Minolta DiMAGE G500 review
I am a newbie photographer and I don't know anything about photography. I have a G500 and there are a few concerns about the image quality. When using the automatic setting, the camera has trouble focusing on objects further than 1 meter away in dim light. When taking close shots at night, the flash seems to be too bright at times. I know the focusing settings can be manipulated manually but I don't know where to begin.
Outside in bright light, the camera takes impressive pictures and focuses correctly.
The G500 menu is functional but not quick to navigate due to the button layout. Also the LCD (1.5") is sharp and bright but may be misleading (some images looked good on LCD but were unusable once transfered to computer). Minolta is not at fault (my bad).
Things I like:
Memomy Stick & SD compatible (came in handy more often than anticipated)
Great outdoor shots in bright light (upto 5MP).
Medium pocketable size for point and shoot.
Durable full metal exterior and sliding lens cover.
Camera was cheap and usually performs well ~$CAD 280 (Canadian) or ~US 230.
Firmware Update improves the cameras response time (memory I/O time) and adds audible auto focus notification feature.
The battery life is crap. <25 shots using cheap fuji e-bay battery. Also, movie mode (320x240 @15fps) is limited to 30 secs. Does not compare to my previous Coolpix 3700 (640x480 @30fps unlimited) decent quality movie feature.
In Minolta's defense, there is a new G530 camera which is much thinner so it can compete with the Pentax Optio products. My friend has an Optio S4 and the G500 easily has superior image quality.
I don't use 5 MP option often so there may be more suitable cameras out there. If you are buying for yourself, consider spending a bit more for a more consistent travel camera that has a better battery life (ie. Canon SD series or Sony).
Minolta Z2 (telescopic) is roughly the same price and delivers suberb Macro shots. It is also quite small for a telescopic non-interchangeable lens camera.
Overall, I like the G500 camera because it takes great pictures and it was a steal...