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-   -   minolta g 600 manual focus for low light shots! help please. (

a2b Aug 6, 2004 9:39 PM

Thanks to JIM C who explained how to set my g600 up like his konica 510z ie so the 4 way controller works all the settings instead of using the menue and it is wonderfull (THANKS JIM), i want to set the camera to be able to use the 3 manual distances in low light situations because in low light it wont focus on auto at all , it helps if i use spot metering but mostly its not a good photo .is it possible to set this manual focus i think i had it once but not now ithink there were 3 settings when i set the camera to manual all i get is shutter speeds and aperture no distance settings , thanks if any one or jim can help i think it will be the only answer in low light with this otherwise nice camera if ican find the settings i had before. taximan uk.:sad:

JimC Aug 7, 2004 7:29 PM

I just now noticed your post. You may want to send me a PM in the future, to make sure I see them. I don't always read through all of the forum threads.

Here'show Fixed Focus Choices work:

You enable or disable the choices you want in the Setup, Custom, Macro menu. It sounds like you already did this part. For example, you can allow or deny 1m, 2m, 4m, Infinity, Autofocus, Macro focus etc. in this menu.

Once setup, the left controller key will toggle through the choices you have enabled.

If you are trying to use manual exposure mode with fixed focus choices in low light, here is what your problem likely is:

When you enable Manual Exposure (Manual Exposure On choice), you can then use the down controller key to vary the Aperture Choices, and the left and right controller keys to vary the shutter speed choices.

So, you can't get to your fixed focus choices because the left controller key is only changing shutter speed, right?


All you need to do when you have your manual exposure settings the way you want them is press the Up controller key. Then, it locks them in (you'll see the arrows for aperture and shutter speed go away on your LCD, but your aperture and shutter speed choice will remain), and you can use the left and right controller keys as they normally work (left controller key to toggle through focus choices, and right controller key to toggle through flash choices).

If you need to make further changes to your Aperture or shutter speed choices, simply press the Up Controller key again.

As far as Autofocus working better with spot metering, that's doubtful. I've not found any impact on autofocus with metering changes in the G500/KD-510z. Of course, I haven't used a G600, so I can't say for sure that your camera works the same.

As far as the need for Manual Exposure, I only use it for closeups or night photos with longer exposures. Is this what you're doing? If not, you may find autoexposure works just as well (and it's much easier to use).

If yes (you need longer exposures than autoexposure provides), so you won't have to experiment as much, after entering manual exposure mode, half press the shutter button once, and it will meter the scene (based on the metering type selected).

Then, when you adjust your aperture and shutter speed, the camera will let you know how your choices will impact exposure. You'll see an EV indication (+- 2.0 in 0.3 EV increments). So, you can quickly set aperture and shutter speed for the desired exposure (with a +- 0.0 showing when you have the camera set to what it's metering thinks is the correct exposure). If desired, you can remeter the scene with another half shutter button press before taking the photo.

Although the camera will work fine without pressing the up controller key after making your aperture/shutter speed selections, you will lose the ability to toggle through fixed focus or flash choices until you press the up controller key again. That's what I think your problem is (simply press the up controller key, and you can get to the fixed focus choices when you're in manual exposure mode).

One of these days, I should write a user guide for this camera. The one that KM translated from Japanese does not explain how to use these features. :shock:


Idon't want to discourage you from using manual exposure, but I want to make sure you understand a couple of things:

1. You don't have to use Manual Exposureto use Fixed Focus Choices.

2. If you are in shooting conditionswhere the camera's metering is not accurately metering the scene, you can use EV Compensation to vary Exposure. You can enable EV Compensation so that it appears under the Up Controller key by going into Setup, Custom, AF/AE/AWB andturning on AE. Once enabled, simply press the Up Controller Key and you'll see an EV scale appear on screen.

You can then use the left and right controller keys to vary the exposure. Using + EV will cause the camera to expose the image more than it's metering would normally (slower shutter speeds); Using -EV will cause the camera to expose the scene less than it would normally (faster shutter speeds). EV Compensation is disabled in Manual Exposure Mode (because you are controlling the shutter speed manually).

3. Use of manual exposurecan be helpful to control depth of field.A larger aperture (smaller f/stop number) will give youless depth of field (less of the scenein focus as you get further away from your focus point). A smalleraperture (larger f/stop number) will give you more depth of field (more of your scene in focus, as you get further away from your focus point). Manual Exposure can also be helpful to allow you to get faster shutter speeds by using a larger aperture.

