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Old Aug 25, 2005, 1:36 PM   #1
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Hi, what about this camera ?
I'm about to buy my first camera and I'd like a compact and good image quality camera.
I've found this model at the price of 210 euro.
Do You think it's a bargain or not ?

How can G600 be evaluated if compared with other camera like Nikon 5900 or Canon A520 ?

thanks !
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 2:51 PM   #2
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This model is the last in a series of cameras that used this body (other than minor cosmetic differences) and lens combination. I don't know if they'll release another one or not (so far they haven't, only smaller models with a different body and smaller sensor).

This model series originated at Konica (before the merger with Minolta), and includes the Konica Revio KD-310z, KD-400z, KD-410z, KD-500z, KD-510z.

The Konica Revio KD-510z was launched at the end of June 2003 in Asia as the Konica Revio KD-510z. Later, it was also marketed in the U.S.as the Minolta DiMAGE G500, and in Europe as the Konica KD-510z.

The G600 you're looking at begain it's life as the Konica-Minolta G600, which is basically the Minolta G500 (Konica KD-510z) with a newer 6MP sensor.

I've had a Konica Revio KD-510z since July 2003 (I got one intended for theJapanese market about two weeks after it started shipping in Japan).

It's a nice little camera (although it's technology is a little dated now). It doesn't have the better movie modes of most newer cameras (something I wouldn't use anyway), and probably isn't quite as fast as many newer cameras (autofocus speed), but they take nice pictures.

Redeye is a big problem with these cameras. So, if you like to take lots of flash photos, another solution may be a better bet. I do have to spend a lot of time trying to fix the eyes in indoor photos I take with it (and from time to time, they can be very tough to fix). ;-)

There is no focus assist lamp, either. But, I personally don't find it to be a problem. If you're shooting near wide angle indoors, the AF usually works well enough, even if it can't lock focus. It's going to default to a distance where the shots are usually fine anyway, since depth of field is prettylarge with a small sensored camera.

More often than not, I just use fixed focus choices indoor (1M, 2M, 3M, 4M, etc.). You can customize the controller keys so that only focus choices you use are available. This makes it very easy to toggle between the choices you use more often (leaving out the rest). I leave my KD-510z (G500) on 2M almost all the time indoors.

This eliminates any Autofocus lag, and depth of field is great enough so that everything is in focus within most of the flash range if I don't use much zoom (and you want to try and stay as close to wide angle indoors as you can with a small camera to let in more light, since a lot of light is lost as you use zoom with most models).

Since I take it everywhere in a pocket, I can at least get photos when opportunities arise (since you may leave a larger camera at home more often). So, there are pros and cons to any choice. Startup speed is also abig plus with these cameras.

I posted an album online with some photos from the Konica KD-510z (identical to the Minolta G500)after I got it. But, I haven't been keeping it updated. I left them straight from the camera so that people could see what to expect from this model (other than those marked as being corrected for redeye only). You should get similar quality from the G600 (with one more megapixel).

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

Steve also has reviews of these models here you can see (G500, G600).

Noise will be high with a small sensored camera like this if you need higher ISO speeds. I'd stick to ISO 200 or lower (but that applies to most small cameras), using something like Noiseware ( http://www.imagenomic.com) to improve them if higher ISO speeds are needed. They've got a free "community edition" you can download for this purpose.

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Old Aug 25, 2005, 3:19 PM   #3
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Many thanks JimC !
I have a low budget and so I'm looking for a compromise between price, compactness and image quality... And I suppose it isn't simple...

I've found also a Sony DSC L1 at the same price. can You tell me something about it ?
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 3:49 PM   #4
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Nah, it's never simple. Any choice is going to be a compromise in one area or another (size, weight, features, image quality, cost, etc.).

So, you'll need to decide what is more important in a camera.

As for the L1, read the review here to get a better idea of it's strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to see the Review Conclusion sections for each model at the end (right before the sample photos.

That's where you'll see things like startup speed, ergonomics, autofocus speed, cycle times between photos, flash strength/recycle times, image quality, etc., discussed.

Here is the L1 review:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/l1.html

It appears to be a fairly fast little camera. But, it's missing some things I would want. It doesn't appear to offer any manual control (or ability to do long exposures, since it appears to be limited to 1 second).

Some people care about having more manual control, and some people prefer to use camera's defaults with autoexposure. For example, I like to change things like shutter speed used for flash exposures in some conditions (to let in more or less ambient light with the flash as desired), so I prefer a camera that allows more manual control.

There is no right or wrong. That's one reason you have such a big choice in cameras, since tastes vary between buyers.

I'd make sure to try out any models you consider in a store, too. The smaller models tend to be more ergonomically challenging. Again, tastes vary. I personally don't like small cameras with the lens located on one side of the body. It's awkward for me to try and hold a camera like this with two hands (since my fingers tend to try and block the lens), and I like using both hands. Some others don't seem to mind cameras designed this way.

So, make sure you're comfortable with the camera you choose.

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Old Aug 25, 2005, 5:27 PM   #5
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Thanks JimC, I have read the steve's review and the camera seems to be a nice camera also if it hasn't manual controls.
I'm looking for a compact camera, easy to use and with a good image quality but my budget is rather low... about 200/220 euro...
Since it will be my first camera I don't need advanced features or many manual controls.

However if You have some camera to advise...

