DiMAGE Z3: 4-Megapixel-CCD Digital Camera with CCD-Shift Anti-Shake System, 12X Optical "Mega Zoom", and Rapid AF for Sharp Focus of Moving Subjects

Unterföhring, July 7th, 2004

With a CCD-shift Anti-Shake System to accompany the 12X optical zoom, the DiMAGE Z3 gives you amazingly steady and reliable telephoto shots. It also gets you the shot right away with a Rapid AF that's the fastest auto focus in its class*¹, meaning you'll never miss even the most fleeting photo opportunities. The AF also has a Predictive Focus Control, which gives unmatched high-speed focusing that brings out the very best in the Z3's superior ability to capture moving objects.

Previously a function only on the high-end DiMAGE A-series, the CCD-shift Anti-Shake System is now on the DiMAGE Z3. This system compensates to minimize the effect of camera shake at 2-3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function*² ;(equivalent to 2-3 exposure increments).

For dim evening shots and telephoto shots, both of which are susceptible to shaking because of their slow shutter speed, you get steady, shake-free images without use of a flash or tripod. Unlike an optical system, Konica Minolta's proprietary Anti-Shake System uses a unique CCD-shift mechanism. This keeps the lens compact and the camera lightweight.

The DiMAGE Z3 has a 12X optical Mega Zoom, which can be combined with a 4X digital zoom for up to 48X zoom. The Z3's newly developed GT APO lens offers strikingly clear, high-contrast, high-resolution images thanks to Konica Minolta's G lens optical technology. The AD (anomalous dispersion) glass and two aspheric elements help the DiMAGE Z3 correct spherical aberration and curvilinear distortion, factors that can cause problems at high zoom ranges. The advanced, high-sensitivity 4-megapixel CCD combines with Konica Minolta's proprietary CxProcess™ II technology to give you images as beautiful as those you see with your own eyes.

The DiMAGE Z3 incorporates an AF-dedicated ASIC to video AF system for focusing, enabling its Rapid AF to focus faster than previous models. Focusing time is approximately 0.15 second in wide-angle position and approximately 0.2 second in telephoto position. The DiMAGE Z3 is fast in other ways, too. It boasts fast startup, a real motion monitor with 50-fps capability for smooth video viewing, a minimum shutter-release time lag, and continuous shooting at 2.2 fps. All this means you'll never miss a shot.

The DiMAGE Z3 also boasts advanced basic performance. The movie recording function allows you to take high-resolution movies that are as beautiful as TV programs or footage taken with a video camera. In addition to the VGA-size (640 X 480 Standard) mode that captures movies at 30 fps, Konica Minolta has added a new, high-quality-image Fine mode (640 x 480 Fine). The Silent Zoom feature employs a newly developed Silent Zoom mechanism that greatly reduces how much noise from the optical zoom is picked up while shooting movies with sound.

Despite its large 12X zoom, the Z3 sports a light, compact body whose design evokes a modern, cosmopolitan image. The Z3's ergonomic grip makes it easy and comfortable to carry around and its large, intuitive operation section keeps you in control at all times. The DiMAGE Z3 was designed in collaboration with a European design company whose painstaking efforts in all stages ensure that the product has the sophisticated look suited to the European taste.

Product Highlights
- 12X optical Mega Zoom with CCD-shift Anti-Shake System
- Fastest-in-class*1 Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control
- Konica Minolta GT APO lens for the most accurate, expressive images imaginable
High-quality images with 4-megapixel CCD and CxProcess™ II image processing technology
- High-resolution movies that look as good as television or video camera footage
- Easy operation in a cosmopolitan design that's lightweight and compact
- High-quality images and a wide range of convenient and fun functions

Features

CCD-Shift Anti-Shake Function
The Z3 is the first Konica Minolta Z-series model to include the Anti-Shake function. This gives the user unprecedented control and accuracy when taking shots in the late day twilight and in zoom. The high-precision CCD-shift method employs the proprietary Smooth Impact Drive Mechanism (SIDM), in which angular velocity sensors detect the degree of shaking and move the CCD to compensate for and correct this. The SIDM enables compensation to minimize the effect of camera shake at 2-3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function*2 (equivalent to 2-3 exposure increments). The Z3 can correct shaking without increasing shutter speed and raising ISO sensitivity, factors which increase image noise. You also don't get the deterioration in image quality associated with electronic anti-shake systems. The CCD-shift method doesn't require extra correction lenses like optical anti-shake systems, so the Z3's body is compact and light. The Z3's anti-shake system is effective in correcting both the fine movement of pressing the shutter-release button and the larger and slower movements of the user's body.

