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I am forever grabbing my camera to take a snap shot of my step kids, dog, husband, or something else that catches my eye.
I am not however very technically minded and so when looking for a camera I want something that will give good results with a click of a button.
My previous camera had 3x zoom, and I used to find this ok but then when it came to photographing the kids for example if they were playing in a football match or at a gymnastics performance my pictures were always a distant blur.
The camera in itself cannot be classed as a pocket camera it is bigger and bulkier, but still small enough to pop it into my handbag or carry it over my shoulder.
The dimage is amazingly easy to use. It has a little dial on the top where you can choose one of many pre set settings, such as portrait, auto, night, sports or for the more advanced user there is the manual settings that you set up and choose for yourself. You can set the flash yourself, or let the camera decide. and there is a macro function.
You can choose to use a timer mode, single picture mode, or an impressive continuous mode this function is great if taking sport type pictures you basically press the button and hold it down, the camera then saves the last six shots taken once you release your finger.
The camera also has a fast focus it really is a case of aim the camera and take your picture, The camera is a nice 5.0 megapixels and when printing or viewing your pictures the quality is clear and the colours are vivid.
Indoor shots are easy and clear and do not seem to suffer from the darkened effect that my last camera had.
By far the feature I have found to be fantastic for me is the sports mode, never before have I got such fantastic pictures of my step children and my dog when they are on the move.
The night mode function I have found to be good so long as I hold the camera extremely still, the slightest shake of my hand and the picture has not been as great as I could wish for.
This camera is loaded with other features that I have as of yet not looked at or attempted to understand, but the features I have had the chance to try have certainly left me feeling pleased.
There is option to take short movies with the dimage z20 but it does not have sound attached.
The battery life I have found extremly good, I took a good 600 pictures before my first set of batteries ran low.
Overall for me a very inexperienced but over keen photo taker this camera has opened up a whole new world of picture quality I could only dream of with my previous cameras, and the great part to it is all the settings are there for me I just need to choose which one to use and click.
As a non technical person I cannot give a full technical review but I will list below some of the functions as advertised
8x zoom (36-290mm coverage) with high-speed autofocus and Macro
5-megapixel imager for images up to 2560 x 1920 pixels
1.5-inch color LCD with 113,000 pixels
Eyelevel color viewfinder with 98% coverage
Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual exposure modes
Shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/2000 in Shutter priority and Manual exposures modes
Digital Program modes: portrait, sports, night portrait and sunset
Multi-segment, center-weighted and spot metering modes
640x480 / 320x240 motion video at 15fps/30fps without audio, length limited only by SD card capacity
Automatic noise-reduction for one second or longer exposures
5 white-balance settings including custom settings
Digital Effects Control for contrast and sharpness
Color modes: Natural, Vivid, B&W, Sepia
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, and 320 equivalents
Playback/QuickView with histogram feature
Data imprinting that records date, time and descriptive information on an image.
Powered by four standard AA type batteries
Approx. 14.5MB of internal memory + SD card slot
USB connectivity for Windows and Mac OSX
PictBridge, Exif Print, and Epson PRINT Image Matching II compatible
A Short desciption of Minolta Z20
Minolta Z20 is a model which is a very similiar with it's more expensive model Z5. Main difference between this two models are in zoom range, a fixed rather than pop-up flash, no flash hot-shoe, hybrid AF, a smaller LCD, the 'switch finder' viewfinder, built-in storage and no Anti-Shake. Obiviously, this model is more intended for a lower-price range products.
If you are an amateur or novice users and want to use this camera to take some shots for everyday use this is a right camera for you. If you are more demanding you should look for a Z5 model.
8x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom for this camera allows a total of 32x zoom which is about to be enough to capture everyday shots. Macro mode allows photographer to take shots at about 0.4" from the subject.
CxProcess III technology allows user to take shots as they have been seen by the photographer.
With four included AA batteries and SD card (which is a recommended to use 128MB) user can take about 450 frames which is a pretty much of the shots for this camera class. Unfortunately, batteries cannot be recharged so you may want to use rechargable batteries with this model.
Faster startup allows startup of about 0.5 seconds measuring time from the power switch on the camera is beign pressed to the time you will see picture on the screen.
Rapid AF has fast autofocus for digital cameras with predictive focus control in the class of 8X zoom and 5MP cameras as measured by Konica Minoltas standard test method. Focus is a about 0.3 seconds in wide angle and telephoto.
Very good product for amateur users. Minolta is a very reputable company in producing high-tech quality products. You will most likely be satisfied with this model. If you are more demanding user you should look for a more expensive Z5 or some models from A200 series.
Here's the detailed technical info:
1/2.5" Type CCD
5.2 million pixels total
5.0 million effective pixels
2560 x 1920
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
640 x 480 Fine (15 / 30 fps)
640 x 480 Standard (15 / 30 fps)
320 x 240 Standard (15 / 30 fps)
Limited only by storage space
Night capture mode available
Still: JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - Fine, Standard, Economy
Movies: MOV (Motion JPEG)
36 - 290 mm equiv. (8x optical zoom)
F3.2 - F3.4
Normal: (wide) 0.5 m - Infinity, (tele) 1.5 m - Infinity
Macro: (wide) 1 cm, (tele) 60 cm
Hybrid external passive AF and video AF
Single shot AF
Continuous AF (with predictive focus control)
Full time AF
Auto focus areas
3-point Wide Focus Area
Spot focus area
Up to 4.0x (0.1x steps)
Multi-segment (256 segments)
+/- 2.0 EV
1/3 EV steps
4 - 1/2000 sec
Auto (Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Sunset, Standard)
0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
2 or 10 sec
Normal: 1.0 fps (4 frames @ 2560 x 1920; Standard)
Progressive mode: (stores last frames captured instead of first)
Image parameters Contrast (3 levels)
Sharpness (3 levels)
Color mode (2 levels, b&w, sepia)
Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Slow sync
Compensation: +/-2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
External flash: Hot-shoe
Switch finder (LCD image is projected through viewfinder)
1.5 " TFT LCD
Japanese, English, Germany, French, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified character), Italian, Swedish
USB 2.0 (Full-speed only; USB 1.1 equiv.)
Internal flash storage (14.5 MB)
4 x AA batteries
NiMH recommended (Alkaline supplied)
PRINT Image Matching III
Weight 340 g (12 oz)
Dimensions 109 x 82 x 94 mm (4.3 x 3.2 x 3.7 in)
Standard accessories: Neck Strap NS-DG800, Lens Cap LF-243B, Video Cable VC-400, USB Cable USB-3, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM, Four AA Alkaline batteries