Written on: 13/07/2004 by Rustiebin (2 reviews written)
10x Optical zoom, VGA 30fps Movie, Super Macro, Rich feature list, manual everything, design, ease of use, indoor shots, outdoor shots and PRICE.
Not keen on flip screen, can't turn off continuous auto focus for movies, no remote control option, rattling lens like Olympus C7**.
Minolta Dimage Z2
I already own a Canon 300D which my wife hates and refuses to use. So was given the task of buying a small, light and easy to use digicam. She had already expressed an interest in the Canon A75 (we used to own the A40 and liked it). Or the Nikon CP3200 which her parents owned and liked.
However the Z1 (and Z2 but beyond budget) had caught my eye. I found an online shop offering it for £170, roughly the same as the A75 and CP3200. It has the same Mp plus a much better spec. In fact it's easily the best spec camera under £200 and by a massive margin. No camera in this price bracket offers 10x zoom, 3.2Mp and VGA 30fps movie mode.
In the hand the camera doesn't disappoint. Looks great, feels great and works great. It's fast, accurate and produces superb pictures. The buttons are oversized and better for it. Making the camera even easier to use. Everything seems to be in the right place. The menu system is intuitive, really easy to whiz round and find what you want.
The movie mode is a real boon. I have two young kids and it's perfect for capturing those growing up moments. Best movie mode I've seen on a digicam.
The only downside for me is I like to use my digicams for astronomy. And a remote control is essential. The Z1 doesn't come with one and nor is it offered as an extra. Which rules out planetary imaging. On the upside it does have full manual overrides and a bulb (30secs max) option.
The best thing of all though is my wife loves it. I really thought I would be for the high jump. But she finds it easy to use and adores the design. Can't be bad!