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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon S2 IS battery problem
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06/30/2006 01:57:38 PM · #1
My beloved camera ... it has something wrong with the "battery administration" now. I bought these 2500 mAh rechargables for it right from the start, and I could take thousands of shots between charges. Suddenly, it is completely different. I take sometimes 10 shots, sometimes 20, then with no low bat warning at all, it just dies with a black screen saying "Replace batteries". First thing is to think that the rechargables are dead. So I took a spare set (alkaline backups, only slightly used), they could not even fire up the camera. I took four new alkaline batteries, never used, and put them in. Ten shots, and the camera died. Alkaline batteries have a higher voltage than rechargables, so I am quite sure - something is wrong in the camera - software/firmware maybe? I don't have my charger here, so I cannot say if using the charger/mains also gives a "replace batteries" black screen.

I have firmware version 1.00, and I haven't found an update yet. There are many S2 users here, so maybe someone else have had the same problem?

Fingers crossed - practically cameraless now. (Good excuse to upgrade to dSLR maybe ...)

EDIT:

I could have gone on Google first, sorry, I just did, here are some links:

//photography-on-the.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-132374.html

//forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=17678658

//forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=14657992

//forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=14148037

//forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=14255856

So, it is apparently a know problem. Will start by trying to tension the springs in the battery compartment, maybe the contact is bad?

If anyone has any specific ideas, then I am all ears ...

Message edited by author 2006-06-30 14:36:00.
06/30/2006 02:41:14 PM · #2
Sorry, they must have fixed the problem in the S3 -- this is the first I've heard of it. Maybe they can give you a big trade-in/discount to upgrade rather than make a warranty repair.
06/30/2006 03:18:16 PM · #3
I have taken almost 8000 shots with this camera, since late december 2005 when I bought it. Battery problem? I have tried:

Cleaning battery poles
Cleaning camera terminals
Tensioning camera battery poles (inside, not the ones on the cover)
Completely new alkalines

Before this I took so many shots on one charge, and seldom got to the battery low indicator. Now when I put batteries in, it does NOT say batt low, it goes from "perfect" to "Replace batteries" straight away.

Ah, the problem is that where I have bought the camera is 5000 miles from where I live now. Don't think the warranty goes across continents?

Latest I have read is change the BIOS/firmware battery, for either menory card or replace battery errors. Will try that.



Message edited by author 2006-06-30 15:31:43.
07/02/2006 07:03:28 AM · #4
After cleaning batteries, poles and everything, and recharging batteries, I made it work again - for a while! Here are some interesting things I found:

After a "replace batteries" message after only 10-20 shots, the time to recharge the batteries is "normal", meaning, there has been a power drain.

I did make it work, I recharged batteries and filled up the 1 GB memory card I have with hundreds of shots, many of them with flash. I Just kept the flash on, used High speed shooting mode and held the trigger. After a few hundred pictures, the time between pictures increased, and for the rest of the pictures I took without flash, then some video, and when the card was full, there were no warnings of any kind for battery low - or to replace.

Then I fully recharged the batteries, took a few shot to test it, no problem - it worked. Then I put the camera away, and didn't use it for about 2 days, and now I cannot turn it on.

My BIG suspicion is that after turning the camera off, it keeps draining the batteries. It is not unusual for electronic devices with soft power-down switching to have this problem, but sometimes the drain is more serious than others.

So CANON, please review you firmware to see if there is an issue here.

Reminds me of this French car maker who made a genious invention - they put a circuit in the car that shut off the battery if it was drained after removing the key form the ignition. The only problem was that the circuit that tested for battery drainage was running of that same battery, and after a few days, the battery was ... drained! All because of THAT circuitry ... Bravo :-)

Conclusion for now: When you are not shooting, remove batteries or insert a small piece of paper in battery compartment to cut off power supply. THEN let it sit for some days - my guess it this will reveal the problem as described above.

Anyone else with an S2 IS who cares to comment?

General battery care comments are not needed, as this IS S2 has a definate problem in the camera, it is NOT a battery or charger problem.


07/18/2006 05:50:16 AM · #5
I first tried using the S2 IS with Sony 1800mAH NimH cells; it didnt last beyond 10 shots, although they worked well with other devices that run on batteries. After some tests for leakage, Canon service suggested 2600mAH cells and i am now using them quite well- i can take almost 100-200 shots before it shows the "Replace battery" alert. This number is definitely below the 400-500 shots that the reviews claim.
This camera definitely needs cells at the peak of their performance, so I always recharge before I go out on a 2 day trip. I try scratching the battery poles whenever i get this problem and the camera starts working most of the time.
07/18/2006 09:02:04 AM · #6
Granted my camera is still relatively new (brought it late march/early april) I can shoot over 400 shots before I need to recharge the batteries.

