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Old Sep 10, 2004, 7:35 AM   #1
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Hi all :-)

Just got my Z3 this morning, 1st impressions were OK but one thing I noticed straight away is hundreds of noisy pixels on both Lcd displays, it's easier to see with the lens cap on, they are green or red and "twinkle" like stars, none of them show on any photographs taken with the camera so I'm assuming it's some sort of electrical noise from the camera and not the image sensor.

Menu screens in record mode are noisy but in playback mode menusand playback of images are clean with no noise.

Checked my 7Hi to be sure and it's displays are as black asa very black thing in a very black place with the lens cap on. Is this normal for the Z3?, they are not very visible under normal use in daylight on the main Lcd but very visible using the viewfinder Lcd, indoors in reduced lighting they are much more apparent.

Small Update.

1/2 Pressing the shutter to get focus lock both displays brighten about 30% and the noise disappears, when focus lock is achieved the displays darken down again and the noise returns.

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Old Sep 10, 2004, 8:31 AM   #2
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It's not normal at all. Get it replaced. And make sure you spend at least 15 minutes with your camera in the shop to find things like these.
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Old Sep 10, 2004, 8:59 AM   #3
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I would compare your camera to another one inthe same environment.

In low light, many newer cameras automatically "gain up" the signal from the CCD. This is like turning up the ISO speed. This is so your Displays remain usable (otherwise they would be too dark).

However, this can make the displays look very noisy. Even Steve noted this in the new Z3 review "Indoors both displays "gain up" to help brighten your subject, but they do tend to get a little grainy"

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/z3_pg5.html

This is common with many newer camera models, and noise will tend to be more noticeable with models using smaller sensors (as you must use in any of the models with longer focal lengths).

As far as the momentary brightening of the displays when you "half press" the shutter button in low light, this is also typical. The camera both "gains up" the signal from the CCD more, and samples the signal for a longer period of time. This helps the camera "see" the contrast in the subject better while focusing.


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Old Sep 10, 2004, 9:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the speedy replies :-)



It's not just in low light (which was normal room light at midday) I also used it outside where it was nice and sunny and the noise is still visible.

I managed to speak to Minolta UK who verified it wasn't normal and will return it to my supplier (Ebuyer).

Unfortunately I can't compare in-store as apart from the lack of decent photo stores in the area (north east UK) I'm disabled and virtually housebound so it's not a viable option for me.



Not to worry, my 7Hi will have to do for now :-)
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Old Sep 10, 2004, 3:56 PM   #5
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Return is arranged, they're collecting it next week so I've had a day to play with it.....

Only1 thing I really dislike about it, no way to not have either the evf or lcd on, no eye-start likemy 7Hi & 35mm etc.

However, having had time to have a good look at the photos taken over the dayit looks like it's also gota dead pixel on the image sensor, there's a "missing" whitepixel in the same place in every picture, it's only noticeable if it happens to fall on a coloured or dark area.

So now I'm thinking twice about getting a replacement, the 12x zoom and anti-shake are very good indeed butI don't know if I'd trust the build quality now, maybe it's a batch problemlike my 7Hi had with the cracked casing problem maybe not, only time will tell so I'll wait a while before deciding.
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Old Sep 11, 2004, 3:39 AM   #6
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> no way to not have either the evf or lcd on
You can set power save to 1 minute as a workaround.

> it's also got a dead pixel on the image sensor
That's another cause for replacement.

> I don't know if I'd trust the build quality now
It seems that quite a few Z3s have initial quality problems, but if you are lucky to pick one that has not, it probably won't get worse over time.
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 9:42 AM   #7
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Can someone please double confirm that they couldn't see any noise pixels when the camera is attached with len cap on it? This is because i have this "problem" too and when i half-press it. It is gone.




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