Review posted for Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3|
(Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 00:55 EDT)
The original DiMAGE Z1 was clearly one of the best long-zoom digicam bargains on the market, a fact that no doubt contributed to its being one of the most popular cameras on the entire IR site during its release year.
When the Z2 came along, it extended the Z1's already marvelous capabilities with a higher-resolution CCD chip, expanded continuous shooting and movie mode options, and a few other more minor enhancements, while still selling at about the same price as the Z1 did. Now, the Z3 model ups the ante again, further enhancing the same core capabilities with an impressive 12x optical zoom lens and new Anti-Shake feature that reduces blurring from minor camera movement.
Anti-shake technology is something consumers have been largely unaware of, or tended to discount in the past, but its importance is hard to overstate on a long-zoom camera like the Z3. If your budget can handle the $50-100 premium that image stabilization typically adds to a long-zoom digicam, you'll almost certainly not regret the investment: The difference it makes in practical usability of a long-zoom digicam like the Z3 is quite amazing.
Once again, I'm impressed with the way the Z3 combines a novice-friendly design with a surprising array of advanced features to satisfy more expert users. While I'd like to see just a bit higher color saturation, the DiMAGE is a really enjoyable camera to use, absolutely recommended for those in the long-zoom market, and definitely a "Dave's Pick." Check it out!