Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Digital Camera Review. Фотоаппарат dimage z3


Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Digital Camera Review

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

Functions:• 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 STDFrame 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-weightedTechnical Data:• 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 infinityMacro: 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: ± 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

 

Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".

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Amazon.com : Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 4MP Digital Camera with Anti Shake 12x Optical Zoom : Point And Shoot Digital Cameras : Camera & Photo

Product description

MD) CL) MINOLTA DIMAGE Z-3 DIG CAM

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc.'s new Dimage Z3 4.0 megapixel digital camera is the first Z-series camera to feature Konica Minolta proprietary Anti-Shake system. This new camera provides photographers with high-quality images and features a wide range of convenient and easy-to-use high-end functions.

Further Advances in Rapid Autofocus (AF) with Predictive Focus Control

See detailed views of the Z3's features: FrontBack
The Dimage Z3 incorporates an AF-dedicated ASIC to video AF system. Focusing takes a mere 0.15 seconds at wide angle and only 0.20 seconds at telephoto. And in Continuous AF, the Dimage Z3 includes Predictive Focus Control, which allows photographers to capture sharper images of moving subjects—like a child running at full speed. The Dimage Z3 also features a faster focusing lens drive that moves the focusing lens more than twice as fast as the previous Z-series model. Its Quick Speed Image Readout in AF function reads images from the CCD at a rate of 100 frames per second from when the shutter-release button is pressed partway until the image is brought into focus, giving contrast information in half the time of normal mode (50 frames per second). With Optimized AF Sequence, in Video AF the Dimage Z3 uses AF Sequence Control to simultaneously determine the focus drive direction and drive the lens to the position of maximum contrast through repeated focusing. This means that focusing operations start as soon as the shutter-release button is pressed partway. The Dimage Z3 also offers improved AF accuracy through several features. 5-point Area AF provides five focus areas that overlap horizontally and thus reduce AF failures that occur when subjects appear in between focus areas and cause a perspective conflict. A human subject sensor algorithm uses color information in an AF area to prioritize and focus on that area if it is more than 50% occupied by flesh tone. This reduces shots that erroneously focus on a background rather than on the person in the picture.

CCD-Shift Anti-Shake Function The Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 is the first Z-series model to include Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake function. This gives photographers unprecedented control and accuracy when taking pictures in low light situations, as well as when fully-extending and hand-holding the camera's 12x optical zoom lens. The high-precision CCD-shift method employs the proprietary Smooth Impact Drive Mechanism (SIDM), in which angular velocity sensors detect the degree of shaking and move the CCD to compensate for and correct this. The SIDM enables compensation to minimize the effect of camera shake at 2-3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function (depending on conditions; equivalent to 2-3 exposure increments). The Dimage Z3 can correct shaking without increasing shutter speed and raising ISO sensitivity, factors which increase image noise. In addition, users won't see the deterioration in image quality usually associated with electronic anti-shake systems. The CCD-shift method doesn't require extra correction lenses like optical anti-shake systems, so the Dimage Z3's body is compact and lightweight. The Dimage Z3's anti-shake system is effective in correcting both the fine movement of pressing the shutter-release button and the larger and slower movements of the user's body.

Incredible 48x Total Zoom RangeCombining the camera's 12x optical zoom lens with the 4x digital zoom gives photographers a 48x total zoom, perfect for taking distance shots at sporting events or when capturing distant subjects. This incredible optical zoom lens delivers a focal range equivalent to a 35-420mm range on a 35mm camera lens. With the digital zoom, total zoom is equivalent to 35-1680mm (35mm equivalent).

Konica Minolta GT APO Lens

DiMAGE Z3 focuses in an astonishingly fast 0.15 seconds at wide angle and 0.20 seconds at telephoto for the fastest autofocus in this class.
The Dimage Z3 employs a newly developed high-performance lens system that supports CCDs with 5 million effective pixels. The optical lens system consists of 13 elements in 10 groups and includes two AD (anomalous dispersion) glass lenses and two aspheric elements, a construction that adds up to sharp, high-quality images. Multi-coating on 14 lens surfaces ensures minimal flaring and ghosting in all zoom ranges. It employs a 5-vane iris diaphragm to beautifully reproduce a near-circular fading effect.

