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View Full Version : I have bought the Minolta Z3!



ruggedtoast
08-09-2004, 03:49 AM
Well I finally settled on the Minolta Z3 as my first digital camera as it has just come out here in Japan and people on various internet message boards seemed to be getting quite excited about it.

So I went off to Bic Camera in Ginza and bought the beast yesterday, I expected some more bowing for my 62,000 Yen ($561) but theyre pretty busy in there and sometimes service is a bit so so. I also got a 256MB memory card for free with the reward points I earned.

First impressions are that the build quality seems good. It looks and feels more rugged than the other models. Pictures look good and sharp, havent noticed much noise or purple hazing so far. The movie mode is great and allows you to zoom in and out all over the place with no noise and accompanied by sound.

I cant say much about the features as yet as unfortunately the instruction booklet is entirely in Japanese! In fact , if anyone with the same camera who has the instructions in a language they can actually read can tell me how to get the flash to pop up I would be very grateful!

Anyway Ive been wandering around Tokyo today taking shots of things and so far Im very pleased.

ruggedtoast
08-09-2004, 05:18 AM
Doh, you just life the flash up to get it to work :p

wax
08-09-2004, 06:09 AM
Doh, you just life the flash up to get it to work :p

i think you meant lift the flash ;)

Crunchie
08-09-2004, 03:58 PM
I've got it ordered should be here on Wedneasday! Can't wait! :D

John_Reed
08-09-2004, 05:15 PM
Well I finally settled on the Minolta Z3 as my first digital camera as it has just come out here in Japan and people on various internet message boards seemed to be getting quite excited about it.

So I went off to Bic Camera in Ginza and bought the beast yesterday, I expected some more bowing for my 62,000 Yen ($561) but theyre pretty busy in there and sometimes service is a bit so so. I also got a 256MB memory card for free with the reward points I earned.

First impressions are that the build quality seems good. It looks and feels more rugged than the other models. Pictures look good and sharp, havent noticed much noise or purple hazing so far. The movie mode is great and allows you to zoom in and out all over the place with no noise and accompanied by sound.

I cant say much about the features as yet as unfortunately the instruction booklet is entirely in Japanese! In fact , if anyone with the same camera who has the instructions in a language they can actually read can tell me how to get the flash to pop up I would be very grateful!

Anyway Ive been wandering around Tokyo today taking shots of things and so far Im very pleased.Congratulations! The first one I've heard of "in the flesh." One question: Can you say how you could mount auxiliary lenses or filters on it? Are there filter threads right on the front of the lens itself, or is there another way of mounting filters or wideangle/telephoto accessories?

ruggedtoast
08-09-2004, 06:17 PM
The kind folks at Minolta have given me the website of their online manual so I can now find out how the camera works and its various functions ---

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/main/MinoltaUSA/MUSAContent/CPG/CPG_SupportCenter/CPGSupport_Manual


I cant see any threads on the lense John, there is a menu option for lens accessories that would seem to give you the option of mounting a wide converter lense , dont know about filters though.

Dave Dilks
08-09-2004, 06:17 PM
This looks to be a link to the manual in English:

Z3 manual (http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/main/MinoltaUSA/MUSAContent/CPG/CPG_Manual/CPG_Manual_Attachments/DiMAGE_Z3_E_Manual.pdf)

John_Reed
08-10-2004, 03:39 PM
The kind folks at Minolta have given me the website of their online manual so I can now find out how the camera works and its various functions ---

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/main/MinoltaUSA/MUSAContent/CPG/CPG_SupportCenter/CPGSupport_ManualI extracted this page
http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/7165816-M.jpg
from the manual you posted. To me, it looks like a legal disclaimer, but if you read it literally, it sounds like the camera must get very HOT. Have you noticed anything like that? How many shots can you get per battery charge, for example?

ruggedtoast
08-10-2004, 07:54 PM
The battery housing on the side gets a bit warm with extended use but nothing you'd really notice unless you take it fresh from another person. Its as hot as hell in Tokyo at the moment anyway!

