The advice that I got, btw, was basically "A lack of demand due to the use of smart(arsed)phones (my parenthesis) for taking video and stills", an opinion on the state of the mid priced camcorder market that I reluctantly agree with.
Anyhow, as you can see, I've now ordered a Canon LEGRIA HFR706 camcorder (with free extra battery) from Argos and I'm now in the market for an "out of the camera" battery charger and not prepared to pay 70 quid for a Canon branded charger (nor the 76 quid or more for a genuine BP-727 battery).
Since I got so little response to my earlier video related question in a video related group, I thought I'd get a better response here in the uk.d- i-y group which seems to include DIY topics covering almost every activity that could, by the slightest stretch of the imagination, be described as a subject of DIY. :-)
Sorry for making a short story long but I picked up a few interesting observations about the whole consumer electronics industry you might want to note and inwardly digest (it's not just TV set manufacturers that use JiT techniques to artificially inflate their product ranges to confuse the shit out of their target market, it's *all* of them, including Canon with their yearly model changes in their Legria camcorder range as you will see presently).
Anyway, getting back to 'The Story', as it happens, the need to buy a spare battery was rendered moot by my taking advantage of the Argos special offer (the "+Extra Battery"). I suspect that the "extra battery" might well be the smaller capacity BP-718 as supplied with the earlier HFR606 model.
It's amazing what you can learn when you have access to a couple of John Lewis's Samsung tablets to surf the 'net and compare the specs, literally "Side by Side" whilst waiting for the JL 'partner' to search the stock room for the accessories belonging to an HFR606 they'd down priced to a mere 80 quid (absolutely identical spec except for not featuring the transfer internal memory to SD card option and the smaller battery pack).
I must admit, the 120 quid saving was very tempting so we hung around for another half hour before the 'partner' admitted defeat, claiming he would have to enlist the help of another partner to track down the missing accessories, promising to call us back the next day which is when we discovered that the reason for such a fantastic price reduction was due to the lack of accessory cables (I didn't take that call so it wasn't clear whether the "in camcorder" battery charger was part of the missing inventory).
Anyway, hopes for a bargain dashed, I tried reserving the later HFR706 model with extra battery from Argos only to find it was out of stock. Not expecting the situation to have changed, I tried the next day and, lo and behold, the status had changed to available for collection in just 4 days!
In the meantime, I've been looking at countless "Compatible" CG-700 "out of the camcorder" battery chargers from a whole range of suppliers who seemed determined to hide the only pertinent information that matters, ie the maximum charging current output or a valid claim on charging time for any one specific battery option.
It's not that I'm only interested in paying as little as possible (some were as cheap as 8 quid ranging up through the 13 and 22 quid mark to a maximum somewhere around the 30 odd quid mark) so much as not wanting to shell out £72.49 plus VAT (87quid!) on "The Genuine Article".
I rather doubt that shelling out 27 quid would get me a threefold increase in the poxy 300mA charging current typical of the 8 to 16 quid chargers to shorten the charging time *down* to a less onerous 3 hours for the BP-727 battery pack (the 8 to 16 quid chargers would need some 9 hours charging time to make up a mere 2 hours and 55 minutes worth of filming time in the camcorder for Heaven's sake!).
No matter how I search the 'net for affordable alternatives to Canon's richly priced CG-700 charger, I cannot find any that make mention of the charging rates (charging current or hours required to fully charge a specific battery) other than the odd glimpse of the ratings that are sometimes just legible enough in the pictures on the products pages to make out figures like output voltage 4.2v and current 300mA +/-50mA for example (the battery pack is 'battery' only in name).
I've now reached the stage in my searches where I'm losing the will to live. Basically, I'm hoping to prevail upon others' experience in this minefield of "Best Buy" camcorder charger bargains, notably, products or dealers best given a wide berth.
I'm coming to the conclusion that maybe the 'in camcorder' battery charger isn't so bad after all (I managed to track down the specs of the supplied charger and spotted a rating of 5.3v at 1500mA which could see the BP-727 charged up from 'flat' in as little as 3 hours or less).
I suspect that I might be better off accepting the slow charger option more as a means of insurance against the supplied charger going faulty whilst away from home base (plus I can use it to recharge the 2nd, quite possibly lower capacity, battery overnight whilst the in camcorder battery is being charged in a more expeditious manner saving the need to swap batteries in the camcorder at silly o'clock in the morning).
It looks like I've rationalised a solution through the therapeutic power of usenet. :-)
Still, if anyone has anything to say that doesn't include the expression, "TL:DNR" (which always makes me think of the expression, "Pearls before swine), I'd appreciate any comments and advice regarding cheap chargers whether in general or specifically relating to Canon camcorders.
 Basically, the idea seems to be to swamp the tech reviewers into throwing their hands up into the air, making them resort to publishing the manufacturer's advertising blurb by way of a "Preview" that will never re-surface as a full blown *review* later in the year.
The endless churn in 'new' models being introduced every 6 to 12 months seems to be purely to keep users and reviewers alike reeling on the back foot (an echo of what the printer manufacturers were doing over a decade ago).
Johnny B Good
Johnny B Good