I actually took the time to read the manuals and it does say that if you leave the batteries in the camera they will still drain. So that could be the problem. If you are taking alot of time between photos, the camera is still draining the batteries.

I hope 1)don't get this problem 2) upgrade before I get this problem 3)Canon finds a easy fix before I get this problem.

Thanks for the heads up.
07/18/2006 09:14:05 AM · #7
Never had a problem with mine.

Keep in mind that rechargable batteries lose their charge rather quickly on their own. I always take the batteries right off the charger when I use the camera. If they sit around for a few days they lose a significant amount of power.

Good luck!
08/20/2006 08:19:36 AM · #8
UPDATE:

Now, the problem solved itself, somehow, and it has been working fine for a while. I am using the same batteries that I bought together with the camera (2500 NiMH).

On the 18th and 19th of August, I shot a total of about 500 pictures on the same charge - lots of zooming, lots of idle time (waiting for the right candid moment ...). Only on the second day, just when I was done shooting anyway, the batteries went dead, after two long days with no charging in between.

The way it turned off so suddenly, and behaved in a strange way convinces me it is a camera software fault of some sort.

Solution? Well, while the problem lasted, I ran it on lithium batteries when the NiMHs were not allowed by the camera to run it any more, and it worked fine. And shortly after, the lithiums were not needed anymore - in fact - they are still sitting in my camera case as backup, in case I should run out of power at a critical moment.

Message edited by author 2006-08-20 08:22:55.
09/17/2006 03:23:48 PM · #9
Update again:

I keep shooting and shooting, well, now I just got myself a new toy today, but the S2 IS has still not had a single problem since it solved itself. I am still using the same 2500 maH cells from when I boought the camera. I really, really think it is some kind of firmware issue, but what makes it happen, I don't know. If it happens again when I hit 20000 pictures, then I will tend to believe it is linked to picture number reset, as it happened around picture number 10000 the first time ...


10/01/2006 02:12:49 AM · #10
Test

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 19:18:59.
10/01/2006 02:32:57 AM · #11
Well, I've not had any problems like this but I'm glad for all the input - thanks! Hopefully, I'll never have to dig into them to far.
10/01/2006 10:59:40 AM · #12
That's indeed quite odd. I've got an S2 IS as well that sits on my desk at the ready. Had some troubles with crappy Sanyo/Sony batteries (apparently Sony uses Sanyo as rebrands), but have had excellent performance since with my Panasonics...

I started using Sanyo 2500 mah batteries. I was able to shoot all day (from noon to 11:00 PM) taking more than 650 pictures and video (without flash) and loads of reviewing on the LCD on max brightness.

NiMH batteries are known to self-drain though. Additionally, because they are lower voltage (1.2v nominal as opposed to 1.5v nominal standard), they actually operate around the same voltage level as pretty badly exhausted standard batteries. A 1.5v battery usually has around 1.7v+ if fresh and starts to really die out between 1.4v and 1.5v in my LIMITED experience. A NiMH typically puts out around 1.4-1.5V fresh and drops to 1.2-1.3v when exhausted.

Many electronic devices are therefore fooled by low voltage to prematurely believe that the batteries are low.

I'd love to find a place that sold 1.5v Lithium Ion batteries that were AA compatible.

They hold a charge much longer and are much more stable in the long run.

Note that it's also possible that your charger has a special voltage checker, such that when the batteries are full and you put them in the charger, it will run a full cycle discharge and charge which is like a 'refresh' for the batteries. This could temporarily bring their performance back up.

Just some ideas. I've heard a lot of people complaining about 2500mah batteries. My sister had no troubles with her 2300 mah batteries, but I bought 3 sets of 2500's and all had the same troubles. Personally, I suspect that there was a bad batch that all got made at one big plant and passed around to get rebranded. 2600 mah batteries don't appear to have the same problems.
10/01/2006 11:02:11 PM · #13
Test

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 19:19:42.
10/02/2006 04:56:57 AM · #14
Fair enough.

I've not found that my camera is really all that particular about battery strength compared to other devices that I use. I have used quite a number of MP3 players (50-60) that are not sensitive to this ~0.7V tolerance. But that could be more because they are not exclusively running on on/off, but actually have some form of 'more sophisticated' battery meter. With nimh's, if the battery meter shows 3/5 bars or something at full charge, the device is tuned to 1.5v. I've found that it is true that nimhs will still outperform an alkaline battery even still. It's just a case of fooling the 'battery full' part of the meter.

Incidentally, I think 0.6v is a standard voltage cutoff for a diode. I had to look really hard to find some special 0.2V diodes.

