11-06-2013 01:15 PM - edited 11-06-2013 01:15 PM
11-06-2013 02:54 PM
I wonder how many thousands the firmware update has worked for? There are a great number of people, like me, that usually don't bother to post when something works. They only post when it doesn't work. The Canon fix worked for me and more than likely it worked for many many others too.
11-06-2013 03:32 PM
I have been monitoring this forum and Amazon waiting for folks to say this problem has been corrected, so it is reassuring to hear about your experience.
I am curious, are you using Canon batteries?
11-06-2013 05:45 PM
11-07-2013 09:51 AM
I'm also a new user that comes from other trademarks thinking, that Canon is a fine company after that after so many bad experience with that shut up people, I have my opinion Canon is being with my money, have sold me a article that doesn't corresponding to the device on the "paper" at least the minimum that Canon can do is stop selling that camera or delete the video properties out of their publicity....
11-07-2013 02:18 PM - edited 11-07-2013 02:21 PM
Unless there are actually different production models of 280 out there that respond differently to the upgrade then I think the effectiveness of the upgrade is one of user perspective. The initial problem was indeed one where you shot a few minutes of video and the camera powered down completely, though clearly it wasn't out of battery. I suspect a complete shutdown was unacceptable to anybody. The firmware upgrade cured this extreme behavior. However, if you shoot video other than just infrequently (and I would only do so for a few minutes out of every couple of hundred photos) there are still issues. I found that after using the camera enough so the battery was not fully charged but still had a fair amount of charge on it, the camera would flash low battery in video mode but would not (as before) shut down completely. I would powercycle and the camera would say I had a full battery! So which was it, almost dead or full charge? I could continue to use the camera for quite a while longer (10 minutes of video plus 100+ photos), but when shooting video I would have to live with the warning light flashing and not knowing if this time it really meant it and would shut down in a second or two or not for another 5 minutes. I couldn't even turn the camera to still mode to reset the power indicator, I would have to powercycle completely which in itself would drain the battery even more.
Does this make the camera unusable? No. If used primarily for stills the power level indicator is okay, and even if used for just one or two videos when the battery is fresh. On the other hand the camera is unreliable if you are shooting video of timing critical events (a wedding, somebody skiing down a hill, etc.) unless you keep a fully charged battery in it all the time (carry a pocket full of them and swap them out every 10 minutes). Fortunately when I took it for a test run I was mostly shooting landscapes in national parks. I carried two spare batteries for a day of shooting. There's no recharge points in the wilderness so you do want to carefully monitor and maximize your battery life and not just change when the one in the camera still has hundreds of shots on it just because the video mode can't reliably tell you how much battery is left. If it suddenly gave out while I was filming a panorama I could put in a new battery and re-shoot. It was a nuisance but it worked because I had static subjects (though the family got impatient when they couldn't see why I was shooting a panorama again that I had just apparently shot). Still, I decided I was probably eventually going to do more than shoot scenes that would stay put for me while I installed a new battery. I bought the 280 because I wanted a more video-capable camera so I could shoot family event video. It wasn't reliable enough to do that, and had several other features I didn't like, so I returned the camera. If all I had been wanting to do was shoot stills then I would probably have put up with it (but it was lousy for panoramas with no panorama mode) and hardly noticed the battery level issue
11-07-2013 03:09 PM - edited 11-07-2013 03:46 PM
Limmie, you are absolutely right that this is an issue of user perspective - and thanks for your take on the shortfalls of the firmware upgrade. While some users are happy shooting only stills, many want to shoot some video as well. As you point out, the firmware upgrade cured the premature shutoff, but didn't fix the blinking battery warning - which leaves the user completely clueless as to how much time is left. You eloquently point out this camera's downfall:
" ... when shooting video I would have to live with the warning light flashing and not knowing if this time it really meant it and would shut down in a second or two or not for another 5 minutes. ... the camera is unreliable if you are shooting video of timing critical events (a wedding, somebody skiing down a hill, etc.) unless you keep a fully charged battery in it all the time (carry a pocket full of them and swap them out every 10 minutes)."
For a lot of users, that's unacceptable. So is Canon's response to this debacle.
11-07-2013 04:28 PM
I watch these conversations pop up in this form every month or so and they go around in the same circles. Limmie sums it up nicely in his extended message that it's a user perception issue based on how important the video capability of the camera is.
I'm a long time Canon user going back to the 35mm film days with the AE1 Program. I wanted to replace my S5 IS which had moderate zoom (12x) and a huge battery life (4AA's) which was great for shooting high school sports video which was my primary usage. (I have a 40d with a variety of lenses for still shots.)
I gave it a try but with its flashing red light uncertainty and limited battery life, like Limmie, the 280 wasn't going to work for me even with a pocket full of spare batteries. My alternate, the Panasonic FZ200, was a bit pricer but with a much better battery, a much faster lens and a functional battery level indicator, it's a much better option for me for video (and the occasional still shot.)