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Erroneous Low Battery Indication on Canon Powershot A560

by brewdude / October 24, 2007 9:46 AM PDT

Has anyone experienced an erroneous "low Battery" indication with their Powershot A560? I have a new A560 purchased two months ago and am having a recurring problem with this. I have tried multiple brands of batteries and have tested the batteries with a multi-meter to verify the condition of the batteries. Sometimes the "low battery" indication will go off if the camera is restarted, and sometimes it will not. whether the batteries are re-chargeable or not does not seem to make a difference. Would like to be able to correct this myself, rather than sending it to Canon for warranty work.

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I'd call it in.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 24, 2007 9:54 AM PDT

Canon might have new camera firmware but as the infamous label reads "no user serviceable..." I think there is not much the average owner can do here. I'm an electronics designer and could think about cracking it open to add a capacitor to some spot but how many would do that?


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You may be able to....
by Papa Echo / October 24, 2007 11:48 AM PDT

...correct the problem yourself, but you lose the warranty. Who knows what problems will come by next ?

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Same problem
by stickmann100 / December 25, 2007 11:59 AM PST

I just bought the A560 to use when I don't feel like lugging my EOS 30D and all my lenses around and have seen the flashing red battery indicator twice shortly after recharging and replacing the batteries. Today, Christmas Day, the indicator went on after about 10 shots. When I got home, I turned the camera on and no low battery indicator.
If you have found an answer to this problem, please let me know!!! Thanks and Merry Xmas................Bob

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same problem here
by UN65 / December 29, 2007 9:12 AM PST


I have bought a Canon A560 camera here in Germany and have the same Problem here. I have tested 3 different brands of NiMH batteries - always the same Problem. After some shots the other day when I switch on the camera the battery indicator lights up Sad
I went back to the store where I have bought the camera but they told me that it must be sent back to Canon for repair...

I just found the following site which is quite interesting:
You can download an aditional "firmware" which can be loaded non-permanent and offers lots and lots of new features. I just tried it out - looks fantastic! Beside a realtime battery indicator you can show the percentage battery level or battery voltage. Aditionally you get multiple new functions like live histogram, zebra mode for overexposure, RAW mode, clock display and many more. TRY IT OUT!!!

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by stickmann100 / December 30, 2007 11:15 AM PST
In reply to: same problem here

Thanks for the URL. I love that little camera, but not knowing the real battery life is crazy. I bought the camera so when I went into the water(I'm an avid, year 'round fly fisherman)i wouldn't have to risk falling in with my EOS 30D and $2000.00 worth of lenses on my back. The A560 fits nicely in my vest pocket!! I will try that website and see what happens. Thanks again for taking the time to write back!!!.............Bob

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / December 30, 2007 11:49 AM PST
In reply to: thanks!!

If you do try that solution, would you please give us a report.
It sounds interesting but a bit complex.
I would like to hear your experience.


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by stickmann100 / December 30, 2007 9:01 PM PST
In reply to: Stickmann

My thoughts exactly! I'm going to re-read the instructions six or eight more times and then decide. I will definitely report on the outcome......stickmann

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Similar problem with Canon PowerShot A610
by Bkess / August 21, 2008 9:00 AM PDT

I have a 2-year-old Canon A610 digital camera that I use with Energizer NiMH 2500 mHa batteries and their ?slow? (15 hour) Compact Charger. I keep track of battery usage so know that up until a few months ago I was getting between 260 and 350 images (3-4 months) per charge. Then suddenly that has dropped significantly. Since April I?ve had to recharge almost monthly, getting only 149, then 61, and 103 images the last 3 times.

Not knowing if the problem is the camera, the batteries, or the charger I put in a set of Eveready ?Heavy Duty? (inexpensive) alkalines. After only about 20 shots the camera started giving low battery warnings that go away after the camera is turned off and then back on again - but then return after a few more shots. I removed the batteries and checked them with a digital voltmeter and a LCD battery checker - both say the batteries are good. I don?t have another camera or other suitable device to check them in but believe the meter and tester results are valid. I?ve now installed another, ?Extra Heavy Duty, set of alkalines to see if I get similar results.

But I now feel pretty sure the problem will be with the camera?s battery power monitoring hardware or firmware. I see in this thread that some have considered reloading firmware, but no indication whether it was actually ever done, and if so how and with what success/problems. As others have said, factory service is expensive -as well as slow. I had to put the camera in for warranty repairs last year to replace a defective CCD and it took almost 5 weeks!

