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The Canon G7X Mark II manual and website mentions that one can charge the camera through USB by using a special interface cable, Canon IFC-600PCU.

The cable is even listed under Supplies and Accessories - Cables and Cords on the Canon website.

The cable connector in the camera is normal micro usb and if I plug in any normal such cable into the camera and into a usb power adapter or a computer I can verify that the indicator on the camera lights up as expected to indicate charging.

However, I read somewhere before I purchased the camera, and of course I cannot find the website any more, that you have to use this specific cable.

I am leaning towards this website being wrong, but thought I'd ask just to be sure.

Should I get hold of that specific camera or is that just Canon's micro usb cable, and I can just continue using any of the micro usb cables I have gotten thrown after me when purchasing any other equipment using them?

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Manufacturers are notorious for warning the owners of their products that using anything other than their own parts and accessories will cause the end of the known universe. This is not only true of camera makers, it is true of electronics manufacturers in general. It is true of automobile manufacturers. It is true of appliance manufacturers. It is true of rechargeable battery makers ("Do not use with any other charger than the one supplied with our product").

Yet in many cases the "official" OEM parts and accessories are made by outside companies under contract to the brand under which they are sold. Those same suppliers also sell similar or even identical products (other than the branding labels) under their own nameplate or to other companies who market them. There is often no functional difference between the OEM and third party products.

An USB cable is fairly straightforward and there is an accepted standard in place for the design and performance of such a cable with a micro-usb (USB 2.0 micro-B 5-pin) interface at one end and a normal USB (USB 2.0 Type A) connector at the other. Ferrite traps may or may not be added to shield the cable from interference from other nearby electrical devices. In the case of only using the cable to charge a battery, the ferrite trap is an unnecessary addition.

You can use any cable compliant with the USB standard and with the needed connectors to charge the battery of your camera. Just be sure it is plugged into a standard USB 2.0 port that supplies no more than the standard 5V at 0.5 Amps. This is true whether using the official Canon OEM part IFC-600PCU or a generic cable.

Where one might need to be a little more careful is in the case of a charger that transforms wall current to a specific DC voltage and amperage. In such a case it would be prudent to insure that a third party charger is supplying the correct voltage, current, and polarity to the device, such as a camera.

  • If you want the ferrite trap (bead), they are often sold as snap-on accessories by electronics supply stores. (Not the home electronics kind of store, but like hobbyist stores for people who like to tinker with electronics. Stores that sell amateur radio equipment is also a good place to look.) You'd probably be able to grab a decent-sized bag of them for roughly the price of a cup of coffee away from home. Sometimes they are sold separately, other times as part of RFI suppression kits. And no, for this there's absolutely no need whatsoever to get the gold-plated variant that is 10x the price. – a CVn Jun 27 '16 at 17:37
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It seems it's all about the USB source - not the cable with my G7x M2. With a standard micro USB cable, I first tried an off-brand 5V/2.1A USB charger, and the charging light would just blink once when plugging-in and then disappear. When trying my Apple iPhone 5V USB adapter, it charges.

  • The 2.1A charger likely tripped the camera's current protection circuit. Standard USB2.0 current is 0.5A. – Michael C Jul 30 '16 at 14:07
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    Michael Clark's comment is wrong, as current is more of a "available supply" than a "what is being forced through the cable". As long as it is regulated to 5 volts, a device will only draw what it needs unless something is wrong or weird. It's more likely the "off-brand" charger wasn't sensing the low load and wasn't turning on correctly. – evilspoons Oct 10 '17 at 20:20
  • @evilspoons is correct, the device ALWAYS determines the current drawn. The only difference a power supply would make would be whether the voltage is 5V or some difference from this. But most devices can cope with some range of supply voltages/ – martyvis Nov 25 '18 at 5:36
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it looks like Canon uses specific cables to enable direct USB charging: my sx620hs does not react to a standard usb cable with any usb charger I tried, but Canon says it can charge through USB: https://support.usa.canon.com/kb/index?page=content&id=ART164998&cat=1070C&actp=LIST

There is a fifth pin in USB male plug; it is used to enable OTG feature... and maybe something else, using appropriate resistors?

  • My camera charges using any appropriate USB cable that I'm using, doesn't seem to be that specific if you ask me. – Lasse V. Karlsen Apr 28 '18 at 20:34
  • which model exactly? Which charger? – jumpjack Apr 30 '18 at 12:49
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I have just torn my hair out trying to get my G7X MkII to charge off various USB chargers. Out of 3 Apple chargers plus an older Sony charger, just 1 Apple charger worked. Some internet searching found a small footnote, that charge only adaptors should short the data lines (D+ and D-) to prevent the appliance getting confused. I found that the sole adaptor that worked did in fact have the data lines shorted (just to each other, not to 0V or 5V).

Reading further, I then found that many manufacturers use various resistive codings on the D lines to try to manage charging from different types of their own adaptor, attempting to force you into always buying their special expensive charging systems.

So this is probably the trick that the Canon PSU is using, either in their dedicated charging PSU+cable or outlet, but it seems shorting the lines is sufficient for the G7X mkII.

My now tested solution is to make a short USB-A plug to USB-A socket cable by cutting up a USB-A extension cable, with the D lines shorted in the socket, to use with my generic micro-B USB cable for charging from any source. It seems you cannot buy these adaptors, since there would have to be many different kludges for each manufacturer.

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