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What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

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CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

 
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Wednesday
Jan272010

Review of the JJC ALC-3 Panasonic LX3 Lens Cap

The JJC ALC-3 Lens Cap

 

Even though it's getting a bit long in the tooth (in digital camera terms) for many people the Panasonic LX3 is still the perfect compact camera.

 

It fills a niche all of it's own - fitting in somewhere between the mass market compacts and the Micro 4/3 semi-pro models. It could be argued that it's wide fast optics are still unmatched at this price point.  That's not to say it isn't without it's negatives - a limited zoom and a manual lens cap are the most common complaints.

 

Lens caps are an accepted norm for SLRs but have become anachronistic for a camera of this size. Many LX3 owners, like myself, have upgraded from a compact camera with a built in automatic lens shield and therefore find the need to frequently remove and replace a lens cap to be an irritating inconvenience.

 

For a while now, many people have worked on creating alternative solutions based around the Ricoh LC-1 lens cap. This cap is designed to be permanently attached to certain Ricoh cameras and the iris of hinged doors automatically open whenever the lens is extended.  The process of modifing the LC-1 lens cap to fit the LX3 was less than simple with various fiddly techniques being used to file the lens down and cut out some plastic. Most of these techniques run the danger of stripping the plastic lens cap threads on the LX3.

I bought an LC-1 lens cap and attempted this mod -  I ended up slashing my finger so badly with a stanley knife that I had to superglue the cut together to stop it bleeding and unsurprisingly the project went on hold.

 

Well imagine my relief when I found a HK retailer on Ebay selling a 'copy' of the LC-1 lens cap design, purpose-built to fit on the LX3 straight out of the box. The lens cap is called the JJC ALC-3 and cost me £11 delivered (search ebay for auto lens cap lx3 to find a retailer.

 

The JJC cap next to my mangled Ricoh cap (notice the new threads inside the top of the JJC)

 

So now that it's arrived, let's see if it works. First thing to do is unscrew the lens screw thread cover from the camera. If you decide to do this yourself, make sure you look after this component, this seemingly insignificant ring is notoriously difficult and expensive to buy. The next step is to screw on the new lens cap and wave farewell to the old one.

 

 

The main (only?) difference between the original Ricoh and the JJC cap is that the latter has the correct size of thread to enable it to  screw onto the LX3 mount. It turns out that this is all that was needed to make the lens work perfectly with the Lx3.  The lens cap screws on effortlessly and fits snuggly and securely. I don't think it looks too ugly and most importantly for me, the camera still fits in it's official and expensive custom leather case.

 

The opening and closing mechanism works well once it's on the camera and the doors don't infringe upon the lens - even at maximum zoom (the LX3 lens gets shorter as it zooms in). [EDIT - unfortunately it does vignette - check comments for more info]. The doors are a bit flimsy, but no more so than the original Ricoh model, but I'll be buying a spare one, just in case.  I should also mention that the cap isn't air tight,  so dust could still sneak in through the cracks between the doors.

 

UPDATE 20th February 2010 - Erik commented that JJC are apparently looking into modifying the Lens cap as a result of customer feedback. The two problems with the current design are Vignetting when zoomed in and weak springs on the flaps - JJC emailed the following reply to Erik.... "We had customer reported similar feedbacks to us before. Therefore, our factory is trying to improve the auto lens cap’s quality … Please wait for our second generation ALC-3 and we will improve those weak points to make you satisfaction!”.

Excellent news - maybe we will eventually get the lens cap that all LX3 owners are waiting for.

UPDATE - 2nd APRIL 2010

Please watch my follow up video on how to quickly and cheaply mod this lens cap so that it doesn't vignette at maximum zoom. Now I'm finally satisfied with my LX3.

 

EDIT 29th April 2010

 

Be sure to check out my report on JJC's version 2 update of their ALC-3 LX3  lens cap.

 

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Reader Comments (30)

Nice review! Since you mentioned that dust can still get in, are you worried about that damaging the lens?

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfaye

I may have overstated the chance of dust getting in - I think there is probably more chance of me getting dust on the lens when it is exposed to take a picture. But regardless, at some point dust is bound to land on the lens and I'll just extend the lens to the maximum length and wipe it off with a soft lens cloth.

It's unlikely I'd damage the lens doing this - the glass is unlikely to scratch if a degree of care is taken. I worried more about depositing greasy finger prints on the lens (a mistake I've made more than once when replacing the cap) and I can now relax knowing that this won't be happening again.

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Hi TM,

I can't really tell for sure, but it looks as if there's a big of vignetting on shots taken at the long end of the zoom. Those leaves of the cap seem to protrude very far in towards the middle of the lens! Can you test the camera with and without the cap on the same scene (perhaps a white wall) to see if there's any vignetting?

Thanks,
Ambrose

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterambrose

I've just checked it again and you are absolutely right. I didn't notice it earlier but against a white wall it is there at 2x and 2.5x - very hard to spot, but now I know, I'll have to do something about it. I'll add some rubber spacers to the inside of the doors, just to just keep them open an additional mm or so.

Thanks.

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Yes, it seems to be missing the tabs needed for the zoomed shot. E.g. http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4992356&postcount=8

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWpgGord

Too bad about that slight vignetting. It doesn't look too serious for snapshots but it's obviously not optimal. Hope the manufacturer tweaks their design in future.

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

I just sent an email to JJC asking for a fix of both the vignetting problem and that the doors don't close correctly (too weak springs). I hope very much that they will show a positive interest in improving the design!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErik

It would be nice to think that they'll listen and make the appropriate modifications - but unfortunately I think that this is unlikely. Fingers crossed though.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Fantastic find! I'll be keeping my eyes open for that in this part of the world. (And mebbe get an extra one too)

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

I've got some great news! I received an answer from JJC today which says "We had customer reported similar feedbacks to us before. Therefore, our factory is trying to improve the auto lens cap’s quality ... Please wait for our second generation ALC-3 and we will improve those weak points to make you satisfaction!"

February 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErik

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