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Lumix TZ3 question.

I have just accquired a Lumix TZ3. Won't say I am unhappy, but before use, tried to format a new unused SD card:
According to the manual: FORMAT-
"Use when 'BUILT-IN MEMORY ERROR' or 'MEMORY CARD ERROR' appears". Does this mean that a new memory card need not be formated before use ? I tried to format, following instructions, only to have the error " NO VALID PICTURE TO PLAY". And at the error-section of the manual, the solution is - "get some pictures in" ! Plesae advise. Thanks.


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In reply to: Lumix TZ3 question.

Try this:

Put the memory card in the camera.
Turn-on the camera.
Take one or two photos at random.

Put your camera in Playback mode.
That is the mode where you look at photos that are in the camera.
Look at the photos you just took.

Then press the Menu/Set button.
Then use the down arrow button and scroll down until you find Format.
Stop when FORMAT is highlighted.
Then Press Menu/Set button.
Use arrown button to highlight YES.
Press the Menu/Set button.

It should start to format.


If you do not format the card, it can bite you later (a week or a month from now) and "Memory Card Error" will appear.

Then you will not be able to recover any of the photos on the card.


A Format, erases all information on the card and writes an address block on the card.


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In reply to: TZ3

Re Lumix TZ3

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the need to format a memory card before use(hence my post), and generally familar with cameras, having owned film cameras and the Canon Powershot A20 and S2IS both of which indicate the formatting process, so I know when formatting was done.

Perhaps the message was no error.
I took a picture then proceeded to format.
After selecting ?YES? ? it responded ?Wait? Then ?No valid picture to play?. There was no confirmation that formatting have finished( I had expected something like- formating done, space available 998MB), but the picture was no longer available . The available shots were noted to be 283(in contrast to that stated at the menu of 270), with the card pictureless ( 1G SD memory card, picture size at 7M, quality at Fine.) . Unfortunately, I did not notice the available shots before attempting the format. So, although the picture was deleted, there was no confirmation or indication that the card was formatted, and since I was still at play mode, the message ?No valid picture to play? was, of course, correct. So ? is there a way to tell or confirm whether a memory card has already been formatted for the camera it is used for ? (not only for the TZ3, but for other digital cameras as well.) Perhaps I should accept that the card has indeed been formated and start enjoying to use my new camera ? Thanks.


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In reply to: Update

That explains why you got the "No valid picture to play".
Not very intuitive for the user.

All memory cards are formatted when you receive them.


Not for any particular camera.

Cameras seem to have their own preferred format method.

Many people have reported (me included), that failing to format the new card with your camera can result in complete failure at a later date.
I had this happen when about a month later, the camera refused to display any photos on the card and also refused to format the card.
The card was unusable.

At the time I did not understand why and used another new card (without formatting).
Again, about a month later the same thing occurred.
Now I have two fairly new unusable cards.

I discovered that if I put the "bad" card into a card reader on my computer, and deleted all files and folders on the cards, the camera would then agree to format the cards.

I formatted both cards with the camera and they have worked perfectly since.

I have since found out that if you use a memory card in one camera and then put it into another camera and start taking photos; it will work for a while and then it will become unusable.

I still don't know why this happens

I suggest you always use the camera to format a new memory card.
After that, it is not necessary to format it again.


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From Panasonic...

In reply to: TZ3

...regarding formatting memory card:

>>Kindly be informed that if the error " No Valid Picture to Play" , please take some pictures or insert a different card already containing picture.

To format a card:

1. Select format from play menu

2. Select yes (once you select yes, card is formatted).

Note: If the switch on the card is to ?lock? operation such as formatting, copying and deleting cannot be performed. <<

Not very helpful. No mention of a confirmation that the card has indeed been formated. I suppose I cam make use of their reply if something untoward regarding the memory card happens.


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From Panasonic

In reply to: From Panasonic...

Sounds like you got standard answer #472.

They read it out of a book of questions/answers they keep handy for questions they don't know the answer to.


I ran into that about 2 years ago when I was trying to get a replacement Battery Backup unit from APC.
After a week of standard answers, I received a "How are we doing?" email from the manager of their support group.

After I emailed back and reported that they were not doing well at all, I immediately got a return authorization number. The replacement APC Battery Backup unit is still working fine.

Some other support group managers should try sending out some "How are we doing?" emails. They just might learn something.


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Standard answers.

In reply to: From Panasonic

I have had my share of standard answers from Support. They seems to have their own set of FAQs which, as usual, do not provide the exact solution being looked for.

I hope I will receive a "how are you doing" e-mail (which I suspect, will be "auto-generated")from Panasonic. I have things to tell them !


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