Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6 Review

One of several 12X-zoom cameras on the market, the 6-megapixel Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 differs in only a few respects from its 5-megapixel predecessor, the Dimage Z5.However, the Z5’s primary attractions remain: 12X zoom, Anti-Shake technology, and a well-rounded feature set that includes manual exposure controls.

Keen-eyed photographers might fuss about image quality, but the Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 offers enough benefits at an affordable price to attract enthusiasts who want an SLR-like feel and a long-reach lens. However, the mostly plastic Z6 is sufficiently light and well balanced for one-handed shooting. Its high-profile grip provides a secure hold on the camera’s reasonably compact body.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6

Below the Z6’s 2-inch LCD lie the power button and a switch that selects playback, LCD, or EVF mode.

In addition to the 2-inch LCD, the Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 offers an EVF (electronic viewfinder). It’s usable, but at 114,000 pixels, it doesn’t display a high-quality image. A hotshoe atop the pop-up flash accepts Minolta flash units for extra lighting power.

The tabbed menu system is well organized and extremely easy to navigate. All menu items appear as text, so you won’t have to decipher icons or pictograms. The main attraction of the Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 is the 12X zoom lens.

Konica Minolta’s Anti-Shake technology complements the Z6’s extended telephoto range and macro abilities. With Anti-Shake on, the CCD moves in tandem with the camera so that you can easily shoot the Z6 at slower shutter speeds than usual–figure about two stops, possibly more if you have a supersteady hand. Macro lovers will also appreciate the Super Macro mode, which lets you focus as close as 0.4 inch.

With auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual exposure, the Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 offers options for every shooting situation and level of experience. For fine-tuning, you’ll find four color modes  and adjustments for contrast and sharpness. Other options include custom and preset white balance, flash compensation, exposure bracketing, and three metering modes.

The Z6 handles scene modes a bit differently than other cameras do.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6

Unfortunately, Konica Minolta has downgraded the movie mode from the one in the Dimage Z5, leaving you with only 320×240 resolution at 15 or 30 frames per second (fps). You can, however, use the zoom during movie capture, and the camera has a decent night-movie mode as well. The Konica Minolta Dimage Z6’s performance ranged from average to quite good. Its battery life is impressive, but we found its performance slightly more sensitive than most to battery charge.

Since the Z6’s lens needs time to extend, start-up to first shot took just under 3 seconds. After that, our shot-to-shot time was typically about 1.7 seconds without flash and 2.7 seconds with it.

The Konica Minolta Dimage Z6 was much perkier in its continuous-shooting modes. At normal speed and high resolution, we captured around 16 images at a rate of 1.8fps. Dropping down to the lowest resolution increased speed to almost 2fps.

We timed autofocus at a fast 0.4 second in good light and 0.5 second in low light. However, our actual low-light shooting experience wasn’t quite as fast in extremely dark conditions. Nevertheless, the Z6 performed admirably, considering its lack of an AF illuminator.

The Konica Minolta Dimage Z6’s exposure metering generally worked well, clipping highlights only a bit. Colors were generally accurate, if not vibrant (the Vivid setting helps). Automatic white balance worked well outdoors but delivered a warm cast indoors under tungsten lighting. Skin tones, however, ranged from accurate to overly ruddy.

Although the Anti-Shake technology worked extremely well, some of our images came out softer than we had hoped, particularly with the zoom extended to its full range. Details, while visible, also looked less than crisp throughout the focal range.

At the Z6’s maximum ISO sensitivity of 320, noise levels should be lower than they are; however, images appeared fairly clean at IS0 100 and less. We noticed little purple fringing at wider focal lengths, but this aberration became more visible when we fully extended the lens.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6

Body type
Body type Compact
Sensor
Max resolution 2816 x 2112
Other resolutions 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Effective pixels 6 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 6 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.5″ (5.744 x 4.308 mm)
Sensor type CCD
Image
ISO Auto, 50, 100, 200, 320
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format No
JPEG quality levels Fine, Standard, Economy
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 35–420 mm
Optical zoom 12×
Maximum aperture F2.8–4.5
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Single
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4x)
Manual focus Yes
Normal focus range 60 cm (23.62)
Macro focus range 1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Screen size 2
Screen dots 114,000
Touch screen No
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/1000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Built-in flash Yes (pop-up)
Flash range 3.60 m
External flash Yes (hot-shoe (Minolta), remote slave (Minolta))
Flash modes Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync, Off
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 320 x 240, 15/30 fps
Storage
Storage types SD card
Storage included 16 MB SD card
Connectivity
USB USB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec)
HDMI No
Remote control No
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery AA
Battery description AA (4) batteries (NiMH recommended)
Weight (inc. batteries) 435 g (0.96 lb / 15.34 oz)
Dimensions 109 x 80 x 84 mm (4.29 x 3.15 x 3.31)
Other features
Orientation sensor No
Timelapse recording No

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6 Manual

 

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