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Old Sep 21, 2006, 3:41 PM   #11
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After two returns to Casio Repair, my 850 is working like a champ. Sharp pics at 1x thru 3x zoom at any distance. Also, no difference in sharpness between large or small aperture. Before there was a huge difference. Large aperture was extremely blurry, small aperture was slightly blurry. Now all is sharp.

Casio also paid for the shipping for the second return and they got the camera back to me in less than 1 week. Can't fault them on that point.
So, now it's on to more fun times with my 850.

Ed
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:50 PM   #12
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Nice to hear that- this is the way I always have known about Casio cameras- but I always buy new models based on huntch and pevious knowledge- so I get all of them as early production ones (made in Japan, not China)- maybe this is the case for my trust towards Casio- some loose QC in China factories (yeah, a wonderful country but something still reminds me of former Soviet Union when I look how they act in most cases :-( )...

Best and enjoy Your Z850- and push it to the limits..., JR

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Old Sep 22, 2006, 6:13 PM   #13
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I must say as a comment on these cameras. It is just ridiculous for all these cameras with little tiny lenses to have 8 or 10 megapixels. The megapixel resolution is way beyond the resolution of the lens. It only hurts noise. I wish the manufacturers didn't play the megapixel game and gave us better features in new models without reducing performance with these high res sensors. How frustrating.

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Old Sep 29, 2006, 12:42 PM   #14
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Slipe,

I understand what you are saying, and your pic is very crisp. However, this was taken with a z750, not a z850. So to compare them would not be fair.

I've had the same issue with fuzzy pics. Also read in another forum that a few others have the same issues.

I sent mine back about 2 weeks ago and am waiting for a response. I hope I getthe lens replacedlike eddie.

I think that in auto setting, you should get great pics. I've had many compact cameras and never had this isssue before. My trustly previous Sony p150 was a champ. I'm wishing now I kept it.

Only time will tell if my repaired z850 will work right or if I'll need to send it back, send it back.....



argh!

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Old Oct 6, 2006, 9:23 PM   #15
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Alrighty. This issue my have been figured out in another forum..D P reviews. The thread is titled "Going crazy - had 750 - need new camera - please help".



Here's what another z850 user posted:

Posted by Charles

Date/Time

11:46:18 AM, Friday, October 06, 2006 (GMT)

I have both the 750 and the 850. I would go with the 850. Believe me, I am fully aware of and informed about the problems plaguing the 850, BUT (and that's a big "but") the "work around" is this:

To get a "good" 850, make sure the one you purchase has a serial number whose first three digits begin with 557xxxxx or higher, in which case you will definitely not have the blurred and fuzzy output problem or the intolerable HQ video (tho it's still not quite as good as the 750's, but it's much improved and acceptable and can be improved completely with the 1.1b update, but with a %40 loss of FOV).

On the other hand, if you get an 850 with a serial no. whose first three digits are 556xxxxx or lower, you're going to have big problems, except in very rare cases. The reason for that is that Casio "quietly" did an incremental firmware update beginning with the 557xxxxx series addressing those issues that so many posters still are beset with, but never publicized it. That seems to be the Japanese' technological mentality: not wanting to openly admit their bungles, while at the same time being able to monetarily "capitalize" on "broken" but inherently flawed (by them) cameras.

As for how I found this out, it would take too long a post to explain, but take my word for it or, on the other hand, do a little research regarding the above-mentioned differences related to serial numbers.

Also, the unpublicized "incremental" firmware updates I mentioned can be accessed and viewed in an embedded service menu in the cameras by certain button strokes on the camera. This method has already been posted and discussed many times on this forum; thus I won't lengthen an already long post by explaining it.



7:49:16 PM, Friday, October 06, 2006 (GMT)

I do not know what the "mysterious" internal differences are between the 557xxxxx up and the 556xxxxx down series that causes the earlier series to be "bad" and the later series to be "good", but I do know that applying either the 1.10 or the 1.1b update to the earlier series does not resolve the problem issues.

In fact, once I found out about the series differences, I didn't want to purchase a Z850 from an online source, because I felt that, even at my request, they would not search thru their stock just to find me a later series camera; consequently, I went to the three local (Baltimore, MD) Costcos and, of all of them (whose total inventory was about 75 Z850's), none of the series went pass 556xxxxx. Costco's price is $329.97, including a Casio leather Exilim case, plus a 256mb sd card. I then called about 15 local Ritz Camera and ALL of their stock of Z850's stopped at the 556xxxx mark. I then made a call to a Ritz in Rockville (25 miles away, near Washington, DC)

and they had only two in stock, both of which were the 557xxxxx series.



