Tag Archives: DMC-ZS20

Amazon Proves To Be Exemplary In Giving Us A ‘Partial’ Refund For Our ‘Star-Crossed’ Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Amazon amazingly sends us replacement — Jan. 20, 2013.
>>
Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera: Automated Lens
>>Cap Started To Stick …
January 14, 2013.
>> Amazing 20x optical zoom on Lumix ZS20 — Jan. 5, 2013.


Click to ENLARGE. You can clearly see the spot on the picture.

Click to ENLARGE. You can clearly see the spot on the picture.


Well Amazon is back on my good again after this camera return refund – basically a full refund, less a restocking fee.

This was the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera that I had got Deanna for Christmas 2012. I had done a fair amount of research and had finally picked it because of its 20x o[tical zoom. We also happened to own two other Panasonic digital cameras. Deanna, understandably, was very happy with it since it was quite a camera, with more features than we knew what to do with. We had been waxing lyrical about it, especially its breathtaking zoom, when just 20 days into its use the automated lens cap started to stick. As I had previously posted Amazon was quite exceptional in the speed in which it got us a new replacement; we reported the problem on a Sunday and we had a new camera on Thursday. We were delighted with Amazon.

For whatever reason the new camera, though an identical model, never seemed to take as good pictures as the first. Plus I found it unnecessarily finicky, but it wasn’t my camera and I didn’t use it often.

Then came our trip to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago. Though the camera had a 32GB card in it, I gave Deanna 2 more cards so that she would have a total of 42GB. She was all set. We also took our old Panasonic ‘point-and-shoot’ as a second camera. I decided I did not want to take the video camera. On this, my 8th or 9th trip to the Grand, I was determined I was going to savor it without the distraction of always trying to take pictures. I knew that Deanna would take plenty, especially since it was her first visit. [As it happened Deanna took 1,571 pictures on the trip though she didn’t manage to fill up the 32GB card.]

On the flight out to Arizona, on the Chicago to Phoenix leg, Deanna decided to take some pictures out of the window — such as the one above of a passing plane. When we started reviewing the pictures we noticed this annoying, distracting blob in all the pictures. We checked the window. It wasn’t on the window. I had a lens cleaning cloth and I polished the lens as much as I could. The blob would not go away. Its shape and focus changed with the amount of zoom being used. So I knew it was on the lens or inside the lens. In the right light I thought I could see a nick. The camera had been fine the day before. But, I had noticed a fatal flaw in the design of this camera — which I am surprised that Panasonic hadn’t fixed. Given the zoom aspect of this camera, the lens extends, extends out quite a bit and does so automatically like a turtle’s head coming out of its shell. The problem is that the lens pops out, without warning, even when you are just reviewing pictures or uploading pictures. So even if you are not expecting the lens to extend out, it does so and often catches you unexpectedly. Ideally Panasonic should have some semi-intelligent overrides on this. Lens should not pop-out if the camera is in review mode or if the USB cable is plugged in — without say the user explicitly flicking the ‘shoot-review’ button. So I can see how the lens could get accidentally chipped.

Deanna was very upset but was putting on a brave face. She was just going to use the old Panasonic and ‘photoshop’ the blurs out of the pictures from the new camera. I knew that this would detract from her enjoyment. So I said we will just get another camera in Phoenix and worry about what to do with the damaged camera when we got back.

Click to ENLARGE. Taken with the backup Panasonic.

Click to ENLARGE. Taken with the backup Panasonic.

Trying to buy a new, equivalent camera in Arizona proved to be much, much more difficult than I had expected. For a start getting into your rental car at the ‘new’ Phoenix Sky Harbor airport is a 1/2 day chore! Yes, I am very familiar with off-site car rental and understand the need for them. But the new Sky Harbor car rental facility appears to be about 10 miles from the airport! It took 20 minutes or more to get there. That is crazy. So much so that I am thinking of not using Sky Harbor again. I need to check out rentals in Vegas. It might be, in the scheme of things, easier to fly to Vegas and drive down. [I have done the opposite twice and it is a nice drive, i.e., fly to Phoenix and drive up to Vegas (because I could not get flights into Vegas).] So we finally get into a Hertz car, about 90 minutes after we landed and start heading up I-17. The growth in and around Phoenix has been phenomenal. So much of it is so build up. But, driving up I spotted a sign for Best Buy and Fry’s (which I knew was a big electronics retailer). We stopped at Best Buy. It was big. Bigger than the store in Manchester but it had a paltry selection of cameras — none even close to the ZS20. That was quite a shock. We then tried Fry’s. That was my first experience with Fry’s. It was huge and had an incongruous, Polynesian facade that really looked stupid. The place was cavernous. But it was dingy, dark and uninviting. There was hardly anybody there either. Again we couldn’t find another Panasonic or anything that came close. I guess most people like me are buying their cameras online or just using their phones/pads. Time was getting to be an issue. I wanted to make sure that we could see Montezuma Castle on the way up — and I knew that it would be closed by dusk. Stopping at Montezuma Castle on the way up to the Canyon is one of my rituals. I find that it sets you up for the experience, plus I wanted Deanna and the kids to see it. I had already decided that we were going to give Montezuma’s Well a miss on this trip. So, I decided to give up looking for a new camera in Phoenix and wait till we got to Flagstaff.

