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My Panasonic FZ20 is on the way.


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32 replies to this topic

#1 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 02 2004 - 07:10 AM

Finally pulled the trigger and ordered this camera. Lots of good things mentioned about it. I can't wait to get it and post a few samples next week.
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#2 of 33 Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 08 2004 - 04:53 AM

Mine is too! I didn't have a chance to order a Panasonic SD card before the $50 rebate expired, though. Stupid hurricane Frances!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

What kind of card are you using?
"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#3 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 08 2004 - 08:36 AM

I got my camera yesterday! Right now I am using the default card. I have on order from Newegg.com a 512MB Kingmax card that is supposed to be a 60X card or 9-10MB write/read speeds. It was $56 bucks which seems like a good price and it should get here Friday, just in time for my trip to Dallas this weekend.
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#4 of 33 Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 08 2004 - 08:38 AM

Cool. Let us know how the card works out -- I need to get something before the HTF meet in LA the week after next!
"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#5 of 33 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 08 2004 - 01:34 PM

I would stay away from no-name brands w/ prices that are too good to be true.

_Man_

Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

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#6 of 33 John Chow

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Posted September 08 2004 - 06:58 PM

I'm using a Kingmax 256, and I can say at least that the speed is up to par with the best brands. Can't say much about longterm reliability, but hopefully it will be good. They've got quite a bit of literature on their website regarding their cards, which are actually pretty unique compared to all other SD cards. About half the thickness with no Write protect tab, supposedly more durable and weatherproof. When IDed in a phone, they also come up as Kingmax, rather than another brand. Fwiw, my 256 PNY brand comes up as Toshiba. I know that Toshiba, Pansonic, and Sandisk are probably the largest 3 SD manufacturers, and 90+% of the cards on the market are probably rebranded from one of these 3. At least that's how it used to be, things may have changed recently, but probably not.

#7 of 33 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 09 2004 - 07:20 AM

I guess it all depends on how much you actually care about the potential losses of pics vs the savings. I wouldn't be surprised that Kingmax does exactly what you're guessing. But personally, I'd rather play it safer w/ my photos than to save that little bit on the memory card. I do try to find good deals and save some $$$, but one does have to draw the line somewhere. And I'm not suggesting that people should only buy from the big brands like SanDisk, but there are many other brands out there that have proven themselves far more than this no-name Kingmax.

And there is also at least one well-known brand that seems to be notorious for bad CF cards, ie. Viking, at least in the last couple years -- just check Amazon's user reviews to see. I actually had an old 64MB Viking CF card that worked perfectly fine for ~2 years until I misplaced it, so it's not like I've never used them either, but I wouldn't want to run out to buy another one until their "known" reliability improves -- could've easily been just a short term manufacturing problem.

_Man_

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#8 of 33 John Chow

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Posted September 10 2004 - 03:09 AM

Well, I've seen a ton of complaints on various Sandisk cards, and I have a 32MB card made by Sandisk that is also slow as molasses, so personally I plan on avoiding that brand like the plague. It could very well be that because they have a large market share that more people are bound to have issues with them, but that's just the feel I have for their products. Plus they have a billion different sub brands that I can't keep them straight.

Regarding Kingmax, after doing a little digging it looks like they're actually a fairly large and well known memory company, at least for computer memory. An article at Anandtech talking about their BGA memory mentions they have the same stature as Micron, but mainly in Asia.

Here's a page with some general speed tests:
http://www.digit-lif....d-test-p2.html

The main issue with buying other so called brands is you have no idea who makes them. Take Lexar for example, which probably to most people would be considered a 'namebrand'. I've seen it widely mentioned that they've used rebranded Panasonic, Sandisk, and Toshiba cards. So how do you know what you are getting? Well, you don't, unless you know who they are actually getting their memory from, and if like most companies they use multiple sources, then it's pretty much just hope for the best. In this sense I'd consider it more dangerous to buy from a brand that doesn't make their own memory. When I bought my PNY 256MB card, I had seen reports that they used Toshiba and Panasonic. Well, the Panasonic cards are significantly faster than the Toshiba, so I figured I'd give it a shot since it was also cheaper by a significant amount, but unfortunately I got the Toshiba one.

