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Old Sep 23, 2003, 1:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default I received my Dimage Z1 yesterday

A great Buy

This is my first foray into digital photography. I was looking for a perfect digital camera within $400 price range, I definitely wanted at least 3MP with as much optical zoom as I could get, and also desired the video/audio features for short video clips. I also wanted complete manual controls so that the camera can grow along with my increasing interests and skills in photography. I researched a lot, reading reviews and trying out every possible camera on display. I tried SONY P72, Fuji 3800, Toshiba M700, Panasonic FZ1, Minolta S414, Canon A70, Olympus C4000Z and many more. Although I could not lay my lands on a demo unit of Dimage Z1, I just ordered it blindly, because this has got the most impressive features and looks, the Minolta name and my experience with S414.

Dimage Z1 looks and feels like a real SLR camera, a fairly compact, very user-friendly package indeed! As far as style and looks are concerned, this is the best camera out there right now. I received it just a day before (22 Sep 03) and I am fallen in love with it.

The camera is ergonomically designed with a very good hand -grip but the body is in plastic so the robust and sturdy feel is not there.

All controls are available at the figure tips and strategically located, with a very good feel and tactile feedback.

Zoom is superb and unmatched. Lens movement is soft and noiseless. I heard a lot of noise in other cameras I tried.

I particularly like the movie mode, which records at 15fps or 30 fps clips w/audio, thus combining limited features of a digital video camera.

The 1.5-inch LCD is quite bright and well protected. Both LCD and EVF cover almost the entire frame. Camera uses the same LCD screen for both LCD and EVF and switching is done through an internal mirror/shutter mechanism. This is something different I saw in Dimage Z1 as compared to others.

Flash although weak provides a pretty standard set of lighting options .A flash sync socket allows users to connect an external flash (Minolta only!) to the camera for more powerful flash lighting

The battery life appears to be good.

I just started playing with this camera but all the pictures came out perfectly sharp, crisp, and detailed. I am impressed with the quality, which is at par with 35mm.

However as usual the lens cap is something where Minolta has to pay some attention.

Printed manual needs to be more descriptive. (Like Olympus)

This is my first impression; I will post a more detailed review at a later date.

Hope this helps - - have a great day!

Suhas Gokhale
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