Konica KD-500 Zoom review

Started Sep 9, 2003 | User reviews thread
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nicetomcat
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Konica KD-500 Zoom review
Sep 9, 2003

Based on some 3000 pics taken with KD500z using firmware 1.55A.

The camera fulfils the intended purposes: replace my old point and shoot and learn digital photo processing.

Image quality:

- RESOLUTION is ok, very fine for 11*15 cm prints made at a good lab, acceptable at 20*30 cm. Beats ISO100 film processed at a minilab (but not as good as pro prints).

- DISTORTION at wide angle is annoyingly stong, better not have straight lines close to the image border. Hope the next generation of cameras with cheap lenses can afford software correction of known barrel and cushion distortion (depending on focal lenght and subject distance)

- PURPLE FRINGING is annoying on bright contrasty subjects. Really annoying.

- in camera SHARPENING is too strong for my taste. Real world objects seldom have dark borders everywhere. (compared to the HiFi world this would be the 'famous' Bose sound...beurkk)

- COLOR SATURATION is on the strong side. I do not see the world like this.

- COLOR DIFFERENTIATION is not comparable to film. Does not come close. But then this is a caracteristic of most (all) current digital cameras... Gets better if you absolutely avoid underexposing. Film keeps an advantage on exposure latitude as well.

- NOISE is ok when it's sunny, but produces unusable pics when underexposed (requiring more than ISO 50 at 1 sec at max opening)

Usability:

- POCKET FRIENDLY SIZE. This was a major decision factor, I have a sufficient number of cameras staying at home.

- Light SENSITIVITY of the used sensor seemed lower than the advertised ISO100. Measurement against a calibrated Gossen Sixtomat showed it to be ISO50. Low light usability is really limited, as max exposure time is 1 second. Forget this camera for nightscapes, concerts, and even street photography under less than sunny conditions.

- SOFTWARE STABILITY: this is a major weak point using a 256MB card. Frequent system error resulting in loss of all stored pictures and the need to format the card in a different camera!! Camera is completely blocked if no MemoryStick is available to switch to! Apparently this is due to bad management of file allocation tables after deleting many pictures. Formatting the card after downloading pictures helps. Please Konica/Minolta fix this! Will not buy KD510!

- FUNCTIONALITY is sufficient for the intended use (P&S). Hey I like focus lock and AE lock. Quite useful if shutter lag is to be avoided. On a bright day use focus lock at hyperfocal distance and use like Leica M or Mamyia M (just kidding...)

- BATTERY LIFE. Try a snowball in Sahara. An open bag of potato chips in front of TV. Always recharge in the evening, or get a spare battery at high-street robbery prices, at less than 1 EUR production cost. Shame. I will do with 1 battery.

- BUILD QUALITY is good if you keep it in dry, civilised places. Remember, most digital cameras are to be handled like a computer, not like a film camera. Forget the beach and wet places.

So what:

- Replaces point-and shoot, but do not expect image quality compared to a nice prime lens (who would?).

- Limited usability, even for a P&S (low light, focus speed, battery life

To use this site's recommendation system I would give KD500Z a:

RECOMMENDED IF YOU ACCEPT LIMITATIONS INHERENT TO DESIGN

Problems:

Three system crashes resulting in loss of all pictures on SD card. Would not use this camera if I would *really* like to keep pics.

nicetomcat's score
3.0
Average community score
4.3
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