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Konica Minolta's DiMAGE Z20 digital camera. Courtesy of Konica Minolta, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Konica Minolta announces DiMAGE Z20
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, January 21, 2005 - 07:59 EST)

The second announcement from Konica Minolta USA today is an update to the existing DiMAGE Z10 model that replaces that model's 3.2 megapixel imager with a 5.0 megapixel type.

The camera retains the same 8x optical zoom lens, electronic viewfinder and 1.5" LCD display as its predecessor. Other features include a burst mode of 1 frame per second, full manual controls, internal flash, 15fps VGA movie mode, 14.5MB of built-in memory and Secure Digital removeable storage, NTSC / PAL video and USB connectivity, and power from four AA batteries.

Pricing and availability for the DiMAGE Z20 have not yet been announced. Courtesy of Konica Minolta, full specifications along with a backgrounder document and press release follow below. Three sample photos taken with the camera can be seen on the company's website .


Backgrounder

New Konica Minolta 5.0-Megapixel Digital Camera: The DiMAGE Z20

Product Highlights

  • 8x optical Mega Zoom and 4x digital zoom combine for 32x total zoom
  • Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control
  • Fastest startup in its class*1—the DiMAGE Z20 is ready to shoot in approximately 0.5 second *1
  • High performance lens and 5.0-megapixel CCD with CxProcess™ III high-quality image processing technology
  • Four AA alkaline batteries power the DiMAGE Z20 for an amazing 450 frames, the most in its class *2
  • Macro mode for close-ups as near as 1 cm from the subject
  • Approximately 14.5MB of internal storage allows recording and playback without removable storage media
  • 26mm wide-angle shooting (35mm equivalent) with the optional Wide-angle Converter ZCW-200

Features

8x Optical Mega Zoom
The new DiMAGE Z20 offers photographers a wide shooting range – the 8x optical zoom lens provides focal lengths from 36-290mm (35mm equivalent) while providing focal lengths up to 1160mm (35mm equivalent) when combined with the 4x digital zoom. With the 8x optical zoom and the 4x digital zoom combining for a 32x total zoom, the DiMAGE Z20 is ideal for taking distance shots at sporting events or capturing far-away landscapes.

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 incorporates a high performance 8x optical lens consisting of 11 elements in nine groups that includes two aspheric lens elements. With two aspheric lenses, the DiMAGE Z20 corrects various kinds of optical aberrations in the zoom range and renders beautiful, homogenous, distortion-free images from the center to the edges.

5.0-Megapixel CCD for Beautiful Prints
The 5.0-megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD produces plenty of detail for creating high-quality enlargements—as big as 6x8 inches at 300-dpi print resolution. In addition, the CCD's primary color filter offers high color fidelity.

Superbly Detailed Images with CxProcess™ III
The DiMAGE Z20 incorporates CxProcess™ III, the latest evolution of Konica Minolta’s proprietary image processing technology. This means even higher resolution and the ability to capture the subtlest details of texture, resulting in photos that look as natural as the subject itself.

Fastest Startup in Its Class *1
The DiMAGE Z20 boasts an amazingly fast and smooth startup. Just switch the camera on and it’s ready to start taking great pictures in just approximately 0.5 second *1 .

Rapid Autofocus (AF) with Predictive Focus Control
Thanks to a hybrid rapid AF combining a passive AF sensor with the video AF system, focusing takes approximately 0.3 second*3. The DiMAGE Z20 includes Predictive Focus Control, which allows users to capture sharper images of moving subjects—like a child running in the backyard.

Up to Approximately 450 Frames on Four AA Alkaline Batteries
The DiMAGE Z20’s power-saving design allows users to take up to approximately 450 pictures before the four AA alkaline batteries run out. This is more images than any other digital camera in its class *2 .

Get as Close as 0.4 inches with Macro Mode
Using the camera’s Macro mode, users can shoot amazing close-ups by bringing the lens as close as 0.4 inches from their subject.

PASM Exposure Control and Metering Modes
The DiMAGE Z20 offers incredible control over exposure. There are four modes: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. The DiMAGE Z20 has three metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, and Spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure.

Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection
Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection automatically chooses the best recording mode for images. Users can also manually select from Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset and Night portrait modes.

Switch Finder
The DiMAGE Z20’s Switch Finder function allows users to view the LCD monitor images through the viewfinder (Viewfinder display) or on the LCD monitor itself (Monitor display). There is no color, contrast, or resolution difference between the images on the viewfinder and the LCD monitor because both are the same image. The viewfinder was designed with a large apparent angle of view so the image is large and clear.

