Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 Review

By Movable Type Admin

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Review posted 04/1/04

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the DiMAGE Z2
Click on the DiMAGE Z2 to take a QuickTime VR tour


The new 4.0 megapixel DiMAGE Z2 is the second in a series of easy-to-use, powerful SLR-like digital cameras. It features Minolta's GT 10x optical zoom lens and the world's fastest auto focusing system (among digital cameras with a built-in 10x or greater optical zoom.) In addition to high quality still images, the DiMAGE Z2 can record ultra-smooth 30 frame per second full motion video with sound at 640x480, 320x240 or 160x120 resolutions. And the Z2 is the first camera to record screen-filling SVGA size (800 x 600) movies too. The length of these movies are limited only by the capacity of the SD memory card being used.

The Z2 features a f2.8 - f3.7 lens that enables fast shutter speeds for sport or natural-light photography. It has an equivalent focal length range of 38 to 380mm on a 35mm camera. When combined with the seamless 4x digital zoom, it delivers up to 40x zoom, equivalent to a 38 to 1520mm lens. To extend the versatility of the Z2's lens, an optional 0.75x wide-converter is available. And close-up photography to 3.9 inches is possible in Macro mode, with Super Macro mode you can get as close as 1.2 inches from the lens.

The Z2 uses complex AF technology but focusing the camera couldn't be easier. Simply place the subject anywhere within the focus frames and the camera will do the rest; an AF target is briefly displayed so the subject can be confirmed. In addition, a Predictive Focus Control function increases the speed of the camera's AF system, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects. Minolta's drive mode, Progressive Capture, makes sure you never miss a shot. When the shutter button is pressed and held down, Progressive Capture begins saving images in the buffer and the last five are saved when you release the shutter.

The Z2 is equipped with Minolta's unique Switch Finder. This system allows the color LCD monitor to be viewed directly or through the magnified eyelevel viewfinder. The 1.5-inch color LCD monitor uses a 60 frames per second refresh rate to show action smoothly. The Z2 is powered by four standard AA type batteries and features USB connectivity for image downloading and direct printing with today's PictBridge-enabled photo printers.


DiMAGE Z2 Features:

  • 10x Mega-zoom (38-380mm coverage) with high-speed autofocus and Super Macro
  • 4.0 megapixel imager for images up to 2272 x 1704 pixels
  • 1.5-inch color LCD with 113,000 pixels
  • Color eyelevel viewfinder with 98% coverage
  • Ultra High Speed 1280x960 capture at 10fps
  • Program AE with Shift, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual exposure modes
  • Shutter speeds from 15 seconds to 1/1000 in Shutter priority and Manual exposures modes
  • Digital Program modes: portrait, sports, night portrait and sunset
  • Multi-segment, center-weighted and spot metering modes
  • 640x480 and 320x240 motion video at 30fps with audio, length limited only by SD card capacity
  • World's first 800x600 SVGA motion video at 15fps with audio
  • Automatic noise-reduction for one second or longer exposures
  • 5 white-balance settings including custom settings
  • Digital Effects Control for contrast and sharpness
  • Color modes: Natural, Vivid, B&W, Sepia
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, and 400 equivalents
  • Flash shoe for Minolta external speedlights
  • Playback/QuickView with histogram feature
  • Data imprinting that records date, time and descriptive information on an image.
  • Powered by four standard AA type batteries
  • USB connectivity for Windows and Mac OSX
  • PictBridge, Exif Print, and Epson PRINT Image Matching II compatible






Physical Views



Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Minolta DiMAGE Z2





Minolta DiMAGE Z2

The DiMAGE Z2 compared in size to a standard CD.





Minolta DiMAGE Z2

The DiMAGE Z2 and the Olympus C-750 Ultra Zoom, both are 10x and 4.0 megapixel.





Minolta DiMAGE Z2

The new Minolta DiMAGE A2 and the DiMAGE Z2.





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DiMAGE Z2 Specifications

Number of effective pixels Approx. 4.0 million
CCD 1/2.5-type interline primary-color CCD Total pixels: 4.2 million
Camera sensitivity Auto, ISO 50, 100, 200, 400 equivalents
Lens construction 11 elements in 7 groups (includes two elements with three aspheric surfaces)
Maximum aperture f/2.8 - f/3.7
Focal length 6.3 - 63mm (35mm equivalent: 38 - 380mm)
Minimum focusing distance Wide: 0.5 m (1.6 ft.)
Telephoto: 2m (6.6 ft.)
Minimum macro distance Super Macro; 1.2 inches at 11.1mm
Macro Wide: 7cm (2.6 in.)
Macro Telephoto: 100cm (39.3 in.)
Maximum magnification 0.12x (Equivalent to 0.79x in 35 mm format)
Area covered at maximum magnification: 33 x 44 mm / 1.3 x 1.73 inch (approx.)
LCD monitor 1.5 inch (3.8cm) low-temperature polysilicon TFT color with anti- reflection coating
Total number of pixels: 113,000
Automatic monitor amplification
Field of view Viewfinder: Approximately 98%
LCD monitor: Approximately 100 %
Display mode switch Viewfinder display, LCD-monitor display Switch Finder system allows the monitor to be viewed directly or through the viewfinder.
Diopter control - 3 ~ +1m-1
Eye relief 18.8mm
Shutter CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter
Shutter speed range 4 - 1/1000 second in programmed-AE and aperture-priority modes.
15 - 1/1000 second in shutter-priority and manual exposure modes.
2 - 1/1000 second in auto-recording and Digital Subject Programs
Bulb (maximum 30 seconds)
Autofocus system Rapid AF: a combination of a passive AF sensor with the video AF system
Autofocus areas 3-Point Wide Focus Area
Spot focus areas with Focus Area Selection
Focus modes Single-shot AF
Continuous AF with predictive focus control
Full-time AF
Manual focus
Focus lock By pressing shutter-release button partway down.
Metering
 