We got to Montezuma Castle with 15 minutes to spare. Wow. Talk about a transformation on the approach road. There is even a casino! It used to be totally, totally empty when I first visited in 1980. There was also no casino a decade ago.

Flagstaff is very canny. You can’t get to the Canyon without having to drive through Flagstaff. Very clever. Encourages folks to stop and spend some money. It took us awhile but we managed to locate a Walmart and a Target. Walmart proved to be a dud, but at least I managed to pick up two bottles of Shiraz cheap. We then went to Target. Deanna rushed in while I parked the car. By the time I found her she already had a Panasonic. She and the salesman assured me that it was identical to the one we had, though I was not convinced. But, Deanna was happy and time was getting on. So we bought that Panasonic. My hunch was right. It was a ZS19 while the damaged camera was a ZS20. Once we got Internet access we were able to work out what the difference was. The ZS19 does not have GPS. That was OK, though on the last day at the Canyon I was musing that it would have been nice to have had GPS data with each picture to eliminate any uncertainty (because sometimes it is hard to place pictures of the Canyon).

The new ZS19 proved to be a champ. It took good pictures and again it seemed to take better pictures than the one it replaced. That seems strange that we had 3 cameras, and that the one in the middle, though supposedly identical to the first, never seemed to take good pictures.

When we got back Deanna started the Amazon return process. Since we were past the standard return window we had to pay for the shipping. Not an issue. Deanna had the original box etc. She also wrote a long, detailed letter. She told them all the facts, omitting or adding nothing. Told them that she had been forced to buy a replacement and as such did NOT want this camera replaced. She wanted the money back. She sent it by US PS on Monday. On Wednesday I had an e-mail from Amazon saying that they received it. On Saturday night I had an e-mail saying that they were giving us a partial refund. I was delighted. It was not a full refund but the camera was 3 months old. I thought it was very decent of Amazon. So I will go back to shopping with them.

Click to ENLARGE. Taken with the new ZS19.

Click to ENLARGE. Taken with the new ZS19.

Amazon, Amazingly, Sends Us Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera Replacement Within Week. Kudos. Thank You.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera: Automated Lens
>>
Cap Started To Stick … January 14, 2013.


Thank YOU, Amazon.com. You continue to excel and amaze.


Deanna, to her intense joy, got a new replacement Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera from Amazon yesterday, Saturday, January 19, 2013, through the U.S. postal service mail.

It was exactly a week since she had shutter problems with the last one. That was last Sunday, January 13. I had filed a return request that day and printed out the return barcode.

But, here is the kicker. Amazon printed their USPS mailing label that very same day — 4 days ahead of them physically receiving the return, which was Thursday. So, basically Amazon had sent us a replacement just on my word that I was returning the defective one. Yes, I know that Amazon has access to many of my credit cards and that I also have a number of Amazon credit cards. So, yes, they could have charged me and tried to collect payment. With Amazon it goes further. As I did mention, at length, in my last post, Amazon maintains a painstaking ‘bread crumbs’ history of ALL of ones interactions with them, over the years. Based on that they have some ‘scores’. I for one do nearly 95% of my shopping on Amazon. I did all of my Christmas shopping, in one go, at Amazon.

So Amazon takes good care of us, and we are fiercely loyal to them. Cuts both ways. So, this was just kudos to Amazon, not that they need good words from me. What I kick myself is that I don’t own Amazon shares. Was very stupid of me. I had got so burned with Internet stock, that I had, on principal, stopped buying them. Amazon should have been the exception.

Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera: Automated Lens Cap Started To Stick! Just 20 Days Of Use.

Dec2013x125

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> 20X Optical Zoom On The Panasonic Lumix … — Jan. 5, 2013.




We were in awe of this camera. It took amazing pictures. We still hadn’t worked out all that it could do, or what it was automatically doing for us already. We were beginning to suss out that it, on its own volition, took multiple pictures in burst mode (and I think it can take up to 10 a second) and either just gave us the best or did an composite of all it took. It was pretty cool.

