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Old Thursday 24th February 2005, 20:12   #26
Jean-Jacques Tr
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Good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry B
Got on to site but pictures did n,t appear,will try again later..
You should see a folder call minolta z5 . All the pictures are in that folder.
Good luck. If you can't is their a way to post them in birdforom.net ?
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Old Thursday 24th February 2005, 20:47   #27
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pictures

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You should see a folder call minolta z5 . All the pictures are in that folder.
Good luck. If you can't is their a way to post them in birdforom.net ?
Got them this time,interesting photo,s for comparison.
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Old Friday 25th February 2005, 12:26   #28
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Hello,

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Originally Posted by Henry B
Got on to site but pictures did n,t appear,will try again later..
Did you get the picture?
I will put more with the blurry i was talking about. I will let you know.

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Old Friday 25th February 2005, 19:23   #29
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I have recently bought the Z5 as an upgrade to the Canon S40. Generally the image quality is very good, though the picture tend to be too soft if you use the auto mode. Fortunately there is plenty of room for exposure adjustments.

It does become noisy above ISO160 but this seems to be the same with the majority of the superzoom digicams. The AF is very fast and the zoom is excellent.

I have tried to attach some pictures, apologies if they aren't too exciting but I am new to this type of photography
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Old Friday 25th February 2005, 21:24   #30
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WElcome to Birdforum ,Cookster. I think some others will be interested in the photo,s ,
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Old Saturday 26th February 2005, 11:35   #31
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Being disappointed with indoor shots sounds about right for the Z5. I have a Z1 and have always been disappointed with indoor shots. Because of the low iso shots taken in shade arent always so good either. When I first got my z1 I got blurry images for a while until I learnt to use it properly. I would imagine the Z5 is the same. IM sure that this camera has quite a large potential.
Your photos look quite good cookster though shooting on the automode rarely produces really satisfying results with this camera. Try to come off auto and play around more with the manual settings. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

My brother works for expansies and I know that they have stocks of the Z5. I have had the Z1 for 14 months and have never had any problems with it.
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 19:41   #32
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You can go to this link to have a professional review: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca...il.php?cam=673
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 19:42   #33
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This is their main page for all camera review

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraList.php
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 22:04   #34
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Hello all - I've owned this camera for 15 days now. My major gripe is the fact that Konica Minolta UK sent out a batch of these to Warehouse Express with no user manual included. They then offered to sell me one for 10!

Eventually, and to date, I have received four! - 2 from Minolta and 2 from Warehouse Express (who had a batch sent) - this was after I had to complain and requested numbers for the head of customer service, eventually Minolta Uk then relented.

Intersting to note I have received four manuals, and each have arrived in an envelope without an apology, letter or even a compliment slip.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I did a mega review on here a few days ago and inexplicably lost it when I tried to preview it!

The DC Review is much better than I can produce, so I'll not repeat. The sharpening can be done in camera, which helps (or photoshop of course). Having not owned any of the other minolta Z range, I can't comment on the difference, but if I was a Z3 owner, I wouldn't upgrade to this.

Camera prices have tumbled and a year or two back I'd have thought for 279 (delivered) this was a good purchase, but I'm reliably informed that is not cheap for a digital camera with 5Mp and 12x image stabiliser etc. - Still what do I know compared to the 4/5Mp Vivitar users with 3x digital zoom for less than 150 on Bid TV or Price Drop TV?

Many years ago, i was a serious SLR photographer. Now I find it fun, so I'm not overly concerned at this camera lack of long exposure (bulb setting) - the days of me timing 60 sec exposures at firework displays or thunderstorms are long gone. It's also fun to get back to basics and use aperture or shutter priority modes again. With the added bonus of switching to auto or programme for others to "point and shoot".

Remember, this camera was only purchased to photograph those birds to close for scoping and too far away for the 4500 @ 4x - one thing that isn't mentioned in the review, the digital zoom works surprisingly well.

In good light the iso 50 will produce great results and the iage stabiliser DOES work - who knows, I might even start to use macro mode - something that never interested me before.

My main gripe with this setup is the optional extras. the zoom is 35-420mm equivalent - there is a wide-angle adaptor (could have made it wider to start with?) there is NO telephoto adaptor/converter - I'd have thought as the current vogue is for superzooms, a 1.4/1.7x converter would have been a good idea? The camera hot-shoe has 3 flashes available, cheapest one being 130+ - I'd have thought more might have gone into the built-in flash. The 15 quid case in handy to carry/protect (fits a trouser belt) - would have been nice to have been included. 60 for an optional AC adapter (included with my Fuji) and of course the ludicrous inclusion of a 16MB SD card.

