Panasonic seem to make products that never go wrong. In the many years that i have been buying this brand i have never needed a warranty and i refuse to buy one of these extended warranties from a retailer. Their sound and vision quality is above average for what i'd expect from a bargain hifi system. Alright their micro systems don't sound perfect but compared to Phillips? They are easily the better of the two. Whilst their build quality is good, they do seem to produce tacky looking products and that's where i prefer brands like JVC. JVC seem to make these average priced systems and then sell them looking like high quality, modern and high spec products which simply isn't the case having owned JVC before now, they're not that great. Panasonic have really full plastics and really annoying buttons which are just bland and dull. Tedious if you will. Their micro systems look a bit dreary and old fashioned compared to Samsung and JVC. They are usually good value for money when it comes to DVD players and micro systems. I paid £200 for the 770 which at 700w full power is like buying an earthquake. Bargain of the century. I have noticed their blu ray players are a little overpriced compared to samsung which i think actually does better sound and audio quality on theirs, but none the less they are cheaper and you get what you pay for. The company has always made a reputation for itself based on it's slogan "ideas for life" which makes sense, they are after all a technology company, but i haven't ever seen them invent something new. Samsung is always coming up with wacky ideas for smartphones and TV's. They just get a random idea that everyone want's like "let's make a 3D TV" or "let's make a TV so thin you can shave with it" things like that and i don't see Panasonic being innovative on any of this stuff. Overall i'd describe them as a company i trust. I buy from them not when i want the latest tech but when i want good value for money, good build quality, and something that will operate better than a Phillips or Sanyo product. If you want something to look good, if you want something to be top quality then buy something else but i want value for money, and above all, something I won't be needing a warranty for.
Panasonic online is a great website. It has all the frills, like flash animated advertising and imagery, but without getting a grinding-to-a-halt loading bar. Is it just me who despises them? Anyway this website houses and showcases all of Panasonic's beautiful and highly desired products and with it's practical navigation tools, it allows you to browse them stress-free. Their 'New Products' and 'Most Popular' tags are a great feature, both allowing you to peruse a lovely list containing large, clear product images with minimum blurb, allowing you to shop by sight quickly and efficiently. A refreshing change to most electrical websites. Once you click on the 'View product' button you see a standard layout page with large product images, complete with optional views, clear costings and all the technical know-how you could wish for. The glossary is a welcomed bonus for this site, that's right, they don't expect you to just know all the technical terms that the generic techno sites of today spew so freely! I have recently purchased a brand new, (as seen on TV), Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 compact digital camera and I am over the moon with it. I might add that I didn't actually purchase it directly from Panasonic as I found it elsewhere on the web for a lot less, but I did all my pre-purchase research on their site so got to know the layout and functionality quite well. It is a shame that they haven't cottoned on to the fact that instantly the web offers 100's of pounds of the RRP. Why don't they just sell it at the lower price and deter their shoppers from going elsewhere...? Maybe someday the high street and web will match prices, as I would have much preferred to get it directly from the manufacturer but who would if you can find it all over the web with at least 100 pounds off and still get a free warranty?
