2008-05-22

The Battery Pack

The HF100 is tiny and so is the supplied BP-809 battery pack (7.4V 890mAh Li-ion). The battery is "intelligent" and reports the remaining usage time with an accuracy of one minute to the camcorder. A fully charged battery reports 80 minutes but in real life it's much less.

I took the HF100 with a fully charged battery and a 4GB SDHC card to a trip to Graz. My concern that the card would be too small was unneccessary. I recorded about 100 very short clips over a time span of several hours, didn't review them and closed the LCD between most recordings. Note that closing the LCD turns on a power safe mode. I also completely turned off the camcorder when not in use for a longer period. Mind you I still had recording space for about 15 minutes when the battery was empty. So unless you let the camcorder record continuously the effective output of the standard battery will only be between 15 to 30 minutes of footage since camcorder preparation and framing shots use up a considerable amount of battery time.

Canons marketing people obviously know that you need a second battery so they price this spare part accordingly. Alternatively you can buy the very expensive BP-819 battery pack with more capacity that will protrude from the back. Currently there are no third party Li-ion batteries available but that should be only a matter of time. If you can pass on the "intelligence" cheaper alternatives with their own charger will certainly do.

Update: I ordered a cheap battery plus charger last week from a Hong Kong eBay dealer and will post my experience when it arrives.

The battery gets charged in the camcorder within 155 minutes. That means you can't use it while you are charging. If you use two batteries the camera is occupied twice as long and when the second one is charged the first one no longer is "fresh". An external charger is available as an - again rather over-priced - accessory.

If you connect the camcorder to the supplied compact power adapter you can use it without inserted battery.

A less tall alternative to the BP-809 is called BP-808.

UPDATE: My battery problem is solved!

7 comments:

Gareth said...

In Hong Kong, One gets a "Canon Starter Kit" consisting of a Canon pouch fit for HF100 and a BP-808 for purchase of HF100 as a promotion.

As you can see from the following picture, BP-808 is smaller/thinner than a BP-809.

Wonder if the battery recess for HF10 is indeed shallower than that of HF100.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/2556976779_531d3324de_o.jpg

Martin Koch said...

Thank you for the hint. As you can see here http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HF10-First-Impressions-Camcorder-Review-34262.htm there must be a black and a silver version of the BP-809. The manual is for the HF10 and the HF100 and shows only the BP-809 as supplied accessory on page 11.
The BP-808 seems to be an older model with the same capacity thats not designed to flush fit the HF10/100. I'll update my posting above.

lonerock said...

Did you ever get your battery from Hong Kong? How is it working. I just go this camera and am very disappointed with the battery life.

Martin Koch said...

I ordered it last week, I'm still waiting.

I agree but unless battery technology improves what else can we expect from such a tiny thing.

Martin Koch said...

I'm still waiting for my battery from Hong Kong.

Catalectic said...

First off I want to say that Im really upset that this blog was posted on my birthday and I didnt get to see it on my birthday! :)
I most definitely agree with a lot of people in here, throwing differnet views, different discussions. THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR!
:o)
HP notebook batteries

allgood said...

The battery use?http://www.batterychargershop.co.uk/canon/hf100/camcorder+battery.htm