LED's are also 0.6v, so ~0.7v does indeed sound like the right number for many devices.
10/02/2006 05:37:51 AM · #15
I am quite sure it is a software thing, or rather, firmware, but have not been able to find an update.

As I wrote above, it is working fine now, and except for using lithiums for a few sessions, the same 2500 mAh batteries have given me almost 20,000 shots on my S2 IS! (The lithiums are hardly used, still works, now sits in my 580ex flash).

Charge seeping away? Not likely. After getting my XTi/400D, I have not used my S2 IS much, and for weeks I have not recharged the 2500's. And it still works, I use it now and then, if, for nothing else, then at least to rant at my Sigma zoom for being beaten by the S2 IS lens in long zoomed shootouts ... !
11/04/2006 03:55:11 PM · #16
Test

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 19:20:17.
12/01/2006 04:35:33 AM · #17
Test

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 19:20:34.
12/01/2006 04:50:33 AM · #18
The algorithm to test whether the batteries are depleted, is quite complicated. The same algorithm has to guess whether it is rechargables or plain batteries, and my guess is that it is mixing up these two in the S2 IS - if a certain series of events take place (don't know what it takes though!)

My camera is in for service since a month now, just to have the many and large hot pixels framed out. Interesting to see how it performs when I get it back. Come on, conrad.de, this only takes 5 minutes to do, why do I have to wait a month for this???
12/03/2006 02:13:44 PM · #19
I found that my Energizer's 1800 mAh shorter than 2500 mAh's. Put back 2500 mAh's and so far so good.

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 19:20:50.
09/07/2007 10:47:31 AM · #20
I have the exact same problem with my Powershot S2 IS, I have 2 sets of 2500mAh from energizer and 2 sets of 2900mAh batts. Brand new Batteries put on the charger overnight still has the same problem. It seems the camera does this anytime its not used regularly fresh batteries or not. it's got to be a firmware thing or something. I just submitted an email support request from Canon, My camera is aobut 2 years old now (its one of the early ones models in production.) Has anyone found a fix or seen a patch yet?
10/07/2007 04:36:35 PM · #21
I also have same problem. 2500mAh nimh batteries used to last for hundreds of picys. all of a sudden, i get about 4 or 5. bought 2700mAh batteries (2 sets) but still same problem. Tried a brand new set of non-rechargables, got same problem. I wonder if the camera writes some settings to eeprom and the chip has worn out. (some pc's have this problem after 3-5yrs) The camera is 1.5yrs old. Never had problems until a few weeks ago. I took out the little battery that keeps the time/date, and reinserted it. took some picies. will try again tomorrow to see if that has fixed it. It could be a firmware problem like suggested earlier here. If it is a eeprom problem, it would need a canon fix, as the updating part of the firmware is probably on the the same eeprom.
10/09/2007 03:37:32 PM · #22
well, removing and replacing the timer battery made the regular batteries last for about 10 pics with flash, but it then reverted to "replace battery" message without warning. I can still view pictures, just not take them.
10/19/2007 04:17:34 PM · #23
Has anybody found an answer to this problem yet? No joy at the Canon site. My S2IS is just over a year old now and, all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, the "replace battery" message pops up and the camera quits after just one or two pics. Open the lid, fiddle with the batteries (change locations, etc.) and bingo another picture, and another quit. Made everything sqeaky clean. Changed batteries. Same thing. Recharged batteries. Same thing. Took an eraser to the terminals. Same thing. This is making me crazy. I notice this forum seems to have all but dried up, though, so I'm hoping the answer has been found. Fingers crossed. (The local camera guru nods in a nerdish way and assures me the main circuit board is fried and must be replaced. Cost? $300 bucks. Riiii-igh!) I can review photographs, upload them, diddle with the menus, in fact everything EXCEPT take pictures. Do I suddenly have another piece of electronic junque to add to my already bulging obsolescence drawer?

Message edited by author 2007-10-19 16:23:38.
10/23/2007 10:43:51 AM · #24
For me, the problem seems to be the camera draining individual batteries at different rates. I can have the 10 or less picture problem with freshly charged batteries, rearrange the batteries in the camera, then (sometimes) get a couple hundred more. Other times, I'll put in the same batteries after doing the same "drain then charge" on them and have no problem at all.

Now that I've seen I'm not the only one with this problem, I'll do some actual testing and keep track on paper the positions of which batteries are losing power the quickest.

I've also noticed that the contacts down in the camera sometimes get flattened from "dropping" the batteries in too fast. Prying them back up did help get a couple more pictures in before the battery message, but not many.
11/01/2007 07:43:42 PM · #25
I think the hint on this stupid problem occurs at 10K and 20K just gave me an idea to Toggle the file number reset option and voila it works. Please propogate this fix to Canon S2 IS lovers and mail those Canon programmers to fix it :-)
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