4-Megapixel CCD for Beautiful PrintsThe 4-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch CCD produces plenty of detail for creating high-quality enlargements as large as 10 x 14 inches at 150-dpi print resolution. In addition, the CCD's primary color filter offers high color fidelity.

Superbly Detailed Images with CxProcess IIKonica Minolta's CxProcess II image processing technology incorporates characteristics like smooth gradations, natural skin tones, and brilliantly clear colors for images that are more natural and lifelike. The Dimage Z3's 4 megapixels capture fine lines and intricate details for stunning digital images.

High-quality Movies as Beautiful as TV or Video Camera FootageThe Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 takes movies in VGA size (640x480) at 30 frames per second for smooth video with sound rivaling TV programs or video camera footage. Users can choose from three movie image sizes: 640x480 (Fine), 640x480 (Standard), or 320x240 (Standard). Thanks to the camera's Anti-Shake function, users can take telephoto movies that are smooth and clear. The XR (Extended Recording) Movie function lets users record longer movie clips onto the camera's SD memory card. With Night Movie, the Dimage Z3 can record in extreme low-light conditions thanks to a CCD that's four times more sensitive than conventional sensors.

UHS (Ultra High Speed) Continuous ShootingThe Dimage Z3 captures 15 images at 10 frames per second at UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous shooting.

Progressive CaptureWith the Dimage Z3 in Progressive Capture mode, images are saved automatically when users stop pressing the camera's shutter-release button. Progressive Capture means that the last several images in the sequence get saved: as many as 6 images (in Standard continuous advance) or 15 images (in UHS continuous advance). So when shooting fast-moving subjects, Progressive Capture ensures that they are recorded when and where the user wants them. These functions are handy for shooting sporting events or for recording and improving your form in personal sports training situations such as a golf swing.

Real Motion LCD MonitorThe Dimage Z3 features the Real Motion LCD monitor, which delivers crystal clear images to the user at 50 frames per second. Conventional monitors on digital cameras use a 30-frames-per-second display format that sometimes results in a less-than-smooth display. The 50-frames-per-second Real Motion monitor rate provides smooth action that brings images to life.

Noise ReductionNoise Reduction enables exceptional night images by automatically preventing the blemishes and graininess associated with slow-shutter shots.

PASM Exposure Control and Metering ModesThe Dimage Z3 offers incredible control over exposure. There are four modes: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. Select manual exposure to enable 30-second time exposure capability. The Dimage Z3 has three metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, and Spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure.

Get as Near as 0.4 inches with Super MacroPhotographers can shoot amazing close-ups in either Macro or Super Macro modes. In Super Macro mode, photographers can bring the lens as near as 0.4 inches from their subject.

PictBridge-CompliantForget all about complicated connections with a PC. Users can get fast, fun printouts directly from their camera by connecting the Dimage Z3 to a PictBridge-compliant printer. Users just check which images they want to print on the Dimage Z3's LCD monitor and then print out their favorites in no time at all.

New Ergonomic DesignThe Dimage Z3's design is advanced yet familiar and easy-to-use. Despite its large 12x zoom range, it weighs just 11.8 ounces. It's also easy to carry and operate even for amateur photographers. The camera's ergonomic form makes it easy to hold and keep steady for those zoom shots.

What's in the BoxNeck strap NS-DG7000, lens cap LF-243, accessory shoe cap SC-1000, AV cable AVC-700, 16MB SD (Secure Digital) memory card, USB cable USB-2, Dimage Viewer CD-ROM, ArcSoft VideoImpression 2 CD-ROM (for Windows only), four AA alkaline batteries.

