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Old July 14th, 2005, 01:59 AM   #1
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MiniDV cam/deck extended warranty?

First off, it's only thanks to everyone here that i've made it this far, i've been doing untold amounts of research here and it's great to find such a helpful bunch of people.

it's time to get a deck, but the budget is tight. the solution that has been recommended is to get a cheap camcorder and use it as a deck (with the added bonus of having an extra camera).

the biggest drawbacks i've read about are excessive wear and tear, and mediocre responsiveness during log and capture. the second i'm willing to put up with (i think).

the solution that came to mind is buy an extended warranty.

i've been looking at the canon ZR200 (i like the still photo/SD card option for the little extra money) but i wanted to know if anyone would like to shoot a few holes in my plan (better now than finding out for myself the hard way).

the two places i've been looking at are B&H and (shudder) bestbuy.
i don't like bestbuy, but my friend swears by their warranty.
B&H has the camera by itself for $319, plus canon has a $50 rebate on it right now, or they have it packaged with some nice extra stuff (not all of which i need/want) plus a four year warranty for $449 with the same rebate.
best buy has it (again, the rebate applies to both), for $399 alone or $498 with their warranty which, i'm told, is a little better (for example it covers the battery).
i'm leaning heavily towards B&H but i always like to hear all the arguments.

my two main concerns are this. for an extra $100-$130, is the warranty worth it? (ie. what does it take to frag the heads and blow up the firewire port?) and is the bestbuy warranty worth the extra $50 (plus the lack of some extra stuff, i've left a link to B&H further down with a full list.)

i'd love to hear your arguments on the whole plan as well as the particulars i've listed. no criticism is too harsh.

thanks to everyone,
-chris

P.S. the rebate ends sept. 30th

(link to B&H)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old July 14th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #2
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I can't really help you in this matter, but I would thoroughly read the "small print"
that should come with that extended warranty to see what it is they exactly
cover and whether if 100% is refunded (or you have a base of say $100 for
example).
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Old July 14th, 2005, 08:08 AM   #3
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I too was looking at this deal. I posted previously about the Mack Warrenty (B&H). Do a search on Mack Warrenty. Let me know what you find.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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so here's what i've found so far....
you can purchase just the 4 year warranty from B&H for about $50, BUT if you ever need to use it, it'll cost you $70 round trip shipping. ouch! plus it takes between 2 (if you're lucky) and 8 weeks.

on the other hand bestbuy will match circuit city's price of $349 plus $99 for their warranty, which like i said is a lot better than the mack warranty through B&H. plus you don't have to pay s&h everytime you send it in.

so it looks like best buy is going to be the way to go at a total cost of about $400 (after rebate, good til' sept 30)

i'm still open to advice on this whole bussines and thanks to everyone who has already posted.

-chris
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Old July 15th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #5
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So it is $99 for best buy warranty ? Camera is $349 then minus $50 rebate?$400 in the end. Did you go to best buy and nagotiate or do it on phone to find this out?
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Old July 15th, 2005, 11:22 AM   #6
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what i've been told is that as long as you can find a local store with the same product in stock, best buy will price match. i'm going over there today with a printout of the circuit city price to find out for sure and i'll let you know.

the rebate is for $50 and is through canon, so it's a mail-in deal, which means a bit of a wait for the check.

i'm told to make sure you go to the store because they often have specials where you get a free gift card if you purchas the camera and a warranty or accessorie. again, i'll let you know for sure when i find out.

the best buy website has more info on their warranty, but for cameras $300-$499 the 4 year warranty is $99.

i hope that helps and i should have more info in a day or so.
-chris
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Old July 15th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #7
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Thanks chris,
I will check back to see what you find out. I will be back in two days.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 05:48 PM   #8
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Chris,

Here's an old thread about extended warranties, with people both "for" and "against."

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=34996

As you'll see from that thread, I'm an "against" person. On average, extended warranties make money for the warranty company, not the consumers. If you have equipment that you absolutely cannot afford to replace if it fails outside the manufacturer's warranty, but within the terms and timeframe of the extended warranty, then it might be worth the upfront cost. Probably very few people buying a $300 camcorder fit into that category.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #9
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That was well worth reading , it made me think hmmm... What I want to mainly do is use the mini dv, instead of my Gl2, to transfer my footage to my computer to edit also to use it for "pass through" for my analog tapes for digitilization. I assume it would be less costly on one hand to replace heads on the cheaper unit than the more expensive unit after the original factory warranty.
I have footage I would like to catch up on .The thing is, how much footage do I have to really transfer. I suppose with all the footage, if I stayed on it I could have it all done well before the factory warranty was up. Thats if nothing goes wrong with the camcorder or my computer (down time repair). This is my main use for the camcorder. Yes, I am really debating on warrenty now. camcorder I am still in the market for.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 01:00 AM   #10
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i went to best buy and the best they could do on the zr200 was $359 which is only ten dollars more than the lowest local advertised price i found (@circuit city).

i went ahead and got the warranty on the recommendation of my friend. he says tha you can take in the battery and tell them it doesn't hold its charge like it used to and they will replace it. if i drop it in the sand at the beach, they'll fix it (or give me a new one). plus i plan to use it mainly as a deck, which will work it pretty hard i think. (i've heard a couple of horror stories about fried firewire ports and smoking heads)

anyway, i've had the camera for a couple of days and don't have anything bad to say about it. the widescreen feature is pretty cool, but it's digital pictures leave a lot to be desired, go figure. it's by no means my dvx100, but it's not supposed to be. if i take a vacation anytime soon, it'll come along with me, but until then, it'll mostly be hooked up to my computer.

all in all, it's a $410 deck with a 2.5" LCD that is theoreticaly indestructible for the next four years. (knock on wood) it's a cheap fix, and i'm expecting cheap fix results, but it never hurts to hedge your bets a little i guess.

if i find out more i'll pass it along, and as always i'm interested to hear other peoples observations and opinions. it's the only way to learn after all.

thanks to everybody,
-chris
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