Them are just my opinions (and whinges!) - the $10,000 question would I recommend purchase? - well, yes if it is your first digital camera, or you're upgrading from a very basic model. Although it isn't perfect, it is still very good.

On the other hand, if I had the Z3 or similar Panasonic (forget the model) indeed any of the big MP/Zoom cameras, it would be fairly pointless upgrading.

The battery life is good, and 4xNiMh or better 8 or 12 with a fast charger (mine is two hours per set) are essential. Main reason is the viewfinder is not very good at all if like me, you wear specs. The large LCD is greatly suited for this, and the better battery life if fully justified, or fully justifies using the LCD screen - if you follow..

I've not posted any prints on here - the review is of the camera, not my pics - besides I've only been out once and that in a blizzard. As already told, indoor use is poor.

Apologies for rambling, and any gobbledigook as I'm not risking previewing and losing this review a second time!

Having used the edit button, I forgot to mention and have just noticed I never got the paper manual for the software either, but care not - life is too short (it's on disk anyway).

May I add at this point & having re-read this post, it sounds a very negative and harsh review. This is really a good camera, very good, and certainly worth the (reasonable) cost - my point is it's not a great camera, but then it doesn't pretend to be. Ergonomically, it looks and feels good - which many people feel important, and also, there are enough menus to satisfy the button pushers amongst us.

Steve

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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 22:26   #35
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Thanks Steve and Jean for comments,suppose its not all that bad for the money then. Is it worth spending much more dosh for the Sony or new Panasonic?
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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 20:19   #36
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Well it depends what you want to use it for. IanF uses the Panasonic (I think) assuming it's the high zoom model with stabiliser. Not sure about the Sony or the prices.

I'm sure Ian and I will meet up again, and then can do a comparison test?

Depending on what camera you already have.

I like Sony TV/Video/DVD's but don't like Sony Digital Camera (just personal preference). - A mate i work with wouldn't have anything as cheap and tacky as Sony HI FI/Audio visual gear!. Saying that, he paid 160 for an original 45rpm single at a record fair for a Shirelles song. - each to their own I think.

Don't spend too much time deliberating, get your pennies spent;-)

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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 20:45   #37
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I do ahve the Panasonic FZ20. It's a well specified camera and can take some good photos. Two reservations from it being an outstanding camera to my mind are the grainy images in low light - though it has a powerful built in flash - but you need to remember to use it and it has a tendancy to chromatic aberration on bright edges.
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Old Monday 14th March 2005, 08:37   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanF
I do ahve the Panasonic FZ20. It's a well specified camera and can take some good photos. Two reservations from it being an outstanding camera to my mind are the grainy images in low light - though it has a powerful built in flash - but you need to remember to use it and it has a tendancy to chromatic aberration on bright edges.
As you know, I am about to purchase an fz20. I handled the z5 on saturday and really found it hard to get to grips with the manual focussing being a rangefinder arrangement adjusted via the four way button on the back of the camera. At higher magnification the movement caused when pressing the four way made it tough to keep on target when using the evf at least. I do feel that the manual focus ring around the lens of the fz20 will be much easier to handle as I'm used to that arrangement on my 35mm slr.

After I had said that I think I'd been put off the z5 the guy in the shop said he didn't rate it as a camera either because he didn't feel that the lens mechanism was reliable enough. Not quite sure what he meant by that, perhaps autofocus is a bit 'dodgy' in some situations?

Despite the extra cost and the worries I have about proprietry batteries and possibly weight I have convinced myself that the panasonic is the 12x zoom to go for at this moment. Just my opinions though, I'm sure that the minolta z5 will be a good camera for some and it does look funky!

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Old Monday 14th March 2005, 18:29   #39
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There is a review on the Z5 in this weeks Digital Camera Shopper, magazine out on the 17th this week...
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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 21:34   #40
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After I had said that I think I'd been put off the z5 the guy in the shop said he didn't rate it as a camera either because he didn't feel that the lens mechanism was reliable enough. Not quite sure what he meant by that, perhaps autofocus is a bit 'dodgy' in some situations?

Woody
I repeat again, this camera is exactly what you'd expect it to be when working indoors - poor!- the autofocus works really well in good/natural light - the camera shop owner has possibly never bothered testing the camera in a "real" environment.

I'm all for criticism, and critical reviews, but preferably one based on actual use. I can honestly say that this is a different camera when used outdoors - quite often indoors it will not focus.