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review: Steve'S Conclusion

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The DiMAGE Z3 is the most powerful "Z" series camera that we've seen yet from Konica Minolta (as of 9/2004), it offers users a 4.0-megapixel imager combined with a powerful 12x optical zoom lens and Konica Minolta's proprietary Anti-Shake image stabilization system. It has a wide variety of exposure modes to choose from; full Automatic for the newby, Program AE for the novice, and advanced modes like Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority and full Manual, that give enthusiasts total control.

The Z3's ergonomics are good. The controls are well placed and the menu system is easy to use. I was pleased to see that Konica Minolta did not use a "switch-finder" display on this camera, instead they used separate LCD and EVF displays. Outdoors I was able to use the LCD to frame, but due to its highly reflective surface covering there are many angles in which the sun reflects off of it and makes it difficult. That's when you switch to the EVF (Electronic ViewFinder.) Indoors both displays "gain up" to help brighten your subject, but they do tend to get a little grainy. The Z3 has a flash hot shoe for easily connecting an external flash. This is very useful when you're shooting in situations where the built-in flash lacks the range to illuminate your subject. It also allows you to bounce the flash (if the external flash has this feature), which helps eliminate the usual harsh shadowed and often over-exposed portrait shots.

The shooting performance was robust. From power up to first image captured measured approx. 3.0 seconds, that's pretty amazing since it has to extend its 12x zoom and boot up. Shutter lag was an impressive 1/10 of a second when pre-focused, and 2/10 of a second including autofocus. Shot-to-shot delay averaged the shot-to-shot time was approx. 1.8 seconds without flash and about 3.2 - 4.0 seconds with the flash. Sports shooters will enjoy 2 modes of rapid sequential shooting: Continuous, which is a standard burst capture mode, and Progressive, which captures images continuously at almost 3 frames per second but saves only the last 5 frames when the shutter is released. Using the Continuous mode, I was able to capture 10 frames in approx. 4 seconds. In progressive mode, I captured 5 frames in 1.7 seconds. Unfortunately, the viewfinder blanks out momentarily inbetween each frame captured which often made it difficult to follow fast-moving subjects. Our tests were done using a SanDisk Ultra II 512MB SD card, 2272x1704/Fine quality, Program auto mode, preview off, flash off, unless otherwise noted. Times may vary depending due to lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.

Obviously, one of the biggest draws of the Z3 is its powerful 12X optical zoom that covers a focal length from 35 - 420mm in 35mm equivalence. The lens operates smoothly and can produce sharp images throughout its zoom range, but exhibits moderate barrel distortion at the wide angle end and slight pin cushioning at full telephoto. The lens is fairly fast with a maximum aperture of F2.8 (wide) to F4.5 (tele) which allows for the use of higher shutter speeds. Thanks to the camera's AS (Anti-Shake) system, users will be able to capture images with less hand shake at slower shutter speeds. We always recommend the use of a tripod or monopod for long telephoto shooting, even with cameras that have an AS (Anti-Shake) system. It's a good thing they included the AS system, because the Z3 is very light weight and prone to camera shake at longer focal lengths. While the Z3 boasts a 48x range by combining the 4x digital and 12x optical zoom, we recommend that you avoid using the digital zoom because it degrades image quality; if you need to enlarge a portion of an image, you'll achieve better results by cropping it later with an image editor. The autofocus system is fast and accurate in brightly light conditions, and was a little better than average in low-light conditions (for a camera without an AF-assist lamp.) However, it will fail if the light level is too low or if your subject lacks the necessary contrast. The Z3 lacks an AF illuminator and we feel that these devices should be standard on all digicams.

Like the other DiMAGE "Z" series cameras, the Z3 is powered by 4 standard AA-type batteries, this means you can use alkaline, one-use lithium, and NiHM batteries. As always we recommend using high-capacity rechargeable NiMH batteries, they'll save you money in the long run, last longer, and are safer on the environment. We found the battery life quite acceptable, capturing all of our samples images (about 150 shots) and concluding our other tests, with a single set of 2400mAh NiMH rechargeables and using the camera's power-saving features.