If you hit the Panasonic forums on Dpreview, this question comes up fairly often, and in general Panasonic is held in very high regard, but they are usually more expensive. I believe SimpleTech also uses them. If you have a Palm Pilot, you can usually ID the SD cards and it will tell you who the manufacturer is. That's how I was able to ID my rebranded PNY and HP SD cards. Anyways, moral of the story is, don't care so much about the branded name of the memory, try to figure out who actually makes it.

#9 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 10 2004 - 05:02 AM

I just got my Kingmax card and it works great. Its thinner than a standard SD card but fits in the camera just the same. Plus it has a 5 year warranty, AND is sturdy as hell....we are talking no flexibility at all. I think this will work just fine.
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#10 of 33 Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 10 2004 - 11:03 AM

Stupid UPS didn't deliver my camera yesterday as scheduled due to "Adverse Weather Conditions," whatever that means -- the hurricane went through over the weekend, but yesterday the weather was just fine. Then today, they didn't show up before Lucy had to go to work at 4 pm, so now I'll have to wait until Monday at least. (You'd think they would try to deliver the late packages first.)

Bastids! Shoulda had them deliver it to my office.
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#11 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 10 2004 - 12:17 PM

Heh..if it was earlier I would suggest you call their distribution center and ask them if you could come by and pick it up directly. Fedex has let me do that a time or 2 if it was after the original scheduled delivery.
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#12 of 33 Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 13 2004 - 05:39 AM

It turns out that the truck never even left the loading dock on Friday! Posted Image The package tracing department said that it was loaded on the truck on Friday morning and that the truck is on the road and should deliver it today. It had better show up!!!
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#13 of 33 Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 13 2004 - 06:27 AM

Reports from the ol' homestead are that the package has arrived! Hopefully I can get out of work a little early today. . . Posted Image

(FedEx should deliver my KingMax 512MB card tomorrow.)
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#14 of 33 Chris PC

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Posted September 19 2004 - 01:23 AM

? ..so hows the camera doing ??
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#15 of 33 Wes

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Posted September 19 2004 - 03:10 PM

Can I ask where you ordered the camera from. I am looking to order it also but it always seems to be listed as not in stock!

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#16 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 20 2004 - 02:00 PM

It's doing great.

Lasts a good 2 hours on a full charge, and is fast. It loves my Kingmax 512MB Card.

I got mine from Circuit City on sale for $539 on their website. The camera still seems be be in limited stock.
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#17 of 33 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 20 2004 - 05:36 PM

Only 2 hours? Was that only on the first battery cycle? That sounds too little for a normal cycle unless you were shooting video the entire time and didn't allow it much down time. If it's only the first cycle, then it'll probably improve after a couple cycles.

_Man_

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#18 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 21 2004 - 08:40 AM

Heh..if only 2 hours is bad for you I must be in heaven. Every other digital camera of my friends that I would borrow would crap out after taking 15 to 20 pictures. Of course they were running on 2 double A's though. Posted Image

I plan on getting an additional backup batter for around $30 bucks pretty soon.
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#19 of 33 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted September 21 2004 - 09:14 AM

If the battery life is good, it should last you a full day's shooting unless you tend to keep the IS on or use flash every shot or have the LCD on all day. If you do that, then you'll probably cut the battery life in 1/2 or maybe less.

With most digicams, it's usually the LCD that kills the battery life. Flash uses loads of power too, but it doesn't stay on constantly. The IS probably uses significant power also, but you shouldn't leave that on when you have good daylight to work with.

Of course, all this assumes good battery life to begin with. My Canon G3 could last a full day if I don't keep the LCD on all day, ie. only turn it on when I shoot and for occasional shot reviewing. Meanwhile, I can easily last 2 weeks on one charge w/ my D70 since it doesn't use the LCD for shooting at all, but only for image review.

_Man_

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#20 of 33 Travis Hedger

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Posted September 21 2004 - 09:51 AM

I use the EVF mostly, flash about half and have IS set to Mode2 where it only engages the instant you take the picture, not like Mode1 where IS is constant.
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