Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
Review Date: April 25th 2005
(out of 5 stars)
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 is almost twice the price of the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 that I reviewed last week, but is it twice the camera? The Z5 has several key features that differentiate it from the cheaper Z20. The 12x zoom offers an increased focal range of 36-420mm, whilst the built-in image stabilisation really will make a difference to your photos, allowing you to effectively handhold the camera and get the best out of that massive zoom. The larger 2 inch LCD screen makes a big difference when using the menu system and playing back images. Build quality is generally better, although there is actually more flex in the design around the handgrip area than on the cheaper Z20. Other poorly implemented features on the Z20 have been fixed in the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5, like the exposed memory card slot, and the way in which you switch between the EVF and the LCD screen is now electronically operated. The Z5 also offers a raised pop-up flash and a hotshoe that supports several dedicated flashguns. Image quality is slightly better on the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 with less evidence of chromatic aberrations, although like the Z20 it does produce very noisy images at ISO 200 and above.
So compared to the cheaper Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20, the Z5 is undoubtedly a better camera and probably worth paying twice the price for (just). It's a very good camera that will allow your photography skills to flourish as you gain more experience, whilst not being too intimidating for complete beginners, and the full range of manual exposure controls is very welcome for more experienced users. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 is easy to use both externally and in terms of the menu system, with fast operation, effective continuous shooting and focusing and a great macro mode. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 is a fantastic carry-everywhere, compact digital camera with features and performance that will cover most situations - only the high noise levels spoil an otherwise great overall package.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.