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Patti Jul 14, 2004 1:09 PM

I was curious after reading this thread so I submitted the following to Konica Minolta Interactive Q & A:

Question: Does the z3 use a switch finder as the z1 and z2?

Answer: The Dimage Z3 uses a switch finder as the Dimage Z1 and Z2.

I've been following this forum and Phil's trying to learn about digital photography & which camera to buy. So many of you have been so helpful that I wanted to return the favor by passing this information on.


James Bond 007 Jul 14, 2004 1:21 PM


Thanks for sharing this info. Where is this interactive Q&A? Can you provide a link? Or, even better, can you ask them what happened with the passive AF sensor and what AF technology the Z3 uses?

Patti Jul 14, 2004 1:54 PM

This is the address of the exact page on the Konica Minolta site that I visited. I went to,located the z3 information, and clicked on Interactive Q & A on the left. Iclickedon "Ask your own question" at the bottom of the page, but there are now a number of questions submitted by others above that heading. I didn't add my question to the bottom of the list, but submitted my own. The promo information didn't cover everything, so this is a good way to get your specific questions answered.


James Bond 007 Jul 14, 2004 2:34 PM

Thanks. I didn't even need to ask my question:

"Also, while the focusing system of our past models is the rapid AF, combination of a passive AF and a video AF system, only the video AF system achieves its high speed on DiMAGE Z3."

James Bond 007 Jul 14, 2004 2:35 PM

I found this in the same FAQ:

"(9) The DiMAGE Z3 is equipped with EVF independent of LCD monitor, not with the Switch Finder."

Now what? :roll:

dmillier Jul 14, 2004 2:40 PM

In response to the comment re: the EVF being the same as Z1 and Z2:

Which points are of main difference between DiMAGE Z2 and Z3?


The main differences are as follows:
(1) The 10x optical zoom is expanded to 12x.
Newly-designed Konica Minolta GT lens* unit, consisting of two AD (Anomalous Dispersion) glass lenses and two aspheric lenses, has realized high image quality as well as compactness of the camera body.
*GT lens can be named only for the lens for the digital camera which passes the strictest quality standards. The high-precision GT Lens includes Konica Minolta's original GT (G Lens Technology) for minimizing various types of imperfections, such as color aberration and curvilinear distortion.
(2) Anti-Shake is incorporated.
Our original system, the CCD shift system Anti-Shake which let the CCD move with shaking is first loaded on DiMAGE Z series. Anti-Shake offers unrivaled stability up to 3 shutter speeds slower than digital cameras without a stabilization system.
(3) Highest AF speed in its class
The focusing time is shortened. Wide angle position: approx. 0.15sec., Telephoto position: approx. 0.20sec (DiMAGE Z2 -] W position: approx. 0.2sec., T position: approx. 0.3sec.). This speed is the highest in its class* (*among the DSCs with built-in lens over 10x optical zoom. As of July 1, 2004.**).
Also, while the focusing system of our past models is the rapid AF, combination of a passive AF and a video AF system, only the video AF system achieves its high speed on DiMAGE Z3.
(4) Silent zoom to prevent lens zoom drive noise during movie recording
Adopting a newly developed silent zoom system reduces the lens zoom drive noise during the movie recording. Optical zoom is available in advance of or during the movie recording. (*The optical zoom On / Off can be selected on DiMAGE Z2.)
(5) The focusing range of the super macro mode is shortened to 1cm from 3cm.
(6) High quality VGA mode is loaded for movie.
640x480 FINE mode is newly loaded. Image quality mode can be selected from 640x480 FINE, 640x480 STD or 320x240 STD. The frame rate can be selected from 30 fps or 15 fps.
(7) Chinese language is added in the menu display.
Chinese (simplified) language is selectable in the menu display besides Japanese, English, German, French and Spanish.
(8) The camera sensitivity is added to the key customization.
The camera sensitivity is newly added to the key customization, which can put the functions in general use to the flash mode button to change the mode quickly.
(9) The DiMAGE Z3 is equipped with EVF independent of LCD monitor, not with the Switch Finder.

James Bond 007 Jul 15, 2004 1:22 AM

> The camera sensitivity is added to the key customization.

More customization but only one button.

