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Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
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Old August 16th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #1
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Non-Canon Battery Packs

After sending my recently purchased Optura 60 to the factory service center -- twice -- Canon has apparently voided my warranty, telling me, "certain non-canon li-ion battery packs may not be equipped with protective devices in order to prevent malfunction and damage" to the camcorder. And they claim my using a non-canon battery is what blew the fuse in my camcorder.

I'm using a Lenmar battery, which meets or exceeds manufactor oem specs, so I'm assuming the Canon spiel is nothing but corporate BS. But I wanted to check here, and ask if anyone has had any problems using third party battery packs.

Thanks.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #2
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No problems here. I've been using 3rd party batteries with Canon products for years, and never had any sort of problems with them. I've used the Lenmar, Power 2000, & CTA batteries in the Opturas, GL-2, XL1s, and digital still cameras.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #3
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Kevin, all of the major camcorder manufacturers have that policy, not just Canon. They do that primarily to cover themselves for legal reasons. I read a circular once (don't know that it's available on the public internet) regarding reports of some third-party batteries malfunctioning in a very bad way, causing serious problems ranging from overheated cameras (sent in to service with the battery melted onto the camera) to personal injury and even a fatality in one case. I don't have the references to back this up, but I did read the report on paper (and no it was not a Canon incident).

So despite the fact that Lenmar is one of the most respected third-party battery suppliers -- I've used them myself -- the manufacturers don't bother to differentiate one batt maker from another; they simply impose a blanket void on all of 'em. Not what you wanted to hear, perhaps, but that's what I know.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #4
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After giving this a little thought, I have a slightly different take on this than Chris.

I think that after you carefully read and fully absorb the warranty, you ought to simply send a brief, formal letter to CUSA requiring them to either factually establish exactly how the particular type and brand of battery you used does not meet Canon's spec, or CUSA must honor the warranty.

Here's my rationale:

I don't have an Optura, but both my GL2 and XL2 warranties read almost identically, so I'll bet the Optura warranty is substantially the same. Right after the part -- in bold -- that says Canon may sell the camera with non-Canon peripheral equipment:

Non-Canon brand peripheral equipment and software which may be distributed with Canon DV camcorders are sold "AS IS" without warranty of any kind by CUSA, including any implied warranty..."

is the only part of the warranty that might apply:

"CUSA shall have no responsibility under this limited warranty for use of Canon DV Camcorders in conjunction with incompatible peripheral equipment and incompatible software."

To void the warranty, it is up to Canon to say that Lenmar batteries are incompatible by design with their camcorders, which I'd imagine they would be loathe to do in writing unless they are quite sure because then if I was Lenmar, I'd sue CUSA to either force CUSA to prove the claim or pay Lenmar damages for lost sales.

If this was a strong-arm tactic, hopefully Canon will realize it was a mistake and make good. BUT, if CUSA actually "has the goods" on 3rd party batteries, well, you may not get your warranty service but at least you'll be obtaining previously obscure facts that'll help all of us out in DV land.

There is one other clause to be aware of:

"This limited warranty covers all defects encountered in normal use of the equipment and does not apply in the following cases:
...
C) If defect or damages are caused by the use of unauthorized parts or by service other than our authorized agent;
..."

I'm no lawyer, but personally interpret that clause as relating to CUSA keeping reign on warranty work...pretty standard and reasonable. Don't read it as limiting use of "peripheral devices" which the warranty does not specify explicitly or by reference.

Let us know how things go!
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Old August 18th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin McNerney
After sending my recently purchased Optura 60 to the factory service center -- twice -- Canon has apparently voided my warranty, telling me, "certain non-canon li-ion battery packs may not be equipped with protective devices in order to prevent malfunction and damage" to the camcorder.
Kevin, I read this after reading about the trouble you had with the Optura in another thread and putting the two together I can see where Canon is coming from.

You mentioned that the first time the fixed your camera it had a blown internal fuse. I think that Canon's point is that non-Canon batteries may not have any sort of short-circuit protection (be that a fuse, circuit breaker, etc.) and without this sort of protection too much current can be delivered to the camera, therefore blowing a fuse (or worse). Given the nature of the original repair, I can see how they may have drawn the conclusion that your non-Canon battery wasn't sufficiently protecting your camera.

I think the fact that they repaired the camera reguardless is surprising. I haven't dealt with Canon service (yet) but I can say from experiences with other companies that most of them will simply send your (broken) device back to you if they can find any way to blame the failure on a warranty violation, and many times they'll make you pay for shipping...

I'm not saying that I agree with Canon's policy, but since it exists I can see why you got the response from them that you did. Makes me want to go back and re-read the warranty myself...

