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Old Aug 9, 2004, 2:35 PM   #31
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In this case, I would SERIOUSLY consider getting an new or like new S85 on ebay for $200. Total manual control, good color, superb indoor and low light, giant battery, F2.1 lens. AND, this camera will still fit in your pants pocket (though a bit bulkier than the newer compacts). I took it on a 4 week road trip, and carried it in my pants pocket most of the time, while having a camcorder in my hands.

I do not care for any of the Olympus camera's you mention. Poor color, fair sharpness. Just look for yourself on the samples.

The S85 is a couple years old design-- sony DE-EVOLVED from this great design. You can find perfect examples on ebay. AT $200 or less, it is a STEAL.

Otherwise, the G2, G3, G5 is the way to go. But a bigger camera than the S85, and at least twice as much money.

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Old Aug 10, 2004, 6:34 PM   #32
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MINOLTA G400- G600 SHOOTOUT.

Okay, spent the day with both of these cameras at home-
UPDATED details, of course, on my details page
http://www.neilslade.com/Papers/details.html

The difference between these two cameras is very slight in regards to imaging quality.

I do not envy anybody trying to decide between any of these two cameras.

At the same megapixel resolution, both produce nearly identical extremely high quality images, both in good light and low light.

The G400 has a little stronger yellows going for it, giving it a warmer more saturated feel. The G600 is cooler and more neutral. The G400 thus has brighter greens, but the reds slant more towards orange-red a tiny bit. The G600 has nuetral reds, but then misses the dead on accuracy of surfaces that have a bit of yellow in them. Either camera qualifies as having excellent color in general.

If you REALLY really need the extra two megapixels and plan on lots of heavy enlarging or cropping a 6 MP, then the G600 would be the choice.

If you don't need the extra pixels, the G400 is cheaper, small, lighter, faster, and produces the same quality images at 4 MP and under, and seems the clear logical choice.

Neil
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Old Aug 12, 2004, 2:50 AM   #33
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I was just wondering where I can get my hands on the new firmware for the G500?
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Old Aug 12, 2004, 6:26 AM   #34
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I was just wondering where I can get my hands on the new firmware for the G500?

U.S.

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...etail=Software

Europe:

http://konicaminoltaeurope.com/magic_frameEoI.shtml?nav.html?software/firmware/firmware_en.html

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Old Aug 13, 2004, 2:45 PM   #35
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I've added four comparison photos to show the detail and color similarity/difference between the Minolta G400 and G600 on my details page http://www.neilslade.com/Papers/details.html

I've found that by using the G400 internal sharpness setting to +1, I can pretty much match the G600 details when both cameras are set to the 4 MP resolution.

It takes a magnifying glass to tell the two apart, or sticking your nose 1 inch from an 8X10.

Neil
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Old Aug 13, 2004, 4:44 PM   #36
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Neal:

You're doing it again....Let's look at the updated info on your web site:

Quote:
The G600 is the G500 with image and performance improved, in general. The G600 is also a very fast startup and shooting camera- but not quite as instantaneous as the G400 is. The biggest difference in speed is noticed in the CONTINUOUS PICTURE mode- you just hold the shutter down and the camera snaps pictures as fast as possible without stopping until you run out of memory.
Quote:

[align=left]Here, the G400 snaps a picture about every 1.3- 1.5 second (4 MP setting my estimation in practical use). The first three pictures, however, apparently use a buffer, so you get the first 3 in about 2 seconds, then the camera slows down a bit and continues at the1.3 second rate. The G400 also offers a super continuous mode, which shoots these burst shots- then saves, then allows another burst, etc. etc. In the regular continuous mode, you get one burst at the beginning- and then the regular 1.3 speed, until you allow the buffer to regain again.
[/align]
[align=left]In continous mode at faster shutter speeds (to make sure you're not seeing delay from slower shutter speeds without flash indoors), my G500 will take one full resolution, 5 Megapixel photo every 1.27 seconds until the memory cards are full. This is regardless of whether it's writing to the Secure Digital Card or the Memory Stick. I leave my camera set this way all the time, and I've never accidently take more than one photo this way.[/align]
[align=left]It's extremely unlikely there is any difference in performance or image processing between the G500 and G600 -- except that continuous mode may be a fractionslower with the G600 due to the larger 6MP image size.[/align]
[align=left]
Quote:
The G600 does not offer the burst, but only the continuous mode, which seems almost twice as slow- maybe not quite at the 4 MP setting, a little faster at the 2 MP setting. It's just not as fast a camera in this regard.
[/align]
[align=left]Change it to6 Megapixels to test. It will probably be faster there. The G500 takes LONGER to writelower resolution files. The G600 probably works exactly the same. This is because the camera must take time to downsize the images before saving them. Also, make sure that you have Setup, Quick View set to OFF. Otherwise, the camera will display the last photo taken for longer before taking another one. Make sure that you're not testing it in such a way that slower shuttter speeds are adding to the times, too.[/align]
[align=left]
Quote:
Startup time, G600 seems Fractions of a second difference- example, the G400 is ready to shoot its first photo from off in LESS THAN ONE SECOND. The G600 takes about a second and a half. Probably both are faster than you can get ready to shoot.
[/align]
[align=left]Right, that's one of the reasons I like the G500. Both the G500 and G600 startup in 1.3 seconds. The G400 startup is even faster.[/align]
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Old Aug 13, 2004, 7:00 PM   #37
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Minolta Performance ---- reality with a stop watch.

