The DiMAGE Z3 is the first ultra zoom camera Konica Minolta to use their exclusive Anti-shake image stabilization system which is very much needed on a ultra zoom camera. Two nice things about Minolta Z3 are the fact it uses AA batteries (better rechargeable) and SD compatible digital storage. The design is black-colored made mostly of high-grade plastic.
It feels very solid and well-constructed, with a big grip, well placed buttons (important controls are all easy to reach) and there is good distance between the pop-up flash and the lens. The range of the lens is equivalent to 35 – 420 mm, allowing a large pallet of photography types and creativity. You can also add a wide-angle conversion lens as well as filters if you’d like.
The image stabilization is not based of shifting an element in the lens to counteract “camera shake”, but the Z3 actually moves the CCD itself, giving you sharper photos at slower shutter speeds. The camera is also equipped with an electronic viewfinder instead of the Switch Finder of other models (a good thing). It takes just 1.5 seconds to move the lens through the whole 12X zoom range, so it can be considered a fast camera. The Z3 does a pretty good job at taking pictures, though you can spot some noise/grain (actually noise seams to be the most serious problem of this digital camera).
Colors look good with nice saturation levels and the subject is sharp; there is no purple fringing but there is an overexposure tendency. In regular macro mode you can get as close to your subject as 10 cm at wide-angle and 1.2 m at telephoto but super macro mode has a minimum distance of just 1 cm. Before ending, I’m mentioning the histogram display and the full manual controls present on this model as well as in many other ultra zoom cameras.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Digital Camera Specifications
• Shooting Modes: Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual. AE lock available
• Scene Modes: Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait, Standard
• Movie Mode: 640 x 480 FINE, 640 x 480 STD, 320 x 240 STD
Frame rate: 30 fps / 15 fps, Long recording until the memory card is full, monaural sound
• Effects: Vivid, Natural, Black and white, Sepia; Sharpness / Contrast control Adjustable in 3 levels
• Flash Modes: Autoflash & Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Slow shutter sync.(in Auto / P / DSPS mode),
Fill-flash, Fill-flash with red-eye reduction, Slow shutter sync. (in A/S/M mode).
• Focus Modes: 5-point wide focus area: Wide focus area / Spot focus area with Focus Area Selection; Single-shot AF, Continuous AF (with predictive focus control), Full-time AF, Manual focus. Focus lock available in Single-shot AF
• White Balance: Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash), Custom
• Metering: Multi-segment (256 segments), Spot, Center-weighted
• 1.5 inch LCD + electronic viewfinder
• 4 megapixels
• 12x optical zoom
• Focal Length: 5.83 – 69.9 mm (35mm equivalent: 35 – 420mm)
• Aperture: f/ 2.8 – f/ 4.5
• ISO Range: 50 / 100 / 200 / 400
• Flash Range: Wide:0.20 – 4.0m from front of lens (approx.)
Telephoto:1.2 – 2.5m from front of lens (approx.)
• Focus Range: Wide / Tele: 0.6 m (2.0 feet) / 2.0 m (6.6 feet) to infinity
Macro: Wide: 0.1 m (0.3 feet) – 1.0 m (3.3 feet) / Tele: 1.2 m (3.9 feet) – 2.5 m (8.2 feet)
Super Macro: 1 cm (0.4 inches) – 100 cm (39.4 inches)
• Exposure Compensation: Â± 2 Ev with 1/3 Ev step
• Bracketing: 1.0 / 0.5 / 0.3 Ev increments; No. of bracket: 3 frames
• Shutter Speed: A mode / P mode: 4 – 1/ 1000 seconds, M mode / S mode: 15 – 1/1000 seconds,
Time exposure (max. 30 seconds): Auto,
Digital Program Selector mode: 2 – 1/1000 seconds
• Self Timer: 10 seconds / 2 seconds
• File Format: JPEG
• SD – Secure Digital memory
• 4x AA Ni-MH batteries, AA alkaline batteries
• Dimensions: 108.5 x 80 x 83.5 mm / 4.3 x 3.1 x 3.3 inches
• Weight: 335 g / 11.8 ounces
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