Thanks.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 11:47 AM   #6
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I purchased this camera several months ago. It has some rather unique features and has an unusual number of custom functions. It is one of the few pocket cameras that can be manually configured. I have found that it takes very detailed outdoor pictures with good color and saturation and low noise at low asa. I does not seem to suffer from shutter lag and has a rather soft and nice "let off". I find it producing results that are in the same league as Cannon 50, Sony W-1, and Fugi F-10. While the camera is considered "dated" I cannot think of any other camera that has such a high build quality, small size, optical view finder, and manual and custom functions at such a low cost. The battery life is better than I expected. I get around 450 shots on a charge using the lcd sans flash. I also like having dual storage sd and ms since I have a host of pds's with that memory. The results are excellent for outdoor pics and it is a very rugged camera. The only factor that takes some getting used to is the "left" openning of the lens cover and the rather off balance to a right handed hold. The lcd is fluid and readable with excellent contrast. I really like the file size and the compression ratio does not seem to produce "visible" artifact. I really have enjoyed this camera that I purchased on a whim and now carry in my glove box. It is the best deal in a small, quality camera and unlike most of the new models available does not seem to suffer from excessive noise. Seeing your post made me get this camera out and shoot off several hundred pictures at a local cemetery and it captured the clouds wonderfully well. Good luck in your search of a good companion camera.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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sfk wrote:
Quote:
I purchased this camera several months ago. It has some rather unique features and has an unusual number of custom functions. It is one of the few pocket cameras that can be manually configured. I have found that it takes very detailed outdoor pictures with good color and saturation and low noise at low asa. I does not seem to suffer from shutter lag and has a rather soft and nice "let off". I find it producing results that are in the same league as Cannon 50, Sony W-1, and Fugi F-10.
These are nice little cameras. You'd be surprised at how the photos can compare to other models. It's a very sharp lens, and the image processing algorithms are excellent. I looked at lots of cameras before buying my KD-510z (G500).

Quote:
While the camera is considered "dated" I cannot think of any other camera that has such a high build quality, small size, optical view finder, and manual and custom functions at such a low cost.
You should see the prices on refurbished G500's in the U.S. now (under $200). I'm tempted to buy a spare.

Quote:
While the camera is considered "dated" I cannot think of any other camera that has such a high build quality, small size, optical view finder, and manual and custom functions at such a low cost. The battery life is better than I expected. I get around 450 shots on a charge using the lcd sans flash. I also like having dual storage sd and ms since I have a host of pds's with that memory. The results are excellent for outdoor pics and it is a very rugged camera. The only factor that takes some getting used to is the "left" openning of the lens cover and the rather off balance to a right handed hold.

I tend to use the flash a lot, but I usually last about 100 pics on a charge. But, I'm using older batteries, too (lower capacity than the newer ones).

As for the opening, it works great for me. I'm right handed, but carry my KD-510z in my left front pants pocket. When I want to take a photo, I pull the camera out using my left hand (with fingers on the front cover), sliding the cover open as I bring the camera up, grabbing the other side with my right hand. This has worked quite well for me. I never leave the house without my KD-510z in my pants pocket (since mid July 2003).


Quote:
The lcd is fluid and readable with excellent contrast.
I'll agree with that one. The LCD is absolutely oustanding. You can't go by size and resolution alone when comparing displays. I've shot at the same time with other models, and was surprised at how much better the display is on these little cameras. The 12x zoom for playback is nice, too.

Quote:
I really like the file size and the compression ratio does not seem to produce "visible" artifact.
Even the "Normal" (default, higher compression/lower quality), is pretty darn good with JPEG processing.

I've used the KD-510z (G500) in raw (these models have a hidden raw mode), and I was hard pressed to match the quality of the camera's JPEGs (shooting the same scenes both ways at the same time).


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Old Aug 26, 2005, 12:10 PM   #8
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Reading Your useful comments I'm really thinking to buy it...
The only thing is that it seems "less compact" than other camera and that I've read it has the "red eye" problem (Is it true ?).

TheSony DSC L1 (At the same price) seems to be more compact but has "only" 4 mp (Steve has written a good review about this model).

What do You advice ?



thks
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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Takeshi wrote:
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Reading Your useful comments I'm really thinking to buy it...
The only thing is that it seems "less compact" than other camera and that I've read it has the "red eye" problem (Is it true ?).
Yes, redeye is very bad. There is no denying that. ;-)

That's a common problem when a flash is located close to a lens. In the case of these little Konicas, the flash is quite powerful, too. The range is very conservative (they calculated it originally based on the older model KD-500z that had a fixed ISO speed). They also messed up the calculation between meters and feet in some of the specs.

At ISO 200, you can get excellent exposures up to about 16 feet with the flash in this camera (as long as you're not using zoom, since you lose light as zoom as used).

Redeye tends to be even worse when subjects are at futher ranges with this one (since most cameras have weaker flashes, too).

Now, in fairness to KM, I don't use the redeye reduction flash mode. I'd rather have the redeye than closed eyes, changed facial expressions, etc. But, even with redeye reduction enabled, I'd expect redeye to be pretty bad anyway.

Quote:
TheSony DSC L1 (At the same price) seems to be more compact but has "only" 4 mp (Steve has written a good review about this model).
You'll have to make up your own mind. I don't like cameras with a lens on one side, and I'd want more manual control. No camera is going to be perfect in all conditions, and each user will have preferences in a camera.

I wouldn't worry about the megapixels part when camera shopping. Unless you plan on printing at larger than 8x10" sizes, even 3 Megapixels can produce nice prints.

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Old Aug 26, 2005, 12:56 PM   #10
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And do You think that also the image quality aspect is a personal opinion or between these cameras is there an evident difference under this aspect ?
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