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blindsight Oct 6, 2007 11:55 PM

I bought a 3600 mAh lithium ion USB external power pack, which is the size of a pack of cigarette, hooked it up to my Sanyo CG6 USB port to see if it provides longer video shooting time.

Well it doesn't.

I first tested only with the internal battery. I set the CG6 to record video (highest quality and resolution) with a 2 GB card (allows up to about 1 hr 20 min of recording). The low battery warning came on around 1 hr 10 min. The camera switched off at around 1 hr 15 min with drained battery.

I repeated the test with the power pack plugged into the USB port. The camera detected the USB and gave the options of "Computer", "Printer" and "Mobile viewer" - press the Menu button to cancel, then you can go back to the original camera functions.

The time it took for the low battery warning to come on, and for the camera to switch itself off, is more or less the same as with the internal battery alone.

The external power pack does charge the battery through USB - when the camera is not switched on, you can see the red light flashing indicating charging is going on. I did not measure how long it takes to charge up the CG6 battery, but I think it probably takes longer than the AC battery charger.

I believe the Sanyo does not have a "DC in" to run from a direct external power source. The USB only charges the internal battery, and when the camera operates it only draws power from the internal battery. This is supported by the fact that the camera will not switch on when the internal battery has been taken out and the camera hooked up by USB (to the PC, to the power pack).

I think when the camera is hooked up by USB for file transfer etc., it does not draw too much power from the internal battery, which can be replenished by USB charging. I am not quite sure, but the internal battery may even be cut off and power comes from USB.

However, when you use the camera to record video, it uses most power and it is definitely drawing it from the internal battery, at a rate far greater than the charging rate through the USB. I suspect the USB charging may even be disconnected when the camera is in camera / video mode. Therefore the external power pack cannot prolong the video shooting time of the camera.

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