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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old July 9th, 2003, 02:44 PM   #61
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I'll see if anything is available yet, in regards with English doc.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 08:18 PM   #62
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If you want a battery that will run for longer than 55 minutes if you use the LCD monitor while shooting, go to the Japanese web site for Panasonic, click on the picture of the 100K. It will take you to a larger picture, with a menu on the left hand side. the second tab from the bottom will take you to accessories. I purchased the waist pack from http://www.pricejapan.com (VW VBD7). It's a little more expensive, but is supposed to work for up to 9 hours and, because you wear it on your waist, does not add much weight to the camcorder. There's also a possibility (mentioned to me by someone else who had been trying to get information on the 100K) that the GS-70 battery is the same as the one supplied with the 100K (55 min, etc.), so if that's available where you are, you could try waiting to check that out. Pricejapan will take longer to supply any battery you try to purchase from them because, as they told me, it's a small item they don't stock. Nonetheless, they managed to ship it within a week of my placing the order, and I expect to receive it by the end of this week. Enjoy.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 08:27 PM   #63
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When I go to pricejapan, click on "English," then click the link for the GS100, NOTHING is in English.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 08:56 PM   #64
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Frank, I'm a little confused by what you've said. When I go to www.pricejapan.com, the site somes up in English. The GS100K appears in the very first row of items. If you click on the pricing for US/Canada, it gives you the latest info on pricing, how they arrive at the price, etc., all in English. Do you, by any chance, have your PC set to recognize Japanese? I have a Mac and had Japanese enabled at one point. Problem was, when I bought a little Fuji pocket digicam and tried to download the software, all the instructions were in Japanese. Yikes. I had to turn off the Japanese language capablity of the Mac - which still, by the way, allows me to access Japanese language sites, but does not now assume that my preferred language for accessing web sites and software is Japanese. Hope this helps. If, on the other hand, you were talking about the Panasonic Japan site, yes, it's all in Japanese. Pretty easy to see what the accessories are, though. As to their quality, well, I don't worry that much about the specs because people will either decide they want one and know how to get something available locally that will suit them or will just get whatever Panasonic has to offer. Prices on these items will be whatever pricejapan tells you they can get it for cheapest (they tell you on the site how they find that price, too). Only the batteries are a real issue, because finding ones that are compatible is always harder. Also, as far as I can tell from the GS70 manual, even if its battery is compatible with the 100K, the waist pack battery is not something one can order for the US model. Nor for the DV953, for that matter.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #65
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Saw the black beauty on the shelf last night....my precious (LOL). Sold out.

Batteries for the following cams are exactly the same but power consumption differ:

GS100
GS70
GS50
VDR-M30K (DVD cam)

The waist pack battery (VW-VBD7) will last between 3 hours 55 minutes up to 7 hours 45 minutes during ACTUAL shooting (intermittent shooting, LCD on, OIS on, zoom in/out, etc.). For continuous steady shooting without using the LCD, it can last as long as 9 hours 10 minutes (but whose gonna use their cam that way).

Cheers
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Old July 9th, 2003, 09:30 PM   #66
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Out of curiosity, what's the black model selling for? More expensive than the silver?
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Old July 9th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #67
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In regular stores, exactly the same price.

In discount shops listed in kakaku - still non-existent (but when they finally get the black one, the price should be the same - the big question is WHEN).

For those who haven't bought, I have the quick reference guide in English.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #68
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You should put together a package with the black model, waist pack battery, largest size Panasonic SD card and English cheat sheet. You would probably get some orders from those who want something of quality they can use more than just sporadically. I was really impessed by the quality of the mpeg4 even I managed to eke out (and so was everyone who received it by e-mail)- even though someone in another forum noted that Windows Media Player is the broken Microsoft version of mpeg4.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:31 PM   #69
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I imagine the (minor) inconveniences that the waist pack's dangling cord and weight (380 grams!) can bring. Also even in the beach, you'd need to wear a belt (LOL).

Cheat sheets for menus are ready. I'm just hoping for the chance to see the complete Japanese manual in order to include the additional operation/error messages in the LCD.

All accessories should be optional IMO.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:43 PM   #70
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Allan - I wrote you a few days ago via e-mail and didn't get a reply. I have shared some e-mail with Tommy Haupfear who said you have a semi translated manual for the GS100.

As I wrote you and have posted on these forums, I would love to purchase one of these puppies, but I am concerend about the menus and how difficult it would be to access manual controls especially for low light situations.

Patricia ... is your GS100 pretty straight forward - like just point and shoot? or are you finding you need to access your menus more often for different results? I know your a mac user .... so am I they are the best computer and easiest for this. But what I'm bascially asking is how complicated is it without the english menus for the camera operations? Are there icons? It it easy to get into DV to AV mode for transfers? Are the MPEG, Stills, AV to DV menus difficult to access? I'm only asking about ease of use for you. Not the video quailty.

