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Help identify if GF3 is new or previously opened

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by a_hit_of_meth, May 22, 2012.

  1. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    I need some quick info on how a new GF3 should be packaged. They are selling them for around 440usd here in Hong Kong now that they are trying to get rid of them. Only two three shops still carry stock at this price, only with two units left. My concern is, being the last units, there is a good chance they are previously used and returned. Here in Hong Kong electronics stores only allow for an exchange if there is a defect and only for the exact same model and color which is why if it is a returned product it could be a problem.

    I will be checking the exterior for wear and taking a few test shots to rule out defects. It would be helpful if I were able to tell by the packaging like, stickers on the body or around the lens barrel (like on oly lenses that are new) that should be on new units. I'd like to be able to tell since sales personnel in HK aren't exactly forthcoming about these things, even with the more reputable shops.

    Also, any things I should look out for specific to the GF3 like loose battery hinges or anything to do with the interface? I remember reading something a few months ago about focusing problems but I can't remember if it was related to the camera or lens but I remember it was a panasonic not oly. I know it's a good price for the package but I'd hate to be giving away something with a problem or defect.
     
  2. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I don't think there are any seals - at least there weren't on my GF3. I think your best bet is to take a picture on your own card and then put it through something that will tell you how many shutter actuations the camera has made like shuttercount Not exactly easy unless you take a laptop with some kind of internet connection.

    I'm not keeping mine - I bought it for the 14mm lens - but it seems like a robust little camera. I couldn't see any obvious frailties in the design that you should watch out for especially.
     
  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    The new box is sealed with a round piece of clear tape. If the tape is broken, the box was opened for some reason.

    Here how you can see the shutter count:

    1) Insert a memory card, format it and take 1 shot with the camera you're checking

    2) Turn the camera off

    3) Simultaneously press PLAYBACK + Q.MENU/Fn + RIGHT ARROW and turn the camera on while keeping the buttons pressed

    4) Press simultaneously LEFT ARROW + MENU/SET. While keeping the buttons pressed, press PLAYBACK.

    You should see a table with 16 recently encountered error codes (most probably they will be all zeros).

    5) Repeat step 4.

    Now you should see the CAMERA INFO screen which will show:

    VER: Firmware version
    No.: Serial number of the system board
    PWRCNT: Number of power cycles
    SHTCNT: Number of shutter cycles
    STBCNT: Number of built-in flash cycles

    The last three numbers won't be zero even on a new camera (because all cameras are factory-tested), but their values should be less than 20. Turn the camera off to exit the service mode.
     
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Are you sure? The boxes in which my GF2 and GH2 arrived were sealed with round pieces of clear tape.
     
  5. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I stand corrected - I just looked. Sorry about that. My GH1 didn't. I've opened a few Panasonic lenses in the last couple of weeks and they don't have seals.
     
  6. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks for the quick replies. Boxes here usually aren't sealed but one thing I remember having seen an older GF2 in it's original package is that the warranty cards are in a clear plastic wrap stuck to one of the sides of the box, but it's probably different in other markets.

    @stratokaster -I actually searched a few months ago about the gf2 and gf3 shutter counts and never came across those instructions - good to know the service menu is available on these since.

    EDIT:

    Btw, are those directions for the service menu specific to the GF3 or do they work on all their cameras?
     
  7. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    I tried the sequence but nothing happened. Do i need to be in a specific mode for it to work?
     
  8. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I've just tried it a few times too - nothing. Thought it was my big fat fingers at fault - man, those buttons are tiny when you have to press more than one at the same time!