Actually its not THAT simple a matter.

I keep updating my page- see for new changes:
http://www.neilslade.com/Papers/details.html


I used a standard San Disk SD memory card, which is already twice as fast as the Panasonic card that come with the camera. Huge difference- I feel sorry for people who actually buy these Panasonic cards:

Continuous mode- first three pictures faster.
SanDisk standard- 30 pictures in 30 seconds, fastest time.
Panasonic standard 16 pictures in 30 seconds. [email protected]!

Okay, but using the same card, the SanDisk standard-- capture speeds VARIED depending on the subject matter-!
It sounds improbable, but it is exactly the case.

Same camera, settings exactly the same, battery fully charged- give or take a few photos, card newly formated each time trial.

G400:
1) 24-30 pictures in 30 seconds out of direct sun on shaded porch, pointed at a brick wall or not too busy subject.
2) 22 pictures in 30 seconds full sun subject, house with trees, street, busy scene.
3) Sometimes slower than this- why, I have no idea- changed no camera settings, just pointed it someplace else.

I thought I was loosing my mind, but repeated this many times, same result.

So, there is NO ONE SPEED that digital capture occurs at, at least on these cameras, unlike a film camera using a motor drive.

So, the G400 will shoot a new picture somewhere between 1 and 1.36 seconds, depending on the camera's mood, and the card. Steve states a picture 1 per second with the Ultra card. It looks like we're in agreement.

NOW, using the G600:

1) There is NO WAY the G600 takes continuous shots every 1.27 seconds. Maybe in zero gravity on Pluto perhaps, though doubtful. It is indeed slower than the G500 in continuous mode.

Steve reports 1.7 seconds with a San Disk Ultra card and the G600. ALthough I didn't use a stopwatch, I estmated its speed as coming close to double that of the G400. Steve's figures bear me out. If I'm getting one picture every 1 to 1.36 seconds with a regular card in the 400, and he's getting one every 1.7 best time with an ultra card in the 600, the regular card is going to be slower-- my estimate was right on the money- nearly double that of the G400. In best conditions at least 70% slower.

I noticed the same variations in speed as well on the G600. The speed is dependant on other factors (apparently complexity of subject matter) that will cause variations- even with all the camera settings the same.

2) It didn't matter whether the G600 was set at 6 MP or 4MP-- speed remained the same for fine resolution photos. It finally worked a bit faster at the 2 MP setting. I've got no reason to knock the G600, just reporting what I found.

3) The G600 was so immediately NOTICABLY slower in the continuous mode than the G400, I kept checking it to see if I had inadvertently had some adjustment wrong. Nope. Had everything set as fast as this camera would go-- seemed a good 75%-80% slower in continuous mode when I tried it, and estimated the speed difference. There were no burst settings either called "super continuous" in the G400. In the "slower" conditions, it is certainly possible that it will really be double that of the 400.

So, I was right on the mark with my speed reports, and in agreement with Steveirino.

Many of us don't feel justified in tossing out our standard SD cards, or buying new Ultra San Disk cards just to save .1 to .3 seconds per photo, so I think it good to be a bit conservative, and look at the really fast times as an added bonus when conditions allow.

The G500 is the odd man out-- although its continuous shutter times with an Ultra card at 1 picture every 1.2 seconds (you report 1.27) puts it at just a little slower than the G400, it has a long shutter lag of 1 second not prefoccused. This seems like an eternity to some people. The G600 is twice as fast with .5 second lag, and the G400 is nearly instantaneous with .03 shutter lag.

The G400 starts up and ready to go in .7, the G500 twice as "slow" at 1.3 (still darn fast), and the G600 startup the same 1.3.

The G400 focuses and determines exposure in .2 seconds.

This is a delightfully fast camera, and if I remember correctly, the fastest LCD digital made by anybody. Quoting Steve on the times above.

For those contemplating one of these two or even three cameras, cost aside, it remains my preference of all the Minolta line for compact cameras. I had the G600 in my hands, and weighed whether or not I would rather have IT than the G600. For me, the speed, size, image similarity at 4MP to the G600, and not really needed another 2 MP, allowed me to return it with no regrets or feeling I was going to miss out on anything, and in fact, the G400 has more going for it in general than anything else I could spend my money on.



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Old Aug 13, 2004, 8:01 PM   #38
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As far as a Standard Sandisk SD cards, these are usually a problem with the G500. If Steve used a Sandisk card, that may have been impacting his test results, too (even though he used an Ultra II).