It would be good to know whether they have improved the quick preview in continuous shooting mode. On the Z2, even if you shoot only one pic, you see only a small image in a 6-on-1 fashion. If this wouldn't be so, I would always leave the camera in continuous shooting mode and one less thing to consider putting on the flash button.

eusebio Jul 15, 2004 6:26 AM

any idea about the price ?


fmercury Jul 18, 2004 5:07 AM

on (usually the best prices around, for Europe at least) the Z3 is not yet available but priced

492€ (for italy)

330£ (for UK)

photodocgr Jul 20, 2004 3:16 PM

New member of the club from Greece...

I suppose that we should compare Z3 with the Panasonic DCM FZ10. This would be a real good test because the two cameras belong to the same category. Lets wait the sample photos then. If theyhave the same quality, as the ones of the FZ10, i have no doubt that the Z3 will be a best seller! :cool:


toureasy Jul 20, 2004 6:31 PM

I asked the same question and was also told eary August. I asked about MSRP, but they didn't respond!!

toureasy Jul 20, 2004 6:36 PM

I was really tempted by the Panasonic, but the Z3 has that super macro mode which is important to me - down to 1 cm. On the other hand, Panasonic claims f2.8 throughout the entire range - gotta like that Leica lens! BUT...... 12X instead of 10X. Oh, how to decide. Something seldom discussed however, is the interface software. Some is much better than others. Sometimes taking the picture is just the begining! So, what is one to do?

Patti Jul 21, 2004 8:11 AM


I contacted KM again to clarify and their response agrees with this answer:

Dear Customer,
In response to the question that you have submitted...
Question is : I previously asked if the z3 uses the switchfinder the same as the z1 & z2 and the reply was yes. The interactve Q & A reply given in the main differences question says `not with the switchfinder.` Have you eliminated the problematic switchfinder or not? How exactly does the z3 switch from EVF to LCD?

Answer is : This camera does not use a switch-finder system. The Z3 utilizes separate LCD and EVF displays.
When I asked the first time, I clicked on information(general). The second time I clicked on the choice for product information. Perhaps that made the difference.


wmussatto Aug 16, 2004 2:21 PM

Panasonic Z10 (and now Z20) both have the same size sensor, according to the spec sheets, as the Z3. Main reason for the difference in size is the amount of light gathering. Panasonics are 2.8 from wide angle to 12x. MK's are not and in fact the Z3 at 12x has less light gathering capability than the Z2 at 10x.

James Bond 007 Aug 16, 2004 3:12 PM

> less light gathering capability than the Z2 at 10x.

You can replace the end of your sentence even with 3x. The Z3 max aperture is f4 from ~3x zoom.

plepoutre Aug 16, 2004 4:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I got my Z3 today !!!

Hello everybody. I lived in France and receivedmy Z3 from LDLC (paid453 Euros inc VAT)

I took a lot of pictures today. Macro, flash, full zoomed, etc.

Great camera. It is my first real digital camera, I got a Video camcorder (JVC 1.3 Mpix with SD Cards), and a Nikon F65 Reflex Camera.

Pro :

- very fast : focus much like my Nikon F65 in normal light conditions, near zero shutter latence like F65, but only Z3 can take pic in burst mode !

- great pic quality

- tons of features

- great macro mode

- great 12x stabilized zoom

- great UHS and progressive pic mode

- great video mode (640x480x30 fps NOT INTERLACED : even better than my JVC camcorder)

- great auto white balance, colors are far better than my camcorder.

Con :

- I got 2 crashes, 1 playing "a bit too much" (?)with dial mode button, 1once whileshooting in progressive mode. Had to open battery latch, and then, had to set date/time again. (I use a Kingston SD Card Elite Pro 256 Mo High Speed.)

- no manual focus (so hard to get good pic in the dark)

- The 4 alkalines batteries last only the day (yes, I played a lot, and I will get NIMH batteries soon)

- The full Z3 guide comes only in PDF (and only in black and white).

Does anyone experienced any crashes like me ?

(pic has been reduced with mspaint 50% both axes)


Allanon Aug 16, 2004 7:38 PM

Sry for bad english, i only can use some knowlegde from school.
I hope everybody can read and understand this Post.

Havemy Z3 for 2 Days now and are mostly happy with it.

