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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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Get the refund, Gizbeat. The seller isn't being gracious. They knew the camera was a lemon.


So it's just a false alarm? You can still use the camera for a long time despite of the low battery indicator?


I'm actually happy to read this, as this will probably be solved with a firmware update. If the battery lasts for the "correct" ammount of time, I don't see a reason to return it if you really enjoy the camera.


The only problem I see is that when the battery is really low, you will not know about it, but after some weeks using the camera you get to know when the battery is about to end, based on your type of use, despite of the indicator.


I am going to buy this camera to my trip in October and I was about to give up on it due to reports that the battery life is too short. As I understand now, it's not.


Thank you plfeist for testing the actual battery life. Can you people still with the faulty cameras do the same test? Do a full charge, take pictures until the battery is really discharged, then post the results here?

Yes, that's right, it's kind of a "false alarm".  Like I said in a previous post, I have not done a thorough test to see if the camera meets record-time specs but it's plenty long for my purposes.  I recorded about 15 minutes of 1080p60 a few days ago with the red battery indicator on most of the time.  Afterwards, I took a bunch of stills and the battery showed full charge.   I'm really very happy with the camera and I'm confident that Canon will eventually address the issue. 

This sort of seems to be the case. Although in one of my tests, after a bit of recording after shooting 30 or 40 pictures and a couple of short videos the camera shut down in the middle of a video. But when I powered back up I was able to shoot 20 or 30 more pictures with the indicator showing 2 or 3 bars.


There is definately some sort of firmware miscommunication with the battery logic when shooting video. Debating whether to keep it. But if I do, I will just get a couple of 3rd party batteries and keep them charged. They are cheep enough.

Video hogs the battery. On a full charge, I turn the camera on, press the record button (1080p), red low battery light instantly goes on and flashes continuously while recording, I set it on a table and let it record, using no zoom or IS, just sitting there, shuts off at 25 min... before the maximum recording clip length of 29-30min.

Also having the fake battery low issue. I will probably need to send mine back as well. Disappointed! This is a glaring design flaw.



You can always tell the true battery level by turning the camera off then on again. When the battery is half-way down, it is half-white. That's when I'd be ready to put in a fresh battery.


Even though my SX280 goes to flashing red while using the zoom taking movies, it still takes the movie. And yes, it took somewhere around 800 pictures (I clicked that many times!) before the battery truly went dead.


So I plan to keep my camera for now. I want it for a trip overseas in June, and I am confident that it will do a fine job. I bought two extra batteries to be on the safe side. I don't think I'll be taking many movies, but even if I do, I'm sure it will be able to. I'll just ignore the flashing red icon.


Hopefully there will be a firmware update. If not, I'll consider sending it back after my trip, since it has a year warranty.


I was watching videos of the battery issues on YouTube and can across a Canon SX280 HS promotional video by   that shows the red flashing low battery icon when they were shotting video. The promotional video is 1.33 seconds long and the section that shows the flashing red low battery icon is at 1.09 to 1.15 seconds. It isn't conclusive evidence that it is the battery issue or their battery was actually dead but I had watched this video early on when I was doing research on this camera before the battery issue was full blown and only noticed it after I watched it again today. I am glad Canon has acknowledged there is an issue and hope they comes out with a fix soon. Once I found out Canon acknowledged there was a premature flashing red low battery icon issue I went ahead and purchased a SX280 HS from Amazon today. Check out Amazon's latest price, you will be surprised for sure.

I've seen promos where the 280 actually claims to have better battery life over the 260. Really? Should we be expecting that? I sure hope so. I worry that all the extra capabilities of the 280 are sorely affecting the battery. But wouldn't that be clear in product testing during production, voiding the claims? Hope they offer a fix that will enhance performance... SOON

I attempted to submit a review for the Canon Powershot SX280 at the Canon website. Here is the review:



1.   Camera and controls are very easy to use, but my opinion may be influenced by the fact that I have owned two previous Canon Powershot cameras.

2.    Camera takes adequate-good still shots in auto mode. The camera, however, takes much better pictures in manual mode and was a little surprised by how much difference there often is in quality.

3.    Short videos are good quality recorded at 1920x1080 60p…more below.

4.    Image Stabilization is surprisingly good at this price point  both for stills and video.


1.   Camera ergonomics are not so good. The natural position for the left hand tends to block the pop-up flash when needed and often the camera has to be turned off and restarted to get the flash to extend to its normal position. I have found an alternate position for my left hand which isn’t as natural to me, but don’t always remember to use it. It is very difficult to remove the battery/memory card cover without activating the on-off button. I can place my index finger behind the on/off button toward the back and slide the cover, but the pressure points are not aligned vertically and the camera tends to want to rotate while applying pressure.

2.     Battery level indicator indicates movie mode saps the battery very quickly. I have started with a fully charged battery, shot 3-5 minutes of video, and the red flashing low battery level indicator appears. If the camera is turned off and back on again, then one of the still mode options are chosen, the battery level indicator indicates a full charge. If you switch to movie mode, low battery level indicator is flashing. Much more video can be shot with the low level indicator flashing but it is very distracting to try to frame videos with the red flashing indicator for the next 15-20 minutes. If you use the zoom a lot during video, recording times are much less. It is not clear whether the issue is the camera misinterpreting battery level, the battery actually being depleted quickly by heavy demand, or a combination of the two.

3.       Lens zoom is not exactly quiet. You can hear the lens moving while recording video if you use the zoom feature.


I contacted Canon Customer Service by email and finally by phone as soon as the battery/video issue appeared. My first contact was one day after the camera arrived. The technical support person I finally called claimed to have a 280SX which he tested while I waited on the phone and did not see the issue. I was offered the option to submit the camera under warranty for repair but would have to pay for shipping. I did not think I wanted to pay to have a camera shipped back for warranty repair that was defective right out of the box. I heard subsequently that other consumers had sent the camera back to Canon only to be returned saying the camera was working properly. The internet vendor from whom I purchased the camera has a 30-day return policy with free return shipping. My choice was to return to the vendor for a full refund.


 Tonight I received the following rejection:

Your opinion is very important to us and the Canon community. We appreciate you taking the time to write a review on PowerShot SX280 HS. Unfortunately your review did not meet our guidelines for posting on our site.


We encourage you to review our guidelines and resubmit your review on PowerShot SX280 HS.



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If that is what is keeping the review from being published, then I guess Canon can reject any negative review or put a cap on how many they will allow for a product. Since Canon has provided no explanation of the specifics with regard to reasons the review was rejected nor did they send a copy of my review in return, this is all very disturbing. I wonder if any others have posted reviews of Canon products that have been rejected....