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Thread: Canon BP-511 battery life

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    Canon BP-511 battery life

    OK folks, you can see from my signature line that I have three Canon cameras. They all take the BP-511 battery.

    Because I have swapped them around from time to time, and I foolishly did not mark which one originally came with which, I do not know how old they are. One of them now appears to run down very quickly, so I will discard it. Any way to tell the age of them?

    I recharge them using the Canon supplied recharger.

    How long a life (in years) do you people out there usually get from these batteries? One of them (from the G5) is probably 6 years old.

    If I leave the camera with the ON/OFF switch in the ON position, would it run the battery down?


    Brendan
    Canon 6D
    Canon 40D
    16-35 L 2.8 11 USM
    24-105 L IS USM
    70-200 2.8 L IS USM 11

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    I had one die on me, very preamturely as i have only taken 5000 odd photos when it died.
    I don't know if it was the origional or the spare i bought, but both were purchased at the same time and would have received equal usage. The most obvious thing when it seemed to die was that when you put it on the charger, it would seem to charge up way too quick. Put in in the camera, and it would have a very short life.
    I imagine the cells in it must have died. Quite annoying for a $100 battery to die for no apparent reason.

    I recently sold my 40D, but wanted to keep the replacement spare battery just in case, and i was able to work out which was the new one because for one it had fewer marks/scratches on it, but also, as the plastic was newer, it was a darker grey.
    But there could be slight differences in colours from batch to batch, so using the colour of the plastic to determine age may not be accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    I had one die on me, very preamturely as i have only taken 5000 odd photos when it died.
    I don't know if it was the origional or the spare i bought, but both were purchased at the same time and would have received equal usage. The most obvious thing when it seemed to die was that when you put it on the charger, it would seem to charge up way too quick. Put in in the camera, and it would have a very short life.
    I imagine the cells in it must have died. Quite annoying for a $100 battery to die for no apparent reason.
    That's exactly what one of mine is doing. Charge quick, die young!

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    Don't bother getting the genuine Canon ones - period. Get something aftermarket (but still brand name) like Lenmar or Inca. I think the standard Canon ones are 1300 mah and the aftermarket ones are generally 1500 mah so you'll also get more shots per charge. The best quote i've ever read: Canon don't MAKE batteries, they get them made and put their sticker on them. It's just a couple of rechargeable cells in a plastic box, after all.

    Oh, and they're a LOT cheaper. Btw, surprised the G5 doesn't take a BP-508. Same battery but possibly less mAh from memory.
    Canon stuff 5Dmk1 w/ 24-70 f2.8L, Canon 5Dmk1 w/70-200f2.8L, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.4, 580exII
    Alienbees B800, Lumopro 160, Manfrotto 155XPROB w/ 498RC2, Lowepro ProRunner X450AW
    Phew!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZedEx View Post
    Don't bother getting the genuine Canon ones - period. Get something aftermarket (but still brand name) like Lenmar or Inca. I think the standard Canon ones are 1300 mah and the aftermarket ones are generally 1500 mah so you'll also get more shots per charge. The best quote i've ever read: Canon don't MAKE batteries, they get them made and put their sticker on them. It's just a couple of rechargeable cells in a plastic box, after all.

    Oh, and they're a LOT cheaper. Btw, surprised the G5 doesn't take a BP-508. Same battery but possibly less mAh from memory.
    fair call, usually i would try stay genuine for quality reasons, but if the genuine ones are failing, then that throws that reason out the door

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    For most things, genuine is a good idea. But if you get batteries from a respectable seller like inca then you'll be right. They really are just two cells inside a plastic case Plus, they're usually less than half the price of genuine too. Canon ones can and will fail, just like any rechareable battery. They all have a finite lifespan. Canon chargers in particular are prone to failure, i've lost my bp-511a charger and now use a universal one and I have witnessed several others through the shop that have died as well (sorry for going offtopic )


    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    fair call, usually i would try stay genuine for quality reasons, but if the genuine ones are failing, then that throws that reason out the door

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    The 40D is much harder on batteries than the 20D so you might find that a mediocre battery will fail quickly in the 40D but last ages in the 20D.

    The 20D batt is a BP-511 and is 7.2v whilst the 40D is a BP-511A and it's 7.4v. I'm guessing that the 20D draws less current but I've never actually measured it.

    I only buy after market batteries these days.

    Or you could do this;

    Adapted (old) BP-511 battery. I just removed the guts and soldered a couple of wires into it.


    Once you've got a dummy battery and a socket on it then you can really play with various sources of power. I must admit I'm not a fan of lugging around a large battery but some times it's the only way.




    I tried a set of NiMH batts (6 of them to make about 7.2 volts) and it worked fine on a 20D and 40D but showed low voltage on the 40D. This is a really cheap option, everyone has rechargeable batteries. I haven't really tested to see how long it lasts but it seems to last longer than the standard BP5-11 so it seems like a workable option. You could use C or D cells for more power.


    By the way, has anyone noticed that the bottom of the 20 and 40D (probably the rest of the Canons that use the same batt too) specify 8.1 Volts DC, not 7.2 or 7.4 as specified on the BP-511's?


    JJ

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