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Old Jan 6, 2004, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default Burst mode for G500

I've read a number of reviews on this camera and looked at the Minolta Web site, but I can't seem to find the answer to my question about the fps speed of the burst mode of the G500.

I like how small it is and personally, I like the lens slide cover since I typically toss the camera in my pocket or backpack while skiing and mountain biking. I just hate having to mess with lenscaps (my current Nikon Coolpix 4300) and the auto lens covers tend to stick in cold weather (old Nikon Coolpix 775 and Ricoh).

Anyway, my main question revolves around sequence or burst mode shooting. I notice that the G400 can take up to 3 full quality pictures at 2.5 fps and something like 8 pictures at a slower fps speed. The only mention of the continuous shooting mode for the G500 is that it can do it, but no specs are given.

Do you have any idea how fast the burst mode(s) is/are for the G500?


I just need something that's light, small and has a decent burst mode for sports photography on my Web site: http://www.feedthehabit.com
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 2:30 PM   #2
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Yes.

You must enable this feature under Setup, Custom, Continuous.

Basically, once enabled, you can leave it set this way, all the time. I have never accidently taken more than one photo with it enabled.

In good light (slower shutter speeds will add to the times), I've clocked the camera at 1 frame/1.27 seconds (full 5MP resolution) when holding the shutter button down.

So, it's not a speed demon.

On the other hand, there is no frame limit, or need to change back and forth between any special burst mode -- once you enable this feature.

Simply hold the shutter button down, and it will continue to take photos at this 1 photo/1.27 seconds rate until the memory cards are full.

I see the same results whether I'm using a Toshiba SD Card (supplied with the camera), or a Lexar Memory Stick. I have not tested it with a faster card (i.e., Panasonic or Simpletech 10mb/second SD)

So, basically, it's probably just as fast as the "standard" continuous mode feature on the G400 (since the 5MP file sizes on the G500, are slightly larger than the G400's 4MP file sizes).

But, the G500 does not have a "high speed" burst mode (which would require you to wait for buffers to flush between bursts anyway, switching back and forth to a special mode to use it).

I don't shoot sports, so the G500's standard continuous mode works fine for my needs.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 2:43 PM   #3
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JimC...

THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!

You've been more helpful than Minolta directly and any retailer I've contacted!

Hmmm... Well, maybe the G400 would be just fine for my needs. I'd really like the rapid 3 shot burst mode for ski or mountain bike pictures and 4MP should be just fine and a little cheaper.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 9:04 PM   #4
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No problem. In fact, I'm not sure that Konica-Minolta U.S. even realizes the G500 has a standard continuous mode. The last time I looked at their online Q&A, it said it didn't (which is not true -- you just have to enable it under the Setup, Custom menu).

Unfortunately, the manual does leave a lot to be desired (they need new Japanese to English translators).

The Minolta G500 is actually the Konica Revio KD-510z. When the companies merged, Konica-Minolta decided to market this model under the Minolta label in the U.S. It's marketed as the Konica Revio KD-510z in Europe and Asia (started shipping in Japan at the end of June).

I bought a Japanese Konica KD-510z, about two weeks after it started shipping in Japan (I've had mine since mid-July) -- before Minolta even announced the G500.

So, I probably know more about the camera than anyone at Konica-Minolta in the U.S. (since I've been using it for a long time, and understand all of the menus, features, etc., through trial and error). You can see some photos from my Konica KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500) here, along with links to a user review I did back in August):

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

BTW, the Minolta G400 is also known as the Konica KD-420z. However, in the case of the newer Minolta G400/Konica KD-420z, it was launched after the Konica-Minolta merger was completed, and both labels (konica and minolta) began shipping simultaneously.

Good Luck with your decision/new camera if you go with the G400.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 10:40 AM   #5
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I bought the G400 primarilly because I was looking for a small, fast camera to take on bike trips. It works great for that - plenty small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, durable and fast enough to use on the trail. Battery life is good, too, as is image quality. It has a 'sports' scene mode that'll bias the camera to a wider aperature, faster shutter speed and higher ISO for stop actions shots.