In low light, the camera will always pick the largest aperture (smallest f/stop number) anyway (for the fastest shutter speeds). The tradeoff is ashallower depth of field. However, in most shooting conditions, depth of field is pretty great witha camera like this anyway, so Manual Exposure is usually moretrouble than it's worth (IMO). I primarily useit for closeups to get more depth of field by selecting a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number). This is because the closer you are to a subject, the less depth of field you have. So, usingManual Exposure is helpful for closeups and macros. It is also helpful for night scenes, since autoexposure limitsshutter speeds to 2 seconds (provided you allow shutter speeds this slow in the "Slow Shutter" menu).

Aug 8, 2004 12:02 AM are sooooooooooooooo much better than Google! (Is there a JimC button I can add to Firefox)? I love your posts & your knowledge is astounding! I had the Minolta G400 for a while & loved it...but being an old man, I couldn't read the friggin menu on that tiny screen!

It did manage to take some amazing P&S images, if I could get my Bro-In-Law to send them to me!

a2b Aug 8, 2004 1:00 AM

:(THANKS JIM I sent you a reply cause now the camera has locked up showing (SYSTEM ERROR S0042 ) i found manual DISTANCE mode tried it and cant believe it the things locked wont open or close please see your personal messages for more details and yes you are just a great guy when it comes to these cameras thanks again jim but HELP taximan UK.:sad:

JimC Aug 8, 2004 5:56 AM

Kalypso wrote:
Quote: are sooooooooooooooo much better than Google! (Is there a JimC button I can add to Firefox)? I love our posts & you knowledge is astounding! I had the Minolta G400 for a while & loved it...but being an old man, I couldn't read the friggin menu on that tiny screen!

It did manage top take some amazing P&S images though...if I could get my Bro-In-Law to send them to me!
I spend waaaaaayyyy too much time on the forums! I need to "get a life".

You should havebought the larger G500. It's got a 117,000 pixel display (versus the G400's 76,800 pixel display). Although, judging from your Avatar, you're not that old. :-)

Actually, my eyes are getting pretty bad, too, but I seem to be able to read the KD-510z (G500) display fine.

The G400 is a faster camera, though. KM also gave the menu system a different look and feel with it.

I wanted a little pocket camera to take with me everywhere, and couldn't seem to find one that did everything I wanted. I even tried a little Sony DSC-P10, but didn't like the metering accuracy, etc. So, I started looking at models that weren't shipping in the U.S.,and managed to locate a Konica KD-510z last July, about two weeks after it started shipping in Japan.

I'm pretty sure I got one of the first two in the country (months before it was rebranded as the Minolta G500, and started shipping in the U.S). A sellerboughttwo from a Konica-Minolta employee in Japan, and sold one of them to me. Since the manual left a lot to be desired (a big understatement), I just figured out how everything worked on it. Since I've had one for a lot longer than most people, I've figured out all of it's "quirks".

JimC Aug 8, 2004 6:05 AM

a2b wrote:

:(THANKS JIM I sent you a reply cause now the camera has locked up showing (SYSTEM ERROR S0042 ) i found manual DISTANCE mode tried it and cant believe it the things locked wont open or close please see your personal messages for more details and yes you are just a great guy when it comes to these cameras thanks again jim but HELP taximan UK.:sad:
Well, I hate to tell you this, but I have seen this reported 3 times in the past. Once with an older Konica KD-400z, and twice with the G500 models. You're the first person I've seen with a G600 with this error.

It's indicative of a mechanical failure in the lens mechanism. Try gently pulling on the front portion of the lenswith your fingers to make sure it isn't jammed in such a way that it can be "unstuck". Chances are, it'll need to go back to Konica-Minolta.

Although, judging from your posts about autofocus, you got a "lemon" anyway. So, maybe sending it back and letting them work on it (or better yet, replacing it) is the best option anyway. The lens mechanism may have not been working right to begin with, causing some of your frustrations with it.

KM does seem to have a Quality Control problem with these cameras (at least the G500). I don't know about the G600 like you have. I've seen more than one user get a G500 thatworked terrible, with replacements that worked fine.


One other comment about your focus difficulties in low light. Even if you get your camera working again (or get a replacement), make sure that what you are not experiencing is motion blur. In low light conditions, if you are not using flash (and within the flash range of the camera), shutter speeds will be too slow to prevent blur without using a tripod. So, a common mistake most people make shooting in low light, is that their camera's focus is to blame. More often than not, it's only motion blur.

