Konica Minolta Dimage Z1 Review

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3.8 / 5
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  • Image Quality

  • Battery Life

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

terryp's review of Konica Minolta Dimage Z1


“I am a bit of a motorsport and airshow fan, so when I...”

Written on: 05/02/2004 by terryp (1 review written)

Good Points
Full range of settings.
Excellent viewfinder and screen.
Long battery life.
Great zoom lens.

Bad Points
Battery compartment has to be treated with care.
Selection buttons too close to the viewfinder.
No auto pop-up flash

General Comments
I am a bit of a motorsport and airshow fan, so when I wanted a Digital Camera to compliment my Cannon EOS300 SLR, that I use with a 75-300 zoom, then there were quite a few to choose from, Kodak DX6490, Olympus C740, HP's 945, Toshiba PDR-M700, to name a few.

Eventually after much browsing review sites and even nipping in to camera shops with the pretence of looking to buy one, but just getting the feel of them, I plumped for the Minolta Dimage Z1, why? because it offered the best range of features for the price.

I'll try to be brief, the Z1 isn't meant to be a top of the range camera, most of the major manufacturers including Minolta have top end cameras that are of professional standard and have professional prices, so let's get one thing straight, it's built to a price! this is not to say that it feels tacky, I don't think it does.

Okay it's not perfect, so let's get the gripes out of the way, If your using the viewfinder, and I do because my eyesights not all it should be for looking at the screen, the buttons for changing shutter speeds, aperture, etc are a bit close to it, so you have to move you cheek or nose away from the camera to get to the buttons.

the diopter is a bit fiddly, but you should only have to adjust it once.

The battery compartment does need the gentle touch when closing the lid, but after about 3 or 4 battery changes, I'm confident it will last.

Pity that the flash is not an auto popup like the EOS, when it senses low light, but the "shaking hand" symbol soon reminds you to use flash.

and as far as I'm concerned I can live with these minor grumbles

here's why I consider it is worth buying, the range of settings for someone who wants more than a point and shoot, are equal to many mid range SLR's including my EOS300, which is by no means a cheapo camera.

There is a full range of modes from full auto to manual, I'll not drone on about them all look at the specs page, suffice to say it's more than enough for the serious photographer, but still easy enough for someone who wants to switch it on and shoot, which by the way is brilliant, hit the button and in less than two seconds it's ready to take a snap.

The drive modes are very good for this price range, the continuous is 1.5fps, and Iv'e had it take upto 14 frames before not being able to save from the buffer. The 10fps burst mode is great for capturing very fast action where your trying to track a fast car for instance, just move a bit faster than the car and your bound to get at least two or three well framed shots, then discard the rest.

The camera shape is spot on for my medium sized hands, and sits snugly, the shuter button and the zoom control are well placed and finger and thumb fall naturally on them both.

Picture quality I feel is more than adequate, with 3.2mp it's good enough for 10x8 or A4 size prints, want more then go for a 4 or 5mp camera but expect to pay a hefty premium and not get some of the features, hey, how often do you want to print bigger than A4?

Colour representation is pretty good, you'd have to be very critical to complain about it not being true to life.

At the price I paid at the time £232.00 inc vat and postage, (PCworld had a web offer on it just before and after xmas) it was about thirty odd quid cheaper than the nearest rival.

There will always be detractors on any review site, but do what I did spend a week or so looking at all the reviews you can, I estimate that between 90 to 95% of reviewers inc' professional reviewers rated the Z1 very good to excellent value for money.

If you want perfection then go and spend 2 or 3 grand on a Nikon or Canon SLR digital.

If you want stonking good value for money the Z1 fits the bill.

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

  • Battery Life

  • Less than 6 Months

    Time Digital Camera Owned

  • Image Quality

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