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This Canon battery charges BP511 or 512 Li-Ion battery packs and is really quite handy as far as most chargers go. The charger takes about one and a half hours to fully charge a battery cell and holds one cell. But a unique feature about this charger is that it allows you to judge how much the battery has charged rather than just signalling when it has reached 100%. To do this it has a flashing light system that allows you to see how much the battery has charged in stages. When the battery is very low on power the red light will blink once, at 50% it will repeatedly blink twice and at 75% it will blink three times. Depending on how long you need to use the battery for you can stop the charger at different points in the charging cycle. The charger can be used from a 100V to 240V socket so is great for taking on holidays abroad.
Regular dooyoo readers may remember recently I wrote an interesting review of the Canon BP-511. Indeed it was crowned, so must have been absolutely great, as well as interesting, and I thank you all.
Anyway, the next most interesting thing in the Canon accessories range is the CB-5L battery charger, which indeed can charge up the BP-511 / BP-512 Lithium Ion batteries, or any of it's cheaper compatibles.
The best thing about these chargers is the fact that it'll work in any country, as it uses the standard "figure of eight" type power socket, and is capable of anything from a 100 to a 240 volt input. Therefore as long as you have a suitable power cable (usually for any portable radio etc), then you will be able to charge your batteries around the world, without using any conversion plugs. When you buy this unit, you'll get a cable approximately 2 metres in length, suitable for use in the country of purchase.
The charger itself is black in colour, and of a plastic construction. Without measuring it, it's about the size of a packet of cigarettes, perhaps slightly shorter. As for weight, it's a mere 100 grams or so, so won't weigh down your camera bag too much. The top of the charger shows the Canon logo, and model number. There's obviously the place for the battery to slot in, plus a charging indicator. The battery slots in easily, and pops out again without any force. The indicator has several phases, depending on the state of the battery. One flash indicates an almost dead battery, when charging begins, 2 flashes indicates 50% power, three flashes 75%, and a solid light shows that you are fully charged.
Battery chargers on the market do vary with their charge times, some taking 14 hours or more, and others "fast chargers". This is certainly a fast charger, taking only 90 minutes to charge a fully depleted battery. The manual does however suggest leaving the charger on for an additional hour once the charge lamp no longer flashes. I'd prefer an automatic shutoff, but considering the short charge-time, it's not too much of an issue for me. I think the 90 minute charge is great, especially as the BP-511 batteries give an awesome number of shots per charge, meaning you don't worry about charging too often.
This charger can be used for batteries found in the following cameras:
Canon Powershot Series : G1, G2, G3, G5, G6, Pro 90, PRO 90 IS
Canon EOS Series : D1, 10D, 20D, 300D/Rebel, D30 D60
Price for one of these is around the £40 mark, and are widely available on-line or at your nearest Canon stockist. The offical Canon part number is 8478A001AA.
The alternative to this unit is the Canon CA-PS400, which is a compact power adapter/battery charger which is capable of charging two batteries simultaneously, although this is twice the price.