What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens. Chances are, indoors, you only have anEV (Exposure Value) of around 6. This is the amount of light you have. What you think is "normal room lighting" is dark to a camera's lens.

So, this can make it difficult to get sharp photos without motion blur indoors, unless you use the camera's flash, or a tripod.

As a general rule, you want to use a shutter speed of 1/focal length or faster. In other words, if shooting near full wide angle at40mm equivalent zoom, you'll want a shutter speed of around 1/40 second -- just to help reduce blur from camera shake. At 100mm equivalent zoom, you'd need 1/100 second, etc. When using flash, slower shutter speeds can be used, because the flash is freezing the action.Also, keeping the camera at nearer to full wide angle can help, too.

You can increase ISO speed (the sensitivity of the CCD Sensor to light)to help compensate (but this increases noise).

For example: if shooting near wide angle with your G600, at ISO 100, with an Aperture of around F2.8 (the largest available aperture), you'd need a shutter speed of around 1/8 second at EV 6 (typical indoor lighting) to insure proper exposure. This is way too slow to prevent blur - even at full wide angle (unless you have VERY steady hands, with a non moving subject). If you're trying to shoot at ISO 50, the problem will be even worse (because you'd need an even slower shutter speed of about 1/4 second to get proper exposure).

Forget even trying to use zoom in low light with most compact camerasin these conditions without a tripod, since the lensesare not bright enough. Your lens is rated at f/2.8-4.9. More than twice as much light reaches the sensor through the lens at full wide angle (maximum aperture of f/2.8 ),versus full zoom (maximum aperture of f/4.9). This is a typical lens rating for most compact cameras.

Here is a useful chart. Again, what your eyes tell you is bright (indoors), is not to a camera. Note that this chart is based on ISO 100. So, each time you double the ISO speed (settableyour camera via a user profile under the Quality menu), you can also double the shutter speed. However, increasing ISO speed will add noise to the photo.

Note that there are a couple of products that can be used to reduce noise, when increasing ISO speed is the only way to get shutter speeds fast enough for proper exposure without too much blur from camera shake. Noise Ninja and Neat Image are probably the best two. Here are the download links:

There is also a free product called Noiseware. It does have some limitations (for example, it strips out the EXIF information, which contains the camera settings used). However it seems to do agood job removing noise, while maintaining pretty good detail:

The easiest way to getphotos indoors with your model is to use a flash, stay as close to wide angle (least amount of zoom) as possible, and stay within the flash range. That way, you won't have to worry about things like ISO speed, shutter speeds, etc. Simply let the camera's autoexposure handle it.Using this technique, you'lleliminate the blur from camera shake and from subject movement. Shooting at wide angle will also give you better flash range andbetter focus accuracy (because far more light reaches the camera's sensor through the lens at wide angle).

Even if you use a tripod in low light, this only reduces blur from camera shake. So, if your subject is moving, you'llstill get motion blur without the flash. So, I'd advise using a flash indoors with most compact camera models, including yours.

This is the way I take most of my indoor photos -- camera defaults with autoexposure, using flash, keeping the lens set to it's widest setting (least amount of zoom used).

You can reduce the redeye from flash with software, but it's next to impossible to edit outmotion blur if you don't use the flash.

automaton2 Oct 12, 2004 12:13 PM


excellant pro advice


im thinking of getting the g600:mad:

would you consider this a good choice my limit is 300$

im a photoshopaholic and have had an s10 canon 2 years

looking forward to more pixels:?

JimC Oct 12, 2004 3:02 PM

automaton2 wrote:


excellant pro advice
Well, I am not a pro. I just happen to know a lot about these cameras, since I boughta KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500) last year. I wanted a camera that I could take everywhere in a pocket, since I'd often leave a larger camera at home.

So, this one was a good fit to fill this need. But, it's still going to have the same drawbacks as most small cameras (lens brightness/focal range,inability to use an external flash or lens accessories, redeye in flash photos, etc.).

No camera is perfect for all conditions, and you usually have more tradeoffs in a subcompact camera.

So, you'll need to decide if the tradeoffs are worth it or not, to get a camera this small.


im thinking of getting the g600:mad:

would you consider this a good choice my limit is 300$
You'll need to make that decision. I have not used the G600. I do like my KD-510Z (G500). But, you need to learn to take advantage of it's strengths, and work around it's limitations.


im a photoshopaholic and have had an s10 canon 2 years

looking forward to more pixels:?
Never assume that more pixels = higher quality. More pixels is only useful for larger prints. For smaller prints, you're not going to see any more detail going to a higher resolution model, providedeverything else is equal (lens quality, color accuracy, etc.).

