Canon S5 IS just won't start up

Started Mar 13, 2013 | Questions thread
glenncombs Senior Member • Posts: 2,098
Re: Canon S5 IS just won't start up


We may not have the answer to your S5 startup problem, but, we'll give it our complete attention. I have the S2. It was notorious for "Change the Battery" problems, like no other Canon. Hundreds of ideas were dreamed up, in an incredible number of separate posts on the subject. There are the obvious things, but it is probably none of that. (But, could be, so we'll list them for you anyway)

Could be the batteries, and not the camera. The most basic thing that pretty much resolved the S2 power problems, was the development of better batteries. (Eneloop batteries in particular) If you're not using those, or the equivalent Hybrid NiMH types that can produce about 1.5 volts when fully charged, then buy some and try them. Give them a good charge, using a smart charger, if you have one. (Or get one; they're not terribly expensive these days)

It's probably not the polarity issue brought up by others; but, do check to make sure that the batteries are in the camera correctly. That would prevent it from working, for sure, even with good batteries.

Clean the ends of the batteries, with a little abrasive cloth. Check their no load voltage, which should be close to 1.5 volts for really good batteries that would normally work well with the S series Canon camera models. (S1, S2...S5) If the voltage is not there, then the batteries are perhaps not fully charged, or one or more of them is defective. The smart charger's can determine batteries that are bad or defective.

A cheap good solution is to get a set of (throw away) Lithium batteries. These are not the rechargeable type, but do have high capacity and normally 1.5 volts at no load on a volt meter. The camera should work fine with these batteries, and should last for weeks of photography, until the batteries exhaust. (At that point, it's disposal time for these non rechargeable type batteries. This would conclusively prove whether the camera is in fact defective. If it will not operate normally with straight Lithium batteries (inserted properly, and in new condition), then the camera has a defect; possibly a short, or a defective electronic component, or problem with motor drives failing and drawing too much power for the camera to start up, etc.

These simple tests should allow you to draw a conclusion about whether the camera is defective. Oh, by the way, my S2 in mint condition still works perfectly today, on Eneloops. So, the S series cameras can last a long time.


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Alexander...our wild child
Canon S2, SD880, SD4000, G1 X

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