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Minolta Dimage Z!

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Old Sunday 12th October 2003, 10:55   #1
brianfellows
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Minolta Dimage Z!

Anyone had any experience with the Minolta Dimage Z1? Big advert in the weekend Telegraph alerted me to its possibilities as a birding camera with a 10x zoom. Not sure of its digiscoping capabilities though.
Thanks Brian
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Old Sunday 12th October 2003, 11:46   #2
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Hi Brian,

This is a camera that I am considering too. It's a bit of a strange design and I'm not too certain whether it would be any use for digiscoping, but I'll be looking at one this week all being well if Jessops have got them in stock yet.

Jamey15 has one already and has posted his first thoughts on it here Minolta Z1

DPReview have also had look at it DPReview of Z1

Personally I'm looking for a replacement for my Olympus C2100UZ to use with teleconverter lenses. The Z1 is a contender along with the Olympus C750 and C730. Panasonic have a new one coming out shortly too with a 12x optical zoom and more MB, but I'm not sure whether it takes add-on lenses.
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Old Sunday 12th October 2003, 13:37   #3
brianfellows
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Minolta Dimage Z1

Hi Ian
I have looked at a whole load of reviews which are very positive about the camera, though nothing specific about digiscoping. I have decided to go for it and see how it goes. I'm attracted by the 10x zoom for nature photos generally. You can get it for about 275 inc postage - look in Google. Will keep you informed.
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Old Tuesday 14th October 2003, 07:50   #4
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Sigh!

I took my scope into a shop yesterday to check out the Z1 regarding Digiscoping.
Scope: Opticron ES80 20-60 HDF Zoom set at 20x. Rubber on eyepiece rolled down.
Set camera and scope on seperate triposd to position camera to scope lens as close as possible without shakes.

Looking into LCD without any zoom on camera. A tiny light hole in cetre of scope. Vignetting is terrible
Full Zoom on camera. The area recognisable covered perhaps the area a circle in the middle of the LCD about 12mm in circumference.
I am really disappointed. I really liked the camera. Needless to say( but I'm going to say it ), I didn't get the camera.
I also looked through the Fuji Finepix S602 with its 6x optical zoom. The vignetting was not as bad as the Z1 but still unacceptable.
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Old Wednesday 15th October 2003, 10:05   #5
Andy Bright
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Quote:
Originally posted by IanF


Personally I'm looking for a replacement for my Olympus C2100UZ to use with teleconverter lenses. The Z1 is a contender along with the Olympus C750 and C730. Panasonic have a new one coming out shortly too with a 12x optical zoom and more MB, but I'm not sure whether it takes add-on lenses.
The new Panasonic does look very good. It may have a filter thread on the lens but I wouldn't advise attaching a heavy teleconverter onto it. The real plus points are the i.s. system and the amazing f2.8 from 38mm-420mm. But is 420mm enough for most birds?
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Old Wednesday 15th October 2003, 14:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy Bright
The new Panasonic does look very good. It may have a filter thread on the lens but I wouldn't advise attaching a heavy teleconverter onto it. The real plus points are the i.s. system and the amazing f2.8 from 38mm-420mm. But is 420mm enough for most birds?
But its only 2Mp.

A theoretical question!.

If you took a picture with a camera witch has a x10 zoom like the Z1 with a maximum size of 2048x1536.
You viewed the pic with an optical zoom of x 2 and and cropped and resized it. Are you effectively looking at a 1024x768 taken at x20?, Going even further, a 512x384 @ 40x ?.
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Old Wednesday 15th October 2003, 15:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by alan_rymer
But its only 2Mp.

A theoretical question!.

If you took a picture with a camera witch has a x10 zoom like the Z1 with a maximum size of 2048x1536.
You viewed the pic with an optical zoom of x 2 and and cropped and resized it. Are you effectively looking at a 1024x768 taken at x20?, Going even further, a 512x384 @ 40x ?.
Sorry, should have made it clearer that I was talking about the DMC-FZ10 Panasonic DMZ-FZ10 as Ian mentioned, rather than the Z1

As to cropping to enlarge (not resizing) yes, you'll double the size of the subject and therefore the 'magnification' ...o.k. for a web pic but you'll be stretching things for printing at any quality.
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Old Wednesday 15th October 2003, 20:48   #8
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I have given the Dimage Z1 a try with my Kowa TS scope with 20-40 zoom and the results were not good. It is possible to get a full picture without vignetting with the camera on 10x zoom held up the eyepiece, but I could not keep it still. It is quite a heavy camera to hold. The results are much better with my ultra light Coolpix 775. However, I will continue to experiment. Apart from this limitation the Z1 is a nice camera and in my price range. The 10x zoom is wonderful and the pictures produced so far are very good.
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Old Friday 17th October 2003, 23:44   #9
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I have been using the Minolta Dimage Z1 for a couple of days. The macro is super. Today I got a lovely pic of a Clouded Yellow. The problem with digiscoping is keeping the thing still. I paid a visit to the local Jessops and purchased a clamp/table tripod which enables you to clamp the camera onto a table etc. I have not been able to fix it to the eye piece of my scope as yet.
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Old Saturday 18th October 2003, 06:45   #10
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for the continued updates. I am hanging on every word. I still can't get a look at one of these cameras first hand locally. Even Jessops are struggling for stock. Their answer of 'it's availble from our website' isn't much use when you want to actually get a look at one before deciding to buy or not.

Do you know what size thread the lens is ? I believe the Z1 takes a wideangle converter but I don't know how it is attached. Does it require an adapter or 'lens armour' which fits onto the camera body surrounding the lens or is it the lens itself which is threaded ?

I'm not so much interested in the digiscoping aspect as being able to add on teleconverter lenses, however as they are pretty heavy they need to be attached to the camera body rather than the lens itself.
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Old Saturday 18th October 2003, 20:00   #11
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I got a look at this camera today and I was quite impressed with it. I put my first thoughts here
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Old Sunday 19th October 2003, 17:27   #12
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Ian
See the Camera forum for my reply.
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