I have had my Powershot S2 for about 1 year. Excellent camera overall. For the first 10 months - battery life (4 energizer rechargeables) was excellent. Hundreds of pics with some reviewing per charge. I have now tried 2 brand new fully charged sets. The battery life is now next to nothing. They last for very few pictures, with or without extensive zooming, pic reviewing, setup changes, etc. Something is wrong....any ideas?
I have the same exact problem. I just now read a possible solution: try opening the battery compartment door and then closing it again to "trick" the camera into thinking it just got new batteries. There is definitely something wrong with the way the camera senses dead batteries.
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There appears to be an issue with the S2 IS after two years. See the reviews on Canon's website: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&tabact=DownloadDetailTabAct&fcategoryid=322&modelid=11368#ModelDetailAct
If yours is two years old then you are probably out-of-luck. It would probably cost more to repair than to simply replace. You can at least save your photos by removing the memory card and reading the files using a memory card reader on a PC or MAC.
Sounds like you need to call Canon. I use Energizer e2 batteries and take 700 pictures and several videos during a show I attend and still have battery life. Even with normal batteries you should be able to take several hundred pictures. Are you still under warranty?