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View Poll Results: A540 Rechargable Battery Life, LCD on, Mostly Flash.
0 to 9 Pictures 1 20.00%
10-29 0 0%
30-49 1 20.00%
50-69 0 0%
70-99 1 20.00%
100-129 0 0%
130-149 0 0%
150 or more 2 40.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 7:25 AM   #11
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I have received two replies from Canon in response to my support request email. The first reply referred me to the recall regarding the battery door spring. When I assured them that my camera was not affected by the recall, their second reply told me that different brands of alkaline batteries will perform differently. I had clearly told them twice that alkalines were working fine and that my problem was only with Ni-MH rechargeables.

It appears that Canon support, like many other companies' email support correspondence I have experienced over the years, is merely prewritten responses that are quickly selected based on keywords in your request. I doesn't appear that they actually read through your email. Or, if they do, they are not highly trained and really don't understand the technical stuff. I think at this point I will give up on expecting any help from Canon.

In the meantime, based on the battery graphs at http://www.users.on.net/~mhains/Reviews.html it appears that selecting a battery that maintains a relatively high voltage over the entire discharge voltage curve is the answer. The Sanyo eneloops look real good in this regard. I have a set of Sanyo eneloops coming in the mail. Meanwhile, I did buy a new set of Energizer 2500 mah batteries and they are at 158 pictures and still going fine.

I am surprised that more people haven't responded to the poll at the beginning of this thread.
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Old Jan 10, 2007, 10:47 PM   #12
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I finally got a plug to fit the Canon A540 (2.3mm x .7mm, tip positive) and ran my checks with a variable power supply and a digital voltmeter. The low battery indicator comes on when the voltage drops to 1.1V per cell. The camera cuts off at 1.0V per cell. Looking at the voltage graphs on the previously linked website I can see that almost every tested battery would soon drop to 1.1V or lower and cause the battery indicator to begin blinking. The Sanyo 2500, Powerex 2500 and Varta 2100 would probably not even run the camera. The Sanyo eneloop would work the best since it keeps its voltage at 1.2V for most of the discharge time.

Not included in the website's test was the Energizer 2500 which ran 280 pictures in my A540 (acceptable to me). According to the Energizer 2500 data sheet, they also run around 1.2V for most of their discharge time.

I am now running a test on a new set of Sanyo eneloops. To simulate real world use I take about 30 pictures per day so it will take about 10 days to run the test. Boy, am I running out of things to take pictures of around the house. :-)

By the way, my recommendation to Canon was to do a firmware upgrade to drop the cutoff to the .9V recommended by Energizer. That would make a huge difference in battery compatibility for the 2 AA PowerShot A series cameras. I never got a reply to that suggestion, just prewritten responses to try different batteries.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 10:00 AM   #13
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I have A710IS, which uses 2AA like the A540. My manual also quotes 100 shots, some with flash, out of Alkalines, so I'd assume power usage is about the same.

Had the same problems as you... until I found out the NiMh batts were the problem, not the camera.... here's my story [and I'm sticking to it :G]:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...20&forum_id=51

I like battery testing with the video function, its more controllable, and a easier to do. Alkalines have given me somewhat over 2gigs or 30mins but [QUALITY] NiMh have given me 15gigs or 3.5 hours from 1 pair of AAs:shock:

Now my problem will be using the batteries enough so that self-discharge doesn't become a problem. I need to get some eneloops, me thinks.

Not sure what made the difference, the batts or the charger, but I've found my source for batts and chargers from now on

http://ripvan100.com/
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 1:27 PM   #14
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Canon finally did reply that they would pass along my comments about the battery cutoff voltage to the appropriate staff.

Meanwhile, my eneloop test is at 248 pictures and still going fine. I choose to run the test with pictures instead of video because that simulates my actual "real world" picture taking activity on vacation when I would take about 30 pictures per day over two weeks. That way battery self-discharge, as well as any recovery brought about by the time between shooting sessions, is taken into account. As long as I test each set of batteries using the same 30 per day test, the comparison should be valid.

