Battery life of a Canon G3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lou trigg, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    Ive had my Canon camera for maybe 2 years now and its always worked
    beautifully. No problem with recharging the battery till now. The
    camera would take about 3 photos and then the low battery sign would
    appear. However much I recharged the battery, the same thing happened.
    I bought a new battery as I realised these problems may simply have
    been due to the original battery being worn out.

    Anyhow, the new battery was charged up for 24 hours and it kept its
    charge through many photo sessions until it need recharging again. And
    then the problem starts again.. 2 or 3 photos taken and the low
    battery sign pops up, the camera shuts down automatically. Its very
    annoying as you can imagine.

    My local camera shop will send the camera, battery and charger off to
    be tested - takes 3 weeks to get a reply and costs a non returnable
    £50 or £60 (returnable if they fix the problem. Im about to start
    university and cant be without my camera for that long.

    Anyone got any better ideas please?

    many thanks
     
    lou trigg, Sep 26, 2005
    #1
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  2. lou trigg

    Alan Meyer Guest

    lou trigg wrote:

    > Ive had my Canon camera for maybe 2 years now and its always worked
    > beautifully. No problem with recharging the battery till now. The
    > camera would take about 3 photos and then the low battery sign would
    > appear. However much I recharged the battery, the same thing happened.
    > I bought a new battery as I realised these problems may simply have
    > been due to the original battery being worn out.
    >
    > Anyhow, the new battery was charged up for 24 hours and it kept its
    > charge through many photo sessions until it need recharging again. And
    > then the problem starts again.. 2 or 3 photos taken and the low
    > battery sign pops up, the camera shuts down automatically. Its very
    > annoying as you can imagine.
    >
    > My local camera shop will send the camera, battery and charger off to
    > be tested - takes 3 weeks to get a reply and costs a non returnable
    > £50 or £60 (returnable if they fix the problem. Im about to start
    > university and cant be without my camera for that long.
    >
    > Anyone got any better ideas please?
    >
    > many thanks


    I'm no engineer, but it seems to me that the symptoms you
    describe indicate that the charger is the problem. The new
    battery probably came to you fully charged. Putting it in the
    failed charger did not discharge it. You put it in the camera
    and it worked fine. That indicates to me that the camera is fine
    and the battery is fine. But when you tried to recharge it,
    nothing happened. The three shots you got out of the battery
    were just the usual recovery of charge that almost exhausted
    batteries show when left to rest for a bit.

    So the first thing to do is to find out if your battery charger
    works. Look at the specifications section of the manual and see
    what the output voltage and amperage are supposed to be. Check
    them with a meter. If the charger is not putting out enough
    juice, your battery is just not being charged. If the output is
    zero, check to see if there's a broken connection somewhere that
    you can fix, otherwise find a replacement. You probably have to
    put a battery in the charger the charger while you meter it in
    order to test it under load.

    If the output voltage or amperage is too high, there's a short in
    the charger. The charger needs to be replaced and the battery
    may already be fried - however I doubt if that happened since you
    had the new battery on the charger for 24 hours without apparent
    damage.

    As a final test of this theory, if you know someone with a Canon
    G3 or any camera with a charger that outputs the same voltage
    and current (the camera shop probably has such a charger if nobody
    else you know does), ask them to try charging your new battery.
    If it works after that, you've confirmed the diagnosis.

    As we say on this side of the pond, that's my two cents worth of
    advice.

    Good luck.

    Alan
     
    Alan Meyer, Sep 26, 2005
    #2
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  3. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    Hi Alan, thanks for that advice. The battery didnt arrive fully
    charged and I was able to charge it up for a recommended 24 hours (as
    opposed to the 4 hours or so that it says the manual). So yes, the
    charger did work a few weeks back.

    help!
     
    lou trigg, Sep 26, 2005
    #3
  4. lou trigg

    Alan Meyer Guest

    lou trigg wrote:
    > Hi Alan, thanks for that advice. The battery didnt arrive fully
    > charged and I was able to charge it up for a recommended 24 hours (as
    > opposed to the 4 hours or so that it says the manual). So yes, the
    > charger did work a few weeks back.
    >
    > help!


    When you say it didn't arrive fully charged I assume you mean that
    you tested it and found that it was fully discharged. Then you
    charged it successfully. If that's not the case, then maybe it was
    charged when you received it and you didn't know it, or maybe it was
    partially charged. In either case, it might have carried enough
    charge to work fine for you for several weeks until it was fully
    discharged.

    If I were you I'd still check the battery charger with a meter, or
    take the battery to someone who can charge it for you as a test.
    Replacing the charger is a cheap and easy solution and I'm hoping
    that's
    it.

    Did the camera get hot when you used it? If the camera itself were
    shorting and draining the battery I would think it would get hot.
    But then I wouldn't expect it to have worked for a normal run of
    photos when you first put the new battery in.

    On my cameras, when I put a battery in the charger, a red LED light
    goes on. When the battery is fully charged, the light turns green.
    Does your charger work that way? Does the light turn red and then
    green when you put the battery in the charger - or does it always
    stay red? If the lights don't work normally, you have more clues
    about the nature of the problem.

