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Old Oct 14, 2003, 2:51 PM   #1
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Default Minolta G400 / Konica KD-420z - Hybrid Focus, I want one!

Heck -- I just bought the Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500) in mid July.

Now, I want the new Konica KD-420z (Minolta G400). Check out it's new Hybrid Focus System!

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/mi...3_g400_pr.html

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0310/03...dimageg400.asp

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...etail=Features


More specs in the news at imaging-resource.com:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1066132842.html


My Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500 Photos):
--
http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 1:56 AM   #2
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Hello Jim,

I read a review, I think on dcresource that navigating through the menus was not all that simple. What is your opion of that?

I've been interested in the G500 due in part to reviews and your postings, but may hold out for the G400. Do you think the LCD will be one of its weaknesses being only 76,800 pixels?

Thanks,
Vin
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 8:33 AM   #3
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Hey Vin:

The menus on the G500 are fine. They just take some getting used to (sort of like getting a brand new mobile phone from a different manufacturer).

The camera really grows on you.

The control layout is simple, and I really like that. No mode dials, etc. Everything is on the back panel, so that you can change anything you want to, while your subject is still in the LCD (which is quite useable by the way -- much better in bright sunlight than my Nikons).

The best part, is that the 4 way controller is customizable, so that you really don't need to use the menus.

I have my camera setup so that it works as follows:

Left: switches between landscape, macro, self timer modes

Right: switches between different flash modes

Up: allows you to set Exposure Compensation

Down: allows you to change White Balance Settings.

This seems to work best for me (giving me quick access to exposure compensation, white balance, flash modes, without using the menus).

Also, the camera "remembers" where you were in setup last. I've started leaving mine on the AE menu choice (which allows you to change between Center Weighted and Spot Metering). So, when I want to change metering, I just press the Setup Button, and I'm already at that menu choice.

Note: the 4 way controller can be customized even further if desired.

As for the left and right arrow keys, you've got some more customization available there. You can allow or deny specific flash modes from appearing as a choice when using the right arrow key to toggle between them.

Also, for the left arrow, you can allow or deny specific self timer/focus combinations from appearing -- even including (or excluding) macro, landscape, 1m, 2m, 4m from appearing as a toggle choice when the left controller key is pressed.

You can also setup the camera to allow Autoexposure Lock with a half press of the shutter, and a press of the up arrow, or Autofocus lock, with a half press of the shutter and a press of the left arrow.

It's a very nice design, while keeping the control layout simple. Like I said, it really grows on you. I now appreciate Konica's design, more than ever, after using the camera for a few months.

You may want to read through some posts I made yesterday on the camera. I go into some detail on why I like it so much, and also have another post pointing to a couple of users that own both the Canon S400 and the Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500). They both prefer the Konica.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6600492

You may also want to read through my pbase.com guestbook. You'll see some entries from users thanking me for recommending the camera, they like it so much. The latest purchaser that read my review from a user named Tom, who also owns a Sony DSC-F707 (see his 07 November entry in my guestbook):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6600492

He also posted to this very interesting thread (showing that the G500 outperforms the DiMAGE 7i) last night with his latest experience with the camera:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6606408

BTW, I no longer want the new G400.... Upon closer examination of the specs, I discovered a major flaw.... The Flash Strength is MUCH weaker than the G500. This would limit it's useability too much at family gatherings, parties, etc.
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 11:20 AM   #4
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Steve’s review of the G500 seemed to indicate a good low light focus capability. Do you find it that poor that you are looking around for better low light focus capability?
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 11:29 AM   #5
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Slipe:

The only reason I wanted the G400 initially, was that the press release hyped up the new hybrid focus system (0.2 seconds). But, once I looked into the specs (and realized that the flash range was nowhere near as good as the G500, and that the G400 would be using the new (smaller, denser) 1/2.5" CCD, my initial enthusiasm quickly diminished.

This camera (Konica KD-510z/Minolta G500) has the absolute best autofocus system of any camera I've ever owned (including those with focus assist lamps), and it's my 7th Digital Camera.

I have absolutely no complaints with this camera (well -- except for the redeye, but you're going to have that from any pocket cam, and it's easy to correct in software). I prefer to shoot with redeye reduction turned off anyway (so that the preflash doesn't "spoil the shots", since facial expressions usually change with preflash).

IMO, The G500 superb in every way.

See my comments on it's indoor focus abilities here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6599617

Note that the next poster in the thread (Tom, who also owns a Sony DSC-F707) agrees -- he recently bought a G500 on my recommendation:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6606408

I go into great detail on how much better it is compared to a Sony P10 indoors in this thread (the flash recycle times are fantastic with the G500 -- I can take one flash photo every 2.1 seconds, including flash recycle times at closer ranges of around 4 feet by leaving the camera in continuous mode. You can leave it set this way all of the time):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6600492
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 2:15 AM   #6
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the reply. I know what you mean about getting new equipment like a new mobile phone. Now all I have to do is save up the money. I can hardly wait though.

Please set me straight on something. If you use both SD and Memory Stick, and your MS is two sided, can you switch to the 2nd side of the MS and use it in addition to the first side?

Thanks again,
Vin
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 3:04 AM   #7
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Vin:

The way the camera (Konica KD-510z/Minolta G500) works, is you set the "memory priority". This lets it know whether to prefer using the Secure Digital Card, or the Memory Stick first.

When one is full (depending on which one is preferred), it automatically overflows into the other.

As far as the 128mb x 2 (256mb Total) memory sticks, it uses them fine. They look exactly like a regular 128mb Memory Stick to the camera (as they do to Sony models prior to the newer DSC-F717).

But, this particular memory stick design requires that you move an embedded "switch" from bank a, to bank b, before the camera can access the other 128mb in the Memory Stick.

It's a very tiny switch (you have to use one corner of your fingernail to switch it), so it is not a perfect design.

But, from my perspective, it's better than having to worry about how to carry another Memory Stick with you (you simply pull it out, move the switch, and you have another 128mb to shoot with).
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 7:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
... The Flash Strength is MUCH weaker than the G500. This would limit it's useability too much at family gatherings, parties, etc.
I hope you really like red-eye: you will get much more of it with a more powerfull built in flash because you will be shooting at a longer distance. That means an even smaller angle between the lens axis and the flash - the major factor in red-eye.

If flash is important to you, you want an external flash to increase the distance from the lens axis. All built in flash units are junk, some worse than others, but none are good. It is simple geometry: to be built in, it must be small and it must be close to the lens. That means red-eye and glare.
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 9:32 AM   #9
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Bill:

I became very skilled at correcting Redeye a long time ago (I've owned 2 Nikon Coolpix 9xx series cameras, before Nikon got "smart" and moved the flash further away from the lens in this series).

But, you're right. You can't "have your cake and eat it to".

One of the downsides of a small, pocketable camera, is more photos with redeye.

To me, the convenience of carrying a camera with me everywhere in a pocket, ready to take a photo on a moments notice, is worth the time needed to correct redeye when it occurs.

There have been too many times, when I left a larger digital camera at home, and missed good photo opportunties. Now, I carry my Konica KD-510z (identical to the Minolta G500) with me everywhere in my front pants pocket.

Also, I think redeye reduction modes "spoil the shots". This is because a preflash can cause facial expressions to change. So, I don't even bother turning redeye reduction on. So, I just fix it (which is easy to do with modern software) when it occurs.
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 4:20 PM   #10
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Thanks Jim! Konica/Minolta should put you on the payroll!

Regards,
Vin
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