Canon S2 IS Change The Batteries Problem

What are the best cheap UK battery chargers for charging rechargeable AA batteries. At the moment I've been trying to get a camera to work that suffers from an annoying problem. The problem can be down to a number of things, and what fixes the issue for some people does not work for others. The camera in question is the Canon Powershot S2 IS, and the fault is known as the "Canon S2 IS change the batteries problem". This is where the camera gives a "change the batteries" message, and won't power up in shoot mode, even though the batteries may be fully charged or just slightly used.


There's definitely a common fault here, as its not normal for batteries to run out so fast or not be compatible with the camera, even though they are known to be compatible. Some say its a problem with the camera, while others claim its the rechargeable batteries that are the issue because they are old and worn out. Either that or the camera is just extremely fussy about what type of batteries it will accept. Truth is, this problem has been talked about exhaustively on the Internet, and nobody so far has been able to provide a 100% fix for everyone.

A few things that have worked for some S2 owners is replacing the CMOS battery (for the time and date settings), resetting the camera, or using non-rechargeable alkaline battery's. I've tried all these things and nothing has worked for me. But some users have reported that changing their brand and or mAh capacity of rechargeable battery's used has fixed the problem for them. So this is where I find myself right now.

Beings as my Canon S2 came complete with Energizer rechargeable batteries and a charger, I am completely unaware of their history / usage. They could be just as old as the camera itself for all I know. And if that is the case, they need replacing. So for me the next step is to buy a new charger + AA batteries (a cheap bundle for around £10) and see if that fixes the issue.


I hope it does because I haven't really used this camera much because the batteries only last for a few shots before the camera gives me the annoying "change the battery pack" error, and this makes me have no confidence in taking it out with me on the road. I did write a mini review on the Canon S2 IS, and the battery's lasted long enough to take some shots, but I noticed the problem on that day all the same.

Shame really because I like this camera, it takes great pictures considering how old it is. The lens, and camera overall, appears to be very good for an older bridge camera. That's why I would rather spend some money trying a possible fix than buying another new / used camera. I think I have enough cameras in my collection already! Funny thing is, the amount I paid for the Canon S2 is less than the charger bundle I have my eye on buying.

I'm most probably getting a UNiROSS charger which comes complete with 4 x 2100 mAh batteries. I could buy Duracell, but the UNiROSS bundle seems to be the best deal, and UNiROSS products have always been pretty good for me over the years. It's like one of those non-mainstream hidden brands that are cheap to buy but usually surprisingly reliable.

Actually I got it wrong! It's ROSS that I'm thinking of, not UNiROSS. Unless they are the same company. The name is similar. And after reading some UNiROSS reviews on Amazon, which are quite a mix of good and bad (more good than bad though), I may still go with UNiROSS to see if they're any good.  I will update this post when I buy the battery's + charger to report whether or not it fixed my Canon S2's battery drain issue.

And here is that update. I ended up buying all Duracell branded products in the end. A Duracell charger and Duracell batteries. The charger came with two 1300mAh AA's, and I bought another 2 that were identical to make up the set. Has this fixed the issue? After using the Canon S2 IS numerous times on these new 1300mAh batteries I can say yes, this has fixed the issue for me. I've took the camera out quite a few times now on fully charged batteries and it has lasted for a full day of taking pictures. That includes turning the camera on and off many times, zooming in and out a lot, and recording video.

It has been working without fault, and the "change the batteries" message has only shown up when the batteries were genuinely close to empty. This was confirmed by me removing the batteries and putting them in an old Walkman (cassette player) and leaving it play until the batteries were totally dead. They didn't last long. So that confirms they were very low when they were taken out of the camera.

The Canon Powershot S2, in my case at least, seems to be very fussy when it comes to batteries. My 2450mAh Energizer's just would not work in this camera for very long, even when fully charged. Put those same batteries in a different device and they generally last a few weeks. A different brand, with a much lower mAh has done the trick for me with the Powershot S2.

The exact charger I bought was the Duracell CEF14. This model usually comes with 2 AA and 2 AAA batteries, but mine only came with 2 AA. It's very cheap for such a good, reliable charger. If you want to try what fixed the problem for me to see if it works in your case, you can find this charger for sale here in the UK - Canada, and here in the USA. I would recommend this charger overall as it has worked really well so far.

And my S2 is now fully functional and shows no "change the batteries" message until its the right time to do so. Fair enough, 1300mAh batteries won't last as long, but for me, as long as I can take the camera out and have a full day (or a good few hours of constant use) of shooting without any silly error messages showing up, that's good enough for me. I can pretty much say this error for me is now marked as - Solved!

Graffiti Dedication Mural Style Piece

Really cute mural style piece in dedication to Tempo's Mom. RIP.  Credit also to Korsa, Reas, Some, Zooki, Klears and a few others I can't make out who's tags look to be part of the piece. I'm glad that I photographed this before it got drawn over so I'm able to preserve it here still looking at its best. Location: Bromford, Birmingham UK. Camera: Samsung WB500 (Popped).



