Minolta Dimage Z1 bad reports ?

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by Howard9, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Howard9

    Howard9 Guest

    Minolta Dimage Z1


    I am so keen on this camera as my first foray into digital and all
    the reviews are excellent, but when I search the web I come up with
    several reports of flimsy build quality and noisy/rickety lens
    focusing and some issues with some kind of flip-lense thing (?)

    Has anyone experience of this or recommendation ?
     
    Howard9, Nov 3, 2003
    #1
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  2. Howard9

    Simon Clout Guest


    I have had my Dimage Z1 for a couple of weeks now and love it to bits.
    I also had a look at a Nikon CoolPix 4300 or a Sony DSC-10 but decided
    on the Z1 as the zoom was the selling point in the end. The build
    quality is fine, the lense does rattle but only if you shake it! I had
    seen a few reviews on the camera, both mentioned the build but I
    though I'd chance my arm. The camera uses a mirror to flip the display
    so you can view it through the viewfinder like a normal camera, there
    was mention in a review I saw about how long this would last
    mechanically-wise but this wasn't a major flaw.

    A couple of things worth mentioning is it'll be worth investing in
    some rechargeable NiMh batteries as the ones supplied with the camera
    didn't last that long (well, I was fiddling with it every five
    minutes!). Also, if you haven't got a tripod, get one. As the camera
    has a large zoom i noticed that the pictures taken without support on
    full zoom were a bit fuzzy. I've taken some using a tripod and was
    very impressed with the pictures. I haven't even got around to using
    the digital zoom yet so that's undiscoverd territory. I sent a few
    sample images to Photobox and was impressed with my first results.
    I've had an Olympus SLR for a few years now and the image quality
    compared to the SLR was fantastic.

    I've got some images available if you'd like a look,

    Simon
     
    Simon Clout, Nov 4, 2003
    #2
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  3. Howard9

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    <Snipped Text>

    Hi, your story is so similar to mine I thought I'd pop in here. I
    actually bought my Z1 on Thursday this week. It was brought about by the
    death of my Olympus C960z, which suddenly wouldn't read any cards.
    Yes, I found that the lens rattles a bit too, but it certainly doesn't
    affect the image quality. The mirror flip for the viewer is certainly
    weird, but it does, apparently, save on some electronic bits, like one
    less LCD display. Personally I found the standard viewer bright enough
    to use in most conditions, so haven't used the flippy one at all.

    There were some review comments that the AF is noisy too, and can be
    picked up on the video recording mode. That didn't worry me though, if I
    really want to take video I'll buy a proper Digicamcorder.

    I also looked at the Fuji S3000 (the same high street price), but
    likewise the zoom on the Z1 tipped the balance.

    I would have got another Olympus, but having now owned one, I just don't
    like the operation of the flap that opens the lens.
    I bunged a set of NiMH in straight away (I already have some 1800 and
    2000ma ones from my Olympus C960). The Alkaline ones went into a torch
    or something. I've taken over a hundred pics so far and still on the
    first chargeup.

    Out of interest, what image resolution do you use? I've been
    experimenting with the full 2048x1764 at standard quality and the
    1600x1200 at fine quality (they both offer the same file size), on
    screen and editing cannot see much difference in image quality between
    the two, although my screen resolution is lower than both anyway.
     
    Andy Hewitt, Nov 9, 2003
    #3
  4. Howard9

    Stylewriter Guest

    I am so magnetically drawn to the zoom on this camera that I'm
    battling against my wife who wants a nice and 'safe' A80 that'll fit
    in her handbag... (typical wify view..)

    I love the idea of taking zoom images because in my experience of
    taking pictures over the years of family and outings and holidays and
    matches my son is in - SO MANY TIMES the views I want or the people I
    want to photograph end up TINY in my photos. The chance to zoom in
    is really attractive to me.

    I AM concerned a bit about the images taken with mid and max zoom. I
    can't see myself carrying around a tripod or monopod much of the time
    - so what about using a car or wall etc. for stability ? Are these
    pictures really impractical ?

    The other concern I have as a newbie to digital cameras is the lack
    of an optical view finder. I have taken a few pictures with friends
    digicameras and holding the camera up in front of me makes me feel I
    can't tell if I'm holding it steady enough, or if I'm getting the
    right picture. Is this just something I have to get over ?
     
    Stylewriter, Nov 9, 2003
    #4
  5. Howard9

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    Yes, my brother-in-law just had the same issue with my sister.
    Me too, indeed the optical zoom bit is something I prefer over almost
    all other features.
    Can't say I noticed a problem myself, I found the integral handgrip
    makes it easier to hold than a more compact box. Besides it does
    actually have a little sybol pops up if the camera isn't steady.

    With all its manual over-rides though, you can easily bung up the ASA
    and use shutter priority to get a faster shutter speed if absolutely
    necessary.
    Possibly, I have grown to really like the viewer, and in any case unless
    you buy a proper SLR, you ain't seeing what the camera takes anyway. So
    far I've found the viewer makes it easier to compose a good picture. You
    can also 'Bracket' the pictures on the Z1 (automagically that is), so
    there's a chance you can get something, and delete the bad images.
     
    Andy Hewitt, Nov 9, 2003
    #5
  6. Howard9

    Simon Clout Guest

    Hi Andy,
    I generally use 1600 x 1200 with the fine setting although
    when I've got the camera mounted on a tripod for long-distance shots I
    do use the higher resolution/highest quality. Looked at the results
    afterwards and was suprised at the detail that the camera picked up,

    Simon
     
    Simon Clout, Nov 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Howard9

    Katya Robin Guest

    yes please :eek:)
    -
    Katya Robin
    (also interested in the Z1)
     
    Katya Robin, Nov 11, 2003
    #7
  8. Howard9

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    Hi Simon,

    Yes, I was wondering about this, and it occured to me that my screen
    resolution is only 1024x768, so anything above that is really going to
    be a waste. For editing purposes it's probably better to have the lower
    compression ratio at the lower resolution, and leave compression to the
    final save.

    Besides, I only had 1.3MP (1280x960) with the Olympus, and I was happy
    enough with the prints to A4 photo paper on that. I'm not likely to want
    to (or be able to) print larger than that anyway, and I can't see me
    exceeding 1600x1200 on screen resolution either.


    Cheers.
     
    Andy Hewitt, Nov 11, 2003
    #8
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