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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6

    Battery problems with my Canon A530

    Hi Everyone,

    I've bought a Canon powershot A530 after some really helpful advice on here. It's a great camera and I'm really happy with it, except for one thing.
    It performs really poorly on NiMH batteries. After only a few shots it shuts down and says it needs new batteries - even though the batteries are fine.
    I've had this problem with other cameras and a GPS and the solution has always been to select an option in the menu system which tells it which batteries you're using. I guess it adjusts for the lower voltage. Unfortunately this camera doesn't have an NiMH option in the menu system - at least not one I can find either in the manual or exploring the options on the camera. The manual says it runs on NiMH batteries.
    Canon don't respond to emails, and unless I can get it to work properly on NiMH the camera is useless to me. Before I get a refund has anyone got any ideas how I can sort it?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6
    Sorry about the double post :-(

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    There's no switch on the camera to tell it what kind of batteries, so that's not the issue. How do you know the batteries are good? You may have a bad cell; does this happen with other sets of batteries? What capacity?

    It could be a bad camera. A friend has the A530 and it runs very well on several different sets of NiMH batteries. We hiked for several days and hundreds of shots on two sets. If you like the camera otherwise, ask for an exchange and give it a second chance.

    -dave-

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6
    Hi David, thanks for that.

    I took the camera on a 3 week trip around Tunisia. I had 4 sets of NiMH batteries which worked perfectly well in other appliances I had with me, and are fine now I'm home. After the 1st week I bought a set of alkaline cells and the camera performed faultlessly. So I think it's very unlikely to be a problem with the cells I was using.

    Your second comment is really helpful. Since Canon won't talk to me I have no way of knowing whether I have a duff camera or whether it's a generic problem with the model.

    Having said that their appalling customer service does make me think I should consider something else. Have I been unlucky or do they always ignore their customers?

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by pqpq View Post
    Your second comment is really helpful. Since Canon won't talk to me I have no way of knowing whether I have a duff camera or whether it's a generic problem with the model.
    Have you tried talking to the place you bought the camera from? That's usually the first line of contact for problems with something new.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Quote Originally Posted by mattdm View Post
    Have you tried talking to the place you bought the camera from? That's usually the first line of contact for problems with something new.
    Agreed. Contacting Canon at this point is premature. Bring it to the place you bought it and ask for it to be replaced. The A530 doesn't eat batteries like that normally.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6
    I bought it from Amazon. They're very good for returns but useless on technical advice.

    I'd rather have bought it from a local shop, but the price difference was unbelievable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    In that case, I'd just send it back to Amazon for an exchange. (You can do this and have them send you a new one before the old one even gets back to them.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1
    I'm having the same problem. The A530 will only work properly with extremely fresh alkaline batteries. When the batteries are only slightly drained the camera will stop working. With freshly charged NiMH batteries the camera will only work in playback mode. Once you switch to shooting mode the camera shuts down and gives a "Change Batteries" message.

    I already held opened the battery cover, held down the interlock switch, and placed a copper strip between the batteries and applied a serious amount of pressure to eliminate poor battery contact as a cause of the problem.

    This A530 does NOT have the shorting hinge spring problem as it is installed correctly.

    The firmware version for this camera is 1.00a

    Does anyone know of a fix for this battery issue?

    Scott

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    378
    I'd suspect that if the NiMH batteries you're using have any age to them, they probably need 'reconditioning'. These rechargeables seem to work fine for some time, then suddenly perform poorly in high-drain devices like digital cameras, even though they might appear to be fully charged and giving voltages of 1.25v and above. The trouble is the capacity of the batteries (measured in mAh) steadily reduces with prolonged use, unless the batteries are completely drained and recharged in a controlled manner.

    I had the same problem with my Canon S2-IS. For several years the 2500 mAh Energiser rechargeables I was using performed excellently, allowing me to take hundreds of shots between charges. Then all of a sudden, the dreaded 'Change the batteries' message kept appearing on the screen after a few minutes' use -- and this was after the batteries had just been fully charged! What I didn't realise was that my generic 'rapid' charger was in fact pretty dumb, and didn't recognise the capacity effect. Nor could it treat each cell individually, according to its needs.

    Eventually (after much muttering and cursing and switching of batteries) I bought myself an 'intelligent' charger -- the La Crosse BC-700, which was going for $38 from Amazon (with free shipping from the US to Australia!). This clever little device can read each cell individually and make adjustments accordingly whilst going through several charge/discharge cycles to reach peak performance. As an example, here's the initial capacity readings after fully charging the aforementioned Energiser 2500 mAh batteries:

    837, 289, 058, 282.

    At first I didn't comprehend what these readings meant. What was 058 supposed to mean? Then it dawned on me that it meant 58 mAh! And it should have been around 2500 mAh! No wonder the poor camera gave up so easily! Here's the figures after full reconditioning:

    2220, 2230, 2380, 2200. Quite a difference, eh? And the best part is no more 'Change the batteries' messages after 5 minutes usage!

    I can also recommend using Sanyo Eneloop long life rechargeables. These don't self-discharge in the camera anywhere near as much as ordinary rechargeables do, so instead of recharging every month or so, you can leave them for ages (literally years) without using the camera and they'll still be good to go. Eneloops are also available from Amazon.
    Nikon D7000 and a bunch of Nikon stuff oh, and some Canon p&s's too

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