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"Picky Details" for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing

When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time or delay before the shutter actually fires. This corresponds to the time required for the autofocus and autoexposure mechanisms time to do their work, and can amount to a fairly long delay in some situations. Since this number is rarely reported on (and even more rarely reported accurately), and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, I routinely measure both shutter delay and shot to shot cycle times for all cameras I test, using a test system I designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20:

 

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.4
Quite fast. (No need for lens to telescope out first.)
Shutdown
0.5 - 11
First time is simple shutdown, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Also fairly fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.2
Time until first shot is captured. Good.
Record to play
3.2 / 1.2
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card. A little slow.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.66 / 0.67
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Quite good, better than average, especially for a long-zoom model.

Shutter lag, continuous autofocus

1.059
Gosh, what's it doing ? It focuses, then seems to take forever to actually shoot. (I really can't recommend continuous autofocus mode.)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.420
On the slow side of average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.108
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Pretty fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.55 / 2.0

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots at an irregular pace, and clears the buffer after every two shots. In TV mode, maintains this pace and clears the buffer after each shot. OK speed, but nothing to write home about.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.30 / 0.30
(3.33 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 3 shots this fast, then slows to about 2 seconds per shot. In TV mode, maintains this pace indefinitely. Buffer clears in 2 seconds for large/fine images, 11 seconds for lowest resolution. Quite fast, but limited buffer depth. Good for a camera of its class though.

 

Good startup speed, good shutter response, average cycle times. The Konica Minolta Z20 starts up fairly quickly, and is more responsive to the shutter than most cameras I test, with full-autofocus shutter delays right around 0.67 second, regardless of zoom setting. Shot to shot cycle times were average, at 2.55 seconds/frame for large/fine JPEGs, but continuous-mode speed was quite fast at 3.3 frames/second, albeit for only 3 frames before the buffer filled. Not bad for an attractively priced long-zoom camera.

 

Power

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 uses four AA batteries for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@6 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(four 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
307 mA
250
Capture Mode, w/EVF
290 mA
265
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
306 mA
251
Half-pressed w/EVF
288 mA
267
Memory Write (transient)
292 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1219 mA
n/a
Image Playback
160 mA
479

 

Excellent battery life. Even among cameras powered by four AA cells (many cameras these days use only two), the Konica Minolta Z20's battery life is really excellent. Worst case run time is projected at over four hours for "standard" 1600 mAh NiMH cells, and would be more than five hours with modern, high-capacity cells. Run time in playback mode is an astonishing eight hours.

 

Storage Capacity

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 stores its photos on SD/MMC memory cards or in approximately 14.5 MB of internal memory. No memory card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 128 MB card, preferably a 256 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
14.5 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
Basic
2560 x 1920
Images
(Avg size)
6
2.5 MB
11
1.3 MB
22
671 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 22:1
2048 x 1536
Images
(Avg size)
9
1.6 MB
17
850 KB
33
458 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 21:1
1600 x 1200
Images
(Avg size)
14
1.3 MB
28
540 KB
49
311 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
19:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
71
213 KB
103
147 KB
155
98 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1
9:1

 

Download Speed

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 764 KBytes/second, a very respectable rate. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast v1.1 interfaces run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)

Z20 Review
Z20 Test Images
Z20 Specifications
Z20 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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