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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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OK, just got my new GH1 (body only) last night. I bought it from Wall Street Photo through Amazon. The unit arrived in absolutely NEW condition, in its original box (with a tag saying Body Only over the lens description) with all original accessories (properly sealed). So, I'm "sort of" happy.

The first thing I noticed was that the camera is made in China (my G1, ZS7 and all previous Panasonic cameras I've had were all made in Japan). I'd think that an upgraded (and very expensive) model would be made in Japan also. But, knowing that manufacturers try anything they can to save money and that most other camera manufacturers make their units in China, it kinda made me think that perhaps Pana is doing the same. Then I turned the unit ON and started the customization and that's when I came across one of the menu screens (wrench - video out), which defaulted to PAL as opposed to NTSC. Since PAL is the video format used in many European and Asian countries, it made me think that perhaps this unit is not for the US market, which means I may have warranty problems in case something goes wrong with it.

I did some Google searches but could not find anything that points to a site where I can verify whether my GH1 is for the US market or not (based on the serial # I suppose).

Does anyone know if it is possible to verify that and if so, how? Thanks!
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 11:07 AM   #2
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I think the best thing to do is call panasonic and give them the serial number. they can tell you what market it was produced for.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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I called Panasonic but they told me they can not tell by the serial # whether a particular unit is made for the US market or not (hard to believe this is indeed true). However, he did tell me that a camera made for the US market would be 1) made in Japan and 2) have the video output set to NTSC, not PAL. So, what they told me is what I had already suspected. However, the fact that they can not tell based on the serial # bothers me some. Perhaps the technician I spoke with was not that knowledgeable.

Next I need to decide whether to keep the unit or not. Basically, according to Panasonic, if anything happens to it in the next year, I'll have to pay to get it fixed.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 11:46 AM   #4
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Is there any info on the warranty card you could use?
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 2:05 PM   #5
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That is very strange that they cannot tell from the serial number. Isn't that how they identify the camera? That information HAS to be connected with the serial number. Otherwise how would they know if they had to honor the warranty or not.

I also think its a bit strange that cameras for the US market are made in a different place than the rest of the world....

Well, it is a bit riskier without the warranty. However, you did get an outrageous bargain that I have never seen anything that close to for a new model. If you wanted a US model for that price, it would be used, and the warranty may be expired anyway. So its a bit of a mixed bag there.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 7:19 PM   #6
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I agree, Dustin. There must be a connection between the model # and the market the camera is manufactured for. I also agree that I got a bargain. The camera has zero actuations, so it has never been used at all. Now, why would Wall Street Photo have a body only unit, beats me. Panasonic never sold this model as body only (at least not that I'm aware of). I found lots of it on eBay but that I understand. People are buying the kit for the lens (14-140mm, which costs over $800 if bought standalone) and then selling the body.

Clint, I found no warranty card, only a sheet of paper, which says US warranty but I don't believe this is it. There is no card matching the serial number of the camera. Then again, I don't believe the ZS7 came with such a card either (and that I bought straight from Amazon). Maybe this is an Oly thing.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions you guys made.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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There have to be other GH1 owners in the U.S. on this forum. Guys... can you each check your cameras for Tullio to see where it was made? And how about a call to a local or semi-local camera shop to simply ask them if they can see where the GH1 is made? You don't have to tell them your story.

But here are some questions... will the menu allow you to select NTSC for video output? If everyone else's GH1 is made in China, will you keep the camera? How about if they're all from Japan?
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
There have to be other GH1 owners in the U.S. on this forum. Guys... can you each check your cameras for Tullio to see where it was made? And how about a call to a local or semi-local camera shop to simply ask them if they can see where the GH1 is made? You don't have to tell them your story.

But here are some questions... will the menu allow you to select NTSC for video output? If everyone else's GH1 is made in China, will you keep the camera? How about if they're all from Japan?
If you load the GH1 hack, you can choose either NTSC or PAL from the menu, regardless of the intended market.

The GH1s are all physically the same, except for the language on the sticker at the bottom. The "Initial activation" in the chip on the camera determines market it is destined for. But even then, if you get a Japanese market model with Japanese language only, the GH1 hack will still enable you to change to any language, and change NTSC/PAL.


Oh, and by the way, I suspect that it might be from Hong Kong. Many gray market cameras, and those on ebay come from Hong Kong. That would explain the "Made in China" and the video set to PAL.

Last edited by dnas; Oct 29, 2010 at 10:38 PM.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
There have to be other GH1 owners in the U.S. on this forum. Guys... can you each check your cameras for Tullio to see where it was made? And how about a call to a local or semi-local camera shop to simply ask them if they can see where the GH1 is made? You don't have to tell them your story.

But here are some questions... will the menu allow you to select NTSC for video output? If everyone else's GH1 is made in China, will you keep the camera? How about if they're all from Japan?
Thanks, Biro. i very much appreciate your help. Yes, NTSC is an option, just not what was set from the manufacture. I think my mistake was to give the Pana technician too much information. Perhaps I should have just asked if there is a way to find out based on the serial # whether a camera is for the US market or not. The problem is, they now have my name, addr and phone # with a case #. So, I'll have to pretend being someone else if I choose to call them again. Unfortunately, there is no camera shops around here. Target, Best Buy and Fry's are it and let's face it, they sell cameras but know nothing about them.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnas View Post
...

Oh, and by the way, I suspect that it might be from Hong Kong. Many gray market cameras, and those on ebay come from Hong Kong. That would explain the "Made in China" and the video set to PAL.
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?
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