First i think the picture quality isn´t that good.
like allmost all superzoom cams the Z3 have a noise problem (too many MP/Sensorspace)
With Automode indoor you often get very noisy pictures, it try´s to get fast shutterspeeds ratheran low Iso - with terrible results (my old Powershot A70 has done much better)

With the manuell modes you can get quite good quality, but it needs some expiriences (we all want too improve our skills aren´t we?)

Outdoor in daylight this cam ROKS!
The autofocus is locked instantly - also in 12x tele and is very accurate.
AS is at least as good as IS (had my hands on a IS once) and i think it saves more power than IS. With AS i get 9 sharp 12x tele Pictures out of 10 (1/100 Shutter Speed is enough most times)
Makro and Supermacro are working wonderful. With normal Makro you can get 12x [email protected] 2 m (1 m with manual focus) and so you are able too catch nature live without disturbing them.
In Supermacromode i always are a bit scary to hold my cam too close and hit something (1 cm with a static zoom of 2x or 3x dont knowfor sure)

The Z3 is so fast, i got my 256 SD Card filled in a hour. sometimes it feels like a UZI ;)
Also the 12x Zoom is faster than my 3x with the A70 and the quality ist better i hoped for.

With my new 2400mAH NiMH Accu i got 500 Pictures, and because it was the first load, it should hold longer next time. Amazing :D

As i said, this cam has problems with high noise levels.
I have expected it because of the small CCD so im not dissapointed by this fact but i think the Automode indoor works badly. The first Shoot out of the Box was horrible.
It got worse in low light (ambient candlelight for example) you dont get focus then.
Isn´t that bad, you can do it manually was my first though (@plepoutremanual Focus wont work in auto mode but in the manual modes)
but all you can see is 100% darknes, and cannot use your Eyes.
Hm now you can say hey, i want shot the group over there aprox 5 m away, but you only can scroll with figures like 0.1m 0.2m ... 1m 2m and then?infinite with levels you cant see either numbers nor levels on the scroll are visible.
So its USELESS! You need this especially for lowlight situations but then you cant use it, its a shame.

The EVF has no great resolution but is usable with autofocus.
It is helpfull because with the sun in your back u wont see much on LCD.
For Manual focus its not sharp enough so you can count the focus levels wich looks better and use the middle from them.

Another little annoying "Feature"- if you turn on Digizoom you wont get a break between Optical and then using Digi while zooming in (used to have a break with A70) so you cannot stop @ 12x most times because of the fast zoom.
So you have to zoom in an out till you get 12x and not 11.3 or 12x1.2 :(

KM shouldget rid of this two problems with an Firmware Update. Ithink it´s not hard to fix it. Especially the manual focus should get a better scale.

Alltough i would buy it again its a fine cam with some cons

James Bond 007 Aug 17, 2004 1:46 AM

plepoutre, allanon: thanks for your detailed insights, especially the negative ones (we can read the positive stuff in the marketing material) :-)

plepoutre: there is manual focus on the Z3, maybe it doesn't work in Auto mode

allanon: on the z2, the manual focus scale was finer if you first zoomed all the way in, set the distance, then zoomed back. Anyway, you can't photograph a group from 5m without an external flash. :-) I plan to buy a small flashlight as AF assist. Noise can be handled well with NeatImage in auto mode.

plepoutre Aug 17, 2004 4:18 AM

Hello again ! Yes I found manual focus this morning ;)

What SD Card do you use ? Did you experienced crashes ?

James Bond 007 Aug 17, 2004 4:53 AM

Although it may seem so, I don't have any Z# camera yet. :-)

I've read one problem on another forum with an old, slow SD card. The problem was gone when they guy bought a faster one.

Allanon Aug 17, 2004 5:34 AM

I want shot longtime Exposed shots without Flash (dont dusturb others), wich are ok, if the focus is correct.
I testet Manual Focus now with 12x tele and nothing changes.
Nothing between 2m and infinite.
It´s like 10-20 levels after 2m but it scrolls no more and no numbers can tell you > no glue only Brute Force Focus ;)

I have a cheap SD card from Sandisk 256 MB wich works fine (Fast enough and no crashes)

Anybody played with the sharpness and contrast settings yet?

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