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propwash
11-02-2004, 12:36 PM
I sent in the paperwork for Panasonic's free case and battery on October 18th. Yesterday (November 1st) I went to the web site they had listed to check on things. The web site is down, and I'm not sure it ever was up. Anyway, I called their 800 number. I was pleasantly surprised when, going through their automated menu system, I only had to push a couple of keys before I was talking to a real live human being. I explained that I was just checking on the status of my rebate and that I couldn't get on to the web site. He asked my name and ZIP code. After just a couple of minutes he came back and said that they had received my submission, and that it was being processed. He said it would take six to eight weeks for it to arrive.

The doorbell rang early this morning and it was the DHL delivery man with my package. I was really stunned!! 15 days from mail-in to receipt of package. That's almost unheard of. Anyway, about the case and battery. The battery is the same one that comes with the FZ1-3-10-15-20, rated at 680mAh. The case came in a package that said it was for the FZ10. I have the FZ3, which as you know is the subcompact of the FZ line. With the lens hood adapter ring and a skylight filter and the original lens cap on, it is a tight fit, but I can fit all this into the case. There is also room for an extra battery and an SD card or two, but that is about it. If you have an FZ10/15/20, I think all you'll get into the case is the camera itself. The case seems fairly sturdy, so I think it should do a fairly good job of protecting the camera. It was hard for me to stuff the neck strap of the camera into the case, so what I ended up doing is leaving the strap outside. It works pretty well if I draw the zipper closed and then let the straps hang out just where the zipper stops. I can then bring the Velcro flap up between the straps and close the case that way. By doing this, I don't even need to use the neck strap that comes with the case. I'm not big on neck straps anyway, but I can use the camera's strap to carry the case as well. If you really try, you can get the camera's strap inside the case, but you need to be careful when you're doing it.

All in all, I'm happy with the case. Is the deal worth $100 as it says on the rebate form? I don't think so. Panasonic says that the retail price for the battery is $80, so that makes their value for the case $20. You can find generic batteries for about $35-$40, and I think the case is worth about $10-$15. However, the price is right (free!), so who's complaining? I have done pretty well by Panasonic's rebates. When I got my Lumix LC33, they had a rebate for four alkaline batteries and a Panasonic 128Meg SD card. If they want to give this stuff away, that's fine with me.

Jim Last
11-02-2004, 12:45 PM
It is a pity they don't offer rebates in Europe. I read about one for Panasonics 256MB SD card the other day....don't ask where I can't remember...it may have even been here :confused:

lumixfan
11-02-2004, 01:00 PM
After all the hype, I also got my free camera bag/battery
in 10 days. That is very fast. Battery is fine, But the

Bag is a big joke for FZ20. No way I can fit in the camera + lens hood inside it. When I am going outside I want the hood also. What is the point if I have to keep the camera in one bag and rest in another. Anyway no complaints. It is a free goody afterall. I plan to give to my baby as a toy to play and store blocks inside it.

Now to search for Lowepro bags. I had my expectations high ! So dont count on the bag to store FZ20's.

pakkamarwadi
11-03-2004, 10:01 AM
Their website is down and 800 number guys now do not confirm the receipt fo the rebate forms. I am not sure if they ran out of these goodies or they are getting a lot of calls. But they don't entertain anymore phone calls.

Now after reading here all about the bag, I am just looking forward to get that free battery.

nooner
11-03-2004, 04:12 PM
Try the Lowepro EX-160. It's a nice size for the FZ 20 and offers a lot of protection as well as storage.

steelwinky
11-03-2004, 09:52 PM
I picked up a real neat camera bag that fits all the needed equipment. I looked at a lot of bags and this is cool. I think anyone looking for a bag would like it. I did not get it through this site, but thought this explained the bag well. I paid $40.00 FOR IT AT Vanns




http://www.central-camera.com/cases/delsey/pix80xx.htm

Jim Last
11-04-2004, 12:56 AM
Have now got a number of candidates that should all fit the FZ20 with room for tele lens, flash and accessories.

Tamrac 5201 Explorer 1
Tamrac 5211 Mini Explorer
Tamrac 5745 Velocity 5 - shoulder fit with waist fitting

CCS Gladstone Micro
CCS Hippo

All these are not too big and can be used over the shoulder or around your waist. Tamrac available mostly everywhere worldwide, CCS not 100% sure.