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Old Mar 17, 2015, 1:09 PM   #11
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The Amazon refurbished listing says "Manufacturer Refurbished by Panasonic to 100% fully functional working condition; In manufacturer box with all accessories. 30 Day No questions asked return period. Outside of packaging/box may have some light damage. Guaranteed or your money back!" So, it was done by Panasonic.

As for Panasonic's warranty, their ebay page states "For total peace of mind, all of our refurbished products come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty." However, this isn't listed by them, so the question is if the one year warranty applies to item they refurbish or to items the outlet sells. Further, searches from the outlet .com's page end up in .co.uk. I'm not sure where to check on this.

keh.com has a zs30 for $199 before shipping. (I didn't see a FAQ item for shipping costs. Amazon is free shipping, even for the refurbished one.)

Comparing images is neat. But as with any test, i can't decide right away. I have to get used to it first. (I am uncomfortable during eye examinations as well.) For that, i'd rather rely on users' opinions and just compare price and options. In any case, that's a nice site.

The models you mentioned don't appear in their list anyway. Should i be checking those out elsewhere?
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Old Mar 18, 2015, 1:23 AM   #12
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the $209 refurb on amazon is from a company with a pretty low rating. i wouldn't order from them myself, particularly since they seem to offer a different and much shorter warranty period.

keh does charge shipping, but you can see the price before you finish checkout. they're a very well regarded company, and our interactions with them including 2 purchases went well.

you can use the older studio comparison tool on dpreview to see older camera samples at a variety of ISOs.

i had the ZS20, and while i did return it and get the SX260, the images were actually pretty nice. i found that the camera was harder to hold due to its smaller size, and that impacted how effective the IS was, and i found that the SX260 did a better job (less noisy, more detail) on low light images. that being said, the ZS20 was a full featured little camera with good color, and i hear the newer version has improved in low light.

Last edited by pcake; Mar 18, 2015 at 1:27 AM.
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Old Mar 18, 2015, 10:47 AM   #13
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the $209 refurb on amazon is from a company with a pretty low rating. i wouldn't order from them myself, particularly since they seem to offer a different and much shorter warranty period.
Really, you consider 91% to be low? 98% is pretty much perfect, so anything above 90% looks good to me. Though, i admit i have no idea how to rate these ratings.

I wonder if i can ask Panasonic if they would stand behind the item, as it is manufacturer refurbished.

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keh does charge shipping, but you can see the price before you finish checkout. they're a very well regarded company, and our interactions with them including 2 purchases went well.
I generally browse with javascript and cookies blocked (except on sites i like), allowing them only as required. So, i didn't use the cart to see the shipping price. Good sites usually express their shipping policy somewhere, and with their good FAQ, i was surprised not to see one on shipping costs.

I'm wondering more if its under 10 bucks, or is it something that significantly adds to the cost.

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you can use the older studio comparison tool on dpreview to see older camera samples at a variety of ISOs.
Yeah. And it is very nice. Though, to my untrained eye at a quick look the differences between that cameras at the same ISO looked slight and thus a matter of preference. I am mostly ignorant at these things and need to use it a while to understand what is said about them.

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i had the ZS20, and while i did return it and get the SX260, the images were actually pretty nice. i found that the camera was harder to hold due to its smaller size, and that impacted how effective the IS was, and i found that the SX260 did a better job (less noisy, more detail) on low light images. that being said, the ZS20 was a full featured little camera with good color, and i hear the newer version has improved in low light.
So, you preferred the SX260 because you found it easier to hold and it had less noise and more detail in lower light condition. However, you have heard the ZS20's successors have improved on this latter point, so it may be of little concern.

The former point however, that it may be harder to hold, is something i am interested in. I never thought of that. Maybe i should borrow a camera or two and to see how it feels. Are we talking about the height, width, thickness, grips, or overall shape?

