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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Cancelled my Kogan Full HD 1080p camcorder order

I was suffering a bit of buyer's remorse even as I wrote my post about ordering a Kogan Full HD 1080p camcorder two days ago! The thought that KMart may be selling an identical product for around half price made me wonder about the value for money of this product, despite the "low" price for a HD system. Later that evening I viewed some YouTube footage that had been recorded using a Kogan HD 1080P, and it looked pretty poor compared to what I'd previously obtained from my old Panasonic miniDV camcorder. In fact, it looked a lot like the results I can already get the 'pocket' camcorder I bought from Aldi last year! Higher resolution (2.14 mp) doesn't count for much if colour, focus and brightness are poor. My old Panasonic SD camcorder is SD PAL, so it's resolution is around 0.8 mp, but the DV recording is almost loss-less, whereas the HD Kogan recordings showed significant jpeg compression effects. Also, the Panasonic camera has superior optical zoom, colour balance and low light performance compared to the Kogan.

The final straw was when Kogan emailed me to advise that the unit was going to be shipped out two weeks later than had been advertised when I placed my order! Their website has now been updated with the new delivery date, but I think it's really poor customer service to only update the advertised shipping date the day AFTER you've sold out the current shipment. I emailed a request to cancel my order and they sent back a confirmation of my order cancellation and credit card refund within a couple of hours.

Instead of getting a new camcorder I've now ordered two "PANASONIC CGR-D16" (compatible) camcorder replacement batteries (Li-ion, 7.20 V, 3000.00 mAh) for $48 (+$10 postage) from e-Store.net.au. My old battery was only 1700 mAh, and lasted around 1 hour recording time when it was brand new, so these new batteries should each be able to record a full 90 minute mini-DV tape on a full charge. Hopefully using new batteries (and making use of my head cleaning tape) will be enough to get my Panasonic camcorder back in business for a few more years. So, instead of playing with a new Kogan camcorder, I'll spend some time trying to download my existing mini-DV tapes onto my PC via firewire, editing the videos and buring some DVDs. I've seen reports that the DV-out on the Panasonic NV-DS15 isn't sufficient for transferring files to a PC, as DV-in is also required, but I find that hard to believe, given that my camcorder came bundled with a bonus video editing application (that I've never used). Once the new batteries have arrived (and I find the firewire cable for my Panasonic NV-DS15) and have a go at downloading some recordings using Vista Movie Maker. 9-yo DS1 has done some video editing experience (including some "green screen" special effects!) on footage he recorded using his digital camera, so I'll probably have to get some lessons from him ;)

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