I should note that in my voltage tests when the battery indicator came on it would stay on even if I ran the voltage back up to normal. So if several flash cycles in a row make the low battery indicator come on, it may not be on the next time you turn the camera on. Also, since some Ni-MH batteries run at 1.1v during their discharge cycle the low battery indicator may come on early and stay on for 200 or more pictures. Of course, that makes the low battery indicator of no use as a warning sign of battery discharge.

In a second test I measured current draw. With the LCD on the draw was 400mA. With it off, it was around 80mA. So if you need to extend the life of a set of batteries, using the optical viewfinder and keeping the LCD off can make a huge difference. This would be a good practice if you had discharged your rechargeable batteries and were making do with a set of alkalines.

FYI, I am charging my batteries with the little Energizer 4-cell charger that has a tray that slides closed when the charger is not in use. It is the smallest charger I could find and small is important when it comes to travel packing space. I know I could use a better charger and maybe get better results, but in actual practice, I will be using the Energizer charger.
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Old Jan 20, 2007, 9:14 AM   #15
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I have completed my test of Sanyo eneloop batteries. With the first charge I got 438 pictures! That is an amazing number and even exceeds the 360 claimed by Canon. These were all with the LCD on and with the usual amount of reviewing shots on the LCD.

I think it is fair to conclude that with their higher voltage discarge curve, the Sanyo eneloops will fully solve the rechargeable battery life issue with the PowerShot A series.

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Old Jan 23, 2007, 11:27 AM   #16
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I Use, Uniross 2100mAh, NiMH batteries, and i can't say how many shots they give me with flash on each shot, but under normal usage, i have taken 250 pics on a single recharge (atleast half of them with flash for sure though may be not at full power), with normal reviewing (on LCD screen only and not via TV out, which drains them faster).

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Old Jan 23, 2007, 9:26 PM   #17
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I for one appreciate your work on this subject. You have worked harder on it than I, but your conclusions are consistent with the trends and hunches that I had started to develop. I hope Canon takes your advice on all its cameras in giving a little more room before the warning light comes on. Your comment that the warning is useless when it comes on with 200 shots still available is a point well taken.

In the meantime I'm heading out for a couple of sets of eneloops tomorrow.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 10:56 AM   #18
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For those looking for Sanyo eneloops, they may be hard to find. They are currently available at Amazon.com, Circuit City and Ritzcamera.com.

I am an epinions review writer and have published a review of the eneloops. Check it out at http://www99.epinions.com/content_309637189252

I also did a review of the Canon A540 at http://www99.epinions.com/content_309290569348
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 9:34 AM   #19
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some cameras 530 and 540 with serial number beginning with 21,22,23,24 have problem with short circuiting the battery , when you open the battery slot you will see small wire wrongly fixed, maybe that is it.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...1&id=28799

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0701/07...fetynotice.asp

Andrej.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 6:22 PM   #20
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afenik wrote:
Quote:
some cameras 530 and 540 with serial number beginning with 21,22,23,24 have problem with short circuiting the battery , when you open the battery slot you will see small wire wrongly fixed, maybe that is it.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...1&id=28799

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0701/07...fetynotice.asp

Andrej.
Thanks, but this was already suggested in the 6th message in this thread and my response was: Yes, I have seen the advisory and none of my cameras are affected. Even though the serial numbers are not in the range specified, I inspected the spring anyway and it is properly bent and not causing a short.

This is an entirely different issue and I am trying to keep them separate, though one should begin by checking their serial numbers first just to be sure. The real clue was that Alkaline batteries worked as expected, but NiMH batteries didn't. If the battery door spring was shorting the batteries, I would have experienced short battery life with Alkaline batteries, too. Anyway, my camera was not affected by the recall.

The problem was solved by using NiMH batteries with a low internal resistance which keeps the per cell voltage above 1.1 volts during the discharge curve. The Sanyo eneloops work great in this regard.
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