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Old May 19, 2006, 12:23 PM   #21
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My Experiences and Recommendations:

First, I am very careful with it. I keep it in its case I purchased for it, which I keep very clean, so that dust or lint or anything that might end up in the case does not end up getting into the lensand interfering with its retraction functioning. Yes, the speed and sound of the lens moving does make me nervous.

The camera still works after several months of having it, and as far as I can remember, I have had only two incidents, both of which I believe can be avoidable.

1)After the camera is on Play mode for several seconds, the lense, which was used for the Record mode seconds earlier, automatically retracts. It waits about ten seconds. If the Record button is pressed before retraction, it simply switches back to record. If pressed after retraction, it simply pops out again. PROBLEM: If, after viewing for a few seconds, you press record right as it starts to retract automatically, you could cause a problem, which is what happened to me. SOLUTION: It actuallywaits about 10 seconds before retracting(test it yourself to get a feel). Therefore, if you onlyreview a photo briefly, go ahead and press Record to take more photos. BUT, if you think it's been over 5 seconds or so (again, you can try it to get a feel for the timing), make sure you either WAIT for the lense to retract and then press Record, orpress the Power button to make the lense retract immediately, and then turn it on again, so you don't have to wait for it to retract. If you do this, you may have to change a setting once you turn it on again, depending on what you have changed, and what you have told the camera to remember in the Setting menu. IF you feel the camera, in Play mode, is close to retracting the lense DO NOT press the Record button, of you could risk getting the camera stuck in the out position. How did I fix it? I would press power, the camera would beep, make a mechanical noise, and then shut off. In frustration, I kept trying, unbelieving that this would happen. After a dozen or so times, the lense finally went in, and it functioned as normal after that.

2) This one is minor compared to the previous, but still an abnormality which should be avoided. When I was on a record mode on the dial, maybe one of the video record modes, I switched really fast almost all the way around the dial,maybe to the manualrecord mode,really fast, which caused an error. All I did was turn the camera off, as instructed, and then on again, and it worked as normal. If you want to move the wheel to another mode, either give it a small wait, maybe half a second, between notches, or maybe push the Play button, turn the wheel quickly to where you want it, and then press Record again.

A recommendation noted here is to turn the Record dial to audio mode, so that if the power button is pressed, the lense will not come out. The advantage of this is that, of course, it would probably work all the time. Of course, you are not guaranteed it will work, because if you are concerned that the Power button could accidentally be pressed, then the Record dial could also accidentally be turned. In fact, I would say that the Record dial is more likely to be accidentally moved than the Power button is to be pressed, as it is small and does not protrude, so to turn the Camera on, one actually has to press down intentionally to turn it on. Another problem I have read about this technique is that the camera isdesigned to be turned on and have taken a picture at a moments notice, and turning the dial would slow you down. This is true, although once you become familiar with the camera, you will know exactlywhere to turn the dial to, and you will be able to do it quickly, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. Another negative, of course, is that (as I wrote above) turning the dial too much too quickly could cause problems. However, I do turn the dial quickly a few notches, just not all the way around the wheel, so putting the camera in audio mode would probably not cause any errors, and I don't think that the error I had would have caused problems, anyway. Just so you know, I don't keep it in audio mode. In its case, I think the pressure to turn on the Power would have to be very localized, or be strong enoughto be damaging to the camera, which pressure I obviously am careful to avoid.
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Old May 20, 2006, 7:50 AM   #22
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thanks for your input... have you downloaded video into your computer, edit and burned a dvd... if so how did that work out and what sofware did you use? Thanks ed
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Old May 20, 2006, 9:22 AM   #23
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Arg! I just got almost done writing a good response, and then it got erased. Ok, this one may be sloppy. . . .

I said that I haven't converted video to DVD because I haven't needed to, but I probably will because it's slightly more universal; this specific avi format may not be as popular in future years, but DVD compatibility will likely exist for at least a few more decades, I think. But anyway, I haven't tried to convert.

Then, I wrote that this format is kind of stinky, and Virtual Dub won't read it, but there's always a way to convert from one video format to another. I know RAD Video Tools, which can convert to Bink and Smacker formats, has an avi conversion function which can convert these files to avi (using whatever codec), which you could then convert to DVD using whatever program you use. I was going to suggest WinAVI Video Converter to converting to DVD, but then I just tested it, and realized that WinAVI http://www.winavi.com/en/download/download.htmcan actually convert the Z750 files straight to the DVD files, which then would just need to be put on the DVD. Excellent! I haven't tried that before!

