Full review posted for Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5|
(Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 11:56 EST)
The Konica Minolta Z-series of long zoom digital cameras have consistently led the market in features and value in the long-zoom category.
While the market has become more crowded, Konica Minolta has maintained their place, and the DiMAGE Z5's only real competitors currently are Panasonic's FZ5 and FZ20 models. (They being the only long-zoom cameras equipped with anti-shake technology anywhere near the Konica Minolta Z5's price point.)
The Z5 handles well, its anti-shake greatly extends the utility of its long zoom lens, and it's just plain fun to use. (Surely a critical factor in any camera purchase decision.) It produces good-looking prints up to about 11x14 in size, and you can extract a fair bit more detail from its images if you're willing to shoot with the in-camera sharpening set to "low" and then do some unsharp masking in Adobe Photoshop™ or a similar image-processing application.
As noted in the review, the Z5's color saturation is lower than that of many consumer cameras. While technically more accurate than consumer cams with pumped-up color, and therefore perhaps more pleasing to advanced shooters, some consumers may find its images a little dull in comparison. Image noise is also an issue, with the camera trading away significant subject detail at ISOs of 200 and above. It's important to take into consideration how you intend to enjoy your pictures: While the image noise is glaringly obvious when viewed on a CRT pixel-for-pixel, at print sizes of 5x7 and below, the noise is quite acceptable, and at 4x6 print sizes, it entirely ceases to be an issue.
All in all, the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 offers a tremendous amount of "bang for the buck," packing a long zoom lens, fast shutter response, anti-shake technology, and a host of "enthusiast" features into a compact package at an affordable price point. If you're in the market for a long-zoom digital camera with a wealth of features, the Konica Minolta Z5 should be on your short list of candidates. Read our Konica Minolta Z5 review for all the details!