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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old April 21st, 2003, 01:39 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Go for an extended warranty

Go for the extended warranty guys! Like a lot of people I realise that there's often more profit in selling the extended warranty than in selling the goods alone, so with that in mind I never extended the warranty on my car, my washing machine, my wife.

But I've taken a DX100 camcorder to pieces and I was in breath-holding awe at the delicate mechanical complexity of the beast. When you think that the palm of your hand can hide a stereo digital audio recorder, two microphones, a DV VCR, two viewfinders, a loudspeaker, a 12x zoom, three CCDs, audio output amplifier, sockets, buttons, menus, hot shoe, CPU, switches galore, batteries, OIS activators and tens of other complex electro-mechanical mechanisms you too should think twice about breakdown.

I extended the warranty on my first TRV900 and Sony replaced it at mic failure. I extended the warranty on that 900 and had a VX2k replacement when its mics failed as well. I've extended the warranty on this VX but in comparison to the 900 it's a tough as old nails.

But then I look at my diminutive MX300 which for all intents and purposes is a VX2k in half the overall volume (12x zoom, three chips, 2.5" side screen etc). Just looking at the thing had me signing the warranty form and I film now with a load lifted from my mind. And photographers with loads off their minds make better movies, OK?

Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2003, 02:07 AM   #2
Outer Circle
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527

I think an extended warranty is a good thing as well, though none of my cams have ever broken down. My DVL9500s just keep going and going....
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 22nd, 2003, 08:17 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 1,415
Just keep in mind that the extended warranty is not there for your best interest. Thats why so many places push it. They know that if a cam survives its original manufacturers warranty that the only real problem after that is owner neglect which is usually not covered.

Put your money in savings everytime you're tempted to buy an extended warranty and after you sell or discard the item blow the heck out of your newly acquired booty.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 02:05 AM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Singapore, Passport: Malaysia
Posts: 407
But it certainly depends on usage. If you work in caustic environments, or in wet weather all the time, while you bump the cam around on a 4WD off road, and spin 300 hours of tape in half a year, extended warranty would be VERY useful indeed.

My previously owned MX8 needed a tape head and CCD replacement (!!!!) after 1 year of heavy beating. The extended warranty covered that. Otherwise, I'll be paying S$800, which is about 1/3 of the price of the cam (I bought the cam at S$2300).

But if we are using the cam in very homeuser level, gentle and clean environments, running 1 hour of tape every week, the extended warranty would run out before the cam does.

The good thing about Singapore is that Panasonic gives 1 year warranty, then teh option to buy 2 more years anytime before the first warranty expire. If all is well before the last few days, you can still skip the extended warranty, but by then, you would have a good gauge on the wear-and-tear.

Thank God, I realise that 300+ hours in 10 months is too much, and bought the extended warranty!
Cam: Panasonic MX350EN, SOLD my MX8EN
Mac: G3 400MHz PowerBook, 256 MB, OS 9
PC: Pentium 4 2800MHz, 512 MB, WindowsXP
SW: iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Ulead Video Studio, various little utilities
Yow Cheong Hoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2003, 02:14 AM   #5
Regular Crew
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Posts: 112
If you plan to sell your cam and it has some more years in the extended warranty, then you will get a better price for it & it can be sold easily.

I have not taken an extended warranty for my cam (MX 300).

I hope never to have it break down - or it will be costly!

But I'm willing to take the risk, seeing that my MX300 is reputed to be very tough - according to Terrence Smith, who's taken it into many overseas trips & that includes the jungles of Borneo. Just take the precautions not to get it wet or drop it.

Unfortunately in Malaysia, you have to buy the extended warranty (adds 3 more years) within the 1st month of your buying the cam. It costs about RM 480 (USD $125).

It really depends on YOU whether to get a warranty or not. If you feel you need the peace of mind that an extended warranty offers, then by all means go ahead.

Though like Haupfear says, the cam WILL survice the original manufacturers warranty. Any manufacturing fault should appear within the first few months of use - thus it can be fixed for free, before the original warranty expires.

The exception is if you somehow abuse it i.e. drop it, hit it, wet it, take it apart & put it back incorrectly etc. and claim that it's a manufacturing defect, and hope that somehow Panasonic doesn't catch on to this ploy...

Remember, warrantees don't cover "wear & tear", only MANUFACTURING DEFECTS, so I doubt that Panasonic will warranty your tape head, rollers, etc. in the tape mechanism which is the most used ( & prone to failure ) mechanical parts of the cam, besides the zoom motor & iris & shutter. 2 years down the road, can you claim that your tape motor has a manufacturing defect? Maybe I'm wrong...?

If my tape mechanisms gets spoilt and it's too expensive to repair, then I would use my MX300 as a spare camera for a live feed into a Firewire drive or tape deck. By the time that happens, technology would have progressed so much that it would be feasible to get the latest vidcam with decent specs, instead of fixing it. Hopefully we've got better CCDs and have better noise reduction circuitry.

Even non mechanical parts like the LCD & viewfinder will eventually have more "dead" or "always on" pixels over the years. Will they warranty this?

I've read years ago, when all we had was Sony Hi-8 camcorders, not to buy 2nd hand camcorders that are over 3 years old 'cos the capacitors, circuit board or the CCDs may fail at any time.
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