PW

Which battery does the Canon SX280 take?

The Canon Powershot SX280 HS is a digital compact camera that features a 12MP sensor. It is powered by the Canon NB-6L, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. Lithium-Ion batteries offer a high energy density and low self-discharge, and are nowadays found in many portable electronic devices.

Battery Pack

The NB-6L operates at a voltage of 3.7V and has a capacity of 1000mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Canon CB-2LY charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 38mm in width, 5mm in height, and 35mm in depth. It weighs 18g. The NB-6L has been on the market since August 2009 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $60. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Canon Powershot SX280 HS can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

What is the difference between the NB-6L and the NB-6LH?

The Canon NB-6L was replaced as a battery pack for digital cameras by the NB-6LH. Both types operate at a similar voltage and are fully interchangeable, so that the NB-6LH can also be used with the Canon SX280 . The main difference between the two packs is their capacity. The NB-6L has a 6 percent lower mAh value (1000 vs 1060 mAh) and, hence, somewhat weaker performance (6 percent fewer shots per battery charge) than the NB-6LH.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged NB-6L?

The number of shots that one can get out of a battery pack depends heavily on the style and imaging practice of the photographer. For example, the extended use of the LCD screen for framing or reviewing will result in reduced battery performance.

NB-6L

The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has established guidelines (click here to download the pdf-document) that manufacturers are supposed to respect when reporting the battery life of their cameras. According to this CIPA-rating, the Canon SX280 can take 210 images on a single charge. Given the relatively demanding energy usage of the CIPA procedures, this rated number should be achievable or be surpassed in most practical situations. However, if the environment is cold, the LCD screen is used heavily, or the camera is turned on and off frequently, battery mileage might drop below the rating. Also, as the battery pack ages, its performance will tend to deteriorate.

 

What about generic battery packs?

Canon sells the original NB-6L pack at quite a steep price. This premium pricing strategy has left room in the market for third party suppliers to offer fully compatible battery packs at much lower prices. Savings from buying generic replacement batteries can amount up to 70 percent of the price of the genuine battery pack.

Canon NB-6L Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility: Canon SX280 & other selected Canon cameras
Voltage: 3.7V DC
Capacity: 1000mAh or 210 shots (CIPA) with the Canon SX280
Dimensions (W x H x D): 38 x 5 x 35mm
Weight: 18g

Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced NB-6L replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on eBay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Canon SX280 . So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine NB-6L, which can perhaps be summarized as "peace of mind".

  • Assurance that the warranty of the camera will not be rendered void if a battery-related failure occurs;
  • Assurance that the battery pack will indeed have the stated capacity;
  • Assurance that the battery will have low self-discharge rates and, thus, will hold its charge even when not in use;
  • Assurance that the power unit will not trigger any warning messages on the camera and can be effectively charged with the standard charger;
  • Assurance that the manufacturing process has respected the safety guidelines for Lithium-Ion batteries;
 

If you can live without these assurances, then you are in for some nice savings from buying generic replacements for the NB-6L. Unfortunately, the market for generic battery packs is rather fluid, with new trade names popping up regularly while others disappear. Hence it is difficult to keep track of all the suppliers and the quality of their products. That said, in North America, battery packs from Wasabi have gained a good reputation, while in Europe, replacement power packs from Patona have received many favorable reviews. In any case, the existing comparisons tend to find that the cheapest of the generic replacement packs score worse in terms of achieving their rated capacity, holding their charge over time, or allowing for a large number of charge-discharge cycles than somewhat pricier battery packs (or the genuine Canon offer). Thus, the old adage, "If the price sounds too low to be true, it probably is" has some merit with respect to camera batteries also. You can check the current offers and prices for the original NB-6L and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

Which other cameras use the Canon NB-6L or the NB-6LH?

The Canon SX280 is not alone in using the NB-6L or the NB-6LH. Several other cameras from Canon are powered by the same type of lithium-ion pack. The adjacent table lists some of them along with a selection of their headline specifications.

