Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review
Features & Controls
The DiMAGE Z3 uses a Minolta GT APO 12x Mega-zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent coverage of 35 - 420mm. The maximum aperture is f/2.8 - 4.5 and the all-glass lens is constructed of 13 elements in 10 groups.
The Z3 is the first "Z" series camera from feature Konica Minolta's unique CCD- shift Anti-Shake System. This system compensates to minimize the effect of camera shake at 2-3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function (equivalent to 2-3 exposure increments.) This allows users to capture steady and sharp hand-held telephoto shots.
The DiMAGE Z3 uses Rapid AF to ensure sharp images with minimum delay. Rapid AF
uses a passive AF sensor to instantly estimate the distance to the subject and
the camera's CCD to determine the precise focus point. A high-speed drive focuses
the lens quickly and smoothly. The normal focus range is from 0.6 m (2.0 feet)
to infinity at Wide Angle and 2.0 m (6.6 feet) to infinity at Telephoto. Macro
mode covers 0.1 m (0.3 feet) - 1.0 m (3.3 feet) at Wide Angle and1.2 m (3.9 feet)
- 2.5 m (8.2 feet) at Telephoto. And if you need to get even closer, Super Macro
can focus as close as 0.4 in. (1 cm)
The Z3 does not use the "switch finder" system (like that found on the Z2), but instead uses a separate EVF (electronic viewfinder) and LCD. The EVF is a tiny color LCD monitor in the eye piece for display. It has full dioptric adjustment and approx. 100% field of view coverage.
The Z3's built-in flash has modes for Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye
reduction, Fill-flash, and Slow shutter sync. (in Auto / P / Scene modes.) And
Fill-flash, Fill-flash with red-eye reduction, Slow shutter sync. (in A/S/M
modes.) It has an effective range of approx. 8 in. - 13 ft. (0.20m - 4.0m, Wide)
and 4 ft. - 8 ft. (1.2m - 2.5m, Tele.)
Using the dedicated hot shoe flash connector you can attach the Minolta Maxxum
Program Flash 5600 HS, Program Flash 3600 HS or 2500D (shown above) which offer
versatile functions such as auto power zoom and test flash. Note:
The Z3 cannot make
use of the external flash's AF-assist beam.
The Z3's main functions are controlled by the Mode Dial located on the top of the
handgrip. It has positions for Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority,
Manual, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Sunset, Night Portrait, Auto, and Movie.
On the back is Rec. EVF - Rec. LCD - Playback mode lever, in its center is the
Power button. The 4-way selector lets you navigate menus and select images
during playback, the button in the center accepts menu selections. The "QV"
button lets you quickly view the last image captured, press it a second time to
delete the image. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menus. The "i+"
button controls the amount of data overlayed on the screen and the playback
modes. At the top right is the Zoom controls, in Playback it also controls the
magnify and index options.
The Z3 is equipped with a Secure Digital card slot and ships with a 16MB SD
card. Compatible with any size SD card, we tested it with the fast
SanDisk Ultra II 512MB SD card. Konica Minolta has posted the
7/5/2005 firmware v1.3 upgrade that allows the use of 2GB SD cards.
The I/O ports are located on the left side. The USB 2.0 port (Full speed, 12Mbps)
also handles the Audio-Video Out cable, the format is NTSC or PAL (selectable.)
Below that is the DC INput jack for an AC adapter or external battery pack.
The Z3 uses four standard AA type batteries, this means you can use alkaline, one-use lithium or high-capacity NiMH rechargeables. As always we recommend using NiMH batteries, they last longer, save you money, and are more environmentally friendly.
Konica Minolta claims an approx. number of recorded images/continuous playback of: 170 frames/220 min. with alkaline batteries, 320 frames/300 min. with 2300mAh NiMH batteries. Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) Standard with SD memory card.
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