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How pleased I am to have finally found a digital camera which gives a more than decent battery life. My latest camera, the Canon 300D is a Digital SLR, and uses the Canon BP511 Battery, which is simply outstanding when it comes to juice usage! The battery is also suitable for other equipment, more on that later.
It's all too easy for the manufacturers these days to quote this and that figure when it comes to battery life, when in reality you rarely get half that, tempting you to buy more batteries, and possibly more chargers too. Thankfully Canon's claims on the life of the BP511 are pretty darm spot on.
The BP511 is a Li-ion battery pack. The good thing about Li-ion batteries is that they don't suffer from the "memory effect" that NiCad and NiMH tend to. This means you can charge them whenever you want regardless of whether they are half full or completely empty. It's still not good practise to overcharge though. Li-ion batteries also generally offer longer life than other types of battery, and are less weighty as a bonus. Typically though, they tend to me more pricey - so certainly horses for courses.
To look at, the battery is nothing special. It's a black enclosed plastic unit, not much bigger than two AA's joined together. It's got a flat bottom which is where you'll find the contacts and technical information. The Canon battery is 1100mAh, and 7.4volts - doesn't sound that powerful does it? There's a handy battery cover which sits nicely over the bottom, protecting the contacts when you are not using it. It weighs about 75g.
So how long does it last? Well on my Canon 300D, the manual claims 600 shots without the flash, and 400 with 50% flash use. The number of shots is reduced when using at temperatures of zero degrees or less. I've absolutely no reason to dispute these figures - the battery just goes on and on. Rather than having to carry a spare battery (or 2, 3) with me, for a days shooting - I just take the one that's in the camera. In fact, I can go out 2 or 3 days and shoot heavily without changing the battery. Those 500-600 shots claims are spot on! So with all this shooting power, you'd expect the charging time to be lengthy wouldn't you? Wrong! The standard charge time is just 90 minutes! No more sitting in waiting for batteries to charge, no more overnight charges....
Although I've no proof, it is claimed around 2.5 hours of battery power on a camcorder, still not bad.
The price of a "real" Canon BP511 is around £50, not exactly cheap. A compatible charger, the "Canon Battery Charger CB-5L" will set you back around £40. Alternatives of "compatibles" are available (check ebay), and are considerably cheaper.
The BP511 is compatible with the following digital cameras:
G1, G2, G3, G5, G6, Pro 90, PRO 90 IS
D1, 10D, 20D, 300D/Rebel, D30 D60
and with the following digital camcorders:
X150i, X100i, XIi, X2i, 650i, 630i, 600i, 600, 450, 430i, 400i, 300i, 300, 30
10, 20, 25mc, 30mc, 50MC, 60, 65MC, 70 MC
10, 100MC, 20, 200MC, Pi
To confuse things slightly, the battery may also be referred to as the CANON BP-508, BP-512, BP-522 or BP-535
To conclude - yes there are more exciting things to talk about! Still, I'm impressed with the staying power of these batteries, and would have no hesitation in suggesting them to anyone who has a use for them. 10/10.