Progressive Capture
The DiMAGE Z20 allows users to take high-speed consecutive shots at approximately 1 frame per second. Hold down the shutter release and the DiMAGE Z20 captures consecutive images onto the buffer memory (SDRAM). Release the shutter and the last six shots are recorded onto the memory card. This function is handy for shooting sports events or for recording and improving form in personal sports training situations.

Key Customize
For added flexibility and convenience, the flash button can be customized to handle different settings. This means that instead of going through the menus on the LCD, users can use the flash button to change settings like the drive mode, white balance, focus mode, color mode, or sensitivity.

PictBridge *4 -Compliant
Forget all about complicated connections with a PC. Get fast, fun printouts directly from the camera by connecting the DiMAGE Z20 to a PictBridge *4 -compliant printer. Users can check which images they want to print on the DiMAGE Z20’s LCD monitor and then print out their favorites in no time at all.

VGA Movie Recording
The DiMAGE Z20 can record movies without sound. It records 15-frames per second VGA-size (640x480) movies, which are much easier to view during playback than conventional QVGA-size (320x240) movies. It also records 320x240 movies at either 30 frames per second or 15 frames per second. The XR (Extended Recording) Movie mode lets users record longer movie clips onto the SD memory card until the memory card is full. Night Movie uses high camera sensitivity to record under extreme low-light conditions. And Movie Frame Capture lets users select their favorite scenes from a movie and save them as still images.

Compact and Easy to Operate
The DiMAGE Z20’s design is advanced yet familiar and easy-to-use. Despite its large 8x zoom range, it weighs just approximately 10.6 ounces. It’s also easy to tote and operate even for camera novices. The ergonomic form makes it easy to keep on holding even for those steady zoom shots.

Approximately 14.5MB of Internal Storage
The DiMAGE Z20 has approximately 14.5MB of internal storage. So if a user happens to fill up their memory card, they can still capture and play back images.

Optional Wide Converter(ZCW-200 Wide-angle Converter)
The optional Wide-angle Converter Kit allows users to fit more of the scene into each shot. The lens has a 26mm wide angle that is ideal for capturing indoor or outdoor architecture and panoramic landscape shots.

