UPDATED May 5:
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.
I have the same battery problem. (Problem #2 of factory guy.)
It only happens while shooting video: the battery icon goes to red and flashes, thus indicating low battery. It shoots the movie anyway. I turn the camera off and on, and the battery icon shows "full charge".
So: I can still shoot movies, it's just irritating having that red battery light flashing all the time.
I ordered an off-brand battery and the same thing happens.
I called Canon support, and they had never heard of this.
I tried to run down this battery by taking stills. I snapped about 800 photos and more movies before it finally, truly ran the battery down.
I almost didn't believe this thread since IT'S CANON!! I bought the camera as a Mother's day gift for my wife so she can share the beautiful moments of our six month old baby with our family and friends. After reading dozens of reviews about the battery life, I decided to confirm for myself the issue.
Out of the box the battery lasted 10 minutes in shooting mode (GPS & Wifi off), which I expected since I had not charge it. Once the battery was fully drained, I charged it overnight and there was a 100% increase in battery life! (This is sarcasm in case you didn't catch it)
After owning and recommending several Canon EOS and point-and-shoot cameras, this one camera has made me realize that maybe it's time to try a different brand, i.e. Nikon.
Ok just ran a test. Took the battery off the charger when it was full put it in and hit record. Battery light started at 5 minutes 30 seconds. Battery died at 20 minutes. So you get 20 minutes of video right off the charger and only 5 minutes without the light flashing. In this day and age we should be able to get an hour of video....
Did you just let the camera remain static recording video or did you move the camera and zoom the lens in/out as video was being captured? I think the more demands you make on the camera during capture, the less time you get, and using the zoom seems to put high demand on the battery. I was capturing video when the low battery indicator was flashing and tried to zoom in on an object. The lens started to zoom, screen went black, and I got the recharge battery warning. The camera would not power back up without recharging the battery.
These are specs in the 280SX User Guide: