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Old Apr 2, 2004, 5:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by abergfeld
I think those recommending "A"s and "Z"s may have missed the point: Portability. I just replaced an Olympus 3040 (already fairly small) with a Minolta G400, which is easily pocketable (about the size of a pack of cigarettes). 4MP with enough creative controls to keep me happy, unlike the very automatic 5MP G500. I can't post photos yet, 'cause I literally just got it yesterday for a tip a week from now.
The G500 has full manual, aperture and shutter priority and even a zone manual focus. For some reason the initial release from Minolta didn’t mention them and many reviews just posted the manufacturer’s overview. But if you go further in the review the modes are there.

The G400 evidently has a more sophisticated focus system but a very weak flash. Otherwise I think they are pretty much the same except for the Mp.
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Old Apr 2, 2004, 6:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by slipe
The G500 has full manual, aperture and shutter priority
I knew about full manual, but have been unable to find reference to an Av or Tv mode. Are you sure on this one? I tried finding it on the camera too. The guy at the camera store told me that under full manual it was trial and error - no metering, and no Av or Tv. (A "real" camera store, not Best Buy or even Ritz.) I ask because I can still return my G400, but I'm not sure I would. It also has a continuous mode, "scene" modes (which I could live w/o if I have Av and Tv), is thinner and I have been satified with the low light performace (flash seems to FAR exceed 7 feet if ISO is on auto, which is fine by me for family snapshots).
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Old Apr 2, 2004, 6:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gadgetnut
No problem. Actually, I find the Z1 to be very light and quite small.
I went and looked at it again today and it was much lighter and smaller than I remembered, but the shape is still awkward. I'm half toying with the idea of getting one for sports photos of the kids - that ultra high speed continuous is AMAZING :shock: and most of our photo viewing is on the PC so the low res isn't that big a deal. I would think you could still print a decent 5x7, yes?
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Old Apr 2, 2004, 9:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by abergfeld
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetnut
No problem. Actually, I find the Z1 to be very light and quite small.
I went and looked at it again today and it was much lighter and smaller than I remembered, but the shape is still awkward. I'm half toying with the idea of getting one for sports photos of the kids - that ultra high speed continuous is AMAZING :shock: and most of our photo viewing is on the PC so the low res isn't that big a deal. I would think you could still print a decent 5x7, yes?
5X7? I just got back an 8X10 that's absolutly beautiful. I use ofoto.com for prints, and every one I've shot with my Z1 is spectacular. I wouldn't call 3.2 megapixel "low res". Unless you crop a large chunk off your photos or print over 11 X 13, you really don't need more than 3.2 megapixel anyway. For 98% of what I do with my digital camera, a higher res camera would just mean larger files and fewer pics on the card. The Z1 is awesome for sports pics. That was the main reason I got it too.
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Old Apr 2, 2004, 10:11 PM   #15
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I wouldn't call 3.2 megapixel "low res".
Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. When I was referring to low res, I meant the approx. 1.3 MP used in the UHSC mode (10fps). Clearly 3MP is plenty for a great 8x10.
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Old Apr 3, 2004, 12:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by slipe
The G500 has full manual, aperture and shutter priority and even a zone manual focus. For some reason the initial release from Minolta didn’t mention them and many reviews just posted the manufacturer’s overview. But if you go further in the review the modes are there.
Nope. It's got a great full manual mode (given only two aperture choices), but no aperture or shutter priority modes. They're on my "wish list" for a future firmware upgrade.

The full manual mode uses the camera's metering so that you can see how your settings impact exposure (-2.0 to +2.0 in 0.3 EV increments). So, it's quick and easy to use. You have a choice of two apertures (with the values changing depending on focal length), with very fine control of shutter speed.

In any event, since the camera only has two real apertures (with the values changing depending on focal length), Shutter Priority would not be practical (unless implemented like Nikon did in the Coolpix 950, which only had 3 "real" apertures). Nikon simply varied ISO speed to simulate having more apertures in Shutter Priority Mode (most people don't realize that they did it that way before the Coolpix 990).

Although Konica did add Aperture Priority to the newer KD-420z (a.k.a., G400), it's somewhat crippled, too (still only two real apertures).

The G400 does get some scene modes (but they are of limited value because of the Aperture limitation).

In any event, due to the tremendous DOF you get with the tiny sensors and lenses in these models, you really don't need more than two apertures in most conditions.

About the only time I go to full manual is for macros (where you have greater control of DOF because of your distance to the subject), or night shots (for long exposures).

I've found the G500 to be plenty flexible enough for my shooting needs though (and it takes terrific pics).

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
The G400 evidently has a more sophisticated focus system but a very weak flash. Otherwise I think they are pretty much the same except for the Mp.
In theory the new Hybrid Focus System would be a big advantage with the G400. However, in practice, it seems to have a big problem with focus accuracy in some conditions (see Steve's Review Conclusion about low light focus). Even the manual indicates that you should disable the external focus sensor for more precise focus.

The G500 review had the opposite conclusion (without any hybrid focus system):

"Although it's not equipped with a focus-assist lamp, the G500 autofocus system worked surprisingly well in conditions of low ambient light, as did LCD viewfinder"

KM did come out with a firmware upgrade recently for the G400, but I don't know if the issues with the Hybrid Focus System accuracy were addressed or not.

The G400 menu system is quite a bit different compared to the older G500, too. Konica must have decided to start with a relatively clean sheet of paper from a firmware design perspective (although there are some similiarities with the menu choices).

There are pros and cons to both models. Personally, I wouldn't trade my KD-510z (G500) for a G400 (image quality, flash range, etc.).

The G400 is smaller and faster (startup time, focus time in good light), and does have more features. So, some users may find it to be a better fit. For my needs, I would not trade my KD-510z (G500) for any other pocketable camera on the market.

If you want to see some albums with the same subjects from both cameras, you'll find them here:

G400 (multiple pages from this model -- go through each page to see all of the photos):

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albur09

KD-510z/G500 versus Multiple Cameras in these (you'll see some of the same scenes as in the above G400 album, if you look through the below album links). Note that you can click on a thumbnail to see a large photo, then click on the large photo to see the original.

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albuq42

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albuq43

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albuq44

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albuq45

http://galleriet.akamera.no/albuq46

You can see some photos from camera in my pbase.com album at http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

You'll also find links to my user review (which goes into the G500 features in great detail).
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Old Apr 3, 2004, 7:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abergfeld
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetnut
I wouldn't call 3.2 megapixel "low res".
Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. When I was referring to low res, I meant the approx. 1.3 MP used in the UHSC mode (10fps). Clearly 3MP is plenty for a great 8x10.
Oooooh...I see what you mean. Sorry.
I've never had a print made that I shot in that super high-speed mode, so I couldn't tell you how they look. With all the custom settings you can use on the Z1, I'm usaually able to get great action shots with the standard drive mode at full res.
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Old Apr 4, 2004, 12:00 PM   #18
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In my opinion, I think that Z2 or A2 are too large for travel use ! In my situation, I choose F200 since the size is small so I can store it on my belt-bag easily ! Unless you need a high zoom power DC, otherwise, I won't recommend ! Try to consider G400 or Canon A70 or A80, these DCs are not really large and have manual controls !
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 6:37 PM   #19
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For the record, I have a 1.3 mp cam (el cheapo $30 one) and 3x5s look pretty good, 4x6s passible, and 5x7s are ok from over a foot away.

Not a lot of resolution but you can get the job done. I'm looking at a
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