Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 Review

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Review posted 7/29/2005

Click on the Z20 for 360° QuickTime VR tour

The DiMAGE Z20 is an affordable 5.0-megapixel digital camera featuring a long focal length 8x optical zoom lens. It's perfect for taking high quality close-up portraits as well as distant scenic landscapes. And with the its Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control and a 0.5-second (approx.) fastest-in-class startup, photographers will be sure to captures those unexpected photographic opportunities. Despite the large zoom lens, the DiMAGE Z20 weighs only 10.6 ounces (without batteries) and has an ergonomic form to give users a steady grip and an easy to use, intuitive control button layout.

The DiMAGE Z20's 8x optical Mega Zoom lens and 4x digital zoom combine for a total 32x zoom, allowing users to capture everything from sporting events to panoramic scenery. The optical lens system consists of 11 elements in nine groups and includes two aspheric lenses, a construction that adds up to sharp, high-quality images. The new DiMAGE Z20 combines a 5.0-megapixel primary-color CCD with proprietary CxProcess™ III image processing technology for pictures that are exactly the way the photographer sees them.

The DiMAGE Z20's Rapid AF combines a passive AF sensor with the video AF system, giving a fast focusing time of approximately 0.3 second in both the wide-angle and telephoto positions. The Rapid AF also has Predictive Focus Control, which predicts where a moving subject is heading and focuses accordingly. To round out the list of quick-response features, the DiMAGE Z20 has the fastest startup in its class (approximately 0.5 seconds), a short shutter-release time lag, and continuous shooting.

Not only is the DiMAGE Z20 a sprinter with its fast startup - it's also a marathon champ with power efficiency that allows users to take up to approximately 450 frames with the four included AA alkaline batteries. This is more shots than any other digital camera in its class.

The DiMAGE Z20 has a Macro mode that allows photographers to bring the lens as close as 0.4 inches from the subject. Capture the smallest subjects -- flowers, insects, or jewelry -- with the greatest detail. In addition to all its still shooting features, the DiMAGE Z20 can also take high-quality movie clips in VGA (640x480) size.

DiMAGE Z20 Features:

  • 8x zoom (36-290mm coverage) with high-speed autofocus and Macro
  • 5-megapixel imager for images up to 2560 x 1920 pixels
  • 1.5-inch color LCD with 113,000 pixels
  • Eyelevel color viewfinder with 98% coverage
  • Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual exposure modes
  • Shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/2000 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 / 320x240 motion video at 15fps/30fps without audio, length limited only by SD card capacity
  • 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 320 equivalents
  • Playback/QuickView with histogram feature
  • Data imprinting that records date, time and descriptive information on an image.
  • Powered by four standard AA type batteries
  • Approx. 14.5MB of internal memory + SD card slot
  • USB connectivity for Windows and Mac OSX
  • PictBridge, Exif Print, and Epson PRINT Image Matching II compatible

Physical Views

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

The DiMAGE Z20 compared in size to a standard CD.

Minolta DiMAGE Z20

The 5-megapixel DiMAGE Z20 and the DiMAGE X60.

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Features & Controls

DiMAGE Z20 Specifications

Number of effective pixels

Approximately 5.0 million


1/2.5-inch interline primary-color CCD
Total pixels: Approximately 5.2 million

Camera sensitivity

Auto and 50,100, 200, and 320 ISO equivalents

Focal length

6 - 48mm (35mm equivalent: 36 - 290mm)

Lens construction

11 elements in 9 groups

Maximum aperture

f/3.2 - f/3.4

Minimum focus distance

Wide: 1.6ft (0.5m) from front of lens
Telephoto: 4.9ft (1.5m) from front of lens

Minimum macro distance

Macro Mode:
Wide: 0.4 in. (0.01m)
Tele: 23.6 in. (0.6m)

Maximum magnification

0.24x Equivalent to 1.5x in 35mm format

Area covered at maximum magnification

Approximately 1.0 x 0.7 in. (25 x 18mm)

LCD monitor

1.5-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT color
Total number of pixels: 113,000
Automatic monitor amplification

Viewfinder type

Electronic Viewfinder

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



CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter

Shutter speed range

4 - 1/2000

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.


Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot

Multi-segment metering

256 segments

Exposure modes

Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual

Digital Subject Programs

Automatic (Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset,Standard) Manual (Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait.)

Exposure compensation

±2 EV in 1/3 EV increments

AE lock

By pressing shutter-release button partway down

Flash metering

Pre-flash TTL

Flash range

Wide: Approximately 1.6 - 15.1 ft. (0.5 - 4.6 m) from front of lens
Telephoto: Approximately 4.9 - 15.1ft. (1.5 - 4.6 m) from front of lens (Camera sensitivity: auto)

Flash modes

Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Flash cancel, Slow-shutter sync. Autoflash not available with aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual exposure modes.

Flash recycling time

Approximately 5 seconds

Flash compensation

± 2 EV in 1/3 EV increments

Flash-sync speeds

All shutter speeds

Continuous advance

1.0 Frame per second (Approximately)

* 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:

Continuous Advance






3 frames

3 frames

5 frames

28 frames


4 frames

7 frames

11 frames

45 frames


9 frames

13 frames

20 frames

64 frames

* Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.

Progressive Capture

Stores images from the latest frame captured with the continuous advance.
Maximum number of images that can be recorded with the Progressive Capture mode: Maximum 6 frames (Approximately 1 frame per second)

Exposure bracketing

Three frame bracket in 0.5, 0.3 EV increments


Approximately 10 seconds, 2 seconds


Recording time dependent on memory card capacity, image size, and frame rate.
Frame rate: 15 frames per second (640x480, 320x240)
30 frames per second (320x240)
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

Digital zoom

Maximum 4x in 0.1x increments


Japanese, English, Germany, French, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified character), Italian, Swedish

Copy function

To copy single or multiple images
1).Card to card
2).Card to internal storage
3).Internal storage to card

E-mail Copy function

Creates a compressed 640x480 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)

2560x1920, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 640x480

Number of recorded pixels (Movie clips)

640x480, 320x240,

Storage capacity

Approximate storage capacity of a 14.5MB internal storage:

Still images






6 frames

9 frames

14 frames

71 frames


11 frames

17 frames

28 frames

103 frames


22 frames

33 frames

48 frames

155 frames

Movie clips

640 x 480

320 x 240

30 fps


21 seconds

15 fps

27 seconds

43 seconds

Approximate storage capacity of a 64MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card:

Still images






25 frames

38 frames

61 frames

297 frames


49 frames

74 frames

117 frames

430 frames


94 frames

138 frames

203 frames

645 frames

Movie clips

640 x 480

320 x 240

30 fps


1minute 31 seconds

15 fps

1 minute 56 seconds

3 minutes 3 seconds

* Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and memory card used.

File formats

JPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV), DCF 2.0-compliant, DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1), Exif 2.2

Folder name formats

Standard, Date

Printing output control

Exif Print, PRINT Image Matching III, PictBridge

Recording media

SD (Secure Digital) Memory Cards, MultiMediaCards, Internal storage (approximately 14.5MB)

Computer interface

Full-speed 12Mbps data transfer with USB 2.0 compatible computer

AV output

NTSC, PAL (selected on the camera)


Four AA batteries: Alkaline, Ni-MH

Battery performance (Playback)

Approximate continuous playback time: 700 minutes with Alkaline batteries.

Battery performance (Recording)

Approximate number of recorded images: Approximately 450 Conforming to CIPA ( included AA alkaline batteries and SD memory card)

External power source

6V DC with specified AC adapter (sold separately)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

4.3 x 3.2 x 3.7 in. (109 x 82 x 94 mm)


Approximately 10.6oz. (300g) without batteries or recording media

Operating temperature

32-104°F (0-40ºC)

Standard accessories

Neck Strap NS-DG800, Lens Cap LF-243B, Video Cable VC-400, USB Cable USB-3, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM, Four AA, Alkaline batteries

Optional accessories

AC Adapter AC-11, Camera Case CS-DG1000, Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000, Wide-angle Converter ZCW-200

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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