There are 2 burst modes on the camera - one that'll capture 3 shots in a little over a second, all at the same focus/exposure setting. There's also a mode that'll collect a shot a second or so (without flash) while refocusing/reexposing.

The camera works great outdoors, but I've not had good luck with it indoors. It fails to lock focus in normal indoor lighting the majority of the time. If your primary usage is outdoors, you'll likely love the camera. If you're looking for a more all-around camera, you probably shouldn't buy the G400.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniKal
The camera works great outdoors, but I've not had good luck with it indoors. It fails to lock focus in normal indoor lighting the majority of the time. If your primary usage is outdoors, you'll likely love the camera. If you're looking for a more all-around camera, you probably shouldn't buy the G400.
I don't own the G400. However, you should be able to easily get around the indoor focus problems, by simply switching to fixed focus of 2 meters and shooting at wide angle.

This should allow photos from .89 meters to infinity to be in focus. This translates to about 3 feet to infinity (where you'll probably be taking your flash photos at anyway).

This is because of the actual, versus equivalent focal range of your camera, combined with a small (1/2.5" or .4") sensor.

To get an idea of how focal length, aperture, and depth of field impact focus, use this handy calculator.

Plug in a camera with the same sensor size as your G400 (like the Kyocera LV4). Then, plug in 5.6mm (the actual focal length of the lens at wide angle of your G400). The plug in F2.8 (the aperture the camera will select at wide angle indoors). Then, plug in a focus distance of 2 meters and calculate.

http://dfleming.ameranet.com/dofjs.html

You may want to give using a fixed focus distance of 2 meters a try, shoot at wide angle, and see if that eliminates your indoor problems. Even using some zoom, you'll still have pretty darn good depth of field with this focus distance.

Give it a try, and let everyone know how it works.

Good Luck!
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 5:41 PM   #7
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I know there are work-arounds for the low-light focus issue, and I've used them effectively. It still doesn't do away with the fact that the camera does not work as expected in less than perfect lighting. Using manual focus at WA gives me good focus, but it turns my nice little 3x zoom autofocus camera into a fixed focus, fixed focal length camera - not what I paid for.

I'm begining to wonder if there are QC or firmware issues. I've read a couple of reviews of the camera where owners have mentioned no problems at all with focus in low light. I don't know if these folks are getting focus -lock- in these conditions, or just shooting through and are happy with the results. Minolta Tech Support hasn't responded back to multiple emails requesting help on this.

How do I tell which version of firmware is loaded in the camera?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 7:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniKal
How do I tell which version of firmware is loaded in the camera?
Thanks!
I don't know about the G400/KD-420z. This is a totally new camera (unlike previous Konica models). It's a redesigned body, sensor, lens, menu system, focus system, etc.

However, if it does work similiar to older Konicas, you should be able to go into Menu, Setup and press the Display Button (without selecting any options under the Setup Menu). Then, the firmware version appears at the top of the LCD Display.

The Display button is the middle button in the upper left hand corner on my KD-510z, but it appears to be the lowest button to the right of the LCD on your G400 (judging by the way the photos look in Steve's review).

I don't own the G400, so I don't have a way to see how similiar your G400 is to my KD-510z/G500, and don't know if firmware is displayed in the same way.

Displaying the firmware version is an undocumented feature in the KD-510z/G500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniKal
I'm begining to wonder if there are QC or firmware issues.
I don't know about the G400. However, I definitely think that there are some QC issues with the G500 (or Konica-Minolta got a batch of bad components).

I've seen a user with bad G500 that returned it, with totally different results with their replacement (G500).

You see the same thing in the G500 reviews. The review here at Steves-Digicams.com indicated that the G500 had suprisingly good low light focus (which has been my observation). However, some users have had focus problems.

So, with the G500, I think there is a bad batch of cameras (perhaps due to a QC problem, assembly line problem, batch of bad components, or something along those lines).

However, with the G400, it's hard to say. It is a brand new camera entirely (body style, lens, sensor manufacturer and size, menu system, etc.) -- using a brand new focus system.

Whereas, the Konica KD-510z/Minolta G500 is just a firmware upgrade to the older, similiar style Konicas (KD-310z, KD-400z, KD-500z).
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