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Same problem with Canon Powershot A710IS
by surfun / September 9, 2008 10:23 AM PDT

Has worked great for about one year using rechargeables or regular alkaline, hundreds of photos before recharging. Suddenly, I only get about 10-15 photos, or worse. It doesn't matter if I use rechargeables or brand new (sealed package, different brands) alkalines.

Sometimes I place new batteries in, and still see the low battery warning. Testing the batteries shows full voltage. Sometimes just opening the battery case seems to fix the problem, at least for a while.

I plan to call Canon, but something is wrong here.

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A Theory
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / September 10, 2008 12:14 PM PDT

Along with the problems described in this thread, there have been situations where people say that an apparent battery problem will go away if you open and close the battery compartment several times.

After much thought and lots of input from various types and brands of cameras I feel this theory has merit.

Since digital cameras draw a high current, if a battery contact is dirty or oxidized it can cause the symptoms described by the various people in this thread.

Try this:

Remove the batteries from the camera.

Take a new wooden pencil with an eraser.
New is important since you need an eraser that is perfectly flat on top.

Insert the eraser of the pencil into the battery holder and rotate the pencil to clean the metal contact at the bottom of the holder.
Then use the eraser to clean the other battery contacts that are on the lid of the battery holder.

While you are at it, clean both ends of each battery.

Let me know if this does/does-not solve your problem.



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No luck cleaning the contacts
by surfun / September 14, 2008 8:23 AM PDT
In reply to: A Theory

Thanks for your post. I've tried cleaning all the contacts with a clean eraser, but that does not seem to help. I'm now going to move on to the "toothpick trick", which I've read about in various forums. I think the idea here is to make sure that the contacts have a greater chance of touching the batteries. We'll see how that works, and I'll post my findings here.

Again, it's really unfortunate that Canon is not acknowledging this problem despite the fact that so many people are reporting the same issue on a variety of cameras with a similar battery door in various forums.

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Try the toothpick trick
by surfun / October 26, 2008 9:18 AM PDT

I've tried the "toothpick trick" as described in other forums, and it seems to be working. There is a belief that there is a design flaw with the battery compartment door, or the springs that press against the battery. By wedging a toothpick under the battery contacts, it seems to force the contacts into the battery, seemingly helping with the problem that many are facing in this and other forums.

Since applying the toothpicks to my Canon, I've not seen the low battery indicator, regardless of the type of battery I am using.

Really a shame that Canon will not acknowledge this flaw and help their users. When I called Canon they said they know of no such issues, but judging by the number of users in this and other forums, it is quite hard to believe that they have not heard. Perhaps we're not complaining loud enough!


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It seems working after I tried the toothpick trick
by HHHEileen / January 5, 2009 6:49 AM PST

I brought my A530 2 years ago & It produced excellent pictures!
But about 1/2 year ago, it started giving me the "low battery" signal all the time! I brought 3 sets of recharger, couple sets of 2700mA rechargeable batteries from Japan & ... never worked!
After I saw this "toothpick trick". I inserted trimmed-to-thin-slice toothpick under the 2 battery' metal contacts on the lid & the problem fixed! Thank you!

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by autumnisnt / January 30, 2009 6:04 AM PST

I've been reading everywhere about the toothpick trick, but I haven't been able to find actual information about how to do it. Could someone please send me the link?
I've been googling and gooling!

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Possible fix for battery contacts
by ghartma2 / January 30, 2009 9:56 PM PST
In reply to: Help!

I did some research on this and this suggestion from another user might be easier than the toothpick idea. I could not find any pictures but I think the explaination is fairly easily stated.
I can tell you that I have contacted Canon customer service and have gotten my AS570 IS replaced along with my fiance who has the same camera. The new AS590 they gave us seems to work fine - the alkaline batteries that came with the camera lasted about 3 weeks!
I hope this helps you fix your problem, but don't be afraid to contact Canon and complain loudly! You know that a bad customer will tell many people about their bad experiences and Canon will loose business so its only in their best interest to make you a happy customer.

Here is the suggestion:

I expected the battery compartment cover and I believe the design of the metal electrical contacts is flawed. These acontacts re made of springy metal, but there isn't enough force to press the metal securely against the battery. Even worse, the end of each contact has a metal tab that prevents it from being bent further out to increase the tension. I believe these contacts are the cause of the low-battery warning.

