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hkoyuncu Mar 10, 2004 5:57 AM

Z1 for action pics???
Hi there... I currently own a Dimage S414. I've been considering replacing this with a DImage Z1 since it's listed as one of "Dave's Picks" for a Sports camera in one of the popular imaging resource sites. I'm hoping to make an attempt at taking pics inside during vb and bb games.

The reviews I've read have been mixed about this camera in general. So I'm confused and the more i read the more this confusion becomes.

Do you recommend this change or should I stick to my S414 (or any other makes/models you'd recommnend within the same price range)? Thanks in advance...

murphyc Mar 15, 2004 6:16 PM

I'll be doing a lot of sports shots (mainly auto racing) so I went with the Z1--fast AF, low shutter lag, good shot-to-shot time, etc. A concern I have is how well it will do at night time racing, a similar concern for your indoor sports. I hope the Z1 will still be fairly quick at night, though if I have to use the built-in flash that obviously will slow things down. Do any non-Minolta flashes work with this camera? I've only seen mention of the three Minolta flashes, but I'm hoping some other (cheaper) type would work.

gadgetnut Mar 17, 2004 2:05 PM

I also bought a Z1 based mostly on it's low shutter lag and fast AF. This is only my second digital camera, but so far, I'm blown away! My old camera, as well as others I've played with, were so slow, they were useless for action shots. I have an 11 year old son who's active in sports. The Z1's speed and great 10X optical zoom make it a great camera for sports. I can't wait for his football season to start. 8)

Susan2001 Mar 18, 2004 6:35 AM

I used my Z1 last football season and was pleased during normal daytime shots. You can see some of them here:

I am not a photography nut, just a mom with a camera. I wasn't too happy with night shots and gloomy weather photos though, at least for football. Even with an external flash I had to work hard to get just ok pictures.

I would buy the camera again in a heartbeat though!

gadgetnut Mar 18, 2004 7:21 AM

You have some great shots there Susan! I'm not expecting super-great results in low light conditions either. I figure it will do the best on nice, sunny days. I've only had my Z1 for a very short time, and I'm still learning with it. So far, I'm very impressed. I found a neat trick to practice with different shutter speeds and such. I turn a ceiling fan on medium and shoot it while it's spinning. At 1/1000 it looks like it's turned off and stopped. Slower speeds start to show motion. It's an easy way to play with different settings. Of course, my son is a big ham, so he'll gladly jump a bike or skateboard off a ramp for me too.

Susan2001 Mar 18, 2004 12:00 PM

Thanks Gadgetnut. I should probably experiment more, but it always ends up that I am flipping through the manual trying to figure out how to set something right before the game or concert or whatever! I have to say I am disappointed in the external Minolta flash that I bought. I was expecting it to be significantly better than the built in flash and I don't think it is. The best use of the external flash I have found is (and I say this seriously) to help hold the camera still by pushing up against my forehead while taking a picture in low light. I keep hoping that I will find a setting to use with the flash that will work in the light typical at a band concert or school play but so far no sucess and my daughter graduates this year so time is running out :D

gadgetnut Mar 18, 2004 12:15 PM

I'm no great photographer either, so I won't pretend to have a great answer for your problem. One thing I have learned, is that the effective range of the average flash isn't too far. For a concert or school graduation, you might be better off finding a camera setting (shutter speed...etc.) that allows more light in without using a flash. You'll have to hold the camera very steady, but it will probably give you much better results than trying to illuminate a distant object with a flash. Good luck!

Susan2001 Mar 18, 2004 12:43 PM

Agreed - I think my biggest problem is I hate to take it off Auto because I am too much of a novice and it goes from there. I just sit in the front row and take one with the flash and one without. Usually one of the two will be good - you can all roll your eyes now :roll:

gadgetnut Mar 18, 2004 12:58 PM


Originally Posted by Susan2001
you can all roll your eyes now :roll:

He-he...believe me, I'm the last person who should roll his eyes at anyone's abilities! :wink:

bob877 Mar 18, 2004 5:30 PM

external flash
>> I was expecting it to be significantly better than the built in flash >>and I don't think it is. The best use of the external flash I have >>found is (and I say this seriously) to help hold the camera still by >>pushing up against my forehead while taking a picture in low light.

What kind of flash are you using? The 2500? I have an external flash myself and I'm rather pleased with it. It's the Sigma Ef-500 DG ST, which is significantly more powerful than the 2500 and still supports metering and the like from the camera. Even so, though, I find that I get the best results doing manual exposures with the flash (something I don't mind). With ISO 400 and zoom set to about 135mm and a small aperture (f/3.5 or f/3.2) I can illuminate objects about 90 feet away. This does take some work to get just right though. Also, this flash has a zoom head (flash zooms with the camera) so it's range increases when you zoom. Basically, it costs abut the same as (or slightly less than) the 2500 and has power and faetures between a minolta 3600 and 5600.

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