Further Advances in Rapid Autofocus (AF) with Predictive Focus Control
The DiMAGE Z3 incorporates an AF-dedicated ASIC to video AF system. Focusing takes a mere 0.15 seconds at wide angle and only 0.20 seconds at telephoto. And in Continuous AF, the Z3 includes Predictive Focus Control, which allows you to capture sharper images of moving subjects-like a child running at full speed. When it comes to fast and reliable autofocusing, the DiMAGE Z3 is clearly ahead of the pack.

There are other factors that contribute to an increase in speed for the DiMAGE Z3. The Z3 has a faster focusing lens drive that moves the focusing lens more than twice as fast as our previous model. Its Quick Speed Image Readout in AF function reads images from the CCD at a rate of 100 fps from when the shutter-release button is pressed partway until the image is brought into focus, giving contrast information in half the time of normal mode (50 fps). With Optimized AF Sequence, in Video AF the DiMAGE uses AF Sequence Control to simultaneously (1) determine the focus drive direction and (2) drive the lens to the position of maximum contrast through repeated focusing. This means that focusing operations start as soon as the shutter-release button is pressed partway.

The DiMAGE Z3 also offers improved AF accuracy through several features. 5-point Area AF gives five focus areas that overlap horizontally and thus reduce AF failures that occur when subjects appear in between focus areas and cause a perspective conflict. A human subject sensor algorithm uses color information in an AF area to prioritize and focus on that area if it is more than 50% occupied by flesh tone. This reduces shots that erroneously focus on a background rather than on a person in the picture.

Incredible 48X Total Zoom Range
Combining the 12X optical zoom with the 4X digital zoom gives you a 48X total zoom, perfect for taking distance shots at sports events or when capturing far-away scenery. This incredible optical zoom delivers a focal range equivalent to a 35-420mm range on a 35mm camera lens. With the digital zoom, total zoom is equivalent to 35-1680mm (35mm equivalent).

Konica Minolta GT APO Lens
The DiMAGE Z3 employs a newly developed high-performance lens system that supports CCDs with 5 million effective pixels. The optical lens system consists of 13 elements in 10 groups and includes two AD (anomalous dispersion) glass lenses and two aspheric elements, a construction that adds up to sharp, high-quality images. Multi-coating on 14 lens surfaces ensures minimal flaring and ghosting in all zoom ranges. It employs a 5-vane iris diaphragm to beautifully reproduce a near-circular fading effect.

4-Megapixel CCD for Beautiful Prints
The 4-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch CCD produces plenty of detail for creating high-quality enlargements as large as 36.4 x 25.7 cm at 150-dpi print resolution. In addition, the CCD's primary color filter offers high color fidelity.

Superbly Detailed Images with CxProcess™ II
CxProcess™ II image processing technology incorporates characteristics like smooth gradations, natural skin tones, and brilliantly clear colors for images that are more natural and lifelike. The DiMAGE Z3's 4 megapixels capture fine lines and intricate details for stunning digital images.

High-quality Movies as Beautiful as TV or Video Camera Footage
The Z3 takes movies in VGA size (640x480) at 30 fps for smooth video with sound rivaling TV programs or video camera footage. You can choose from three movie image sizes: 640x480 (Fine), 640x480 (Standard), or 320x240 (Standard). Thanks to the Anti-Shake function, you can take telephoto movies that are smooth and clear. The XR (Extended Recording) Movie function lets you record longer movie clips onto the SD memory card. With Night Movie, the DiMAGE Z3 can record in extreme low-light conditions thanks to a CCD that's four times more sensitive than conventional sensors. And to ensure your movies capture only the sounds you want, the Silent Zoom feature employs a newly developed Silent Zoom mechanism that greatly reduces how much noise from the optical zoom is picked up while shooting. You can also select your favorite scenes from a movie and save them as still images with Movie Frame Capture.