I fixed my camera by inserting tiny pieces of plastic foam (i.e., spongy, like from "foam rubber" pillows) under the metal contacts. I used a small screwdriver to gently bend up each metal strip, and stuffed a small piece of foam under it. This provides enough force to keep the contact securely touching the battery. Since I made this fix, I have power-cycled the camera at least two dozen times, and never once did the low-battery warning come on. In other words, I believe the problem is fixed.

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Bad electrical contacts seem to indeed be the problem
by mikado-141 / March 6, 2009 3:38 AM PST

I have had this 'low battery' alarm issue on my 570IS, and seem to have fixed it by inserting some thin cardbox under the electrical contacts of the battery cover (a variant of the now famous toothstick trick!)
Thank you for all the participants of this forum!



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Canon Fix for false Low Battery Warning?
by w4epi / March 7, 2009 11:21 AM PST

Has anyone successfully gotten Canon to fix the low battery warning in a Powershot camera? If so, what was the cost? If it is more than about 50US, it is hardly worth it. I had been looking at the Rebel XTi and XS as a step up, but after this experience, I'm not so sure about Canon anymore. Feedback appreciated.

Steve Diggs, W4EPI

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Low Battery warning - Canon gave me new camera
by ghartma2 / March 8, 2009 1:21 AM PST

I got a new 590IS (replaced my 570 IS) after talking with Canon customer service and them realizing that I had sent my camera in 3 times the previous year for complaints. I did this under the 1 year warranty time but had contacted customer service after the 1 year time expired. I also got them to replace my fiance's 570IS that was experiencing the same issue.
The 590IS ran over 3 weeks on the first set of Alkaline batteries they sent with the camera. I have since been using Canon NiMH batteries I got from them during one of the service repairs. They don't seem to last the same 3 weeks but I'm still experimenting to see if this is a contact issue or a battery life issue.
When I had checked the battery voltage on the 570IS it seemed to be about 1.37 volts but all I can think is that Canon has some minimum level that is probably set too high in the software within the camera that trips the low battery warning. Something is monitoring the batteries (either voltage or current draw).

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Toothpick Trick Details
by w4epi / February 24, 2009 1:05 PM PST
In reply to: Help!

To my surprise, the toothpick trick worked on my A530. All of a sudden I started getting a "Change the batteries" message recently, when I knew the batteries were fully charged.
Here is how I did the toothpick trick: I found a flat, rectangular toothpick in the box. It was different that most, in that it wasn't square. That made it thinner to start out with. After several tries, I found I had to split it with my Exacto knife and make it thinner yet. I cut off a piece about 1/8 inch long and split that into two thinner pieces. Next I found the two lever type metal areas under the battery door that each make contact with a battery. Using a hemostat (very, very small pliers would work) I forced the toothpick piece under each lever. This acts as a shim to force the lever outward from the battery door bottom. Keep in mind that you have to shim both levers, not just one. I put my two good NiMH batteries back in, closed the door, and problem fixed! Now for the interesting part...
Just for grins, I put new two alkaline batteries I had in the A530, and the problem returns! I check the alkaline batteries next to the NiMH batteries standing up on a level surface, and sure enough the alkaline is 3/32 inches shorter. So the problem is a combination of things: the battery contact lever on the underside of the door is getting compressed over time and is not recovering, plus some AA batteries are shorter than others. There has to be a more elegant solution to the problem, but it definitely works.

Steve Diggs, W4EPI

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Canon A560 Battery Problem Fix - Toothpick > Works Perfect
by Twas2k / February 9, 2010 2:18 AM PST
In reply to: Help!

