Works perfectly... but don't lose it!

Mar 24, 2010 (Updated Mar 25, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Universal power input; small and light; powers many models of Canon camcorders

Cons:Expensive

The Bottom Line: This is a fine camcorder power supply that unfortunately is too expensive. If you insist on genuine Canon parts, you'll pay for it.


I have a Canon Vixia HF11 camcorder, which came with a Canon CA-570 power adapter/charger. This is a perfectly good charger but replacing it will cost you dearly -- Amazon sells a genuine Canon replacement for $83.

What it is

The Canon CA-570 is a small, black plastic box that looks generally like any other power supply. About the size of a pack of cigarettes (its measurements are about 3.5 x 2 x 1.1 inches), it has a somewhat-standard AC power connector on one end and a 5.5-foot cable attached to the other end. This latter cable is tipped with a proprietary connector that attaches to the power port on my Canon HF11 camcorder.

The Canon CA-570 power adapter can be fed with just about any international standard power, from 100 to 240 Volts with either 50 or 60 Hz frequency. That means you can use it anywhere in the world, as long as you have a simple adapter that will allow you to plug the CA-570 into the local power. (The power cable that came with my CA-570 has a two-prong plug that's standard for the USA and Canada.) The unit's output power is 8.4 Volts DC, rated at 1.5 Amps. The CA-570 weighs just a few ounces.

Using it

Using the Canon CA-570 power adapter/charger is simple: I just plug it into my Canon HF11 camcorder and it automatically charges the camcorder's battery. In this case, the battery must be attached to the camcorder in order for it to be charged -- the CA-570 will not charge a battery outside of the camcorder. The Canon CA-570 will also run the camcorder indefinitely, and it's recommended to use the power adapter/charger when you transfer files from the camcorder into a computer.

I assumed that the CA-570 power adapter/charger was only for Canon's HF11 (and similar) camcorders, but I had to borrow an older standard-definition camcorder from a friend a few months ago and found that the CA-570 fit it perfectly. This older camcorder was a Canon ZR80, which uses DV tape. The CA-570 power adapter/charger not only fit the ZR80, it ran the camcorder for a couple of hours without any difficulty. This compatibility with a 10-year-old camcorder is a nice feature of the Canon CA-570.

So, the Canon CA-570 power adapter/charger is small, lightweight and can be used anywhere in the world on a range of Canon video products. All those things are terrific, but you pay through the nose to get them. A genuine Canon CA-570 costs $83 on Amazon, while a generic replacement costs only $20. I generally prefer to go with the manufacturer's recommended parts for something like this, but the cost difference between genuine and generic is so great here that I'd probably just buy the generic if I needed a replacement. As far as I can tell from photos, the generic replacement looks and operates just like the genuine Canon CA-570.

Summary

Overall, I recommend the Canon CA-570 power adapter/charger, but am more likely to recommend the $20 generic replacement. The Canon CA-570 is to be commended for its ability to handle universal power, as well as the fact that it will work with Canon camcorders made more than a decade apart. However, its high cost (compared with an easily found replacement) makes the CA-570 hard to recommend.

If the Canon CA-570 power adapter/charger cost $40, I'd say it was a good buy. At $83, I would definitely get a generic replacement first, despite the fact that the CA-570 has worked just fine for 18 months.

I recommend the Canon CA-570 but will personally consider getting a generic replacement should I need to replace the CA-570.


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