Not including the weak ones that Minolta package Im getting about 170 - 200 shots per 4 batteries using the flah about a third of the time.

... OK I just read the bit you posted about burns, no, the batteries are certainly nice and warmed over when you change then but not dangerously so.

John_Reed
08-10-2004, 08:41 PM
The battery housing on the side gets a bit warm with extended use but nothing you'd really notice unless you take it fresh from another person. Its as hot as hell in Tokyo at the moment anyway!

Not including the weak ones that Minolta package Im getting about 170 - 200 shots per 4 batteries using the flah about a third of the time.

... OK I just read the bit you posted about burns, no, the batteries are certainly nice and warmed over when you change then but not dangerously so.I assume you're using rechargeable NiMh AA batteries? So, the disclaimer really is just that. Have you ever seen the "Thermometer" icon replacing the IS symbol?

ruggedtoast
08-11-2004, 06:10 AM
Havent got around to buying a battery recharger yet, may not bother here as Im returning to the uk in a couple of months and I guess it wouldnt work there.

The batts seem to last ok and they dont cost a lot here.

I havent seen the thermometer icon yet!

John_Reed
08-11-2004, 11:23 AM
Havent got around to buying a battery recharger yet, may not bother here as Im returning to the uk in a couple of months and I guess it wouldnt work there.

The batts seem to last ok and they dont cost a lot here.

I havent seen the thermometer icon yet!So now I'm really impressed; if you can get so many shots from alkaline batteries, you should do very well indeed on NiMh rechargeables. Very good performance!

ocunha
08-12-2004, 07:17 AM
Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a Z3. What's bad about it?

Thanks

John_Reed
08-12-2004, 08:21 AM
Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a Z3. What's bad about it?

ThanksSo far, the one "user report" from "Ruggedtoast" is good; there aren't any reviews of it on-line, as far as I know. What's bad about it? Its lens isn't quite as fast as the Panasonics - f4.5 vs. f2.8 at max zoom, which means you'll need a little more light (~1+ f-stop) to get that twilight sports shot to come out sharp. As a veteran "zoomer" with both FZ1 and FZ10 usage, I also have reservations about being able (or not able) to attach filters and teleconverters to the camera. Ruggedtoast says there are no filter threads, and I can't tell from the photos I've seen just how any adapters would be mounted. Minolta offers only a wideangle adapter lens as an accessory, so there may be some way to do it, it just isn't obvious. Once you get used to the long zoom, you get greedy for more; I use an Olympus TCON-17 with my FZ10 that gets me out to ~700mm equivalent, which is good enough to capture sparrows and jays and other small birds.

ruggedtoast
08-13-2004, 09:44 AM
Yes, Im sorry I cant give you guys a more detailed report, but I havent had a lot of time to play around with the thing and also, ill be the first to admit that I dont know an awful lot about cameras in the first instance anyway, this is my first digital.

I think I read somewhere that you can get filters and things as accessorries.

As far as bad things go, well, auto mode is sometimes a bit temperemental and I sometimes have to take things a couple of times to get the exposure right. For example when I tried to take a photo of a sunflower the other day it took the esxposure level for the dark inside of the sunflower and left the petals and the background very bleached out. It has the same problem capturing buildings with a lot of bright sky around them.

(Sometimes this is because you should use the flash and you arent, but auto doesnt seem to tell you this)

This seems to be resolvable by locking focus on something a bit lighter to lower exposure and then moving down - although there may well be many other ways adjust it - I believe in P mode you can choose how the light meter works, either as an aggregate of all the brightness on the screen or just a particular part.

Build quality , it is a lot sturdier than its predecessors but doesnt feel anything like as solid as the panasonic. If you want a camera that will last forever then , well, this one probably wont.

The panasonic would have been my first choice but its just too big. I travel around a lot and a camera that size just isnt an option for me.

If anyone has any questions about this machine in lieu of a proper reviiew Ill do my best to answer!

Crunchie
08-13-2004, 02:31 PM
Have ordered the Z3 and can't wait to have a shottie! :D Anyone any ideas when it's out officially in the UK?