Caveat, it's still a sub-280 camera not a top digital SLR

Bottom line - if upgrading from a 3x digital zoom, or fixed digital camera this will be worth the money
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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 21:36   #41
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There is a review on the Z5 in this weeks Digital Camera Shopper, magazine out on the 17th this week...
Never knew there was such a mag Henry - I'll have a look - Kyocera per chance?
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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 21:48   #42
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z5

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There is a review on the Z5 in this weeks Digital Camera Shopper, magazine out on the 17th this week...
Well so much for the review ,it was not in the b----y mag. its a spin off of Digital Camera Magazine.. this week is issue 25..
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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 23:19   #43
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www.

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Well so much for the review ,it was not in the b----y mag. its a spin off of Digital Camera Magazine.. this week is issue 25..
The web ad for this mag is www.dcmag.co.uk has some interesting stuff.
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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 23:36   #44
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I have found all your comments very interesting. I was in a quandry for ages as to whether to buy the z5 or to go for a slr. I have been an avid user of the Z1 for about 18 months and as a first serious zoom camera it suited me very well.
I think all these camera shop sellers do is read the reviews. I certainly dont think they have ever used them. If anyone doubts the abilities of this camera (and I am sure the z5 is even better) then visit my website below.
As mentioned above as a first camera it is excellent. It has a good fast focus and is easy to operate. The only thing that really annoyed me was the endless fine tuning the camera needed for nearly ever shot (in semi automatic) If you are after real quality then an slr is what is really needed. In the end I opted for the canon 300d and when doing a comparison of like for like shot there simply is no comparison. In the end the old adage is true. You get what you pay for
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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 08:11   #45
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Originally Posted by Quacker
I repeat again, this camera is exactly what you'd expect it to be when working indoors - poor!- the autofocus works really well in good/natural light - the camera shop owner has possibly never bothered testing the camera in a "real" environment.

I'm all for criticism, and critical reviews, but preferably one based on actual use. I can honestly say that this is a different camera when used outdoors - quite often indoors it will not focus.

Caveat, it's still a sub-280 camera not a top digital SLR

Bottom line - if upgrading from a 3x digital zoom, or fixed digital camera this will be worth the money
You're probably right, the camera shop in question was a Jessops - I've not been impressed with thier advice since they sold me a 500 lens which would not work with my SLR. It was fine until you put film in the camera then it all went pear shaped. I only mentioned his comment as extra 'grist for the mill.'

I think the z5 will be a great little camera with good capabilities for many people, that's why it has taken me so long to decide between it and the z20.

After all's said and done you have to go with what feels right for you as an individual and that's why it is so important to try these gadgets out before you buy.

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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 08:29   #46
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After all's said and done you have to go with what feels right for you as an individual and that's why it is so important to try these gadgets out before you buy.

Woody
This is so right. For me the proof was in the pudding. The Z series is great for close up work and the macros lens is quite superb but for any kind of distance work, despite the 10x optocal zoom , the quality just isnt there. There is far too much noise, which is why in the end I went for the slr.
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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 12:34   #47
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Originally Posted by Quacker
I repeat again, this camera is exactly what you'd expect it to be when working indoors - poor!- the autofocus works really well in good/natural light - the camera shop owner has possibly never bothered testing the camera in a "real" environment.

I'm all for criticism, and critical reviews, but preferably one based on actual use. I can honestly say that this is a different camera when used outdoors - quite often indoors it will not focus.
The problem in low light is the lack of an autofocus assist light. The sad thing is that the image stabilising should make it really good for available light shooting.

I have a Z3 and am more than pleased with its daylight performance. The IS makes the extra zoom usable hand-held.
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Old Tuesday 12th April 2005, 15:03   #48
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Focus is a tradeoff with this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Rae
The problem in low light is the lack of an autofocus assist light. The sad thing is that the image stabilising should make it really good for available light shooting.

I have a Z3 and am more than pleased with its daylight performance. The IS makes the extra zoom usable hand-held.
I'll second both these points... (Does that mean I'm fourthing the overall post?)

The focus limitations, I think, reflect the fact that this camera is aiming squarely at amateur nature photographers. An assist light would be great for birthday parties, wouldn't it? I don't see how it's going to help with bitterns a quarter mile away.

My rambling personal review, based on having my Z5 for a week and taking it out a handful of times, would go something like:

Like everyone posting, I was tempted by this as a potential "in between" choice. While I would like to imagine spending my spare hours carefully coaxing a Leica scope with dSLR into taking near-professional shots from my shrewdly-placed blind, my few scopes and my old film SLR taught me that life just won't work out that way often enough to justify the expense. (My expeditions on that scale mostly involve getting two 11-year-olds into the car with our newfie.) But a 12x, image stabilized zoom on something I can carry in my jacket pocket? That's a real sweet spot. The Z5 also has some other minor edges over the competition in my book -- 5MP to Canon's 3.2, AA batteries so one can use rechargeables but there's backup in a pinch, 12x as opposed to 10x, a truly thoughtful design that I liked *much* better than Canon's or Panasonic's on balance.