I bought a A560 off Ebay and tried every kind of battery you can imagine. I was lucky if I could even take one picture before it would shut off because low battery. Frigging joke actually.
So, I saw here on CNET people talking about the tooth pick trick. I didn't find it anywhere on the WEB, so with my years in the electronic business decided that it couldn't be to difficult.
I just took one round toothpick and shaved it down on both sides to make it flat and very thin, then inserted it directly under the battery contact under the battery compartment lid. I will rephrase that. When you open the battery compartment the lid has two contacts that connect the negative and positive side of the two batteries you see. You will notice if you touch them they move very easily. The metal doesn't have enough spring to it, so by placing a very small piece of a toothpick under each contact, it provides a much more better contact. Yes, it sounds stupid, but it works.
I'm going to post pictures of what I did for others to see here at:
The pictures are self explanatory less the two toothpick photos.
The first is shot from above picture of the end of the toothpick after slimming it down with a sharp knife. Doesn't do it justice actually. The second picture I rotated the toothpick so you can see how skinny I made it. The other pictures will show you where to insert the toothpick and how long to cut them.
All in all this takes 10 minutes and works great.
BTW, don't make the toothpick to thick and force it in place. If you do the compartment lid won't close correctly. If you get it just right, they will stay in place and the lid will close if you apply a little down pressure on it while closing.

Hope this helps!!

Low and behold it work

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Broken link -- but battery contacts are the problem!
by jaloadly / August 9, 2010 2:38 AM PDT

Hey your link is broken -- the pictures would be useful.

But I did try the toothpick sliver. Couldn't get it to work (too fat? Slice or squish to get it tiny.) But the contacts got raised. Changed batteries -- works now.

The SIZE (length) of the batteries also affects it apparently (contact problem again).

This DROVE ME CRAZY. I have a A560 that worked fine for a couple years and then started eating batteries like a guy watching football with a bag of M&Ms.

Love the internets. Thanks all.

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by Andrey_Tru / October 11, 2009 9:30 AM PDT

Hello! I live in Russia and what I did for a few last months it was fighting with Canon Power Shot A 610 camera(disassemble-clean-assemble and so on). It was long and hurd straggle, but it seemed to be over.. I assembled it, and when this Low Battery Problem came...I thought my mind would be destroyed, but I already had a strenght to proseed 'till the end... So, iI found nothing about this problem on our sites, and whan went to English-and found this theme. Now, about a decigion - I simply turned up these little metal teeth on "-" contacts on the battery cover!!(Using a little screwdriver).The matter is-the battery cant reach the "-" contacts! It is not Firmware problem or somethin'!! It is as simle as possible! Try it! Please tell everyone who needs!

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Canon powershot A560 low battery
by Radxray / December 10, 2009 5:12 AM PST

My daughters Canon PowerShot A560 had the same problem, displaying low battery even thought i checked and confirmed that the batteries were in good condition. Instead of using the tooth pick trick i read about in other postings, I actually pulled out the supporting legs of the battery contacts that are on the battery door. For each battery contact one end is part of a one piece metal plate and the opposite end is floating. I gently pulled the floating end of the contact/legs out of their original location using my finger nail. The floating legs then rest on top of the plate creating a protruding surface. Once i did that the contacts put more pressure on the batteries when closing the lid. Basically same concept as using the toothpick trick, minus the toothpick. Hope this helps

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Toothpick trick works!
by javaqueen / February 18, 2011 2:21 AM PST

I slid the tookpick underneath the battery contacts and they lifted immediately. I thought I broke the arm, they now will not go back down BUT.......the battery indicator has not come back and the power stays on.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It's been two years since we have used the Powershot A560 because of the low battery problem.

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Canon Powershot A570
by mtaragin / October 25, 2008 7:12 PM PDT

Yes we have this problem.
What can be done?

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Canon Powershot A610 battery problems
by Bkess / October 29, 2008 2:00 PM PDT

My low battery problems are on an A610 that uses four AA batteries while most of this thread refers to the A560/570 that only use two batteries, so the design of the battery compartment and its hinged lid is much different. However, I think the cause put forth, namely the lid design, is the cause of my problems too.
So for those people with A6xx models (four batteries) here?s what I?ve found:

1. The contacts down inside the camera body look good ? they are large, sturdy and ?springy? and appear to make excellent contact with the battery ends. But the same can?t be said for the contacts inside the lid. See the following photo link and my conclusions below:

2. The metal and plastic contact plate(s) attached to the inside of the lid initially looks fairly substantial but closer examination reveals that the actual points of electrical contact to the batteries are very, very small ? only a single small nipple to contact the positive battery terminal and two very small prongs to contact the negative battery terminal. So cleaning them is especially important and also has to be done with deliberate attention to the small nipple and prongs. I?ve now cleaned them all again, with great care, using a pencil eraser and then swabbing them with 99% isopropyl alcohol.