UHS (Ultra High Speed) Continuous Shooting
The DiMAGE Z3 captures 15 images at 10 fps at UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous shooting.

Progressive Capture
With the DiMAGE Z3 in Progressive Capture mode, your images are saved automatically when you stop pressing the shutter-release button. Progressive Capture means that the last several images in the sequence get saved: as many as 6 images (in Standard continuous advance) or 15 images (in UHS continuous advance). So when shooting fast-moving objects, Progressive Capture ensures that they are recorded when and where you want them. These functions are handy for shooting sports events or for recording and improving your form in personal sports training situations.

Real Motion LCD Monitor
The DiMAGE Z3 features the Real Motion LCD monitor, which delivers crystal clear images to the user at 50 fps. Conventional monitors on digital cameras use a 30-fps display format that sometimes results in a less-than-smooth display. The 50-fps Real Motion monitor rate gives smooth action that brings images to life.

Noise Reduction
Noise Reduction gives exceptional night images by automatically preventing the blemishes and graininess associated with slow-shutter shots.

PASM Exposure Control and Metering Modes
The DiMAGE Z3 offers incredible control over exposure. There are four modes: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. Select manual exposure to enable 30-second time exposures. The DiMAGE Z3 has three metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, and Spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure.

Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection
Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection automatically chooses the best recording mode for your images. You can also manually select from Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, and Sunset modes. You can also set the DiMAGE Z3 to Night portrait mode in the menu settings. Either way, this convenient function enables you to take fabulous photos with ease.

Get as Close as 1cm with Super Macro
Shoot amazing close-ups in either Macro or Super Macro modes. Whichever mode you choose, Konica Minolta's superior image quality will make your close-ups look stunning and powerful. In Super Macro mode, you can bring the lens as close as 1 cm from your subject.

Key Customize
For added flexibility and convenience, the flash button can be customized to handle different settings. This means that instead of going through the menus on the LCD, you can use the flash button to change settings like the drive mode, white balance, focus mode, color mode, or sensitivity.

PictBridge*3-Compliant
Forget all about complicated connections with a PC. Get fast, fun printouts directly from your camera by connecting the Z3 to a PictBridge*3-compliant printer. You can check which images you want to print on the Z3's LCD monitor and then print out your favorites in no time at all.

New Ergonomic Design
The Z3's design is advanced yet familiar and easy-to-use. Despite its large 12X zoom range, it weighs just 335 g. It's also easy to tote and operate even for camera novices. The ergonomic form makes it easy to keep on holding even for those steady zoom shots.

ArcSoft VideoImpression™ 2 CD-ROM
ArcSoft VideoImpression™ 2, bundled with the DiMAGE Z3, offers a fun way to merge your movie clips and still shots. Working through a step by step guide, you can add text, music, and special effects to your movie. Record the finished movie onto a video CD.
(Note: Only compatible with the Windows® operating system.)

Optional Wide Converter(Wide-Angle Converter ZCW-300 Kit)
The optional Wide Converter Kit allows you to fit more of the scene into each shot. The lens has a 26mm wide angle that is ideal for capturing indoor or outdoor architecture and panoramic landscape shots.

Compatible with Optional Flashes
The Z3 is equipped with a flash unit that will literally light up your pictures. But if it's even more flash power you require, consider the Konica Minolta Program/Maxxum Flash 3600HS(D) 5600HS(D) or 2500(D). All of these incredibly versatile and powerful flash units are compatible with the DiMAGE Z3.


*1 As of May 20, 2004, for digital cameras with built-in lens system and 10X or greater zoom.
*2 Depends on the shooting conditions.
*3 PictBridge is an industry standard established by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

Technical Specifications

About Konica Minolta Photo Imaging
Konica Minolta Photo Imaging Europe GmbH is a leading provider of consumer and commercial photographic materials, photographic equipment such as analog and digital cameras, and measuring instruments including 3D-scanning. With operative bases within Europe the company covers the three business areas of photo imaging, cameras and industrial instruments. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging Europe is a subsidiary of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Building on its strong core of optical technologies developed over 130 years, Konica Minolta Photo Imaging aims to be a corporation offering products and services that are essential to all areas of digital imaging.

Website: http://www.konicaminoltaeurope.com/

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