12:00 PM EST: The new DiMAGE Z1 is a rather odd looking
ten times optical zoom, three megapixel digital camera. The Z1 looks as
though it has dropped out of a science fiction movie with its rounded
body and separate hand grip. The camera is powered by four AA batteries
and stores images on SD/MMC cards. It has a unique LCD monitor with a
very impressive 60 frames per second refresh rate. It also provides an
electronic viewfinder by blanking out the LCD and mirroring the image
up through the eyepiece, this does away with needing a separate EVF LCD.
Minolta DiMAGE Z1 pictures
Separated at birth?
Well obviously not but we couldn't help but notice the similarity in design between the new DiMAGE Z1 and the 1968 Minolta 16 Electro-Zoom X (16 mm film camera). Only three Electro-Zoom X's were made, one of which was displayed at Photokina 1968. We can't help but think this was a smile and nod from todays designers to the designers of previous Minolta's.
|2003 DiMAGE Z1||1968 Electro-Zoom X|
MINOLTA INTRODUCES A BREAKTHROUGH IN DIGITAL CAMERA DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
The new compact 3.2 megapixel 10x Mega-zoom DiMAGE Z1 features Rapid
Autofocusing, high quality images and movies, Super Macro mode, Minolta's
new Progressive Capture and CXProcess II, manual focus, built-in flash
New York, NY (August 7, 2003) - Minolta Corporation introduces the stylish new 3.2 megapixel DiMAGE Z1 - the first in a series of easy-to-use powerful Single Lens-Reflex (SLR)-type digital cameras. Designed around and the first digital camera to include Minolta's new built-in 10x Mega-zoom lens, the DiMAGE Z1 possess advanced technology and the world's fastest autofocusing among digital cameras with a built-in 10x or greater optical zoom.* In addition, the DiMAGE Z1 is capable of recording TV-quality 30 frames per second VGA movies.
"The new Minolta DiMAGE Z1 possesses advanced technology and powerful optics so photographers can capture the pictures they want, even high-quality VGA movies. This camera's ease-of-use makes it perfect for the soccer mom on the go and its manual operation and even histogram display appeals to the serious photographer in the family. This compact, stylish digital camera has the imaging tools needed to capture images in virtually any situation," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "And the DiMAGE Z1's breakthrough design and engineering reflects the sophistication and future of digital technology."
The new Minolta 10x Mega-zoom is a fast f2.8 - f3.5 lens allowing fast shutter speeds for sport or natural-light photography. With a focal range of 5.8mm to 58mm, it is equivalent to a 38 - 380mm 35mm camera lens. When combined with the seamless 4x digital zoom, it has an amazing 40x zoom range, equivalent to a 38 - 1520mm lens. To extend the versatility of the powerful 10x Mega-zoom, an optional 0.75x wide-converter is available. And close-up photography is possible with just the press of a button. The camera's Super Macro mode lets photographers focus down to 1.6 inches from the front of the lens.
Such powerful optics combined with a high-resolution 3.3 megapixel 1/2.7 interline primary-color CCD sensor requires a powerful autofocus (AF) system. The new Minolta DiMAGE Z1 employs Rapid AF to ensure sharp images with minimum delay. Rapid AF uses a passive AF sensor to instantly estimate the distance to the subject and the camera's CCD to determine the precise focus point. The CCD uses a 60 frame per second sampling rate to determine the optimum focus giving the Minolta DiMAGE Z1 the world's fastest AF among digital cameras with a built-in 10x or greater optical zoom.* CxProcess II, Minolta's new image-processing technology, is employed to bring out the best in the 3.3 megapixel 1/2.7 interline primary-color CCD.
Although the new DiMAGE Z1 uses complex AF technology, focusing the camera couldn't be easier. Simply place the subject anywhere within the focus frames and the camera will do the rest; an AF sensor is briefly displayed so the subject can be confirmed.
Minolta's new drive mode, Progressive Capture, makes sure photographers never miss a shot. When the shutter-release button is pressed and held down, Progressive Capture begins saving images in the buffer memory.
The DiMAGE Z1 is equipped with Minolta's unique Switch Finder. This unique system allows the camera's LCD monitor to be viewed directly or through the viewfinder. The Real Motion LCD monitor uses a 60 frames per second frame rate. This Real Motion frame rate brings the live image to life by the ability to show action smoothly.
