Differences in the Japanese and North American GS400 at DVinfo.net

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Old November 11th, 2004, 08:58 AM   #1
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Differences in the Japanese and North American GS400

I am considering buying a GS400.

I read here

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29822

from Tommy that

"Looks like we definitely have confirmation that the N.A. NTSC GS400 lacks both a fluorescent WB setting and the ability to create MPEG4 clips."

Is anybody aware of any other differences ?

Thanks.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #2
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I can't think of anything else other than N.A. only comes in silver.

I don't think any of these features cripple the N.A. GS400 and you have the benefit of warranty. Price is another issue as you can get a Japanese GS400 for around $1000 USD but over the last month I have seen N.A. GS400 prices drop and currently B&H has it for $1199.

Why won't Matsushita give N.A. and PALsville a black GS400? :)
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Old November 14th, 2004, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks, Tommy.

I agree that those differences are minor.

Regarding the black vs. silver issue, my opinion is that Panasonic does not offer the black outside Japan because they want to keep something special and unique for the Japanese. Sort of like a child that hoards his toys or candy and won't share.

If you think about it from a business sense, it make no sense. So many people would like to buy the black version so they would really sell a lot of the black units. Just my take on this issue.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 11:39 AM   #4
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Most Americans like their toys nice and shiney so people will notice them. Remember, the cam is basically a high end consumer cam. Most of the people attracked to the black one have 'pro' ambitions.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 03:50 PM   #5
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Okay, I admit that black has a "cool" factor -- but the reality is that a highly reflective finish (such as silver) is probably more practical in most warmer climates.

Modern electronics (and mechanics) don't much like too much in the way of temperature changes and a black camera is going to absorb a hell of a lot more heat from sunlight or other radiating sources of infra-red light.

Japan has a fairly temperate climate so maybe they figure that this effect is not going to be a problem there.

However, I'd wager that in the middle of an Arizona desert or a July afternoon in Southern California, a black camer is going to get damned hot if it's inadvertantly left in the sun for even a few minutes.

Maybe only exporting the sliver version is a clever way of ensuring reliability and keeping warranty repair costs to a minimum?
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Old November 15th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #6
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I wish I had the answer as to why we lack a black GS400 but I really doubt its due to heat retention. Silver is just becoming a dominate color in todays electronics. Even the forever black AV receivers are beginning to go silver (or champagne in other parts of the world).

Take note that Panasonic is offering black and silver color options on some of their N.A. digital cameras!

Another cam worth mentioning is the Canon Digital Rebel DSLR where its only silver in N.A. but both black and silver in Japan. Go figure!
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Old November 16th, 2004, 03:17 AM   #7
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I am confused too because all my film SLR cameras that I have owned going back the past 20 years were always black (Canon, Minolta models).

I thought that Bruce's theory might be true but the more I think about it, the more I think not. The top Digital SLRs and Film SLRs in 2004 are black (I am thinking about the Nikons and Canons).

I don't know. Maybe it is just the target marketing by these companies.

I read a post by Allan that he thinks it will be about 5 years time before the price of HD video cameras become afforable to non-pros. What do you guys think ? About 5 years ?

Also, does anybody know if the GS400 have built-in ND filters like I read the DV953 had ?
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Old November 16th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #8
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Reference was made on another site to a U.S. marketing survey (apparently closely held by the industry) indicating that most men (who are still the dominant players in the electronics market?) prefer silver. So, guys, it's up to you to change those survey stats! (As women customers become more important, by the way, at least in Japan, you're starting to see those cutesie colors. It's my understanding that there's even a color-coordinated Kyocera camera to go with one's iPod mini. Right, Allan?)
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Old November 16th, 2004, 07:06 PM   #9
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How about some more colors other than silver and black for your camcorder?

Sharp Japan has its Viewcam Zs available in silver, white, blue, and yes even pink.

http://www.sharp.co.jp/products/vlz900/index.html
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