We were disappointed that the Z3 does not offer the high-resolution (800x600) movie mode, like that found on the Z2. The Z3 does allow you to capture motion video at either 640x480 (Fine or Standard) or 320x240 (Standard) at 15fps or 30fps with audio. In addition, the Z3's autofocus system operates continuously during movie capture. You can use the optical zoom while recording a movie, and adjust white balance and color modes via the movie record menu. Be careful when using the zoom option as the focusing system has difficulty keeping up with the lens. We recommend you set the focal length before recording, and if you're going to use the zoom, do it slowly.

The image quality in 2272x1704 Fine mode was average for a camera in this class. Outdoors it produced nicely saturated images, although some were a bit over-exposed when there were instances of extreme sunlight. The majority of our images were well exposed and had good overall color balance. There was an average amount of noise in low contrast areas as well as CA (chromatic aberation - purple fringing) in high contrast areas. There were also some images that were a bit soft; luckily the Z3 has adjustments for sharpening and contrast that help fix the problem. One area this camera seemed to excel at was portrait photography. Both our outdoor and indoor portraits were sharp, well exposed and skin tones were very natural. The "auto" white balance setting does its job well. I highly recommend that you make sure to always check the front of the lens for fingerprints before shooting. With most cameras this isn't a major concern, but it is with the Z3. If there's a big fingerprint on the lens your photos will have a haze to them. You can see what I mean by looking at PICT0018.JPG on our sample photos page.

Bottom line - the DiMAGE Z3 is a mixed bag, its powerful lens, Anti-Shake technology, and speedy performance will interest many, however the less than stellar "out of camera" image quality will put off others. Its 2272x1704 (4-megapixel) Fine images have sufficient resolution to create up to 11x14-inch prints. If you don't need 4-megapixels of resolution or a 12x optical zoom, then check out the more affordable DiMAGE Z10 with 3-megapixels and an 8x zoom for about $220 less.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review: Playback Modes & Menu Options

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Note that all onscreen images and overlay data can be displayed on the EVF or the color LCD, just flip the display control switch located on the back.

Here's the Auto (point-n-shoot) mode screen display. There is minimal information displayed, you can see the image size "2272" and quality "FINE", battery level indicator, AS (Anti-Shake) is on, Auto DSP (Automatic Digital Subject Program) is enabled, Single drive mode, Multi-segment metering, and there is enough room on our SD card for 218 pictures.

Shown here are the menu options when using Auto record mode. You can change the Drive mode, Image size and quality, enable or disable Auto DSP, and turn the Digital Zoom on or off.

In Program AE mode the camera selects the best combination of both shutter speed and aperture automatically. Icons indicate flash mode, image size and quality, ISO speed if other than automatic, metering mode, drive mode, and # of pictures remaining.

When you half-press the shutter release, the AF marks turn red and indicate the area in which will be focused.

In Shutter priority mode you set the shutter speed desired to freeze rapid action or blur motion and the camera automatically selects the proper aperture setting.

In Aperture priority you set the desired aperture for control of depth of field and the camera will automatically match the proper shutter speed.

In Manual mode you have control of both the shutter speed and aperture value.

And here is a "busy" screen showing Manual capture mode, flash off, Image size and quality, hard sharpening, high contrast, custom white balance, spot metering, continuous drive mode, single AF, ISO 50, and the live histogram display.

In Macro mode the Z3 can cover 0.1 m (0.3 feet) - 1.0 m (3.3 feet) at Wide Angle and 1.2 m (3.9 feet) - 2.5 m (8.2 feet) at Telephoto. If you need get even closer, Super Macro mode can get as close as 1cm (0.4 in.)

You can also manually focus on you subject, just select the Manual focus option in the record menu. You then use the "Up" and "Down" arrows on the 4- way selector to adjust the focusing range. The image then enlarges to check for critical focus.

