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Old Oct 29, 2010, 11:45 PM   #11
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"Grey market" goods that simply those made for markets other than the one you live. It doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with the product. But, because the given product in question may have been built for certain conditions or requirements of that other market, most manufacturers won't honor warrantys for grey market goods.

New York City is full of electronics shops that sell grey-market goods. They are usually advertised as having an "international" warranty. I'm not sure if that's from the manufacturer or (more likely) a third party. I tend not to put faith in such warrantys. Now, many legitimate retailers will sell grey-market goods (at a slight discount) alongside those made for the U.S. market. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they are up front about it.

Here's a take on grey-market items from Canon photo site "The Digital Picture":

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/C...ay-Market.aspx
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 11:54 PM   #12
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If you worry about the warranty, I would return it if it is a gray market item. Some brands like nikon usa, will not fix a gray market item even if you are willing to pay for the fix.

I have what would be consider gray market lenses, for all my cameras. I buy some in Asia, and others in Germany. Canon will still fix my lenses, if they break if I pay for it. And olympus do not care where they are brought with a true international warranty. But lenses do not fail to often, and when I have had to had them fix, they are couple years old. But a body, I do not my gray market. Will only buy them form an authorized dealer in the US or Germany with canon. So I can get it fix when I do break them.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 12:03 AM   #13
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Tullio...if it'll make you feel any better, I just checked and the G1 that I received this week is also made in China. It's clearly a brand-new camera and has a sticker on the box about the model receiving a TIPA award for best design in 2009 - so it's clearly not an early G1.

Now, I also bought my camera from Amazon (said ships from and sold by Amazon). And since it's a different G model, I suspect at least part of Panasonic's camera production for the world is simply coming from China these days. The G1 doesn't shoot video but I'll check over the weekend if there's a PAL/NTSC default option for things like slideshows played directly from the camera.

I don't get the impression that my G1 is a grey-market item.

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Old Oct 30, 2010, 12:49 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info. Biro. That's interesting because my G1 is made in Japan. Panasonic told me that I should buy items from Amazon and not from sellers through Amazon but you're saying you bought your G1 from Amazon so it is very possible that Panasonic is now switching from Japan to China to cut cost. In any case, I think it's worth a try. The unit looks brand new in every respect and as I mentioned, the EPL1 and some other cameras I have are also made in China so I should be OK.

Shoturtle - Panasonic will fix the camera if anything goes wrong with it but it won't be covered by the initial warranty.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 4:43 AM   #15
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My question is, what is "grey" market exactly? Is it just cameras that are manufactured for markets other than the US or what? I hear about grey market all the time but never really try to understand the true meaning of the word. Does it mean a camera made by someone in a garage somewhere?
No, grey market is where a camera is imported from another market, and not through the official importer for your country.
So for example, you live in the US, and you see a very cheap price for a GH1(in the US), and buy it. You then have some problem with the camera 3 months later, take it to Panasonic USA, and they tell you they can't honor the warranty because it's not a serial number of an official import. They tell you that you need to take it back to where you got it from!!!!!! But you don't know WHERE it came from!!!!!
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 10:06 AM   #16
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That's what I thought, dnas. I think the danger of buying grey market cameras is not as much the fact that it's not covered by the warranty but whether or not the manufacturer will fix the unit in case anything happens. In that case, you'd have to rely on local camera shops to fix it and they may not be able to do depending on parts and such (not to mention the cost of the repair, which can go up to the roof making it an inviable solution). In my case, Panasonic claimed that they would fix the unit but I'd have to pay for it. So, basically I'd have to take the risk for the first year. After that, I'd have to pay for any repair irregardless whether the camera is a grey market unit or not.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 9:38 AM   #17
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Just an added note... while my G1 body is made in China, the 14-45mm lens that came with it is still made in Japan.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 4:00 PM   #18
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Thanks, Biro. Well, so far it seems like the camera is just fine. So, for $299 (out of pocket), it's a keeper. My next decision will be to keep or not to keep the G1 body. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd have it converted to IR.
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Old Nov 2, 2010, 5:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
Thanks, Biro. Well, so far it seems like the camera is just fine. So, for $299 (out of pocket), it's a keeper. My next decision will be to keep or not to keep the G1 body. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd have it converted to IR.
I can get G1 bodies in Japan for around $170 USD second hand, so I'm converting one to IR some time soon.
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Old Nov 3, 2010, 9:22 AM   #20
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I don't know about Japan but here in the US, it costs about $800 to convert a G1 to IR, which is way too much money IMO. If it was $200-$300, I'd certainly convert my G1 but I it's not worth it for me to spend that kind of money on IR conversion.
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