I followed the 'Videomaker' forum's advice and splurged on a new Panasonic HDC-SD900camcorder. Let me say at the outset, I am delighted by it; its performance, its ease of use, the grouping of 'features' and absence of most of the usual ridiculous non-essentials. Every time I go into the field, there are fresh revelations which add to my overall satisfaction with this as an outstanding product.
However, one aspect of this has turned to 'custard', since onFriday last, when I was directed to my retailer as a source of replacement 'Genuine Panasonic' batteries and found that a replacement VW-VBN260 'long-life' battery was going to cost me greatly in excess of NZ$300. I had looked into the possibility of eventually increasing my 'fire-power' by investigating my usualsource of high-quality 'generics', but found that the more-widely used existing battery (WV-VBG260)would not mount on my camcorder due to the mounting lugs having been modified in the new camcorder's design, so that was no longer possible.
I have struck this before, in fact, one major manufacturer is notorious for it, and I know it definitely backfires on sales. I had obtained an excellent 'semi-pro' deal on the camcorder, (it was offered, I didn't have to haggle), but as the salesman pointed out to me, they could only 'do-something' for me, battery-wise, by reducing their marginbelow '6.3pc' and I wouldn't realistically expect them to go-lower as it is not really fair to them either.
The 'New Zealand Listener' has just recently featured an article dealing with how the market operates for people who live in such world 'backwaters' as ours, (not that I see any need to apologise for living in NZ), and the extentto which the 'captivity' of our market in what is a low-wage economy (by World standards) is ruthlessly exploited by 'price-setters'. Once you have purchased the item, as with my camcorder, to put it bluntly, 'the bastards have you on a cleft-stick' and know it.
I would be gratefulif anyone could point me towards the source of high quality generics, or at least genuine 'Panasonic' cells at a price which won't bankrupt me.Failing that, I can design/build, (I have the qualifications), a regulated remote power-supply to work through the charging-socket, (yes, I'm aware that will not report-back 'state of charge' information and probably voids the warranty), but why on an otherwise exemplary product, must the power source be used as what is, beyond a shadow of doubt, a 'rip-off'?Maybe as a bonus, I can also set the remote pack to be charged up by an array of solar-cells, as I do for batteries used for other applications.