So last week I decided to replace my outdated video camera with a spanking new model. Phone cameras are nice for quick clips, but nothing like using the real thing
Anyway, the first thing you need to do when you get a new “anything” is accessorize. My new Canon Vixia HF R30 comes with a teeny “starter” battery (BP-709) that you can’t even buy if you were dumb enough to want one. It’s got a rating of “up to 25 minutes” recording time. They offer the BP-718 and BP-727 as optional add-ons, so I ordered two BP-718s (at $64 a pop) to give me nearly 3 hours of recording time. Along with the batteries it’s absolutely necessary to buy (at $75 discounted) a portable travel charger, as you can’t charge batteries through the camera when you are using it.
As a point of reference, this is what the portable battery charger looked like from my old Canon Elura 70 camcorder. Compact, easy to carry and get’s the job done.
Here is what came in from Amazon yesterday. Yes that is a 6’ long, rather thick line cord plugged in to the side of my new “smart” Canon branded portable battery charger. WTF happened to the two little prongs that are supposed to be sticking out of the back of this thing instead of a cumbersome cord capable of powering a microwave oven or small electric lawn mower. For reference, the charger is rated at 0.59A, and it takes more than 3 hours to charge one of the BP-718 batteries. So don’t be thinking any high powered fast charging here.
Actually, when you look at the charger and line cord together, the cord is bigger than the portable charger.
And when you look at the portable charger w/wire, camera and camera power supply side by side, I think the portable charger w/wire still wins the bet for taking up the most space. Btw, the camera power adapter, which will almost always stay at home, does have a flip out AC plug on the side. Go figure.
Finally, here is the box the portable charger w/wire came in, sitting next to my old Canon portable charger. Could fit at least four of those little guys in that box.
So what was Canon’s motivation to make a $99 (retail) accessory that takes a step back into an earlier century. Here are a few thoughts;
- Consumers prefer having a thick unwieldy cord instead of the compact AC prongs built in
- You are less likely to leave the portable charger behind (and more likely to trip over the wire)
- The charger/cable combination reduces manufacturing costs
- The charger/cable combination reduces shipping costs – from Asia
- Someone had one of the old portable chargers plugged into the wall socket and they were using their Canon camera to record the pyrotechnics display their buddy Homer was shooting off in their living room. Things didn’t turn out well so Canon’s insurer, just to be cautious, decided no more AC prongs.
- The CEO of Canon has a brother-in-law who owns a wire company, and the wife was bitching to him last month about how he was losing so much money because everyone is building stuff “without” friggin’ wires.
I am at a loss. Now, I may have to buy a bigger bag to carry my new camera, because I can’t fit the portable charger w/wire in the bag.
Btw, I could have bought two knock off batteries, plus a portable charger “with AC prongs that flip out” for $24 total. Only one problem. The camera will not charger those dumb batteries, nor will it indicate how much juice is left in them when they are installed in the camera. Not to mention, knock off batteries suck!
Ok, one more picture. I dug out the camera power adapter (haven’t used it in ages) for my nearly 10 year old Elura 70 (left) and compared it with the power cord from my brand new Canon CG-700 portable charger (right).
They look eerily similar. Actually identical. That does it. I’m going with #6 above. Can’t be any other logical explanation.