Multi-segment (256 segments)
Center-weighted
Spot
Exposure modes
 
P (Programmed AE) (with program shift), A (Aperture priority),
S (Shutter priority), M (Manual).
Digital Subject Programs Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait. Automatic and manual selection.
Exposure compensation +/- 2 Ev in 1/3 increments
AE lock By pressing shutter-release button partway down
Flash metering Pre-flash TTL
Flash range Wide: Approximately 0.8 - 20 ft. (0.23 - 6.1 m) from CCD
Telephoto: Approximately 4.1 - 15 ft. (1.27 - 4.6 m) from CCD
(Camera sensitivity: auto)
Flash modes Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Slow-shutter sync. Autoflash not available with aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual exposure modes.
Flash cancel by pushing the built-in flash down.
Flash recycling time Approx. 5 seconds
Flash compensation ± 2 EV in 1/3 increments
Flash synch speeds All shutter speeds
External flashes Auto-flash metering with Program/Maxxum Flash 2500 (D), Program/Maxxum 3600HS (D), Program/Maxxum Flash 5600HS (D)
Continuous advance - UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous advance:
Approximately ten 1280x960 frames in one second
- Standard continuous advance:
Approximately 1.5 frames per second
* Actual speed may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.
Approximate number of frames that can be captured at one time with the continuous-advance drive modes:

  UHS continuous advance (1280x960)
Fine: 10 frames
Standard: 10 frames
Economy: 10 frames

Standard continuous advance
  2272x1704 1600x1200 1280x960 640x480
Fine 5 frames 8 frames 13 frames 42 frames
Standard 10 frames 16 frames 24 frames 67 frames
Economy 19 frames 30 frames 42 frames 94 frames
Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.
Progressive capture Maximum number of images that can be recorded with the Progressive Capture mode:
UHS: 12 frames
Standard: 5 frames
Exposure bracketing Three frame bracket in 1.0, 0.5, 0.3 EV increments
Self-timer Approx. 10 seconds
Movie Recording time dependent on memory card capacity, image size, and frame rate.
Frame rate: 15 frames per second, 30 frames per second
Fast forward and rewind control.
With and without monaural audio with playback volume control.
Jogging
Movie frame capture
Night movie (automatic selection or disabled)
White balance control Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash), Custom
Digital Effects Control Contrast compensation, Sharpness
Contrast compensation Three levels (Low, Normal, High)
Sharpness settings Three levels (Soft, Normal, Hard)
Color modes Natural Color, Vivid Color, Black and White, Sepia
Noise reduction User selectable dark noise reduction
Digital zoom Maximum 4x in 0.1x increments
Copy function To copy single or multiple images to the same or another memory card.
E-mail Copy function Creates a compressed 640x480 or 160x120 JPEG image for transmission.
Date imprinting Year/month/day (Format can be changed.) Imprinting can be disabled
Key customization The function activated by the flash-mode button can be changed.
Image quality modes Fine, Standard, Economy
Number of recorded pixels
(still images)
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480
1280 x 960 in UHS continuous-advance mode
Number of recorded pixels
(Movie clips)
800x600
640x480
320x240
160x120
Recording media Secure Digital (16MB supplied)
Storage capacity* (16MB)
(approx.)
  2272x1704 1600x1200 1280x960 640x480
Fine 7 frames 14 frames 22 frames 69 frames
Standard 14 frames 27 frames 39 frames 100 frames
Economy 27 frames 47 frames 69 frames 150 frames
* Numerical value may vary depending upon the subject.
File formats JPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV): with audio.
DCF 2.0-compliant
DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1) Exif 2.21
Printing output control Exif Print, PRINT Image Matching II, PictBridge
Direct print USB Direct-Print
AV output NTSC, PAL (selected on the camera)
Batteries Four AA Ni-MH or alkaline batteries (Use of Ni-MH batteries is recommended.)
Battery performance (approx.)
(playback)
Approximate continuous playback time: 300 min. with alkaline batteries.
Battery performance (approx.)
(recording)
Approximate number of recorded images: 250 frames with alkaline batteries, LCD monitor on, Full-size images (2048x1536), Standard image quality, No instant playback, No full-time AF, Flash used with 50% of the frames.
External power source 6V DC with specified AC adapter
Interface Full-speed 12Mbps USB 1.1
Dimensions (WxHxD) 109.5 x 77.5 x 80 mm / 4.31 x 3.05 x 3.15 inch
Weight 305 g / 10.8 ounce without batteries or recording media
Standard accessories Neck Strap NS-DG6000, Lens Cap LF-242A, Accessory Shoe Cap SC-1000, AV Cable AVC-400, 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, USB Cable USB-500, DiMAGE Viewer, ArcSoft VideoImpression 2 CD-ROM (for windows only), Four AA Alkaline batteries
Optional accessories AC Adapter AC-1L, Camera Case CS-W20, Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000, External High Power Battery Pack Kit EBP-100, Wide Converter Kit ZCW-100, Adapter ring for attaching filter/converter ZCA-100, Konica Minolta Program Flash 3600HS (D), 5600HS (D), and 2500(D)
System requirements IBM PC/AT compatible computers with Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 98*, or Windows 98 Second Edition* and with a USB port as standard interface.

Apple Macintosh computers with Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2.2, Mac OS X v10.1.3-10.1.5, or v10.2.1 - 10.2.5 and with a USB port as standard interface.

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)



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