Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20
Review Date: April 21st 2005
(out of 5 stars)
I reviewed the 3 megapixel Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10 in November 2004 and commented that it was "an amazing camera at an amazing price which you should go and buy at once". Less than 6 months on and now it's the turn of the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20. With a 5 megapixel sensor, the Z20 offers more pixels than its predecessor, but unfortunately this goes hand-in-hand with poorer image quality. Images from the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 exhibit more noise and chromatic aberrations than images from the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10. The new 5 megapixel sensor may be a great idea on paper, but in practice the only benefit that it offers is the ability to make slightly larger prints. In virtually all other respects the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 is the same as the Z10, which is perhaps the other main point of concern. Some aspects of the design should perhaps have been updated along with the sensor - the 1.5 inch LCD screen looks very small in today's market, and the exposed memory card slot is still a bad idea.
Having said all that, the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 is still a very good entry level camera that will allow your photography skills to flourish as you gain more experience, whilst not being too intimidating for complete beginners. If you are just getting seriously interested in photography and want the immediate feedback of a digital camera without spending too much, the DiMAGE Z20 would be a wise investment. Konica Minolta have also included a great 8x optical zoom that provides a zoom range of 36-290mm, probably all that you will ever need (and there is an optional wide-angle lens accessory available anyway). As if that wasn't enough, the camera is easy to use both externally and in terms of the menu system, with fast operation and a great macro mode.
So the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 is something of a backward step when compared to the older Z10, although still a good camera in its own right. If you are happy with 3 megapixel images, go for the Z10. If you must have 5 megapixels, then the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 is a solid buy.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.