*1 Approximately 0.5 second, from when main switch is turned on until LCD monitor comes on. As of November 20, 2004, for 5.0-megapixel-class digital cameras with built-in lens system and 8x or greater zoom.
*2 As of November 20, 2004, for 5.0-megapixel-class digital cameras with built-in flash running on AA alkaline batteries. Up to approximately 450 frames with the four included AA alkaline batteries and SD memory card. Based on Konica Minolta’s standard test method and compliant with the CIPA standard.
*3 Approximately 0.3 second, based on Konica Minolta’s Standard test method.
*4 PictBridge is an industry standard established by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20
Konica Minolta's DiMAGE Z20 digital camera. Courtesy of Konica Minolta, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Number of effective pixels Approximately 5.0 million
CCD
1/2.5-inch interline primary-color CCD
Total pixels: Approximately 5.2 million
Camera sensitivity Auto and 50,100, 200, and 320 ISO equivalents
Focal length 6 - 48mm (35mm equivalent: 36 – 290mm)
Lens construction 11 elements in 9 groups
Maximum aperture f/3.2 – f/3.4
Minimum focus distance
Wide: 1.6ft (0.5m) from front of lens
Telephoto: 4.9ft (1.5m) from front of lens
Minimum macro distance
Macro Mode:
Wide: 0.4 in. (0.01m)
Tele: 23.6 in. (0.6m)
Maximum magnification
0.24x
Equivalent to 1.5x in 35mm format
Area covered at maximum magnification Approximately 1.0 x 0.7 in. (25 x 18mm)
LCD monitor
1.5-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT color
Total number of pixels: 113,000
Automatic monitor amplification
Viewfinder type Electronic Viewfinder
Field of view
Viewfinder: Approximately 98%
LCD monitor: Approximately 100 %
Display-mode switch
Viewfinder display, LCD-monitor display
Switch Finder system allows the monitor to be viewed directly or through the viewfinder.
Diopter control – 3 ~ +1m-1
Eye relief 18.8mm
Shutter CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter
Shutter speed range 4 - 1/2000
Autofocus system Rapid AF: a combination of a passive AF sensor with the video AF system
Autofocus areas
3-Point Wide Focus Area
Spot focus areas with Focus Area Selection
Focus modes Single-shot AF, Continuous AF with predictive focus control, Full-time AF, Manual focus.
Focus lock By pressing shutter-release button partway down.
Metering Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Multi-segment metering 256 segments
Exposure modes Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual
Digital Subject Programs Automatic (Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Standard) Manual (Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait.)
Exposure compensation ±2 EV in 1/3 EV increments
AE lock By pressing shutter-release button partway down
Flash range
Wide: Approximately 1.6 – 15.1 ft. (0.5 – 4.6 m) from front of lens
Telephoto: Approximately 4.9 – 15.1ft. (1.5 – 4.6 m) from front of lens
(Camera sensitivity: auto)
Flash modes Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Flash cancel, Slow-shutter sync. Autoflash not available with aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual exposure modes.
Flash recycling time Approximately 5 seconds
Flash compensation ± 2 EV in 1/3 EV increments
Flash-sync speeds All shutter speeds
Continuous advance
1.0 Frame per second (Approximately)
* Actual speed may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.
Approximate number of frames that can be captured at one time with the continuous-advance drive modes:
continuous advance
  2560 x 1920 2048 x 1536 1600 x 1200 640 x 480
Fine 3 frames 3 frames 5 frames 28 frames
Standard 4 frames 7 frames 11 frames 45 frames
Economy 9 frames 13 frames 20 frames 64 frames
* Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.
Progressive Capture
Stores images from the latest frame captured with the continuous advance.
Maximum number of images that can be recorded with the Progressive Capture mode: Maximum 6 frames (Approximately 1 frame per second)
Exposure bracketing Three frame bracket in 0.5, 0.3 EV increments
Self-timer Approximately 10 seconds, 2 seconds
Movie
Recording time dependent on memory card capacity, image size, and frame rate.
Frame rate: 15 frames per second (640x480, 320x240)
30 frames per second (320x240)
Movie frame capture, Night movie (automatic selection or disabled)
White balance control Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash), Custom
Digital Effects Control Contrast compensation, Sharpness
Contrast compensation Three levels (Low, Normal, High)
Sharpness settings Three levels (Soft, Normal, Hard)
Color modes Natural Color, Vivid Color, Black and white, Sepia
Digital zoom Maximum 4x in 0.1x increments
Languages Japanese, English, Germany, French, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified character), Italian, Swedish
Copy function
To copy single or multiple images
1).Card to card
2).Card to internal storage
3).Internal storage to card
E-mail Copy function Creates a compressed 640x480 JPEG image for transmission.
Date imprinting
Year/month/day (Format can be changed.)
Imprinting can be disabled
Key customization The function activated by the flash-mode button can be changed.
Image-quality modes Fine, Standard, Economy
Number of recorded pixels (Still images) 2560x1920, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 640x480
Number of recorded pixels (Movie clips) 640x480, 320x240
Storage capacity
Approximate storage capacity of a 14.5MB internal storage:
Still images
  2560 x 1920 2048 x 1536 1600 x 1200 640 x 480
Fine 6 frames 9 frames 14 frames 71 frames
Standard 11 frames 17 frames 28 frames 103 frames
Economy 22 frames 33 frames 48 frames 155 frames
Movie clips
  640 x 480 320 x 240
30 fps - 21 seconds
15 fps 27 seconds 43 seconds
Approximate storage capacity of a 64MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card:
Still images
  2560 x 1920 2048 x 1536 1600 x 1200 640 x 480
Fine 25 frames 38 frames 61 frames 297 frames
Standard 49 frames 74 frames 117 frames 430 frames
Economy 94 frames 138 frames 203 frames 645 frames
Movie clips
  640 x 480 320 x 240
30 fps - 1minute 31 seconds
15 fps 1 minute 56 seconds 3 minutes 3 seconds
* Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and memory card used.
File formats JPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV), DCF 2.0-compliant, DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1), Exif 2.2
Folder name formats Standard, Date
Printing output control Exif Print, PRINT Image Matching III, PictBridge
Recording media SD (Secure Digital) Memory Cards, MultiMediaCards, Internal storage (approximately 14.5MB)
Computer interface Full-speed 12Mbps data transfer with USB 2.0 compatible computer
AV output NTSC, PAL (selected on the camera)
Batteries Four AA batteries: Alkaline, Ni-MH
Battery performance (Playback) Approximate continuous playback time: 700 minutes with Alkaline batteries.
Battery performance (Recording)
Approximate number of recorded images: Approximately 450
Conforming to CIPA ( included AA alkaline batteries and SD memory card)
External power source 6V DC with specified AC adapter (sold separately)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.3 x 3.2 x 3.7 in. (109 x 82 x 94 mm)
Weight Approximately 10.6oz. (300g) without batteries or recording media
Operating temperature 32-104°F (0-40ºC)
Standard accessories Neck Strap NS-DG800, Lens Cap LF-243B, Video Cable VC-400, USB Cable USB-3, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM, Four AA, Alkaline batteries
Optional accessories AC Adapter AC-11, Camera Case CS-DG1000, Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000, Wide-angle Converter ZCW-200
.

