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Old Dec 17, 2003, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default 1st digicam.Need help :)

Hi,
i want to buy my first digicam.I decided to buy one of 2 models from Minolta/Konica(g400/420z or g500/510z), but im really confused now.What do You think??Which one is better??I know that 510z has a bigger sensor so the photo quality will be better however the movie function(which is important to me;does anyone know how many minutes can i take on 256mb SD-card?) is better in 420. I want to take pictures of my friends (party, vacations),training(material arts),night photos with tripod.I want to print photos (usually 10X15cm but from time to time A4( if i'll take a nice shot)).Is the photo quality in 510z much better than in 420z?The 50eur/$ price between 420/510 doesn't matter for me.The question is should I resign from movie feature because of difference of photo quality between 420z and 510z??
greetings
aik

ps. sorry 4 my english
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 1:18 PM   #2
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Well, I own the Konica KD-510z, and I've been quite pleased with it.

You can get about 24 minutes of movie recording on a 256mb Card. With the KD-510z, you're limited to 30 second clips at a time.

With the KD-420z, you can record until the Memory Cards are full.

You'll have to decide on the photo quality differences. I would not consider trading my KD-510z (Minolta G500) for the KD-420z (Minolta G400), but I'd never use the Movie Mode anyway (storage requirements are just too high for me).

One other thing you may want to take into consideration: The Flash Range on the KD-420z is considerably less than the flash range on the KD-510z. So, if you're going to use a camera indoors a lot, this could be a limiting factor. Both cameras do seem to have better flash range than the specs would indicate, though.

I do know of one user that purchased a Minolta G400 (same as the Konica KD-410z). He was not happy with the quality, so he returned it for the Minolta G500 (same as the Konica KD-510z) He's very pleased with the photo quality from the KD-510z.

However, if you don't plan on very large prints, I doubt that you'd see a lot of difference between 4 and 5 Megapixels.

No matter which camera you decide on, I would make sure to be careful about the memory cards you buy for it. In sizes over 128mb, I'd make sure to buy Panasonic Secure Digital.

There are only 3 "real" manufacturers of Secure Digital: Panasonic, Sandisk and Toshiba. Other manufacturers are simply using "rebranded" components from these three.

Most cards above 128mb are NOT compatible in these cameras. If you buy a card made by Sandisk, you may experience a variety of problems: including slow startup times, intermittent failure of the camera to recognize the media, failure to format, file corruption, etc.

I've seen reports from multiple users attempting to use slower cards in their Konica Cameras (Sandisk, Transcend, etc.), with a variety of problems. Panasonic's Secure Digital cards in 256mb and 512mb sizes are rated at 10mb/second (about 5 times as fast as Sandisk's standard Secure Digital Cards in these sizes).

Here are the compatibility charts (see footnote 8 on Sandisk SD problems):

G500 Compatibility Chart (same camera as the Konica KD-510z):
http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...ity/DiMAGEG500

G400 Compatibility Chart (same camera as the Konica KD-420z):
http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...ity/DiMAGEG400

BTW, if you think the storage requirements are high for the 320x240 movies at 15 frames per second in the Konicas, imagine how much space would be required for some of the models using 640x480 at 30 frames per second.

Some of these cameras use as much as 1MB/Second for movie clips.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 5:28 PM   #3
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The flash on the G400 is way under-rated. I haven't used a G500 enough to know about its flash, but the flash on the 400 is stronger than any other small camera I have used. I have had no problem lighting up subjects in dark rooms that are at least 10' away. The downside of this is red-eye, but you can eliminate that with software.

Unless you're looking at pictures with a microscope, I doubt you'll notice much variation between the two Minoltas. Both will produce images that will be great for snapshots, neither will compete with an SLR.

The G400 is a bit thinner and lighter - not a major difference but it is more compact and easier to fit into a pocket.

Biggest shortcoming of the G400 for me is the performance in indoor lighting - the camera struggles to lock focus in those situations. You can work around that a bit manual focus and scene modes, but that's a pain to do if you just want to 'point and shoot'. Outside, the camera is great - super fast to focus lock, no shutter lag when prefocused, extremely quick total lag time, especially if you're shooting multiple shots at the same focus distance. Flash recycle time is great. Menus are cumbersome but you can find your way around them once you get used to them.

Why are you limiting your choices to just Minolta/Konica cameras? There are lots of other ultra compact cameras out there and some of those might fit your needs better.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 8:03 PM   #4
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Hi.
Thx for the answers.
@JimC
What about manual fatures in g500?? I "played" only with g400 and must say that i'm immpressed what this little camera can do(shutter, sharpness,contrast...).Is the photo quality of g400(indors) so bad??
What about night photos with tripod??Are there no differences betwen g400 and g500??

@TehniKal

I'm not limiting my choice to minolta/konica, i just thought that this 2 cameras are the best choice for me.Until now I was thinking about:
1.both minoltas/konicas
2.canon ixus 400/powershot s400
3.canon ixus II/powershot sd 100
4.sony p10
5. olympus c-50
6. canon powershot s50 (this one will be perfect for me but it's simply too big)

If You have any others suggestions i'd be happy to hear them.

greetings
aik
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 9:13 PM   #5
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I haven't used the G400, so I can't really comment. I've been quite pleased with the KD-510z (G500). You can see some photos from mine here, along with a link to my user review (which goes into manual features available, etc.):

http://www.dpreview.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

It's my understanding that the noise reduction works identical on both models (automatically engages on exposures 1/2 second or longer). Both models offer exposures up to 15 seconds using manual exposure.
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Old Jan 9, 2004, 3:12 PM   #6
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ok,
i've ordered g500.
Do You know where can i find any good camera setups or tips??
greetings
aik
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