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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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I just saw this posted on Google+ by Gordon Laing who authored the review of the SX280 here .

" while testing the SX280 HS I noticed an issue regarding the battery life meter when filming video, which would foten (sic) start flashing once you started filming even if it previously showed two or three bars for stills. Canon has since been in touch with me and assures me there's a firmware update fix which involves returning my test camera. I'll do that and report back if I notice any difference."

I wouldn't be surprised if those who send the camera back in for firmware update will have to pay for shipping. It has happened before with Canon. I guess the SX280 is not set up for remote firmware updates.

When will they be shipping cameras with the new firmware updates. I already returned mine and would definitely love to buy a new one that is upgraded.

Upon admitting a problem with their cameras and then requiring that their customers pay shipping, Canon would be inviting a class action suit...I don't think so. But it does sound scary!

@pawl wrote:

Upon admitting a problem with their cameras and then requiring that their customers pay shipping, Canon would be inviting a class action suit...I don't think so. But it does sound scary!

Quite a few years ago, I had a Canon Powershot A70 whose image sensor went bad prematurely. It was determined that this occurred due to a manufacturing defect in the image sensor that involved several Canon cameras as well as cameras from other manufacturers. Canon recalled these cameras and replaced the sensor at no charge regardless of camera age, at least for some time period. As I recall, I paid shipping to Canon for repair, but they paid return shipping. This was a somewhat different situation in that my camera was about 3 years of age when it was returned for repair.


It would be appreciated if a canon representative (are you listening Jessica?) would provide an update on this forum, as promised, to address this issue and what progress is being made..


Same issue here.

I bought this camera and received it yesterday.

After a few tests, I quickly had this issue of red battery indicator, and of sudden shutdown of the device during video recording (after 1 or 2 minutes)

After searching on the Internet, I quickly found this thread.

My camera already has 1.0.2 firmware.

If I understood correctly, there's no hope of having any viable solution, other than avoiding recording videos...


So I'm sending back the camera today.

Too bad, the camera seemed great except of this (big) issue.


Thanks to all the people who posted here, tried a lot of workarounds etc.

Just to conclude the battery test I performed on my second charge to test video; I managed to record a total of 33.5mins before the camera auto shut-off.  Used as follows:


-the first 20mins (shot in segments of 12mins and 8mins) with zoom used several times (no battery warning)


-the third segment was 5mins recording, battery warning displayed after 30secs but zoom was still used a few times before manually stopping, taking total to 25mins.


-the fourth segment was another 5min, with battery warning flashing continuously. No zoom was used but able to finish the 5 minutes before manually stopping, taking total to 30mins.


-the last three segments were shorter ones of 1.5mins, 1min (slow-mow), and a further ~1min before the auto shut-off occurred. (No zooming and battery warning flashing) *the camera can no longer be used in video mode, as it now shuts off immediately.



Of note however, is that the battery is still showing as full (3 bars) when powered on in review mode, and 2 bars on pressing the shutter release button half way down in full auto camera mode. The camera can still be used to take stills. 


Just to add in terms of usage, in between shooting all that video, I have taken about 30 stills which also includes quite a bit of review time (re-watching videos and viewing pics) and messing around with iContrast etc.


Based on this cursory test I could surmise that with this copy, after a full charge, I could probably get close to Canons claim of 1hr of continuous video recording (withough using zoom).  I'm not sure that I can be bothered testing this, but will post the result if I do. 


This battery warning is misleading, but I'll keep taking stills until the camera shuts off completely and post the final result for those interested.





I cannot believe that you guys are still wasting your time with this piece of crap after all these testimonies  by all of us who made the mistake to buy one  Returned mine on time for a full refund.  This anathema of camera does not work period.  Even the stills pale in comparison to my SONY's  HX50V.  

Hi loveAZ, could you post (or link me) to some of the pics you have taken with the Sony? I'd love to see them.


As for my personal opinion of the still quality of the sx280, I think its of quite a high standard so not sure what you're talking about there. The thing I dont like is the fact that I can't manually move the focal point when shooting in any auto-modes.  Also the flash placement is a right pain in the @rs3 and is a nuisance when it pops up automatically.


OK, final conclusion to my experience with battery life when shooting video (see a few posts earlier for full details).


-33.5 mins of video (in segments) with zoom used for first 25mins (battery warning flashing after 20mins)

including ~30 stills taken and time spent in review mode and processing/messing around.


Battery displayed as full in review mode after the 33.5mins of video and 30 stills, but battery warning occurred and camera shut down within 1min after scrolling through pictures.


The battery indicator and flashing warning seems to be an unreliable method of determining the exact amount of power left, however available recording time in video mode seems to reflect that as specified by Canon.  As a person who has previously owned 3 other Powershot models, this is my first with the rechargable battery.  I find this aspect not as good as the former models that operated on AA batteries, where for example, Energiser Lithium cells would provide longer operation times and better performance; something that is valuable for the frequent travel shooter where access tp power outlets are scarce.  


The image quality of the sx280 (IMHO) is, like the others I've owned, outstanding and a great backup to my Nikon D7000.


Saying all this, if I was experiencing the severe issues that some others have been, I would most definitely be disgruntled, make a complaint and seek a refund.


At its best (as reflected by my initial test) battery performance seems sub-par to average, and given the problems with the battery indicator, Canon should do its best to address the needs of its consumers; at the very least, provide a spare battery for those who have purchased an sx280 as the battery indicator is obviously faulty regardless of the firmware upgrade.



Perth, Australia

For anyone joining this thread, we have found perhaps the fourth person who believes their sx280 works fine - and then he admits to the same problem we've all had. Read carefully, you'll see the poster says, "but battery warning occurred and camera shut down within 1min after scrolling through pictures. The battery indicator and flashing warning seems to be an unreliable method of determining the exact amount of power left ... ." Say you're about to shoot a once-in-a-lifetime moment with a beloved family member ... Do you REALLY want a camera with "an unreliable method of determining the exact amount of power left" to be the only thing standing between you and bitter disappointment? Canon tried to get the battery life up to the promised specs, but gave up LONG AGO on the flashing battery light issue. The last word from Canon was to ignore it. If you don't know how soon your camera is going to crap out, what good is it really?

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