Hope that helps. Good luck!

(There are sample files on the internet, but if you would like I can email you some. [email protected])
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Old May 20, 2006, 9:25 AM   #24
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Sample EX-Z750 video files, that is . . .
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Old May 20, 2006, 9:43 AM   #25
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thanks, sorry you had to type it 2 times. I am still a little crazy between not really knowing if the z70 Len error problem has been fixed in later production.... I would goes withthe z850, but there again is a problem, not knowing for sure if the len error was addresses in this camera, but then they had to go and stink up the movie quality, and when I speak with Casio about both issues, they really don't address either with straight forward answers. You would wonder how many sales of these cameras they have lost or put on hold. They spend millions to adverise to make sales, but no one (that is know of), will step up and address the problems.
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Old May 20, 2006, 11:25 AM   #26
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It is always frustrating when you put money into something and then it doesn't work, which is why I'm nervous. I am traveling to another country for a month this summer, and while I think my Z750 will hold out, I am absolutely going to bring another, cheaper camera, just in case.

It just depends on whether or not you want to risk it. As many bad stories are there, I'd say you do have well over a fifty percent chance that it will work, at least for a couple years. Just be prepared, and if you think it'snot working would destroy your life, don't risk it. I would probably still go for the 750 over the 850, even though (aside from an extra megapixel of fun!) the 850 has video image stabilization (which would be nice, but not necessary), even at the same price, just because as you said the 850 is new, and you know, you don't want the first edition of anything; they tend to be flawed.

Just to clear things up in case you misunderstood, the video I call "stinky" because it is in a format that can't quite be read everywhere, and only several applications (like the one I listed) can convert them to other formats. Also it isconsidered "uneditable" until it is converted because of the complex frame structure. (Most digicams, of course, have no frame relationships;their "structure" is justone image after another after another.) The QUALITY, however, is not bad. With the 4mb/s mode, in scenes with moderate motion, I don't notice compression artifacts, and at 2mb/s mode, in scenes withvery little motion, I don't notice compression artifacts. If the camera did not use MPEG-4, it would probably use the typical 6-16mb/s that other cameras do. For example, the EX-Z120's highest video quality is (28fps) 10.2mb/s, which equals only about 45kB per 640x480 frame, which still only looks as good as 4mb/s in scenes without a lot of motion. In scenes with a lot of motion, usually the eye doesn't pick up that much detail, so some compression artifacts aren't as "displeasing". Anyway, I intentionally got a camera with MPEG-4 compression, because it can store at least twice as much video, and it looks good. (the camera camera I was considering was the Canon SD*00 series, which stores video at 16mb/s, four times this) If you want perfect quality video, don't go for a still camera, at this point.

What I would actually like it a camera that stores video in a more complex MPEG-4 format. Of course there are diffent levels of complexity between "MPEG-4" files, and I'm pretty sure that these cameras use about the simplest. For converting to, say, Divx, on standard compression, 1mb/s is usually not surpassed (in video I have downloaded or converted myself), and 2mb/s looks pretty close to 4mb/s. If only they could put in faster processors and simply move to more complex versions of the same codec, the amount of video could be doubled without quality loss. Yes, that's what I really want.

If you want the Z750, and can pay for it, I would say to get it. Ifyou absolutely need something realiable, don't get it. As I mentioned, I am going on an important trip, and I will have a backup camera(older, fewer pixels, slower, bulkier) but this will be my only video source, so I'm just holding my breath.(and being very careful!)
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Old May 21, 2006, 10:21 AM   #27
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Some disagreement here about reliability: used mine Z750 for 13+ months already, took 16000+ shots- and no probs so far... But what I have done: all what is normal (disable unwanted power-up buttons... etc. but always the dial is where I suggest (not at audio)):
1. Use NORMAL case (mine is Canon IXUS one);
2. Use latest firmware- IMHO they know at Casio what they do;
3. and etc...

Best, JR

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Old May 21, 2006, 1:15 PM   #28
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That's great to know, and very encouraging! I do try to take care of mine very well.

Just for the record, I've had it for about three months and I've taken about 3500 photos.
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Old May 21, 2006, 6:10 PM   #29
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thanks for the input.... since you have had your camera a good amount of time, how do you handle transfering the video to dvd.... since it is mpeg format, is it a problem to edit and transfer? Thanks for your help Ed
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Old May 22, 2006, 5:34 AM   #30
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As my home DVD player (Philips) handles DiVX I have never put my Casio videos to DVD, but it should be easy- first guess: read www.doom9.org guides...

Best and happy shooting, JR

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