Review: Konica Digital Revio KD-400Z
Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Sunday, August 4, 2002
Sunday, August 4, 2002
our review of the Konica's Digital
Revio KD-400Z ($499), we've covered cameras from almost every
manufacturer out there! The KD-400Z certainly is an eye-catching
camera, with it's ultra small, metal body, dual memory card slots,
and very cool flashing blue light. It's got more pixels than most
of the small cameras -- it competes with the likes of the Kyocera
FineCam S4, Pentax Optio 430RS, and the Sony DSC-P9.
the KD-400Z work as nicely as it looks? Find out now!
in the Box?
KD-400Z has a very good bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
4.0 (effective) Mpixel KD-400Z camera
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
featuring Adobe Photoshop Elements and drivers
14 page Quick Start manual (printed) and 117 page full manual
me get my boos and hisses out of the way first. Bad, bad Konica
for putting the camera manual on CD! The 14 page Quick Start Guide
is very basic, so you'll end up printing out the full manual
quickly. How much more would it cost them to print the whole manual?
other gripe is with the small memory card. If this was a 2 Megapixel
camera, I'd say that the 16MB Secure Digital card was adequate.
But this is a 4 Megapixel camera, and that card sure fills up quickly.
(The camera does have 2MB of internal memory as well, but that's
not much of a consolation.) You'll want to buy a 128MB card so you
can really get going with the KD-400Z. You can use Memory Sticks,
MultiMediaCards, or SD cards in this camera! But more on that later.
that I got that out of the way, here's some happier news.
camera includes the DR-LB4 Li-ion battery, which has 3.0 Watt/hours
of power. According to Konica, you'll get about 90 minutes of shooting
per charge. Inside the box you will find a charger (not the cool
ones that plug right into the wall -- a AC cable is needed) that
will refill your battery in about 2.5 hours. I'm not a big fan of
proprietary batteries (as you know), but there's really no alternative
on these ultra small cameras.
the KD-400Z has a built-in lens cover, there's no need to worry
about lens caps. The lens cover doubles as the power switch for
Camera in hand
enough for you?
only accessories I could dig up were an AC adapter and soft camera
case. No lens accessories here!
includes the excellent Adobe Photoshop Elements (v 1.0) software
for Mac and PC. This is not the Mac OS X native version of
the software. The camera itself works fine with Mac OS X and iPhoto.
you actually get the manual off the CD, you'll find that it's about
KD-400Z is one small camera, and it looks good too, with that all-metal
body. One thing those metal cameras -- and the Konica seems worse
than most -- is that it loves to show fingerprints. You've got to
take good care of this camera to keep it looking nice. The body
also scratches very easily.
does the 400Z compare in size and weight to other small cameras?
x 2.3 x 1.2
x 2.0 x 1.4
x 2.3 x 1.7
x 2.2 x 1.2
x 2.6 x 1.7
x 2.3 x 1.2
you can see, it's one of the smallest and lightest of the bunch!
The camera is very easy to hold, and the important buttons are well-placed.
I probably don't have to say this, but it easily fits in any pocket.
KD-400Z has a Hexanon Zoom lens (or is it the other way around?)
with an aperture range of F2.8 - F4.9. The focal range is 8 - 24
mm, which is equivalent to 39 - 117mm. It also happens to be the
fastest extending/retracting lens I've ever seen. It's not threaded.
above the lens is the built-in flash. The working range of the flash
is 0.5 - 3.5 m at the wide-angle end, and 0.5 - 2.0 m at full telephoto.