Did you test the G600 with the Panasonic Card? I realize you're reporting the Sandisk Card as faster in the G400; but that may not be the case with the G600 (the card may be the bottleneck). The only SD cards Konica-Minolta has tested as compatible with the G500 or G600 are the Panasonic and Toshiba cards.

If you haven't tested it this way, you may want to. I'd also reset the camera back to factory defaults before testing, in case some setting is slowing it down. You can do this under the Setup, Default menu. I guess it's possible that KM changed the way the camera interfaces to media with the G600. But, that they would change it in such as way as to slow it down that much sure doesn't make sense to me. So, I'm still suspect of cards.

Konica-Minolta used to approve Sandisk Standard SD cards smaller than 256mb in the G500 (with specific warnings that the 256mb card could cause the camera to malfunction with errors). However, they have recently removed all Sandisk Secure Digital Cards, in all sizes from their list of tested cards for it.

I've seen numerous reports of users with problems (slow startup times, intermittent corrupted files, eventually followed by a failure of the card to format) trying to use their 256mb Cards. I saw one G500 user post that he had went through no less than 4 Sandisk Cards that all eventually failed. He gavehis last replacement card away (he didn't want to trust them anymore). Talking about bad luck. :sad:

However, I have seen users get Sandisk Standard Cards that have continued to work fine. Some batches appear to me more reliable than othersin the G500.

What size Sandisk Card have you got? You may also want to let us know the code on the back of it. It will start out with A. For example: AR0306LR, AR0307NC, AR0309NC etc. The second letter varies with the size (R is usually for 256mb), and the last part of the code varies with newer card batches.

As far as the Panasonic cards, only the 256mb and 512mb cards are fast (10mb/second). Their smaller cards are slower. However, I've seen no increase in speed reported by users of any cards in the G500.

I would expect a slight increase in time from the larger images the G600 would produce, but not the times you're reporting.So, it seems to me that if lower resolution images are faster with your tests, with different scenes impacting times too (since JPEG file sizes vary based on scene detail), then the problem is a bottleneck to the card (since the smaller files from lower resolution and/or less detailed images would take less time to write).

The cards arenot the bottleneck with the G500 -- the image processingto downsize to the smaller sizes is the only bottleneck you'll get in continuous mode. I would be surprised if they changed the interface to mediain the G600 to a way that would slow it down.





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Old Aug 13, 2004, 9:06 PM   #39
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Even without my own testing, Steve still reports the G600 as 70% slower than the G400, and that's with the Ultra II.
This is one of the things that impressed me about the G400, if a camera is offering a continuous mode, 2 seconds between each picture seems like a pretty long wait- too long. I didn't test the G600 with anything but my SanDisk card- it would be additionally objectionable to me if I had to buy a specific brand to go with the G600.

Since the G400 is generally a much faster performer than the G600, it does not surprise me that the continuous mode is that much faster also. I think there is something about the G400 design and its resultant speed than inspired Minolta to persue it with the new 5 MP verson.

The Panasonic card that came with the G400 is dreadful, so even with an "unapproved" SanDisk standard, I doubled the speed. I can't imagine why Minolta would put these in the camera box, it's got to cut down on how people perceive these cameras and their performance if they don't know any better.

My card is an "A" series, bought at Costco, 256 MB for $45.

If you are getting a picture every 1.27 seconds, there is that possibility with the G600- but until somebody with this camera reports differently, I'll stick with the observations I made, and the speed Steve is reporting- AND he reported 1.2 seconds for the G500, and 1.7 seconds for the G600. Since Minolta doesn't publish any of these, I think we can assume Steve used the same card in each- and these are his actual results. I don't have a bigger Panasonic card, so even if I go to the store, I'll just be using the slower small card.

Minolta doesn't even mention continuous mode speeds anywhere on their site, so I suspect its nothing they want to brag about- if the continuous speed was impressive, I think you could count on that being reported.

I think Steve's results can be trusted, since they fall in line with my own results- I would suspect the Ultra cards have to be somewhat better than the standard cards, otherwise there would be no justification at all for their 20% higher cost. I've had lots of gear by which companies have deals with other manufacturers, and so you may get only one or two "approved" accessories, although others might work fine. I have read about the memory issue with the 500, but not such with the 600.

Just hope all this discussion aids someone looking at these as possible cameras to own, and the advantages and disadvantages of ownership. Like I said, even given the slower numbers on the 600, it would be me first camera choice after the 400 anyway.

By the way, I can zoom in on my G400 LCD to 14X - same as the G600, although I've read its only supposed to have a 12X zoom.

Neil
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 8:03 AM   #40
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Hehe, I´m getting very confused by reading all the posts

I am going to buy the Konica KD-510Z, but now I am confused over what memory card I should buy ?

Should I buy 256mb or 512mb, Sandisk or Panasonic ?

I am confused :?

Please help meeee here Neilslade and JimC ..


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