The SX260, new on Amazon, is ~$273. The comparison chart listed the SX280 (~$221) and it listed a newer model SX610 HS ($249) for cheaper. Would you suggest i look at one of these?
--
I appreciate you taking so much time to respond to me. I am grateful for it.
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Old Mar 18, 2015, 12:03 PM   #14
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i do consider 91% to be low. it means that 9 out of every hundred people aren't happy with a company, and considering that some companies on amazon and ebay have over 99% positive feedback with literally tens of thousands of sales...

keh would charge $11.95 to ship the camera to where i live in los angeles.

while a lot of people love truly pocketable cameras, i find that they just don't leave much space to actually hold them. but it was more the shape of the ZS20 that i found not great to hold while shooting, and there i found the SX230 and SX260 better. i used to use a canon SD4000, and it was quite small, too - perhaps it's partly the layout of the controls. on the other hand, you're used to shooting with your phone, but it's always a good idea to handle cameras before buying if possible.

i see that the SX280 is cheaper, but if you read the one star reviews, there seems to be an issue with the camera that i found mentioned elsewhere. it's an issue with video and zooming; if you don't want to shoot video, it may not be an issue.

the SX610 is a less advanced camera. it has no modes or mode dial, and if there's a way to change the ISO, it's buried in the menus. also the lens is slow, which means poorer low light performance. i'd say pass. if you were going with a fully automatic camera with no manual or semi manual modes or ISO control, you might consider an elph, but the ZS20 has many more useful features if you get interested in photography.
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Old Mar 18, 2015, 2:55 PM   #15
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i do consider 91% to be low. it means that 9 out of every hundred people aren't happy with a company, and considering that some companies on amazon and ebay have over 99% positive feedback with literally tens of thousands of sales...
Point taken. I do not agree 100%, but you make an excellent point. Perhaps its because i am more interested in ratios than individuals here. Regardless, thank you for the comment.

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keh would charge $11.95 to ship the camera to where i live in los angeles.
Most kind of you to check. $10 is not a deal breaker, just have to remember it when comparing prices (and warranties!)

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it was more the shape <snip> it's always a good idea to handle cameras before buying if possible.
Good point. I wonder if/where there is a local area for me to check. Then again, i am loathe to use a brick and mortar and then purchase online. Seems wrong to me, almost stealing. I think i'll try my neighbor's and/or friends to see how a "small" camera feels.

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i see that the SX280 is cheaper, but if you read the one star reviews, there seems to be an issue with the camera that i found mentioned elsewhere. it's an issue with video and zooming; if you don't want to shoot video, it may not be an issue.
Didn't read the reviews. (/me whistles while shifting his eyes nervously.) I like to read reviews when it matters (and usually a bunch of them), so, i was kind of waiting for you (or someone else) to help direct me first.

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the SX610 is a less advanced camera. it has no modes or mode dial, and if there's a way to change the ISO, it's buried in the menus. also the lens is slow, which means poorer low light performance. i'd say pass.
Thank you for pointing that out. Is indoors (apartment) considered low light?

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if you were going with a fully automatic camera with no manual or semi manual modes or ISO control, you might consider an elph, but the ZS20 has many more useful features if you get interested in photography.
I doubt i will get that interested. It's fun, and i enjoy it. It's more of something that i could use from time to time for events and trips, and a toy to take pictures and videos when i get interested. Or to take pictures of toys that i find interesting. For example, i am thinking of building something with kapla bricks and want to take a picture after each one is placed (using a tripod, i'd assume) and put together a video showing it all at once. Right now i just take shoddy pictures at the end with my camera to have some form of record.

Videos to interest me, so i want that capability. But it'd be for friends or youtube, so it ought to be better than bad quality, but after that, a "nice to have."

Based on what you have said, i think i will test holding a couple cameras to see if the extra cost of the SX260 is worth it. Unless i missed something else? Because, if they are mostly the same, cost will be the deciding factor. (If i want "into" it already and had a "feel" for it, that would likely change. I don't, which i why i find your advice invaluable.)