No external flash options are available, as you might expect. Just
below-left of the flash is the light sensor.
thing you have to watch out for is where you place your right hand
fingers. If you're not careful, you can cover up the flash or light
sensor -- or both!
there's the blue flashing light, down below the lens.
must admit that I'm a sucker for gimmicks like this. Anything with
a blue LED has got to be cool, right? At first, I was a bit puzzled
about what exactly it was for. Is it an AF illuminator? Self-timer
lamp? Hypnosis device?
it turns out, the light does three things: in normal shooting mode,
it is a visual indication that a picture is about to be taken. A
"cheese!" using lights, I guess. In self-timer, it counts
down the seconds left (as shown in the graphic above) until the
picture is taken. It also flashes a few times when the camera is
is not an AF illuminator, unfortunately.
now is the back of the KD-400Z. Konica uses a 1.5" LCD display
(with nice chrome accents!) here, and it's a nice sharp and bright
one. As you pan around, the images on the LCD follow smoothly.
optical viewfinder is strangely located right in the middle of the
camera. That means that those of you who use your right eye will
end up smudging the LCD with your nose. The viewfinder is very small,
and lacks any diopter correction feature.
the left of the viewfinder are buttons for entering playback mode,
toggling the LCD on and off, and deleting a photo.
the lower-right of the LCD, you will find the Menu/Set button, as
well as the four-way switch. In addition to menu navigation, the
four-way switch is also used for switching the shooting mode (macro
mode, landscape mode, self-timer, and combinations of the three)
and the flash mode (auto, red-eye, fill-in, slow sync, off).
the top right of the picture are the zoom controls as well as the
speaker. The zoom moves at one speed only -- fast. You can move
from wide-angle to telephoto in less than 2 seconds.
not a whole lot to see on the top of the camera -- just the microphone
and shutter release button.
the other side, you'll find the USB connector. There is no video
output on this camera.
here's the bottom of the KD-400Z, with included battery and 16MB
SD card shown.
KD-400Z is the only camera in the world to have both SD/MMC and
Memory Stick slots. It's also the only non-Sony camera to use the
Memory Stick format. I guess this is a good thing, as you can buy
whatever card is cheaper, or larger, or both!
the Konica KD-400Z
KD-400Z has one of the fastest startup times I've ever seen for
a camera with a zoom lens. It extends the lens and is ready to go
in just under two seconds. To start the camera, you just slide the
lens cover back. When you press the shutter release button halfway,
the 400Z locks focus in a second or so. The camera focuses well,
except in lower light, where the lack of an AF illuminator comes
into play. When you fully press the button, the picture is taken
speed is just average. You'll wait five seconds before you can take
another photo (at the fine quality setting).
of quality settings, here's the choices on the KD-400Z:
photos on included 16MB SD card
is no TIFF or RAW mode on the Konica. There isn't a continuous shooting
KD-400Z has a sluggish and somewhat awkward menu system. But it
is useable. Here's what you'll find in the menus:
(on/off) - enters movie mode
compensation (-1.5EV to +1.5EV in 0.3EV increments)
balance (Auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten)
Metering (center-weighted, spot)
shutter (on/off) - more below
memo - add 15 second sound clip to photos
(on/off) - images will have an brownish, old photo look to them
- adjusts LCD monitor brightness
Menu - more on this in a bit
slow shutter speed doesn't let you set the shutter speed. Rather,
it lets the camera use a wider range of shutter speeds. With this
feature turned off, the range is 1/8 - 1/2000 sec. Turn on slow
shutter mode, and the range grows to 1 - 1/2000 sec.
The 400Z has
the typical set-up menu that all digicams have. Here are the interesting
items from that menu:
format (SD, MS, int. memory) - choose which media you want to
Menu settings (basic, details) - for all the menu options listed
above, you need to choose details.