Original Source Press Release:

KONICA MINOLTA INTRODUCES THE SPEEDY NEW DiMAGE Z20 DIGITAL CAMERA

Featuring Fastest-in-Class *1 Startup, 8x Optical “Mega Zoom” lens, 5.0-Megapixel CCD, and Energy Efficient Design *2

Mahwah, NJ (January 24, 2005) – Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc. introduces the new DiMAGE Z20 5.0-megapixel digital camera. Featuring a built-in 8x optical zoom lens, the DiMAGE Z20 is perfect for taking high quality close-up portraits as well as distant scenic landscapes. And with the camera’s Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control and a 0.5-second (approx.) fastest-in-class startup *1 , photographers will be sure to captures those unexpected photographic opportunities.

“In creating the new DiMAGE Z20 digital camera, Konica Minolta engineers have succeeded in producing the ideal solution for both first-time digital photographers and those consumers upgrading from earlier generations of digital cameras,” said Todd Schrader, vice president of marketing for Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc. “Nearly all consumers share a common expectation of unparalleled ease-of-use and images of the highest quality. Thanks to the DiMAGE Z20’s powerful built-in optical zoom lens plus its large 1.5-inch LCD screen, composing and taking terrific digital pictures has never been easier or more effective.”

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20’s 8x optical Mega Zoom lens and 4x digital zoom combine for a total 32x zoom, allowing users to capture everything from sporting events to panoramic scenery. The optical lens system consists of 11 elements in nine groups and includes two aspheric lenses, a construction that adds up to sharp, high-quality images. The new DiMAGE Z20 combines a 5.0-megapixel primary-color CCD with proprietary CxProcess™ III image processing technology for pictures that are exactly the way the photographer sees them.

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20’s Rapid AF combines a passive AF sensor with the video AF system, giving a fast focusing time of approximately 0.3 second *3 in both the wide-angle and telephoto positions. The Rapid AF also has Predictive Focus Control, which predicts where a moving subject is heading and focuses accordingly. To round out the list of quick-response features, the DiMAGE Z20 has the fastest startup in its class*1 (approximately 0.5 seconds), a short shutter-release time lag, and continuous shooting.

Not only is the DiMAGE Z20 a sprinter with its fast startup – it’s also a marathon champ with power efficiency that allows users to take up to approximately 450 frames with the four included AA alkaline batteries. This is more shots than any other digital camera in its class *2 .

The DiMAGE Z20 has a Macro mode that allows photographers to bring the lens as close as 0.4 inches from the subject. Capture the smallest subjects—flowers, insects, or jewelry—with the greatest detail.

In addition to all its still shooting features, the DiMAGE Z20 can also take high-quality movie clips in VGA (640x480) size.

Despite its large 8x optical zoom lens, the DiMAGE Z20 weighs just approximately 10.6 ounces. Its ergonomic form gives users a steady grip while its intuitive control button layout makes it easy even amateur photographers to enjoying all the benefits of digital photography.

About Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc.
Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc., headquartered in Mahwah, NJ, is the North American sales and marketing subsidiary of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan). On August 5, 2003 Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. was formed to enhance both the competitive business capabilities and earning capacities of Konica Corporation and Minolta Co., Ltd.

Consumers around the world have come to know and trust the Konica and Minolta brands for all their imaging needs. Since the earliest days of the photo industry, Minolta and Konica have applied their talents and resources to create products and services that are essential to the world of imaging. Today, these efforts concentrate on the most important aspects of imaging: the quality of the images, the tools and methods for creating images, and the creation of environments for the application of images.

This focus on the essentials of imaging ties together the company’s key business and consumer product lines. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of 35mm and Advanced Photo System film, single-use cameras, digital and 35mm film cameras, accessory lenses, binoculars, photographic and color measurement meters. In addition the company offers color print photo papers, inkjet photo paper, digital minilabs, digital film scanners, optical instruments, software and advanced imaging and sensing technologies. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc. also provides wholesale photofinishing services and Internet imaging services. It is a complete imaging company, from input through output. For more information about Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc., its products and services, visit www.kmpi.konicaminolta.us.

All brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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