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Old July 14th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #1
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Battery lifetime, GS400 or GS250 or GS150 better?

Hi,

This is my first post after reading a bit on the GS family from Panasonic. I originally wanted to buy a GS150 after reading a a test of more camcorders in the German computer magazine C't. There the GS150 was tested together with Sony HS90 and some other camcorders. I was convinced by the good battery life time and the good critics on the EIS and the wind filter, and really wanted to go out and buy this camera.

Now, then I found this forum and I am not so sure any more: I really want the GS400, but as I get the impression that the GS150 is newer than the GS400, I fear that the GS400 may be a bit hungry on battery because of the higher resolution on the eye viewfinder and the larger display. It also seems that the GS400 is missing that little joystick on the jog wheel, not that would miss it since I never had it, but when its there, there's most often an opinion on why.

I am not going to do any professional movies, just family stuff, but I have a 16:9 TV-set and I wanted to have a long battery life and a camera which I find good in the hand. I would also probably be happy with the GS250, as it seems to be as new as the GS150. Does anybody have some numbers on how long the batteries run on the GS400 and the GS250 compared to the GS150?
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Old July 14th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #2
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Svenn,

The GS400 is the top-of-the-line Panasonic consumer camera. The GS250 and GS150 are newer, but do not have the same features. Particularly, they are missing all of the manual controls and picture adjustment capabilities of the GS400. They have smaller screens and smaller CCDs. I have a GS400 and it is worth every penny. However, it may be overkill if you don't need all the manual controls. The GS250 makes terrific images.

The GS400 does consume batteries faster than the other two. The power consumption with LCD screen open is 6.0 watts; GS250 is 4.3 watts; GS150 is 3.9 watts. So, a battery that would last an hour on the GS250 would only last 40 minutes on the GS400. However, batteries have never been a real challenge for me. Even the bundled battery lasts long enough to record a full tape. I have purchased additional third-party batteries off eBay for around $30 each and they last even longer.

You really can't go wrong with these cameras, but I think there may be some quality issues with the GS150 in low light.

Josh
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Old July 14th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #3
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I own gs400(Japanese edition, and I can't read Japanese) and it is ok for me.

Regards
Leigh
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Old July 15th, 2005, 12:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
I own gs400(Japanese edition, and I can't read Japanese) and it is ok for me.
What battery lifetime do you see? I am asking because I would like to know how many additional batteries I should order with the camera. I expect to do some recording during sailing where AC mains is not readily available.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #5
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Hi Svenn,

I got default battery bought with the camera. It is very short, less than an hour something like that. I have not timed it. Whenever I get a chance, i.e. import video footage to computer, I use the charger(AC mains) to power the camera instead of the battery. You have to use LCD screen, the smaller viewfinder is useless IMHO.

One suggestion is that you do a diy circuit/commercial one to use 12v motor battery(That is very cheap and I am sure that can last a long time) to charge your panasonic battery, or supply power to your camera.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn Bjerkem
What battery lifetime do you see? I am asking because I would like to know how many additional batteries I should order with the camera. I expect to do some recording during sailing where AC mains is not readily available.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #6
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Svenn, so far with my GS-400 and using the LCD screen, I always filled an 1 hour tape before running out of battery.
But if you use the LCD screen while sailing, you might want to use the Power LCD function and it will drain the battery even faster.
I am afraid you will have to buy a more powerful battery.

I don't know what think the experts, but if you are sailing, a OIS seems a better choice then a EIS.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn Bjerkem
What battery lifetime do you see? I am asking because I would like to know how many additional batteries I should order with the camera. I expect to do some recording during sailing where AC mains is not readily available.
I would not pick a camera based on battery life, just buy additional batteries if you need extended recording time.

With the DU21, I've gotten between 80-90 minutes with LCD on and fairly continuous zooming, and maybe 2 1/2 hours using the viewfinder a good part of the time and very little zooming.
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