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Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Simple Fix for Digital Cameras Experiencing Short Battery Life

First off, for those owners of Canon Powershot A530/A540 cameras, please see this post first, then return here if your camera is not on the advisory list.

For all other cameras that use AA batteries, are you still using alkaline batteries? If so, alkaline batteries (or worse yet "super heavy duty" batteries) just don't have the power for more than a few pics in today's digital camera. Some may even have problems just powering startup of the camera. This may be true in some cameras, even if they're brand new and straight out of the package!
Digital cameras for the most part should only be used with rechargeable NiMH batteries. These days many retailers sell these for around $7 for a package of four (about $15-19 for the batteries with charger). Keep in mind they'll save you big bucks in the long run over alkalines, AND they'll last for at least 100 pictures per charge (and probably many, many more). You'll be very pleased with their performance, and may slap yourself for not buying them sooner. When at the store, look on the package for a power rating of at least 2500 mah.

Finally, if you're still having problems even with rechargeable batteries, you may have not set the camera's menu setting to recognize NiMH rechargeable batteries. Some camera brands (Samsung in particular) have a setting in the camera's menus to differentiate between Alkaline and NiMH batteries. If the menu is set to alkaline, the camera may in error report a low battery status with NiMH batteries. To correct the problem, merely find the page in the camera's menu to set the battery type, and reset it to rechargeable batteries.


dguzman said...

I have a Kodak Z712-IS that came with a regular little KLIC800 battery that wasn't rechargeable. The camera takes either that little pack OR two AA batteries, so I bought some recharge NiMH batteries (2500 ma as you recommended), but they only lasted about ten minutes! I thought it was because they were off-brand, so I bought the Energizer version, and they didn't last much longer than the others. I finally broke down and bought a Kodak-brand rechargeable KLIC800 battery, and now the life is at least 150 pics if not more. I guess sometimes it's best to go with the name brand battery, or end up spending almost three times as much on rechargeables that won't last in the camera.

RGB said...

Sorry to be off topic, but does anyone know where you can get those clips that hold the flat orange cables? I broke mine and the LCD screen is not attachable anymore making my camera not operable.

Anonymous said...

Some cameras take AA alkaline batteries as standard but AA lithium batteries are claimed to last up to 7 times as long while retaining their power till more or less exhausted, making them more economical than alkaline batteries as well as longer lasting.

However, AA lithium batteries may not be accepted as an alternative AA battery by some digital cameras, which could be programmed to accept as a substitute only a flat lithium battery which has a higher ouput than the combined AA batteries.

So if you try substituting a lithium AA battery and get an insufficient power warning, you will know the reason why. In that case, you can still use the lithium batteries in other appliances, such as radios and remote controls.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have the Canon A530 I have problems that I can fully charge the batteries, put them in the camera, then a week or two later when i go to use the camera, the batteries are flat. I have tried Sony Nimh rechargeables, Energiser, and all types of batteries but they still go flat. I appears like something is still on inside the camera even tho I have switched it off???? I checked the recall, and I have the straight spring which looks OK.
Can anyone help??

Anonymous said...

Buy Sanyo Eneloops, Kodak Pre-Charged (white colored, not green!), or Rayovac Hybrids. All of these batteries don't have 2500 mAH, but they have about 2000-2100 mAH and hold charges as long as Alkaline Batteries. Sanyo Eneloops supposedly can be recharged up to 1000 times.

Camera Repair said...

Hybrids are fine. They also hold much more power than alkalines (bleh, alkalines), and they hold the charge for a longer time than NiMH batteries. You do have to top off NiMH batteries every month or so if you don't use them as they do tend to lose the charge with time.

Anonymous said...

What are your comments on Eneloops though? I know they're available in some Costco Warehouses for as low as $9.97 for a pack with eight AA and two-three AAA batteries.

I haven't bought them yet, so I would just like to read your take on it.

Camera Repair said...

That's an extremely good price for eneloops, at less than half their normal price. I'd jump at such a deal if I saw it.

Anonymous said...

i have a powershot A530 camera that is about 2.5 yrs old and i cannot get the camera to turn on. does anyone have any suggestions other than sending it to be repaired by canon.

Camera Repair said...

First of all did you check to see if your camera is one of the
recalled A530's?

If it's not, then here are
some other things to try for a camera that will not power on.


Anonymous said...

I'm also having a similar (battery life) problem with the Canon A530. The serial number starts with "23" but the spring inside the battery door hinge is not sticking out as shown in the photos on the Canon recall info page.

Basically.. I put in fresh "hi-power - made for digital cameras" akaline batteries and it works fine, but then leave the batteries in for a day or two and you get a low battery message, followed by the camera shutting down.

Same with rechargeables. Any clue what could be wrong?

sennyhomes said...

Some cameras take AA alkaline batteries as standard but AA lithium batteries are claimed to last up to 7 times as long while retaining their power till more or less exhausted.

Camera Digital