Might i ask also what accessories i would require (either for a specific model, or in general.) The basics might be an extra battery or two (from ebay?)
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Old Mar 20, 2015, 8:46 AM   #16
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FWIW, i emailed Power Deals LTD asking them if the manufacturer refurbished status gave it a warranty from Panasonic. Their response:
Quote:
I do not believe that it has an actual Panasonic warranty, but it does have our company's 30 day return and 60 day warranty coverage.
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Old Mar 20, 2015, 9:46 AM   #17
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their own listing says "Manufacturer Refurbished by Panasonic", and they are the ones who wrote that listing, so there's a lack of honesty. still, you have 30 days, so if you're not worried about a warranty, what the heck. if you do opt to buy it, i'd make sure to really put it through its paces to make sure everything works within the return period.
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Old Mar 20, 2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcake View Post
their own listing says "Manufacturer Refurbished by Panasonic", and they are the ones who wrote that listing, so there's a lack of honesty. still, you have 30 days, so if you're not worried about a warranty, what the heck. if you do opt to buy it, i'd make sure to really put it through its paces to make sure everything works within the return period.
Good points. I like buying from Amazon because i use them a lot, customer service is generally excellent, free shipping (2-day because of Prime), and the lower price. Plus, i am already setup with an account and everythign there. For them, the fulfillment is by Amazon and is Prime eligible.

However, i think you have convinced me on the warranty thing. Plus, you seem to like keh (personal testimonies mean a lot to me.) So, let me see:

Amazon, total price: $199.95 2 days, 30/60 day warranty.
keh: $199 + $11.95 (estimated) shipping total (estimated) $210.95 Can't see how long shipping will actually take because you have to enter CC info first (i really dislike websites that do that) though i'm guessing 5 days. and 180-day warranty.

So, that's $11 dollars for a 120 day extension to the warranty. That's probably worth it, even though its for something i hope i don't need.

In other news, i spoke with a friend who has a Sony handheld, and asked him to bring it by this weekend so i can test the feel to at least see if there are concerns over the feel of a smaller size. Just then, he didn't remember the model.

I'm still wondering about accessories. I'm guessing a battery or two, a charger, and an SD card or two. ebay has a bunch from chinese companies for under $20. Any comments here?
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 2:55 AM   #19
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wasabi is the company i always get my third party batteries and chargers from. they were recommended to me by a bunch of folks, and so far have worked for me well with several cameras. i love sandisk extreme cards, but honestly you'll probably do fine with any highly rated card on amazon. i get class 10 cards, no slower than 40 Mbps, and usually faster, but you can probably live without a card that fast. i'd suggest at least 8 gig, which these days is usually as small as you can get. i filled my 8 gig card last weekend in 3 hours of shooting - but i shoot raw plus JPG. i can't imagine you could easily fill an 8 gig card with JPGs unless you didn't format after shooting a few times.

which sony does he have?
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 9:17 AM   #20
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Thank you for all the helpful replies. I must say that every once in a while. I hope you realize how much i appreciate it!

I don't remember which Sony he had. I did look it up on Amazon. It was, iirc, about $89, though he bought it last summer for $150, including a case and other accessories. It was pretty small, and the size would take getting used to. Using it for a few minutes to shoot some pictures and look at them it seemed something i could get used to. That is, the controls weren't hard. I'm just used to something considerably larger.

Last night i borrowed my neighbor's small camera for a few minutes as well and shot some pictures of him and his son just to get the feel of it. The feeling was about the same, except that having a T/W as a dial on top instead of buttons on the back was even more inconvenient.

The ZS30 sounds good to me. The ZS50 came out and a quick check on Amazon did not find any price drops for earlier models. They're all through other stores, but i don't know where else to check. So, i'll likely make the purchase from keh today. (Standard shipping, and i'd like to receive it before the weekend, if possible.)

The batteries and memory cards ought to last years. And being stuck with it for that long, i'll pay a few dollars more for convenience.

For a battery, Amazon has a Wasabi listing $25 and almost no negative replies. Cheaper setups are going to cost $20, so that one is a no-brainer.

For memory cards, iuc, the ZS30 does not use raw. Is there anything special i should be looking for? A quick check found SD, SDHC, and SDXC mostly mostly refers to size, class refers to speed.

Checking Amazon for convenience, Sandisk:

Code:
GB    Extreme     Extreme Pro
16    14.95        29.95
32    22.95        39.95
64    44.95        75.95
128   124.99
256   239.99
The Extreme 32GB looks pretty good for a decent price. It's less than twice the 16GB version and if i wanted 64 i could just buy another 32 at a later date with only a 95 cent loss. The Pro seems more expensive, and at this point, i do not even know what it is.

What do you think?

Last edited by chacham; Mar 23, 2015 at 9:22 AM.
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