My Panasonic DS 99B has had its ups and downs. My cameras before this were VHS; the last one being an S VHS Sony, which was a good machine, and until its batteries died, I had no plans to change it. Why did we change it? Well, the old machine was a bit heavy to carry, so it was often left at home, so we missed some good picture taking opportunities. Usability The DS99B is about 14 months old and has a wonderful LCD screen, so that you have a far better, colour view of the subject. This model was 3.5 inches, a little larger than average. The advantage is the usual one; you can hold it high or low, to get a better shot, and play back your shots so that two people can see them, if they are prepared to get fairly close to the camera. The disadvantage of the screen is that it uses the battery up more quickly than the standard view finder. You will have to get at least one spare battery, but we find that two are enough, provided that you have your charger with you and access to some "Juice" (power). The new style batteries are small and light, recharge quite quickly, and seem to last a good time, and are rechargeable even if only part used, which is soo much better than the older technology batteries; they have a "memory effect", which means if they are not fully discharged, they forget how to fully recharge. The functions are too numerous to mention, and frankly, although I am a keen photographer, too many to use for holiday records. It does have some useful ones, like low light capability, and I also like the digital anti-shake function, which sacrifices a little clarity for keeping the picture steady on the long shots. It weighs about one pound or if you prefer, half a kilo, and fits in my wife's handbag. I do however have some significant reservations: 1. It is not so good for moving images; I understand from someone far more technical than I, who works in the tv camera busi ness, that this is a well known problem with digital cameras; they cannot keep up with fast movement without getting "blocky", compared with s-vhs, they are inferior for this purpose. 2. The case is so small it is a bit fiddly getting the tape in and out. 3. It has no wide angle ability, so you end up having to pan about in small spaces to take in the whole scene. 4. The digital zoom is a trap! It works well enough, to a point, but it is cheating by zooming in on part of the digital picture, so the view gets progressively more grainy. As a tip, when choosing the camera, just compare the optical zoom ability. The digital bit is a bonus, but you have to sacrifice detail. 5. Playback is a bit of fiddle as you have to either copy it to a standard vhs tape, which loses a good deal of quality ( the detail is poorer and the colours are not so accurate or plug it into the TV with an adaptor which is supplied; there are masses of wires to connect but this way the pictures are clear. A friend of mine thought that he could save money by using just one tape and copying everything to VHS, however *beware* that you lose detail and colour accuracy by doing this and if the VHS fades or jams, you have lost your precious memories.... You are just going to have to fork out for more digital tapes, at about £8 each for a 60 minutes version, which will record 90 minutes, if you select long play. Long play is a good idea, as you only sacrifice a little audio quality, not the quality of the picture. 6. I purchased a kit (about £50 for a cable and a cd disk to set it up) to transfer the one shot photos to my computer, but it is a poor system. The connection is an old fashioned serial cable, which means it is slow to transfer even a single picture. What is especially disappointing is that you cannot transfer a digital copy of the moving images, except if you buy a more expensive model. 7. Last but not least, I hav e just discovered the major flaw! It has broken down, only two months out of warranty, and being so small and specialist, you have no choice on getting it repaired. It just stopped focussing, which is a bit limiting..... I have had to take it to one of their Panasonic agents and pay what ever price they quote, short of throwing an otherwise good camera away! I was told £35 to estimate the cost of repair, and have to wait up to 4 weeks for a repair. I am waiting with baited breath to find out what it will cost. The experience of taking in a very expensive camera for repair is not enjoyable. They tell you that you have a choice (take it or leave it!) and knowing that I cannot expect to find a little corner shop which specialises in mending these things, you do feel like you are opening up your wallet and saying "here, help your self!" In summary, I wished I have taken out an extended guarantee, but in my defence I was not given an opportunity, and I do feel that having paid for a top quality model and with a reasonably "mature" technology, that I should not expect to have a break down in a little over a year of careful use. My other cameras have lasted at least 5 years, and they still work! I shall be contacting the makers to see what they have to say, once I found out what my "general user wear" fault (according to Jessups, who took it for repair) amounts to. I would like to know if others have had the same problems with their expensive toys. PS I am now told it is likely to be the lens assembly, for which I am quoted a mere £428, or more if they find any difficulties fixing it, which as you may expect is pretty annoying for a nearly new piece of equipment; some people only pay £400 for a camera. I shall have to find out why they think it shall have to find out why they think it has failed so early on its life. Update; it is the gears which drive the lenses (focussing them) which are shot; Jessups simply hold their hands out for the money. I put a call into Panasonic and eventually find their customer services department. They ask me to prove how young the machine was - 14 months old- and have agreed to meet the cost of the parts- £288 plus vat. I have to pay labour- £100 plus vat. Well it could be worse. A salutary lesson, never the less. Update; I received the "ex-gratia" refund, so thanks to Panasonic for this, but how about offering a longer guarantee or fairer prices for the parts?
I think that with the new digital video cameras the old analogue ones will gradually fade out of use. The old ones often have a didgy picture and the sound qulaity isnt very clear. The new digital cameras can zoom in and make piture loads clearer. They also have lots of neat new functions on which allow the person using the camera to do even more neat stuff. This is another examle of how quick technology is moving on and how much better the new digital age is. I would recommend one of these digital cameras to anybody that is thinking about buying a new camera.