Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review

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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)

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.)

Minolta DiMAGE Z3Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

On top you'll find the Shutter release button, etc.

In between the shutter release and the Mode Dial are the Focus and Flash mode buttons, and the camera's built-in microphone and speaker.

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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.

Minolta DiMAGE Z3

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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