Minolta DiMAGE EX 1500 Zoom review

Started Oct 30, 2009 | User reviews
schaki
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Minolta DiMAGE EX 1500 Zoom review
Oct 30, 2009

Good for B&W - That's what this camera seems to do best with nice random graininess in both B&W and color.
Also very film-like pictures gets out when one uses color.
There is no raw-mode but at least a decent buffered uncompressed jpeg.

The lens is high quality, sharp, and almost no CA/PF. There is a slight bit of nice vignetting too. The fastest aperture is just 3.5 on the (38mm) wide end and 5.6 at 105mm.
The focus are quick thx the the phase detection and manages to lock even in poor light most of the time.

There is also a firmware-update which improves a couple of things:
New digital magnification function
Increased burst rate, fast = 7.5fps, medium=3.7fps
Smoother motion in live images, refresh rate increased 33%
Internal flash may be switched on/off
Flash bracketing function added
Custom settings for white balance
Improved custom script function
Bracketing increments changed from 1/2 to 1/3 EV steps

http://www.steves-digicams.com/news/minolta-posts-dimage-ex-update-20.html

Problems:

Only iso125. Slow bootup (around 8 secs) and zooming could be more quiet. The shutter on the other hand can seldom be heard and I'm not always sure if it took a picture although it did so when I check.
Macro is not great, only available at 105mm and manual focus.
AWB is not great.
Bootup takes 8 secs but I use to just turn off the LCD when I'm walking around with it to be ready and shoot fast.
Another con is that the 28mm prime seems to be very hard to find, probably because most buyers went with the zoom. That's a pity because this camera would likely be next to dead-silent without that zoom + that the zoom is not very wide.

The power-button is easy to press accidentally when the camera is in my pantpocket. I borrowed an idea of Michael Kamber, build up a small thin wall of black tape on the right side of the button and the problem is now gone.
http://web.mac.com/kamberm/Leica_M8_Field_Test,_Iraq/Page_2.html

Unlike many other, the camera won't work very well with 2gb cards for some unknown reason. It can write to both my Sandisk Extreme III and Lexar Pro 2gb. But when I put the cards in the reader, it says that the card is not formated although I certainly did format it in the camera.
Well, my old compact flash 256mb seem to work flawlessly. I don't have any other size in between 256mb and 2gb so I don't know exactly where that limit is. Or if it just is something else that causes problem.

I can still highly recommend this camera because the IQ is very good if one likes what it do well and also pretty usable if one can accept the few shortcomings.

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