View settings (on/off) - whether or not the picture is shown on
the LCD after it is taken
display (on/off) toggles info shown on LCD
delay time (3, 10 sec)
Priority (SD, MS) - choose which memory card is written to first
enough of that, let's talk photos now.
macro test came out fairly well, but it could be better. For one,
it's not as sharp as I'd like -- it's the old "focus on the
nose" problem. Secondly, it has a bit of a brownish cast to
it (regardless of the white balance setting I tried). I noticed
this cast in some outdoors pictures too. While in macro mode, the
minimum distance to the subject is 10 cm at wide-angle and 50 cm
from a few hot pixels, the KD-400Z did a nice job with this night
scene. Don't expect me to take this shot very often, as it's rarely
this clear at night. Anyhow, the 400Z held its own against the Nikon
Coolpix 4500 and D100 that I brought along with me. I would call
the noise level acceptable. I had to turn on the slow shutter mode
in order to get this shot to come out -- it was too dark otherwise.
not sure what to call this -- redeye or demon eye? Whatever it is,
it's definitely noticeable (this shot is cropped and blown up 200%
for detail). Since the flash is so close to the the lens, the 400Z
is more likely to exhibit this phenomenon than a camera with a pop-up
flash. Thankfully, you can fix redeye in most consumer software
quality on the KD-400Z was sort of a mixed bag. Images are nicely
exposed, but quite a few of them have a brownish haze to them. I
noticed this almost exclusively in shots with lots of sky. Chromatic
aberrations were not a problem. Take a look at the photo
gallery and see if you agree!
KD-400Z has a very basic movie mode. You can film clips, with sound,
up to 15 seconds in length. They are recorded at the usual 320 x
240 resolution. Files are saved in AVI format using the M-JPEG codec.
cannot use the optical or digital zoom during filming.
is a sample movie for you to check out. It was typical SF summer
weather (read: foggy) outside so it's not great. Also, notice the
mysterious red line at the bottom of the movie.
Click to play movie (1.6MB, AVI format)
view it? Download QuickTime.
the KD-400Z has a very nice playback mode. The basic features like
slide shows, DPOF print marking, image protection, and zoom and
scroll are all here.
zoom and scroll (my term) feature lets you zoom in as much as 12X
(!) into your photo, and then smoothly scroll around in it. This
feature is nicely implemented here.
resize feature will let you downsize your images. There's no in-camera
rotation system, though.
can also copy or move images from one media card to another.
thing that really bothers me is that you can't switch between the
memory cards if you have both SD and Memory Stick cards inserted
at once. In other words, if you have both SD and MS cards inserted,
and your memory priority is SD, you can't see your photos on the
MS card unless you remove it, or change the priority. There should
be an easier way to do this!
400Z doesn't show much information about your photos other than
the bare bones. It does move through images fairly quickly though,
about 2 seconds between high resolution images.
Does it Compare?
small 4 Megapixel camera field is growing, with cameras from Olympus,
Sony, Kyocera, and now Konica. The Konica KD-400Z is a very small,
point-and-shoot camera with a nice metal body. Since it's point-and-shoot,
manual controls are very limited, though I did appreciate the slow
shutter speed mode. The KD-400Z is the only camera in the world
that supports SD/MMC cards and Memory Stick, so you can buy whichever
card is cheaper and/or larger. Photo quality is fair (but not best
in class), with a few images having a noticeable brownish cast to
them. The 400Z is very fast in terms of startup and operation (except
for shot-to-shot speed, which is average), and its easy to use.
The flashing blue light on the front is cool, but I'd rather have
a real AF illuminator instead. Also, the movie mode left much to
be desired (especially compared to Sony). Overall, the KD-400Z is
worth a look, but be sure to check out the competition carefully.
small metal body
memory, SD/MMC, and Memory Stick support!
low light performance
flashing blue light
I didn't care for:
real manual controls or continuous shooting mode
mode isn't great
cast in several photos
tends to get dirty/scratch easily
way to easily switch between memory cards in rec/play mode
16MB memory card; manual only on CD-ROM.
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try out
the KD-400Z and it's competitors before you buy!
are some other lower cost 4 Megapixel cameras to check out: Canon
PowerShot S40, Casio
Finecam S4, Minolta
DiMAGE F100, Olympus
Optio 430RS, Sony
DSC-P9, and the Toshiba
how does the photo quality stand up? Check out the sample photos
in our photo gallery!
a second opinion?
out Steve's Digicams for another
review of this camera!
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for
a personal recommendation.