8:33:48 PM, Friday, October 06, 2006 (GMT)

Admittedly, my results have come from my own research, which started about a month ago when I lost my original Z850. Actually, it was my 3rd Z850, because I had done two prior exchanges due to the first two being "bad". Thus, the Z850 I lost was a "good" one, which I had had about 6 months, but I didn't know the serial no. (which is 557xxxxx) until about a month ago. Well, during the past month, I purchase and exchanged at least 15 Z850's from Costco! They ALL were "bad" and had the blurred output and the cruddy HQ video. Additionally, with each one of them I would do the keystroke sequence that pulled up the buried service menu, which showed, among other things, the "extensions" to the firmware, which Casio never publicizes. The firmware extension for the "bad" ones is 07, with a release date of Feb., '06, whereas the extension for the "good" ones is 09 with a release date of April, '06. In fact, the firmware "extensions" for the 1.10 and 1.1b are 14 and 13 respectively and shows a release date of July, '06 for both.

Also, Costco had a customer return Z850 which had pieces (battery, sd card, case) missing, but they were willing to sell it at a reduced price;, so they let me try it out by using the battery from a new unit as well as the sd card (which has a risidual charge) whose serial no. was 558xxxxx and, voila!, after accessing the internal menu, the firmware extension was 09.

Furthermore, I have friends and family with 5 Z850's among them and they ALL have the 556xxxxx or lower series and with the same degraded output, but they are not as discriminating as I am, so it doesn't bother them. Although this information is not scientifically definitive, it is definitive enough for me and, hopefully, it can serve to point some of the rest of us, who are unsatisfied, in a similar direction garnering more info than I have so far.



11:58:56 PM, Friday, October 06, 2006 (GMT)

MY experience with having handled maybe 20-some Z850's, have ALL had serial nos. beginning with 5556xxxxx or lower. Personally I have never seen one beginning with 2's or any digits other than 5's; however, that in no way means you have a "bad" camera. In fact, as long as you are satisfied, that's all that matters. Right? I wouldn't care if mine started with z's or zeros, as long as the output was to my liking.

Now, here are the keystrokes to access your internal "hidden" menu:


Press and hold the DISP button; at the same time, press and hold the "up" button; now, while holding those two buttons, press the power button then let it go while still continuing to hold the the first two until a white screen appears, showing your firmware version; then let'em go.

NOW, in RAPID fashion, press (one at a time and release) DOWN, DOWN, DISPLAY, MENU. If you do it fast enough, a second screen will appear showing five lines of information choices. Press your SET (center) button and the next screen will contain on the 3rd and 4th line what I have called the firmware "extension" info.

By the way, this particular procedure is not my "discovery", but I read it in a thread started some time ago on this site by, I believe, Bart Hickman, whom I don't see around much anymore.
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Old Oct 6, 2006, 11:28 PM   #16
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My 850 serial number starts with 201. It was one of the bad ones, but after two returns it is much better. I wouldn't say its perfect. I keep the sharpening at +2. And sometimes add a bit of sharpening in post processing. But it's hard to tell if the pictures are out of focus or just undersharpened. They are really pretty good for what I use this camera for. I also have a Panasonic FZ-30 which is an ultra-sharp camera so, I might be too critical of the Casio.

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Old Nov 2, 2006, 4:54 PM   #17
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No guys, it's not a faulty camera, no lens corrupted, nothing at all.. it's just the latest firmware, the 1.1B, that we (near) all have loaded in the camera to fix the stairstepping video. Well, while the video was fixed, the pictures came out all fuzzy.

It's so ture 100% tested with a BRAND NEW camera, with no fuzzy problem before i upgraded to the 1.1B version:the pictures came out all fuzzy/out focus!! so i downgraded to 1.10 and the pictures came back to normality

You can see with your eyes! it's not a lens fault, it's the firmware!!

FW. 1.00 (100% crop) - maybe a bit over sharpy


FW. 1.10B (100% crop) - FUZZY! OMG!!

FW. 1.10 (100% crop) - thanks god, it's good. But the video?

Stop to send back your 850s to CASIO, it's useless!! test yourself! just try to downgrade to 1.10 and you will see the difference! it's not a lens problem (it cannot, i just proved it). I am astonished that neither Casio know the issue and continue to change lens over lens..


https://secure.casio.co.jp/qv/downlo...p11a/form.html


so now the dilemma is.... keep the 1.10 to have sharp photos or the 1.10B to have fuzzy photos but great video? OMG.. casio..:evil::evil:

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