The Z5 does sometimes struggle focusing in low light and indoors. I would have been closer to ecstatic with this camera if its manual focus was something like an old fashioned ring on the front of the lens mounting. Instead you're using a little rocker "menu pad" for focus, and like many ill-chosen digital controls it's slower and less flexible and less pleasing than the analog original.

In low, pre-dawn light at the higher end of its zoom, I've gotten fairly noisy images. In general, in anything but full daylight you're going to get noisier results the higher the zoom goes. (Anyone ever looked through a middle-class zoom scope? This tradeoff will not be new to you. It's certainly a useable image for documenting a bird, but it's not going to win you any art prizes without some real creativity on your part.)

I followed the advice of the Digital Camera Resource site and have been perfectly happy with the sharpness set to "hard" in the manual settings. On default settings the words "somewhat soft" would be accurate.

As for dramatic pluses, the IS is a godsend. On the long end of the zoom in true daylight I'm perfectly happy with the results, and I've gotten more than a few real smiles just while learning my way along. After some experimentation, I'm finding the various drive settings and the autofocus approaches I need to use with them. It's got a healthy range of burst modes for this grade of camera, 10 fps for up to 20 shots at a time if you'll give up some resolution, and among the best possible "movie modes" out there if you care about that. I've found some minor annoyances -- certain drive modes that black out the viewfinder at inopportune moments -- but with some experience and more conscious use, I'm sure these are going to be useful.

I'm also very pleasantly surprised with the results I've gotten using the Z5's Macro and "Super Macro" modes. I'm a prairie gardener -- plants native to Minnesota in this case -- and as spring gets along here I'm very happily anticipating flowers, bugs, and especially the spiders, in my garden. Hummingbirds near our Colorado cabin have me practically salivating to use normal macro mode and the zoom from a few feet away. Especially with the time to go fully manual, spiders will be a wonder.

Main Pros (next to competition):
Longer zoom than some with solid IS feature, macro modes, burst modes, movie mode, several other practical details that convince me I'll use this more than I would use the alternatives. (As they say [abbreviate] in IM, "your mileage may vary" on those practical points.)

Main Cons:
Focus in low light/indoors, especially at higher zoom. Obviously is not a digital SLR... but then I'm pretty convinced I'll use this much more often than I would an SLR.

Do what I did and compare it in person next to the other options on something like the Digital Camera Resource site. The Panasonic models were tops on my list until I tried them all, and I'd thought I was going to go with the somewhat older Canon model with the 10x and 3.2 MB resolution.
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2005, 10:22   #49
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Macro mode experience

Does anyone have experiences, good or bad, with photographing bugs, butterflies, etc with this camera? I currently use a Canon 20D and use a Tamron 28-300 zoom for such images - if I am carrying it, if not I have to stand about 5 feet (1.5m) away to use my 300 f4 macro+1.4x teleconverter. So I have been considering getting a 150 or 180mm macro lens, which would bring the minimum focus down to about 1 foot (30cm).
An obvious alternative is to have something like the Z5 with which I would hope to be able to use much closer to the subject, and maybe get a bigger depth of field. And it should still allow me to take pictures of dragonflies and butterflies perched 20 feet (6m) away.

Examples of what I would be aiming to at least equal:
Tamron (okay but not exactly sharp):
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/all/page/1
Canon (one of my better efforts, but it was really awkward getting a clear shot from 5 feet and is only all in focus because the subject is wings closed):
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/all/page/1
and to demonstrate difficulty of getting the focus correct when you don't have a clear view of the subject:
http://www.eimagesite.net/s1/gst/run...agen&prid=2114

I have better shots than these, I am just saying its the minimum I would be aiming for.

PS what is the start up time?

Thanks
Hugh

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Old Saturday 11th October 2008, 12:02   #50
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Just re-read this as I recently parted with this camera. Now I collect optics and hate parting with them but I sort of kept it in the family. Last year I purchased my other half a Samsung camera (7x optical zoom) which proved a little tricky to use.

So I swapped for the point-and-shoot Z5 and its 12x optical. So this 3 year old plus camera has a new lease of life and being used for non-birding but everyday family moments. Perhaps that's what it should have been for all along. It's results are brilliant - stick it on auto and go.
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