This morning we all hiked down to Halfmoon Lake through trails in the wood, sloshing through the melted snow. When we got to the lake Deanna took the camera out to take pictures. She though the picture in the viewfinder looked dark. So she happened to look at the front of the self-projecting lens. The lens cap was only 1/2 open! Not good. It wasn’t like it was cold. It was a veritable heat wave up here. It was probably 38°F. The second time she re-cycled power, it retracted fully. Then it happened again a few minutes later.

Not good. We have only used it for 20 days. Yes, it is an amazing lens. I have to assume that it has some kind of sealed lubricated mechanism. This camera, as far as we know, has not been dropped or abused. That comes later.

All said, we were not worried. I had got it from Amazon. The reason I insist that we buy through Amazon, rather than anybody else, is there superb customer care. To return it and ask for a replacement was effortless. Took less than 5 minutes in total, including printing the return barcode. We have had great luck with Amazon. So, as far as we know, UPS will come and pickup the return tomorrow. If things go per plan, we should have another one by next week. Yes, Amazon does ‘know’ me. It does keep track of EVERYTHING you do with them and I do more than just buy stuff from them. I have multiple sub-accounts with them for my book publishing, Kindle etc. Amazon knows all of that.

Well, I will keep you posted.


Click to ENLARGE. Panorama shot of Halfmoon Lake, Alton, NH, taken with the  Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera.

Click to ENLARGE. Panorama shot of Halfmoon Lake, Alton, NH, taken with the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera.


Panasonic Lumix ZS20 did take great pictures. Deanna took this halfway up Prospect Mountain Road, Alton, NH on Friday.

Panasonic Lumix ZS20 did take great pictures. Deanna took this halfway up Prospect Mountain Road, Alton, NH on Friday. Click to ENLARGE.

On Halfmoon Lake, Alton, NH, this morning. This was after Deanna got the lens cap to open. This is a very shallow lake. So my chances of falling in are remote.

On Halfmoon Lake, Alton, NH, this morning. This was after Deanna got the lens cap to open. This is a very shallow lake. So my chances of falling in are remote.

The Amazing 20X Optical Zoom On The Panasonic Lumix ZS20 Digital Camera.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 14.1 MP with 20x Optical Zoom, in black, as is Deanna’s

Deanna’s BIG Christmas present for 2012 (after the FitBit last year) was a black Panasonic Lumix ZS20 digital camera with 20x optical zoom. With our lifestyle, with the kids and the Goldens, we need a decent ‘point-and-shoot’. The one that Deanna was using, also a Panasonic Lumix, viz. the DMC-FP1 in gold, about 3 years old, was beginning to show its age. The kids, and sometimes I, have been known to drop it, sometimes even in shallow water or snow.

I started researching mid-priced ‘point-and-shoots’ in early December. The Panasonic ZS20 invariably popped up, with the 20x optical zoom always highlighted as a big plus. Deanna takes a lot of pictures of Maya, our 18 month Golden. Maya is even more of a water dog than most Goldens. Loves to swim, swims for long periods and swims far. With the old Panasonic Maya would sometimes just be this small orange blob in the middle of the lake. With the 20x Deanna would be able to snap her, in full glory, way out in the lake.

So, I bought a ZS20 from Amazon (with a fast 32GB memory card). I tend to buy most things from Amazon, eBay and TigerDirect my two fall backs, though I do start with TigerDirect for most of my computer-related purchases, unless it is, of course, a Google Nexus Android Pad, in which case I buy it directly from Google.

Deanna loves her new camera. We now have three Panasonic digitals, including an SLR. The only problem with that, and I haven’t looked into whether I can fix it, is that all the images have roughly the same name. Since we use all three cameras, and I like to put all pictures into folders organized by month or major event, it becomes difficult to work out which pictures came from which Panasonic, unless I sort them ‘by name’ rather than ‘by date’. Not a big deal. The camera has more features than she knows what to do with. It even has built in GPS.

Anyway, these two pictures illustrate, stunningly, the awesome power of the 20x ZOOM on the ZS20. Deanna was out in our front yard yesterday when she heard the characteristic tap-tap tapping of a woodpecker. We do have a fair amount of peckers up here. It was coming from trees across the road. The trees were probably 70 yards away from where she was. For a start there is a 25′ road between us and the trees.

Anyway, the first picture shows the trees, across the road, with no zoom.

The second picture shows what a 20x digital zoom can do.

The trees with the woodpecker in them with 0 zoom. Click to ENLARGE.

The trees with the woodpecker in them with 0 zoom. Click to ENLARGE.

The beauty of the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 20x digital zoom. Click to ENLARGE.

The beauty of the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 20x digital zoom. Click to ENLARGE.


Maya, our non-stop swimming Golden, in mid-September 2012, as Teischan and I take our last Standup Surfboard ride

Maya, our non-stop swimming Golden, in mid-September 2012, as Teischan and I take our last Standup Surfboard ride