To everyone else: is this typical of a manufacturer to prohibit the use of third-party batteries? I know at the "pro" level there are some standards to the capacity and form-factor of camera batteries so I would guess that the manufacturers are more flexible...
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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:13 AM   #6
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I'm wondering if the real lesson here is to be sure that there are no third party accessories attached to your camera if you send it in for repair. I'm assuming that would be the only way Canon could have known what sort of battery you used...
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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
is this typical of a manufacturer to prohibit the use of third-party batteries?
Yes, it is typical of all of them. See my post above.

They can't "prohibit" you from using anything. But they can refuse to service a camera that comes in with a melted third-party battery fused onto the camera body, and they are well within their rights to do so.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 10:46 PM   #8
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The first time it died was with the Lenmar battery. The second time was with the Canon battery shipped with the camcorder. So it doesn't seem that the battery was the problem. Plus they did other repairs on it the second time besides replacing the fuse, without charge, which tells me the whole battery thing is BS, and they're just using it as an excuse to void the warranty from here on out.

And yes, I inadvertantly sent it with the lenmar battery attached the second time, which I didn't mean to do.

I'm going to talk to them about this, I'll let you know what happens.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 04:03 AM   #9
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If you actually were using a Canon battery when your camera failed, you rightfully should be covered...but as Boyd and Chris said, sending it in to Canon with a 3rd party battery attached is probably going to cost you your warranty coverage.

BTW, I just noticed that my camcorder's warranty as posted on the web site is a little different than the one printed in my manual. The warranty supplied with the product when sold -- the printed one in your owner's manual -- is the version that should apply. So make sure to read that, and not necessarily the one online.

And as usual, the inveterate Chris Hurd had the best information. In looking through the owner's manual for one of my cameras (in this case an XL2), there is a caution box in the Optional Accessories section on page 116 that does explicitly discuss the 3rd party battery exclusion. I just checked and the online version (since I don't have an Optura) of the Optura 60 owner's manual has the same disclaimer on page 151. You'd expect that specific exclusions and limitations would be contained within the warranty statement itself or directly referenced therein, but I suppose since the information is contained within the manual, at the end of the day there's not much wiggle room for you as the consumer. Canon is kind of making us play connect-the-dots here, but the disclaimer and warranty terms are printed in the same document, so there's probably no point to the letter I had earlier recommended. My apologies if I gave you more optimism than was, um, warranted in this situation.

In reference to the earlier mention of counterfeit batteries, I don't know how long it will persist before a web site update makes the URL invalid, but CUSA has a page on the subject, which also does mention that they won't honor the warranty for EITHER counterfeit or legit 3rd party batteries:

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/con...&modelid=10350

Do I understand that they did repair your camera without charge anyway, and then voided further warranty? I hope that Canon will allow you to have the balance of your warranty period back, but it doesn't seem too promising. On balance, I'd have to say at this point that Canon treated you pretty fairly. Please do let us know the final outcome.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #10
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Optura 6o Battery??

Uh Oh....
You guys have me wondering.... and worried.
Just purchased a Canon Optura 60.

Also purchased a BP2L12 look-alike battery from cellphoneshop.net, on sale for $19 (list $59).

Am I asking for trouble???
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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:45 PM   #11
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If you're worried about damaging your camcorder, Lenmar, CTA, & Power 2000 are common 3rd party batteries used successfully by many people. Others on the board can vouch for other brands. What's the brand of the battery you bought?

The main gist of this post is, if you send in your Canon camcorder for repair with a 3rd party battery attached, Canon can and will void your warranty.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 04:26 PM   #12
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My battery is a no-name made in china.
Works great.
My assumption is that like regular battery cells, the voltage of a lithium ion battery is defined by the number of cells in the pack. In this case 7.4volts is 7.4 volts. What possible harm could it do to a camera.
But am I missing somethign here? Are there characteristics of a battery that could damage a camera ... like over voltage or whatever?

No I would never send this battery in a camer sent back to Canon
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Old December 1st, 2005, 05:06 PM   #13
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I've used Eagle Imports batteries for two years with my Optura Xi with no problems.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 06:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Seymour
Also purchased a BP2L12 look-alike battery from cellphoneshop.net, on sale for $19 (list $59).
What's the estimated/actual runtime for that battery? I need a bigger capacity battery for my Optura 60.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Seymour
My battery is a no-name made in china.
Works great.
My assumption is that like regular battery cells, the voltage of a lithium ion battery is defined by the number of cells in the pack. In this case 7.4volts is 7.4 volts. What possible harm could it do to a camera.
That is correct. Any 2 cell Li-Ion battery is about 8.4V fully charged, about 6V discharged. The difference between the manufacturers is in quality control, physical construction, and also in protection circuits. The protection circuit protects the cells from being discharged too low (bad for the cells), overcurrent (usually set to 3-5X of nominal current) and overvoltage coming from a defective charger. All of these measures are for the pack protection - both fire and electrical damage. It has nothing to do with the camera, as long as the camera does not have internal damage - short circuit - in which case the battery internal circuit breaker would open.
HTH
Alex
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