other device.

I will invest in a better long lasting battery, not because I want to make it into a movie camera, just because in case, one never knows. Heat and electronics is a bad combination, as everyone using a computer, or laptop, knows. And I want this camera to last as long as possible, I'm in luv here.



Ahh sorry, the one being 4 Gig was the one I made before, made at the cameras highest video settings. This last one I made, being thirty minutes, became 1.67 GB (1 757 531 KB) big. So yeah, maybe it's the battery, getting so warm, possibly in combination with the zoom use, in some weird way? I don't really know why it behaves like it does, but half an hour on a 940 ah battery, (yep, took a look at it, at last) using those settings?


Is that bad? Anyone tested it on another camera, and how much footage you can get out from such a battery, on those settings?

I figure you just like to hear yourself talk or are bucking for a job as a camera reviewer or maybe with Canon.  You're basically a day late and a dollar short with your posts and have stated nothing new. 


People like the SX280 if they want to shoot photos.  They hate it if they want to shoot more than short full1080p videos and to have a measure of how much battery they have left.

Half an hour of film being bad, on a camera?

Don't know where you're coming from, but I'm satisfied. As for the rest of it I will just state that I bought a camera, not a cam recorder? Anyway, I don't like the way the battery heats up at the end shooting those movies, but hopefully that can be treated by a better battery capacity?

@yoron if you have gone thru the 100+ pages of ordinary users venting their frustration, most of the complaints are not about the quality of pictures / video or even the length of video that can be shot. The primary objection is the predictability of battery life and the inconsistencies in how the feedback is given to the user on the battery when you put out a glowing report on the features of the camera, expect some flak 😉


IMHO, 30 minutes of video is really good for a piddly little battery. I agree with your assesment of the camera and I came to the same conclusion after trying it out - technically, it is a superb camera. I considered buying the camera with a couple of spare Wasabi batteries to solve the battery predictability issue but in the end,  I ended up buying the Pana DMC-ZS35 because it is predictable and dependable and the battery gauge is pretty accurate but pictures are not as great.


After all, we humans, have been programmed by society to expect order and predictability is a large part of it 🙂




I am with you.


I have had this camera for 6 months now and it takes truly outstanding pictures. I am amazed at the quality every time I download the pictures.


In my view this digic 6 processor, coupled with the 25mm wide angle lens that has a 20X zoom with stabilization makes the SX280 one of the best point and shoot cameras out there. And the ability to transfer a picture to my iphone in the field makes this combination even more brilliant


I carry it with me everywhere while my big DSLR with F2.8 zooms and F1.2 fixed lenses stays home.


I bought 2 replacement batteries from Hong Kong for $7 in case of premature power collapse - but have yet to need them.


I am shocked at how incredibly personal and rude people can be here. I refer to the “Moron” comment that has subsequently been deleted – but is still in archives. On behalf of the more professional people here – I apologize.


And I personally appreciate you coming here to report your experience.

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