3. Furthermore, these small nipples and prongs are situated adjacent to raised plastic ?guides? that I guess are intended to guide the cover onto the battery ends. However, if the nipples and prongs don't protrude slightly above the height of the plastic guides the guides may contact the battery first, creating a false limit and preventing good contact. This is especially likely for the 2 prongs that contact the negative battery terminals, as on my camera they seem to be virtually flush with the round plastic guide between them. I suspect this is due to prolonged compression when the lid is closed resulting in metal fatigue that causes the prongs to flatten down ? and not protrude above the plastic guide. This can also explain why the problem did not show up until the camera was about a year old, and why the problem gets worse as time passes.
I?ve considered Surfin?s suggestion to use a toothpick as a shim but can?t see how/where one could be placed in an A6xx model. Nor can I see how a shim would help as the metal prongs and plastic guides are securely connected to each other, so any sort of shim will lift equally, thus not changing the relative elevation of the metal prongs.
What I have done instead is to gently (VERY gently!) pry the offending prongs back up a little bit so they appear to be higher than the round plastic guide between them.

I won?t know for a while if these steps help as I?ve only just installed a recharged set of batteries, but I should know in a couple of weeks (if I get past my recent average of 40-50 shots). I?ll post another entry as soon as I can determine if I?ve been successful.

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Problem not fixed
by Bkess / November 13, 2008 5:21 AM PST

Sorry to have to say that my ?solution? didn?t work! After only 28 days/37 photos the batteries are totally flat. Think I?ll just resort to having 2 sets of batteries, one set in camera and the other always charged up and ready for use. Not really a satisfactory answer, but authorized repair is too expensive and may not find/fix the problem in any case. A newer model Canon doesn?t seem to be the answer either, as I note similar complaints about them here as well as on

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There's part of the problem
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / November 13, 2008 1:32 PM PST
In reply to: Problem not fixed

Rechargeable batteries lose, at least, 1% of their charge per day. The time you have the LCD on makes a difference too. How much was the LCD on when you took those shots during that time. I charge my batteries for my point and shoot each time before I go out. I don't expect them to be very potent after a week or two.

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Thanks for your advice
by Bkess / November 14, 2008 9:31 AM PST

Thanks for your advice Kalel33. I am a very careful user of camera batteries! I take almost all of my photos using the viewfinder and keep the LCD closed/off except for a few seconds to quickly view images I?ve just taken. I take most of my photos outdoors so seldom use flash, and I never leave the camera on after I?ve taken photos. I also use a 15 hour/slow charger, supposedly safer than quick chargers; and always fully exhaust the batteries before recharging ? a holdover precaution from the days of NiCad batteries.

I have also kept very accurate records of my battery usage so can say with full confidence that my set of rechargeable Energizer 2500mha NiMH?s started out by taking 419 images over 5+ months before needing to be recharged. The next recharge cycle was 304 images/5+ months, then 283 images/3+ months, then 261 images/3 months, then 279 images/47days, then 149 images/47 days, then 61/54, then 103/35, then 47/32 and finally, 37/28.

From this you can plainly see that the number of images and duration times between recharges was great to start with, but steadily decreased, first gradually and then very quickly. From 419 images over more than 5 months to just 37 images in less than a month now!

Of course the batteries, the charger, or the camera could be the cause of this deterioration, so I first tried a brand new set of Eveready SHD alkalines. They lasted for only 61 images and 23 days, proving to me that the problem must be the camera. But ever hopeful, I?m now trying a brand new set of rechargables. We shall see?

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Low Battery problem solved!
by Bkess / December 10, 2008 10:34 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your advice

Well, for anyone still interested in this matter I am happy to say I was WRONG! I had reached the conclusion that the camera was at fault because it had also failed with 2 sets of alkaline batteries. But the new set of rechargables I installed on 13 November has proved that the low battery problem was not a camera problem! They have now been in the camera for a month and produced 325 images - so far ? and still no low battery warning. During this same period the original set of rechargables was sitting, recharged and uninstalled, in my desk drawer. When I checked them this morning 3 of the 4 were still reading about 1.3 volts but the 4th one had dropped all the way down to 1.0 volts. I charged them up again and all retuned to about 1.4 volts but I?m pretty sure the 4th one will discharge itself again. So the problem has turned out to be just one defective/leaky battery! I sure am glad I didn?t send the camera in for factory service!!

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