Allan if you wouldn't mind assisting me with a little first hand knowledge of the on screen menus and what we should expect. Maybe the menus are Japenglish I don't know, but a little assistance of the GS100 operations with the Japanese menus would greatly help most of us make a decision the purchase or move on to something else.

I know for me, with what I have been reading and seeing - I truly believe this camera is just what I've been looking for. However, I (as most people do) do not wish to spend good money on something that I will not be able to figure out hunting for the proper controls with the many Japanese menus.

Thank you both very much - I appreciate your replies.

Best regards,

Rick.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 11:19 PM   #71
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Rick,

It's hard to answer your question because I am not at a total loss re the Japanese language. There are really no icons. You could probably figure out how to turn the camera on and record (that old red button is there). You could easily figure out which is the zoom lever and which button to press for shooting a photo. On the side under the LCD panel, you could use the GS70 manual to explain the buttons, which are almost all the same except for two, and those two are added outside of the area described in the GS70 manual. The menus are another story. You could probably figure out what some of them meant because there are numbers involved. But that would be about it, I think. To use the camcorder under all kinds of conditions and make changes in midstream, you would have to essentially memorize from the cheat sheet the button and jog dial pushes to be completely confident about what you were doing, since the menu that would appear on the screen would be in Japanese. I don't think the GS70 English menus or DV953 English menus are exactly like those of the GS100. I haven't gone through both minutely, however. Hooking up to a Mac is also not as straightforward as one might suppose. I could help with that; the main thing is to understand that Panasonic has supplied software and drivers for Windows, not for the Mac. So you have to find work arounds. Once you do, it's back to plug and play, really. Perhaps you should download both the 953 and GS70 manuals and look at them so you get an idea of how much difference there can be. This is kind of a devil in the details situation [e.g., the menus alone will not tell you when a function is disabled because of the mode (tape, card, photo) you are in]. By the way, I don't say this to discourage you, because I think this is a remarkable camcorder. But it's an effort for me even with some knowledge of the language, especially since I have never used a camcorder of any kind before. On the other hand, if you have friends who have some expertise, that could change your perspective, too.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 11:40 PM   #72
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Sorry Rick I didn't receive your email but Tommy's emails are OK. Please re-send. I normally reply within a day.

In my experience handling various Japanese electronic stuffs, in the end, it's really a matter of memorizing the basic functions or the most commonly used settings. Once you press the Menu button, the LCD will be filled with lots of Japanese characters - that you should expect.

Of course, having cheat sheets and quick reference guide would help mitigate the difficulty and would certainly allow even the total beginner (both in the language and the cam) to perform basic shooting and playback functions. And as I previously posted, I provide personal assistance (as much as I can) both in the language part and the technical part, hence I make it a point to keep a copy of the Japanese manual for ready reference.

The GS100 under full auto mode is just as point and shoot as any cheaper and basic consumer cam in the market. Just turn on the power switch, insert the tape and you're ready to go. But I don't think you would want to buy the GS100 mainly for their auto features, but rather the option for the user to play with tons of manual controls to his/her liking under different shooting conditions. Thatfs the "fun" part of it. Actually, you can perform most manual operations/adjustments even without using the menus. By simply sliding the switch to Manual Mode, pressing the Jogwheel and turning the Jogwheel, you can manually adjust the shutter speed, iris-opening or gain (note that you can adjust the gain only when the iris is fully open - owners please feel free to correct). The indications for shutter speed, iris opening and gain are just plain universal numbers that any nationality will recognize . Moreover, white balance adjustment, Wide/Procimema/Slow Shutter/Telemacro mode activation are done by simply pressing their corresponding buttons. So you see, anybody can somehow manage with the manual controls even without performing menu operations.

In any case, there is more "fun" hidden, and some features available only under the menus, thus, owners should take the time to learn how to use them. That's the main purpose of the cheat sheets.

Sorry I have to go out now. Thanks.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 12:16 AM   #73
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When I click on the GS100K pic, I get Japanese, the other links beside or behind the pick come up in English. However, the links just stick out slightly from the pic, some don't show up at all. I use a PC/Netscape.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 01:04 AM   #74
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I have no expertise, but could it be a browser issue? Is it possible to use msie with your isp? I'm on msie for mac (no longer to be supported by ms in the future, by the way) because of my isp and haven't had any problems accessing the site. I think ms has most of the market in Japan, too.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 02:42 AM   #75
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I don't know, but next time I'm on a high speed connection somewhere, I'll browse around. I'm using MS DOS 6.22/MS WIN 3.11 with a 33.6 modem at home. I e-mailed Pana to see if they have some English info available. Who knows, there might even be an English PAL version PDF manual soon.
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