Cameras using the NB-6L or the NB-6LH
Camera
Model
Battery
(name)
Battery life
(CIPA)
Sensor Size
(type)
Resolution
(MP)
Weight
(g)
Camera Launch
(announcement)
Launch Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon IXUS 85 NB-6L 300 1/2.3 10.0 170 Aug 2008 229- i Canon IXUS 85
Canon IXUS 95 NB-6L 260 1/2.3 10.0 260 Feb 2009 229- i Canon IXUS 95
Canon IXUS 105 NB-6L 240 1/2.3 12.0 140 Feb 2010 179- i Canon IXUS 105
Canon IXUS 200 NB-6L 240 1/2.3 12.0 150 Aug 2009 329- i Canon IXUS 200
Canon IXUS 210 NB-6L 220 1/2.3 14.0 160 Feb 2010 329- i Canon IXUS 210
Canon IXUS 300 NB-6L 250 1/2.3 10.0 175 May 2010 349- i Canon IXUS 300
Canon S90 NB-6L 220 1/2.3 10.0 195 Aug 2009 429- i Canon S90
Canon S95 NB-6L 200 1/2.3 10.0 195 Aug 2010 399- i Canon S95
Canon S120 NB-6LH 230 1/2.3 12.0 217 Aug 2013 449- i Canon S120
Canon SD770 NB-6L 300 1/2.3 10.0 170 Aug 2008 229- i Canon SD770
Canon SD980 NB-6L 240 1/2.3 12.0 150 Aug 2009 329- i Canon SD980
Canon SD1200 NB-6L 260 1/2.3 10.0 260 Feb 2009 229- i Canon SD1200
Canon SD1300 NB-6L 240 1/2.3 12.0 140 Feb 2010 179- i Canon SD1300
Canon SD3500 NB-6L 220 1/2.3 14.0 160 Feb 2010 329- i Canon SD3500
Canon SD4000 NB-6L 250 1/2.3 10.0 175 May 2010 349- i Canon SD4000
Canon SX170 NB-6LH 300 1/2.3 15.9 251 Aug 2013 179- i Canon SX170
Canon SX240 NB-6L 230 1/2.3 12.0 224 Feb 2012 339- i Canon SX240
Canon SX260 NB-6L 230 1/2.3 12.0 231 Feb 2012 349- i Canon SX260
Canon SX270 NB-6L 210 1/2.3 12.0 233 Mar 2013 269- i Canon SX270
Canon SX280 NB-6L 210 1/2.3 12.0 233 Mar 2013 279- i Canon SX280
Canon SX500 NB-6L 195 1/2.3 15.9 341 Aug 2012 299- i Canon SX500
Canon SX510 NB-6LH 250 1/2.3 15.9 349 Aug 2013 249- i Canon SX510
Canon SX520 NB-6LH 210 1/2.3 15.9 441 Jul 2014 399- i Canon SX520
Canon SX530 NB-6LH 210 1/2.3 15.9 442 Jan 2015 429- i Canon SX530
Canon SX540 NB-6LH 205 1/2.3 20.2 442 Jan 2016 399- i Canon SX540
Canon SX600 NB-6LH 290 1/2.3 15.9 188 Jan 2014 249- i Canon SX600
Canon SX610 NB-6LH 270 1/2.3 20.2 191 Jan 2015 249- i Canon SX610
Canon SX700 NB-6LH 250 1/2.3 15.9 269 Feb 2014 349- i Canon SX700
Canon SX710 NB-6LH 230 1/2.3 20.2 269 Jan 2015 349- i Canon SX710

Canon NB-6L FAQ

The NB-6L is the standard power source for the Canon SX280 . As such it is an indispensable camera accessory. Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular aspects of the battery pack and Lithium-Ion power units more generally.

Is there a car charger available for the NB-6L?

Canon does not offer a travel charger, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).

Is the NB-6L available in colors other than gray?

No, Canon supplies this battery pack only in gray. However, some generic alternatives from third party providers might be available in other colors.

Can I use the NB-6L in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Canon SX280 and other selected cameras from Canon.

How should the NB-6L be stored?

Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. However, these battery packs have a safety mechanism build-in that disables any re-charge if the voltage drops below a certain minimum level. To avoid this safety-trigger to be activated, the battery pack should be charged at least once every few months.

How should I discard my old battery pack?

The contents of Lithium-Ion batteries is under pressure and the packs can explode if exposed to extreme heat. Lithium-Ion battery units should therefore never be incinerated and should not be thrown into the household trash, but put into the recycling stream. Most places that sell camera batteries will also accept them back for recycling.