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Old January 21st, 2004, 09:44 PM   #1
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GS100K questions

hello,

I have a few questions that I have not seen asked in any of the threads about the GS100K.

I am trying to decide between the 953 and the GS100k.

Is the text in the LCD screen in japanese ? Like date/time hh::mm:ss of tape... What exactly is japanese on the camera ?

How does the camera hold up as a point and shoot camera ? I am a novice, but want the best quality video in a small form factor camera. Would this camera be overkill for me seeing as though it is well sought after for its manual control ?

Are batteries for the GS100k easily available in the states ?

Would the differences in wide mode between the 953 and the GS100k be obvious to me a novice when viewed on a wide mode tv ? Or are they very suddle.

Low light capabilites, good wide mode and video quality are important, but is there that much of a difference between the two that warrants putting up with the japanese menus and offshore service ?

I downloaded the gs100k doc with the menu conversions and it did not overwhelm like I thought they would.

I just am a little unsure to order a camera I never did hands on testing.

One thing I did not like about the 953 was the tape loading and unloading, it was loud and slow, thought it would break everytime I ejected it.

Thank,
John.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 03:45 AM   #2
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Welcome, John. I can only answer a couple of your questions. Yes, you can buy batteries easily for the GS100 in the USA.

I don't find the PV-DV953's loading mechanism slow and noisy, nor do I think it'll break easily, though the GS100's is improved from what I've read from owners' comments.

Both the PV-DV953 and GS100 are good point and shoot cams, very good, I believe. It shouldn't be overkill for anyone. You either shoot in auto or manual; and with manual mode, you can select the manual funtions you want.
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Low light capabilites, good wide mode and video quality are important, but is there that much of a difference between the two that warrants putting up with the japanese menus and offshore service?
Better low light, better widescreen with the GS100. Tommy would be a good person to ask about this because he owned a PV-DV953 or MX5000 and now he owns a GS100.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 07:45 AM   #3
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These are the non-Jap characters that can be displayed on the LCD

date
time
zoom magnication
shutter speed
F-stop
gain
P (progressive photoshot)
Z. Mic
MEGA (OIS)
12bit, 16bit (sound mode)
MF (manual focus)
AWB (auto white balance)
AE
0 Lux
P-ADJ (picture adjustment)
Picture
MPEG4
Voice
Title
F, N, E (digital still quality)
WEB
Symbols for white balance and AE modes, OIS, VTR functions
Numbers
QXGA, UXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA

On the body
Panasonic
Leica Dicomar
GS100
3-CCD
3.1 Mega Pixel
DV, S2 (S1), AV
OPEN
Polysilicone TFT
MEGA OIS
4ECM
SD

If Im not mistaken even the phrase Made in Japan is written in Jap.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys.

Allen, when you say "non-Jap characters that CAN be displayed"

Are the non jap characters displayed by default, or will I have to hunt through the jap menus in order to have set non-jap as my default.

Is there any important information on the LCD that cannot be displayed as non-jap ?

Thanks again,
John.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:28 AM   #5
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The GS100 is as point and shoot as any cheaper cam.

GS100K batteries are the same as that of GS70K and could be bought cheaper in the US. However, waist-holder type batt (super long life) is available only in Japan.

If you have both cameras pointed at the same subject at the same time, you could readily see that GS100 has a slightly wider horizontal angle of view under widescreen mode. On paper, the GS100 has 28% higher vertical resolution than that of MX5K, but if you only have one cam at a time, I doubt if you could detect that much difference. GS100 LCD is clearly better than that of MX5K. In fact, I havent seen any consumer cam with better looking LCD.

Again, if you'd have the chance to see them side by side pointed at the same subject, the GS100 video is cleaner than that of MX5k under low-light. A poster in a Jap message board noted that GS100 at 18db gain exhibited less noise than MX5K at 15db.

GS100 loading mechanism is a lot faster, smoother and quieter.

If you have real big hands, the MX5k may be more comfortable to hold. The GS100 is a lot more compact than it appears in pictures.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:42 AM   #6
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Are the non jap characters displayed by default, or will I have to hunt through the jap menus in order to have set non-jap as my default.

all character displays are factory presets and cannot be changed.

I used the word CAN because some non-Jap character displays are activated by navigating through the Jap menus.

In case you get annoyed with all the Jap and non-Jap displays on the LCD, you can turn most of them off through menu operation (but the jap terms for Recording and Paused remain - well you've got to be given some indication whether the cam is recording or not).
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 10:11 AM   #7
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Thanks Allen you are being very helpful.

Just a clarification, On a brand new camera, when someone turns it on for the first time and turns date, time and hh:mm:ss of tape on to be displayed on LCD, is it jap or american display ?

I hope I am not being a pain, I just want to understand.

Thanks,
John.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 02:14 PM   #8
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John, I've included a screenshot from my last Japanese Cam (NV-MX1000) but its very similar to how my GS100 looks.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...MX1000Menu.jpg

In this particular shot starting from top left:

Battery gauge
Picture - still mode
MNL - Manual adjustments
MEGA - with Hand is for Mega Optical Image Stabilization
Sun - White Balance setting
1/30 - shutter speed
Iris - +15dB
Eye - Red Eye Reduction
Lightning Bolt - Flash
P - Progressive Photoshot
F-108 - 108 digital stills left
1280 - Resolution for stills is 1280x1024
Picture - saving to SD memory (versus tape)

The Japanese menus are an easy obstacle to overcome and the pay-off is well worth the price of admission. I hope to have a lengthy review of the GS100 coming up but ice cold weather and pergnant wife (twin boys) has kept me a busy man. :)
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 02:20 PM   #9
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BTW - I'll try and get you some updated screenshots this evening including one in camcorder mode with the date and time displayed.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 05:48 PM   #10
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The first time you turn on the cam, youd hear a strong beeping sound and a big warning message in red is displayed at the middle of the screen. Dont panic, it simply means NO TAPE or PLEASE INSERT TAPE.

Dates and time are all displayed in the usual 0,1,2,3..(year, month, day; hr, min, sec in that order) can't say such numbering system is totally non-Jap bec we use 0,1,2,3 in our daily lives here, but there is a way to write them in purely Jap.

Note that the default time setting is Japan time. Date and time settings can be changed using menu operation (probably your very first menu operation).
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 11:00 PM   #11
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I can't add anything to the above but to say, I have owned the GS100 for about five months. It's a GREAT camera! The japanese menus are no problem for me at all and the picture quality is so nice.
If you do decide to get one I highly recommend using Allan. Very trust worthy and as you can see know his stuff about cameras
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 08:24 AM   #12
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I've owned the GS100K for 3 or 4 months now and its great. I live in Japan, and I'm trying to learn Japanese so the menus can be figured out if you learn a little Katakana.

I do have one problem I can't seem to figure out and that is the backlight function. Is there one??? The manual claims that there is a backlight indicator, but I don't see a button or menu item anywhere for this function. Does it just happen automatically? Doesn't the 953 have a button for this?
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 11:36 AM   #13
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Under cam mode, the PLAY button functions as Backlight compensation function.
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 10:32 PM   #14
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Wow.. you're right! I can't believe I didn't figure that out on my own. Stupid..stupid ..stupid.

Thanks!
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Old January 26th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #15
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Well, another black mamba hit the states. I ordered it on Friday 3pm EST. It was at my doorstep Monday 11AM EST.

Thanks for everyones help.

John.
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