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Re: The old canon A1
This is definately not a common problem the battery under normal use should last about a year. I beleive what is causeing this is you either have the exposure preview switch or the exposure memory switch turned on causeing the exposure meter to be taking a reading all the time and draining the battery. Those switches are located on the front of the camera to the left of the lens. If this doesn't resolve the issue I would have the camera looked at by an camera repair technician.
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This is not an uncommon error. It results from the lens being restricted during the power up. I have personally had many cameras (Canon, Sony, Nikon and Olympus,) like this that suffered this problem. I could not repair them myself. The cost to have them professionally repaired was most of the cost of a brand new one. For comparison search Ebay and then click on "sold" and you will see the prices people have paid for working used ones. The fix, unfortunately, is to buy a used working model. For this camera they start under $20 for as is and for about $50-460 you can buy one in mint condition. (Yes, you think your stuff is worth more until you see what they really sell for. Yikes!?!) So it makes no sense to pay more for a pro to repair yours when you can buy a used one for less than the repair or a new one. Please, don't shoot the messenger...
I've got the same problem with 2 A 480 canon. I put in NiMH batteries and they work fine. If you put in slightly drained used batteries they work!! Nimh batteries are 1.2 volts and Alkaline are 1.5 volts. There is definitly a problem with this camera. I measured the voltages of brand new batteries 1.51 volts each and they didn't work. I put in some old batteries 1.4 and 1.42 volts and they worked fine.
I have had the same issue. However, it is not draining the batteries, it is telling you the batteries are low even though they are not.
Sorry I don't have an answer though. I have checked batteries after the camera told me they were low/unusable and found them to be fine.
I dont agree, I have tried several different batterie types and the batteries are draining almost instantly with the camera and they are not actually being drained. I think the camera itself is at the end of its life...as I have used rechargeable batteries for the last few years and now they wont even show as being charged on the camera. It stinks Im in your same spot now...no batteries are lasting even the brand new lithium ones...it has nothing to do with the battery "juice" but something with the canon supply power not recognizing/recieving the juice. Im not a canon expert, but I think the problem is more than the battery here Steve and im confused at the solution as well.