Record mode menu:

    Drive mode - Single, Self-timer, Continuous, Progressive, Bracketing Image Size - 2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480 Quality - Fine, Standard, Economy White balance - Custom set/recall, Auto, Preset Key function - Assign various functions for the Flash mode button

    Focus mode - Single AF, Continuous AF or Manual Full-time AF - Enable/disable continuous autofocus Flash mode - Auto, Red-eye, Fill, Fill+Red-eye, Slow sync. Flash comp. - Adjust flash output level (±2 EV in 1/3 EV steps) Metering mode - MultiSegment, Center-weighted or Spot

    Sensitivity - Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 Digital zoom - Enable/disable Digital zoom Color mode - Natural, Vivid, B&W or Sepia Sharpness - Hard, Normal, Soft Contrast - High, Normal, Low

In Movie mode you can record motion video with audio. The image size can be 640x480 Fine/Standard or 320x240 at either 15fps or 30fps. The length of a video clip is limited only by the amount of available memory on your SD card. Because of the "Silent Zoom" mechanism, you can use the zoom lens during recording.

Movie mode menu:

    Quality - 640x480 Fine, 640x480 Standard, or 320x240 Frame rate - 30fps or 15fps White balance - Custom set/recall, Auto, Preset Movie mode - Standard or Night mode

    Focus mode - Cont. AF, Single AF, Manual Color mode - Natural Color, Vivid Color, B&W (Black&White), Sepia Digital Zoom - On, Off

SETUP menu options:

      LCDbrightness - Adjust the LCD brightness Power save - 1, 3, 5 or 10 minutes to auto power off Instant playback - 10s, 2s, none Lens accessory - None or "WideConvertr" Language - Chose the menu language

      File #memory - Sequentially number images Folder name - Choose the method for creating folder names Noise Reduction - On or off Date/Time set - Set the camera's clock and calendar Date imprint - Activates Date imprinting

      Reset default - Return all settings to factory default Audio signals - Change or turn off audio sound effects Focus signals - Change or turn off focus sound effects Shutter FX - Change or turn off Shutter sound effects Volume - Adjust volume of camera sounds

      Video output - NTSC or PAL format Transfer mode - Specify camera use with a computer or printer Anti-Shake - Choose Display + Exposure, Exposure only, or disable AS (Off) Self-Timer - Select duration of self-timer (2 or 10 sec.)

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.

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.

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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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review: Sample Pictures

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PICT0018.JPGFinger printSample2272x17041,840,442
PICT0038.MOV6 secs.640x4809,137,160
PICT0049.JPGFull wide angle2272x17041,769,615
PICT0050.JPGMid telephoto2272x17041,645,540
PICT0051.JPGFull telephoto2272x17041,348,722
PICT0073.JPG2272x17042,034,195
PICT0082.JPG2272x17041,867,495
PICT0085.JPGBeach/Sunset mode2272x17041,923,270
PICT0091.JPG2272x17042,377,445
PICT0095.JPGFull wide angle2272x17041,792,452
PICT0096.JPGMid telephoto2272x17042,092,142
PICT0097.JPGFull telephoto2272x17041,879,849
PICT0104.JPG2272x17042,185,442
PICT0126.JPG2272x17041,556,678
PICT0130.JPGPortrait modeFill-flash3272x17041,876,410
PICT0137.JPGPortrait mode2272x17042,036,526

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 Review: Overview

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Click on the DiMAGE Z3 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The next generation of Konica Minolta's "Z" series, the DiMAGE Z3 features a 4-megapixel imager combined with a high-quality GT 12x optical zoom lens. This newly developed GT APO lens offers clear, high-contrast, high-resolution images thanks to Konica Minolta's G lens optical technology. The AD (anomalous dispersion) glass and two aspheric lens elements help the Z3 correct spherical aberration and curvilinear distortion, factors that can cause problems at high zoom ranges. The advanced, high-sensitivity 4-megapixel CCD combines with Konica Minolta's proprietary CxProcess II technology to give photographers images as beautiful as those they see with their own eyes.