    Alan
     
    Alan Meyer, Sep 26, 2005
    #4
  5. lou trigg

    Alan Meyer Guest

    Another cheap test. This one has a .01% chance of working, but it
    costs nothing to do. Try cleaning the terminals that connect to the
    battery inside the camera, on the battery, and in the charger. You
    can use a pencil eraser to rub them clean, then blow away the
    eraser rubbings.

    Like I say, a vanishingly small chance this will help, but it costs
    nothing
    to try.

    Alan
     
    Alan Meyer, Sep 26, 2005
    #5
  6. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    Hi again Alan - what a nice patient man you are!

    Im believe that the battery was partially charged when I bought it.

    In actual fact (I should have mentioned this before!) when my original
    battery had these problems I bought the new one. The new one had the
    same problems and so I exchanged it for this one, as the shop and I
    assumed the previous battery was faulty. (Are you still with me
    here?!)

    So to clarify, this is battery number 3. It goes thru the flashing LED
    red light, then the still red light and then finally green when its
    fully charged.

    The camera didnt get hot.

    I will try cleaning the terminals as you suggest. Thank you again!
     
    lou trigg, Sep 26, 2005
    #6
  7. lou trigg

    ASAAR Guest

    On 26 Sep 2005 14:31:47 -0700, lou trigg wrote:

    > So to clarify, this is battery number 3. It goes thru the flashing LED
    > red light, then the still red light and then finally green when its
    > fully charged.


    Several things come to mind. One is that some makes of equipment
    that uses lithium batteries use a design that "learns"
    characteristics of the battery, to be able to display more accurate
    "time remaining" information. Sony and IBM do this, and there are
    probably others. When batteries are exchanged, there may be a
    procedure that needs to be followed that allows the charger to start
    from a blank slate, making no assumptions about the battery.

    Also, if there really is something wrong with the charger, you
    could buy another one, and use it to charge your batteries. I
    imagine that there are several that cost less than Canon's.

    Your shop may not have any more G3s on hand, unless they're used.
    But if they have a G5 or G6 (assuming they use the same battery) you
    could see if they can take more than 3 pictures before the low
    battery indicator flashes, using your batteries. If they can take
    many pictures, your G3 needs to be fixed. If they also conk out
    after 2 or 3 pictures, either the batteries or your charger would
    seem to be the problem. As all of the batteries behave similarly,
    it makes the charger appear to be responsible for not charging your
    batteries adequately.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 26, 2005
    #7
  8. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    Thank you Asaar. Some good ideas and I will check them all out.

    many thanks to both

    lou
     
    lou trigg, Sep 27, 2005
    #8
  9. lou trigg

    ASAAR Guest

    On 27 Sep 2005 01:19:15 -0700, lou trigg wrote:

    > Thank you Asaar. Some good ideas and I will check them all out.
    >
    > many thanks to both


    You're welcome. Good luck with your camera, and let's hope it's
    just the charger that's bad. The Canon charger for my old
    Powershot S10 also went bad, but that was a completely different
    design, possibly the last of their NiMH chargers. I was fortunate
    in that I had a second charger, which made it easy to diagnose the
    problem.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 27, 2005
    #9
  10. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    I think I may have worked out the problem (fingers crossed). When I
    got this 3rd battery someone in a camera shop suggested I charge it up
    for 24 hours plus, as opposed to the 4 hours that it says in the
    manual. So I did that and then used it for ages and took many photos.
    When I wrote this query on here, I just recharged the battery for a
    couple of hours till the green light was on. The camera took 3 photos
    and then the low battery sign came on. So I recharged it again for
    much longer, over 24 hours, and so far so good.

    These batteries have a memory dont they? If so, presumably I need to
    recharge for 24+ hours each time?
     
    lou trigg, Sep 27, 2005
    #10
  11. lou trigg

    ASAAR Guest

    On 27 Sep 2005 10:06:39 -0700, lou trigg wrote:

    > These batteries have a memory dont they? If so, presumably
    > I need to recharge for 24+ hours each time?


    I don't think lithium rechargeables are considered to have a
    "memory", although some "smart" charging software does. It may be
    that your charger isn't operating properly and shuts down far too
    soon, or it only trickle charges. Then after 24+ hours of trickle
    charging the battery would be fairly well if not fully charged. But
    I haven't heard of any Li-ion chargers that don't fully charge their
    batteries in a small fraction of that amount of time. Many battery
    types, not just lithiums, have recommendations to keep the battery
    in the charger for 24 hours for its very first charge. But
    subsequent charges don't require that. Many chargers also
    misleadingly indicate that the charge has finished, but they're
    designed to switch to a trickle charge when the battery has only
    been charged to 85% or 90% of its capacity. When I spoke with a
    RayOVac technician (or engineer) about one of their chargers I was
    told that the "finished charging" indicator came on early because
    most people would be able to use the batteries quickly, and the loss
    of 10% or so of capacity wouldn't be noticed. But if the indicator
    came on only when the trickle charging topped off the batteries
    several hours later, they might get frustrated waiting much longer
    for very little additional gain.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 27, 2005
    #11
  12. lou trigg

    lou trigg Guest

    hmm, ok, thats helpful again, thank you. I;ll see how this goes and if
    necessary get a new charger.

    thanks so much for your time :)
     
    lou trigg, Sep 27, 2005
    #12
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