07-13-2013 09:12 PM
You probably should be looking at a Panasonic ZS20 or ZS30 or a Sony HX50V. They have better battery life but cost more. I'm also debating a Panasonic FZ200 but it's bigger and quite a bit more expensive.
07-14-2013 03:20 PM
i have the same issue with shooting video but now its also when i use the zoom with normal photo capture, sorry to say but this model is a complete fail and a waste of money.
07-14-2013 11:04 PM
07-17-2013 02:20 PM
Update on ZS30. I just returned from a family vacation and gave the Panny a good workout. It's a great travel camera, just like the Powershots were. Here are the negatives I found with the camera. (1) The zoom is basically an on/off switch and it's difficult to frame a still exactly the way you want it. The Canon zoom control is vastly better. (2) The movie switch is tiny and flush with the camera body, making it difficult to find and activate. I turned the camera off several times while fumbling for the movie switch. There is no way you are going to operate the movie switch with gloves on, something that's easy with a Powershot. (3) Not having a separate battery charger is a pain because you can't use the camera and charge a battery at the same time. (4) The lens isn't remotely close to being weather sealed. Don't even think about using it in a dusty environment. I used mine briefly in a very windy environment and ended up with dust particles between lens elements. This is a common problem with any telescoping lens arrangement but I'd say Powershots have a tighter seal than the Panny.
Positive surprises with the ZS30: (1) Image stabilization is outstanding. It's the best I've ever seen and I've used a bunch of cameras. (2) Continuous shooting modes have a high frame rate and produce great stills. (3) 60p footage is much smoother than 30p (4) Wind filter works and actually has an effect on sound recording. (5) Battery indicator works like it should and gives reliable warnings. When it comes on, finish the shot and change the battery. Really simple.
Summary: Until Canon fixes the battery issue the ZS30 is a good alternative. Maybe the SX300 will be the perfect camera.
07-17-2013 03:54 PM
I shot exclusively in 60p but didn't time how long the battery lasted. I shot like I always do on vacation trips and it seemed to drain a battery a little quicker than my old SX230 did but I have no hard numbers. I have a spare battery and that was all I needed. The 60p footage is so nice the only time I leave it is for the 120 fps slow motion, which is done in 30p
07-17-2013 08:21 PM
I just finished an informal battery life test on the ZS30 using the supplied 1250mAH battery. I set it on the highest quality setting for AVCHD video 1920 x 1080 60p and turned it on. The camera will record for 29:59 and then stops so you have to restart it after this break. The camera was not moving, nor was the subject so the auto focus and exposure were probably not drawing much power. The camera ran for an hour and 12 minutes before the battery warning came on. It continued to run for another 5 minutes before shutting down, for a total record time of 1:17:00. Seems to me that's pretty descent performance. Obviously, you'll get less out of the battery in real world use but I'd think around an hour should be possible.