For the advanced amateur photographers, Konica Minolta has a DiMAGE Z-series, from which the Z20 ultra-zoom camera is the less expensive one, featuring high performance 5 megapixel sensor with an 8x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 36 – 290mm) and a full range of manual exposure, metering and focus options. Besides from the futuristic silverish design, for the mid-range Z20, you can notice the large hand-grip, the elongated round body, and the flash mounted over the lens barrel.
For a camera with such zoom power, the lack of image stabilization is quite an issue our days. The viewfinder is the same resolution as the monitor screen but it uses up a large amount of battery life compared to other viewfinders and can only be used when the LCD is deactivated (by the way, the LCD is quite small: 1.5 inch). All of the buttons and wheels are well placed for an easy use and the camera is also comfortable to hold.
Start-up time is very fast at around 1.5 seconds- it’s not a bad time, but Z10 for example is faster. In continuous shooting mode at the highest quality setting it can shoot three frames in just over 3.5 seconds, but then has to pause for a few seconds to write to the card. Comparing it again with the Z10 and the Z5, movies are recorded in high quality (but lower than Z5) Motion JPEG with audio (z10 does not have a microphone for audio recording).
Picture quality is in the range of acceptable, with not too much noise and accurate colors, and, before saying that this camera is a budget alternative to the more powerful DiMAGE Z5, (an excellent performance for the money), I’m also mentioning that the 1cm close super macro will please you.
• Shooting Modes: Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual
• Scene Modes: Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Standard
• Movie Mode: 640×480 Frame rate: 15 fps, 320×240, Frame rate: 30 fps / 15 fps
• Effects: Vivid Color, Natural Color, Monochrome, Sepia; sharpness and contrast adjustable in 3 levels
• Flash Modes:
With AUTO, Programmed AE and Digital Subject Program selection: Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Slow-shutter sync, Flash cancel
With Aperture priority, Manual exposure, or Shutter priority: Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Slow-shutter sync., Flash cancel
• Focus Modes: Autofocus: Single-shot AF (3-Point Wide Focus Area
Focus area is selectable from Wide focus area and Spot focus areas with Focus Area Selection), Continuous AF (with predictive focus control), Full-time AF. Manual focus is selectable.
• White Balance: Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash), Custom
• Metering: Multi-segment (256 segments), Spot, Center-weighted
• 15 inch LCD + electronic viewfinder
• 5 megapixels
• 8x optical zoom
• Focal Length: 6 – 48 mm (35mm equivalent: 36 – 290mm)
• Aperture: f/ 3.2 – f/ 3.4
• ISO Range: 50 /100 /200 /320 ISO equivalents
• Flash Range:
• Focus Range: Wide / Tele: 0.5 m (1.6 feet) / 1.5 m (4.9 feet) to infinity
Macro: Wide: 0.01 m (0.03 feet) – 1.0 m (3.3 feet)
Tele: 0.6 m (2.0 feet) – 2.0 m (6.6 feet)
• Exposure Compensation: Â± 2 Ev with 1/3 Ev step
• Bracketing: 0.5 / 0.3 Ev increments; No. of bracket: 3 frames
• Shutter Speed: 4 seconds – 1/ 2000 seconds
• Self Timer: 2, 10 seconds
• File Format: JPEG
• SD – Secure Digital memory + 14.5MB internal memory
• 4x AA Ni-MH batteries, AA alkaline batteries
• Dimensions: 109 x 82 x 94 mm / 4.3 x 3.2 x 3.7 inches
• Weight: 300 g / 10.6 ounces
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