Previously a function found only on the high-end Konica Minolta DiMAGE "A" series digital cameras, the Konica Minolta CCD-shift Anti-Shake System is now available for the first time in the "Z" series cameras. 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.) For hand-held dim light photography and telephoto shots, both of which are susceptible to the effects of camera shake because of their slow shutter speeds, photographers can now get steady, blur-free images without the use of a flash or tripod. Unlike an optical system, Konica Minolta's proprietary Anti-Shake System uses a unique CCD-shift mechanism. This keeps the lens compact and the camera lightweight.

With Konica Minolta's unique CCD-shift Anti-Shake System accompanying the camera's built-in 12x optical zoom lens, the Z3 provides photographers of all levels with very steady and sharp hand-held telephoto shots. Its speed also enables photographers to get those action shots right away with Rapid Autofocus (AF) - the fastest auto focus in its class. The camera's AF also has a Predictive Focus Control for unmatched high-speed focusing that brings out the very best in the Z3's superior ability to capture fast moving subjects.

The DiMAGE Z3 incorporates an AF-dedicated ASIC to video AF system for focusing, enabling its Rapid AF to focus faster than previous models. Focusing time is approximately 0.15 second in wide-angle position and approximately 0.2 second in telephoto position. The Z3 also boasts a fast startup speed, a real motion monitor with 50 frames per second capability for smooth video viewing, minimal shutter-release time lag, and continuous shooting at 2.2 frames per second. And in Continuous AF, the DiMAGE Z3 includes Predictive Focus Control, which allows photographers to capture sharper images of moving subjects.

Its movie recording function allows users to take high-resolution movies that are as beautiful as TV programs or footage taken with a video camera. In addition to the VGA-size (640 x 480 Standard) mode that captures movies at 30 frames per second, Konica Minolta has added a new, high-quality-image Fine mode (640 x 480 Fine). The Silent Zoom feature employs a newly developed Silent Zoom mechanism that greatly reduces how much noise from the optical zoom is picked up while shooting movies with sound.

The optional Wide Converter Kit allows users to fit more of a scene into each shot. The lens has a 26mm wide angle that is ideal for capturing indoor or outdoor architecture and panoramic landscape shots. The Z3 is also equipped with a powerful built-in flash. But if even more flash power is needed, the camera accepts the Konica Minolta Program/Maxxum Flash 3600HS(D) 5600HS(D) or 2500(D) accessory flash units.

DiMAGE Z3 Features:

  • 12x zoom (35 - 420mm equivalent coverage) with high-speed autofocus
  • 4.0 megapixel imager for images up to 2272 x 1704 pixels
  • AS (Anti-Shake) system for sharp images at low shutter speed or long focal lengths
  • 1.5-inch color LCD with 78,000 pixels
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF), 0.3 inch 118,000 pixels with dioptric adjustment
  • Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual exposure modes
  • Shutter speeds from 15 seconds to 1/1000 in Shutter priority and Manual exposures modes
  • Digital Program modes: Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait
  • Multi-segment, center-weighted and spot metering modes
  • 640x480 Fine/Standard, and 320x240 motion video at 15fps or 30fps with audio, length limited only by SD card capacity
  • Automatic noise-reduction for one second or longer exposures
  • Auto White Balance with 5 presets and Custom
  • Sharpness and Contrast control, adjustable in 3 levels
  • Color modes: Vivid, Natural, Black and white, Sepia
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, and 400 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
  • USB connectivity for Windows and Mac OSX
  • PictBridge, Exif Print, and Epson PRINT Image Matching II compatible

Physical Views

The DiMAGE Z3 compared in size to a standard CD.

The "top of the line" DiMAGE Z3 and the entry-level DiMAGE Z10 for comparison.


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