This model would give you more optical zoom, the ability to do longer exposures, a little more control of exposure, etc.But, at the same time, you're losing some features (panorama stich assist mode, fast shuttermode, autofocus assist lamp, video out port).

So, you'll need to decide if the features you'll use more often, and the print sizes you need, would benefit from changing to a model like this.

automaton2 Oct 30, 2004 10:54 AM


i got my g600

285 free ship Harmony

i love it

set it up as jim c explained 30 seconds

:evil:took 30 minutes to thread strap thru rotating eyelet[pushed from back with needle]:doh:

not good at remembering icons:angry: however

jim what are the icons when you go up/down left right

if you have the time id greatly appreciate it:cool:

some i know

that would have been a good informative display in the manual:paranoid:

just took an indoor shot

no probs

will post pics asap:whack:

makes my old s10 weak:mad:

JimC Oct 31, 2004 9:02 AM

automaton2 wrote:

jim what are the icons when you go up/down left right
Theleft arrowtoggles between the available focus and self timer choices. See page 30 of your .pdf manual for a description of the normal modes.

In addition to the icons/modes you see on page 30, you will also have access to fixed focus choices (for example, 1m, 2m, 4m) if you have these choices turned on under the Setup, Custom Macro (flower icon) Menu. Note that the Landscape mode (mountain icon)is simply locking focus to infinity (useful for night scenes with a tripod).

Theright arrowtoggles betweenthe camera's flash modes. See page 28 of your .pdf manual for a description of these modes (along with the icons used)

The down arrow toggles between white balance settings, without the need to use the menus. You can see the icons for the available choices on page 40 of your manual (it's showing how to access them via the menus, but the icons are the same when using the down arrow key).

The up arrow is used to set Exposure Compensation without using the menus. When you press the up arrow, a scale will appear. You can then use the left and right arrows to set + EV amounts to brighten an exposure,or -EV amounts to darken an exposure. When you have it set as desired, press the up arrow again to lock in settings.

You can also press the shutter button half way, and press the Up Arrow to set Autoexposure Lock (locks in exposure for multiple photos). You can also set Autofocus Lock (locks in the focus for multiple photos) with a half press of the shutter button and a press of the left arrow. You will see icons (AE or AF) appear when these are enabled. Using zoom keys will disable these settings.

Basically, you can allow or deny any choices under thecontroller keys by turning them on or off under the Setup, Custom menu. For example: I usually only keep two flash modes available for toggle (forced on, or forced off). That way, I'm not toggling through a lot of choices that I rarely use.

automaton2 Oct 31, 2004 12:23 PM

thanks so much 4 your reply:cool:im not getting e mails i have to hunt replies down:blah:

you :dude:are our g x00 guru:G

im checking out memory:|

does this look o.k. 29:evil:

Secure Digital : 256MB Toshiba (Bulk)

Manufacturer: TOSHIBA

Mfg Part Number: SD-M256B1

glad to have access to a knowledgable photgrapher

thanks jimc:yawn:

JimC Oct 31, 2004 12:49 PM

A Toshiba 256mb SD card will work fine in this model (it's one of two SD Cards "officially" testedfor your model in 256mb size):

This is not the world's fastest card (the Panasonics are faster). However, you're probably not going to see an increase in speed with the G600 if you buy a faster card anyway. The Toshiba and Panasonic Cards tend to be more compatible in the G series models.

I would avoid the standard Sandisk Cards in larger sizes though (some of the standard speedSandisk Cards had some compatibility problems with the G500; and Konica-Minolta removed all Sandisk SD Cards in all sizes from their list of testedcards for it).

I am not familiar with this vendor though. You may want to keep an eye on the shipping rebate thing to make sure it's credited to your account as advertised. User reviews of this vendor are mixed:

automaton2 Nov 2, 2004 9:46 AM


hi again i also read reseller of banana pc

ordered 128 of same toshiba sd yesterday 19$

needed to save a little after cam purchase

free ship was credited:shock:

hope it works

getting used to my cam:D

getting great pix when i have all the settings and lighting right:crazy:

took an outdoor photo forgot sun was in wrong angle got blowout lighting

editing 7 at once in photoshop will post before and after

thank you again:cool:

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