Previous Post: Checking Used DSLR Lenses

Buying / Checking Second Hand Lenses

Buying / Checking Second Hand DSLR Lenses. Buying anything second hand requires a thorough examination to determine whether its worth the purchase or not. Second hand items all have a history, some better than others. You may not have a crystal ball that enables you to see the daily rundown of its past life, but you do have the item itself, and its external condition is a big indicator as far as telling the story of how it has been treated in its earlier life.

This is extremely relevant with most used items, including cameras, and certainly just as important with camera lenses. This is not really a full, in-depth guide, but more of a quick advice post on what to most commonly look out for when buying second hand lenses. A lot of it is down to common sense where lens appearance is concerned.

Of course, the first one just the overall look of the lens. How worn / used does it look? Is there fading, or is it marked up quite badly. Does it have any stand-out marks, such as dents. If so, it more than likely has had quite a lot of use, and could actually be damaged in a way that could affect its image capturing capabilities.


However, while poor external cosmetic condition is generally a bad sign as far as first impressions go, and a good indicator to probably steer clear, with lenses, it does not always translate to the usability of the lens and its potential to still produce great images. Of course there are exceptions, such as dents on the filter thread (in many cases its best to steer clear of lenses with that).

But as long as there is no intermittent fault and the lens glass is in great condition, there's a very good chance that even a battered lens exterior housing can be deceptive in terms of the lens still being able to create superb quality images. I call this a sleeper glass. It looks battered and fit for the bin, but wow, the results are impeccable. So sometimes, if the price is right, it is worth the risk. Check all the vital signs and go with your instinct.

Quick Lens Scratch Test

Look through the lens while its directed at a bright light. As well as dust, if you see marks, such as scratches, depending on how long and deep they are, it would be wise to save your money and buy something else. But, if you look through the lens and see only a few very light marks, depending on what you are going to use the images for, this is still considered as acceptable. And If the price is low, it may be worth the purchase. Any scratches that are too deep will definitely affect the image quality, most the time in more ways than one.

Mould / Fungus

Also be on the lookout for lens mould / fungus. This is brought on by moisture / humidity. Easy to spot, it looks like a clouding / stringy spider-webbing (similar to a southern house spiders web) that will have formed somewhere on the lens. Again, this can affect the picture quality. But thankfully mould / fungus is not a complete deal breaker. It can be cleaned / removed. There are lots of guides and videos online that explain, in some detail, how to remove fungus from a lens. Also be on the lookout for dust.

How Are The Rings

The zoom and focus rings should be easy to turn and have no restrictions. If they are tight, or feel anything but smooth, they will more than likely need to be cleaned and this can be costly. Or, at least costly enough to not be worth the hassle. What is the condition of the rubber on the rings. Does it look like there's plenty of life left in them, or are they in bad shape. If they are in poor condition, this is another repair job that is going to require more money out of your pocket. Unless its a top of the range lens at a real rock bottom bargain price (too good to be true perhaps), it's probably not wise to invest in repairs / restoration when there are similar used lenses out there that can be found fairly cheap and are in near perfect condition.

Auto Focus And Manual Focus

Does the AF / MF option switch between AF and MF like its supposed to, and does this function change to each mode correctly. Bear in mid that some lens do not have an AF / MF switch, but have theirs located on the body of the camera. Some have both.


Are all the screws present, and is the lens connection thread (located at the back) in good clean condition. Is there any obvious defects or damage that will hinder a perfect connection.

Auto Focus Confirmation

For this one you will need to have a camera body at hand. Test the auto focus by targeting different subjects in different locations that vary in size and distance. Is the auto focus precise when trying to laser target on certain subjects. Convinced something is wrong with your lens / camera, or just want to perform some quick tests to see if all is well with the auto focus? Take a look over at photographylife, which has a great article about how to quickly test the auto focus, and explains a little bit about different issues that can arise with auto focus in general, such as Phase Detect alignment and calibration.

Depth Of Field (DOF)

Depth-of-field, or DOF as its called for short, is a little button that's usually located near the lens that's within finger reach when holding the camera in hand. This is mainly used for previewing the background depth of field (deep / short) / focus placement. Although not the most important function in the world for most users, the DOF should be tested, as it still has its uses. On older models it would be the shutter thread that you would need to check to make sure it is working as it should.

What About Buying Online

I've seen a few people asking questions like: How can I check these things out if I buy online, from say eBay or Amazon. All these "checks" can't be done when buying used lenses online. That is true. But my answer would be: Have you ever thought of asking some or all of these questions to the seller before committing to buy? A good seller will happily check a few of the easier to perform checks out for you and report back with the information. In fact, the majority sellers should list at least some of the common, age related flaws in their listing to begin with.


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