Every aspect of the DiMAGE Z1's performance is pushed to the limit. Startup time is 2 seconds and shutdown time is 2.4 seconds. After focus has been locked, the shutter-release time lag is 0.06 second, comparable to a 35mm SLR film camera. The camera will be ready to capture another image in 1.2 seconds after the exposure.
Significantly smaller than a compact 35mm SLR camera with a built-in flash and zoom lens, this powerful imaging system can easily slip into a fanny pack or hip bag.
Minolta DiMAGE Z1 Specifications
|Sensor||1/2.7" type CCD (3.3 million pixels total)|
|Effective pixels||3.2 megapixels|
|Image sizes|| 2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960 (UHS mode only)
640 x 480
|Image quality|| Fine
|Image formats|| JPEG EXIF 2.2 (Still)
MOV Motion JPEG (Movies)
|Movie clips|| 640 x 480, 30/15 fps, 13/26
sec max, with audio
320 x 240, 30/15 fps, 21/41 sec max, with audio
160 x 120, 30 /15 fps, 82/150 sec max, with audio
|Lens|| 10x optical zoom
38 - 380 mm equiv.
F2.8 - F3.5
|Digital zoom||Up to 4.0x|
|Focus range (normal)|| Wide: 50 cm - Infinity (1.6
ft - Infinity)
Tele: 2 m - Infinity (6.6 ft - Infinity)
|Focus range (macro)|| Wide: 10 cm (3.9 in)
Tele: 120 cm (47.2 in)
|Focus range (super macro)|| Fixed zoom: 4 cm (1.6 in)|
|Auto focus||Rapid AF: Hybrid external passive and video AF|
|AF areas|| Wide focus area
Spot focus area with area selection
|Focus modes|| Single shot AF
Full time AF
|Shutter speed|| Program AE/Aperture Priority:
4- 1/1000 sec
Shutter Priority/Manual exposure: 15 - 1/1000 sec + Bulb (30 sec)
Auto/Scene: 2 - 1/1000 sec
|Noise reduction||Dark frame subtraction for long exposures (can be disabled)|
|Metering|| 256 Multi-segment
|Exposure modes|| Program AE
|Subject modes|| Auto
(Automatic selection available)
|Exposure compensation||+/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps|
|Exposure bracketing|| Three images
0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV steps
|Flash|| Manual pop-up
Metering: Pre-flash TTL
Range (wide): 0.2 - 6.1 m (0.8 - 20 ft) - Auto ISO
Range (tele): 1.2 - 4.8 m (3.9 - 15.7 ft) - Auto ISO
Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill, Slow sync
Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
|External flash|| Accessory shoe
Auto-flash metering with Program/Maxxum Flash 2500 (D), Program/Maxxum 3600HS (D), Program/Maxxum Flash 5600HS (D)
|Flash sync||All shutter speeds|
|Continuous drive|| Standard: 1.5 fps (up to
UHS progressive drive (1280 x 960): 10 fps (up to 10 frames)
|White balance|| Auto
|Image parameters|| Contrast: 3 evels
Sharpness: 3 levels
Saturation: 3 levels
|Color modes|| Natural color
|Print compliance|| Print Image Matching II
Exif Print (EXIF 2.2)
|Viewfinder|| Reflected LCD image
98% frame coverage
|LCD monitor|| 1.5" TFT LCD
100% frame coverage
|Storage|| SD / MMC card
16 MB SD card supplied
|Power||4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)|
|Connectivity|| USB 1.1
|Dimensions||110 x 78 x 80 mm (4.3 x 3.1 x 3.2 in)|
|Weight (no batt)||305 g (10.8 oz)|
|Weight (with batt)||411 g (14.5 oz)|
|Standard accessories||Neck Strap NS-DG5000, Lens Cap LF-242, Accessory Shoe Cap SC-1000, AV Cable AVC-200, 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, USB Cable USB-500, DiMAGE Viewer, ArcSoft VideoImpression CD-ROM, Four AA Alkaline batteries|
|Optional accessories||AC Adapter AC-1L, Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000, External High Power Battery Pack Kit EBP-100, Wide Converter Kit ZCW-100|