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oygirf@gmail.com 07-Mar-2014 10:47
Hi there mates, good piece of writing and pleasant urging commented at this place PBase Guestbook for Jim Cockfield , I am genuinely enjoying by these.
Guest 04-Apr-2010 03:48
Jim, I added a question about your comments on the post in begginers questions about how to shoot in low light, in dpreview.
Thanks for your thorough response.
Lee de Paris
Jim Cockfield29-Aug-2006 19:06
Michael:

My take on it is that it's a good camera. My biggest gripe would be that Nikon encrypts some metadata related to White Balance in it's .nef (raw) files, and I'm not fond of manufacturers that use that tactic.

Most users that have one seem to be very pleased with it.
Michael 25-Aug-2006 00:14
What's your take on the Nikon D50 DSLR?
Jim Cockfield01-Jul-2006 02:26
A good utility to try is Digital Image Recovery (it's free). You can download it using this link.

http://www.foto-erhardt.de/foto-forum/download.php?id=2

Here is a commercial (not free) program that may be worth a try, too.

http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/

If the two utilities I mentioned above can't get them back for you, here's an open source program you may want to try.

It's designed to work with severely corrupted file systems by looking for header information specific to many image types in order to try and reconstruct them.

I have no experience with it. But, it may be worth a try. Here is the link:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

After you recover your photos, I'd make sure to format the card using the camera's menus for format before using it again.
Ken 26-Jun-2006 07:44
I have a corrupted SD card which my computer read but when i put it back to my camera it is able to read jus that it could write anymore files in. This happened when the camera was writing the file to the card, half way through it indicate write error. Im using a Lumix FX8 and a Kingston elite 512mb SD card. This is the third time the camera corrupted the card. Wonder if you know im able to reterive the photos.
Guest 14-Jun-2006 19:35
Your photos are certainly refreshing. Can't say pbase has any thing quite like it.
Jim Cockfield10-Jan-2006 21:51
I've tried PCLinuxOS, and I was not impressed. My printer wouldn't even work, even though is does in distros like Ubnunto, Kubunto, Kanotix 2005-04, and Mepis 3.4.2 RC1.

I'm waiting on the next Release Candidate of Mepis right now.

But, I'm not impressed (to put it mildly) with the font rendering any Linux distro I've tried, even after installing MS Truetype fonts (except perhaps for Suse, since the fonts seem rather polished if you use their "eval" versus "open source" version.

But, Suse won't work with my printer either. Even if I could get it to work (and I've tried), the media support stinks (Quicktime, Windows Media, etc), and installing Windows codecs that just crash the browsers after playing web based media isn't my idea of fun.
Jim Cockfield31-Dec-2005 13:43
mike:

You'll need to find your manual and take a look. But, the operating temperature of most digital cameras is from about 32 to 104 degrees F (0 - 40 degrees C).

So, there must be a reason for it. LOL Batteries will also tend to be weaker as temperatures get colder.

I recently saw degraded performance reported from someone trying to use a different camera model in colder conditions, too. He finally figured out that cold temperatures were impacting the metering or CCD sensitivity.
mike s. 31-Dec-2005 11:51
i have a dimage G600 that i bought in april, it has worked fine until now (december) in which i have tried to use the camera when it is cold outside. It doesnt even have to be below feezing or cold for more than a few minutes and the camera will not fully turn on. the lens will pop out and the blue lights will flash for a few minutes then it will turn itself off. once i get it inside and warm it up the G600 works with no problems...ever heard of this or any ideas for me...i assume i need to send it back to the manufacture. can you please email me at cffb89@aol.com
thanks,
mike

other than that the camera is great....
Jim Cockfield05-Sep-2005 03:24
Eric:

I'd ask around in some of the forums, like the ones athttp://www.stevesforums.com andhttp://www.dpreview.com

Steve has a forum setup called "What Camera Should I Buy".

You'll probably get some recommendations for all of them. Have you got a big investment in Pentax glass already? You may be able to get decent prices for it on the used market and replace it with lenses for another brand going used, too. But, I'd try the Pentax DSLR models out in a store to see what you think. They have pretty good ergonomics for cameras as small as they are.

I'd probably ask on the forums and give users a better idea of what kind of photos you take, in what conditions, etc. That would probably get better responses. If you're taking sports photos requiring faster focusing lenses, or have some special requirements, then one model may be better suited compared to another.

I'd also make sure to read the reviews on all of them (including the review conclusion sections at sites likehttp://www.steves-digicams.com , where you'll see AF speed and reliability, cycle times between photos, noise, etc., discussed). Then, make sure to try them out in a store.

Personally, I'm thinking about buying a Konica-Minolta DSLR soon. I've already started buying some lenses while deciding (I wanted to get them before the "feeding frenzy" started with the shipping of the 5D, since Konica-Minolta will have an initial production of 50,000 cameras per month). Minolta lenses have been reasonably priced on the used market (up to now at least, we'll need to wait and see on the 5D sales will impact it).

I've purchased the following lenses in Minolta AF mount over the past couple of months: Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8; Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, 35-105mm f/2.8 (so far).

The idea of every lens benefiting from antishake (including brighter primes) is appealing to me (and in body antishake is a feature that only Konica-Minolta has). I haven't decided on a body yet. I'm waiting to get my hands on a 5D before deciding (it's their new smaller and lighter model and it just started shipping in the U.S.).

There is a new $200 rebate out on the 7D, so that's going to make it harder to decide after it's recent price drops.
greg miller 23-Jul-2005 18:24
I came across a post that you made in regards to processing, printing and scanning disc film and other odd sized negatives. I know that the post is old but just wanted to give you the heads up that we handle this type of work and unlike Rocky Mountain Film we are faster, less expensive and also guarantee the work that we do. When processing very old unprocessed film we guarantee that we get recognizable images. If not we don't charge......Anyway....just trying to spread the news. This is a difficult business to promote

All the best
Greg Miller
Film Rescue International
1 800 329 8988

ps. Savannah is a lovely town. Plan to visit again in October.
Jim Cockfield19-May-2005 23:18
Julie:

You're welcome. I'm glad I helped out.

I need to check my guestbook more often. I didn't realize that there were comments I had not responded to.

:-)
Jim Cockfield19-May-2005 23:17
Riyas:

I post on a lot of forums (and I'm even a moderator on the Discussion Forums athttp://www.steves-digicams.com now). So, whatever it was I posted, I'm glad it helped.
Jim Cockfield19-May-2005 23:14
Jani:

I just noticed the new entries in the guestbook here. You really need to take each camera on a case by case basis when doing comparisons. In the case of the DSC-L1, you're looking at 4 Megapixels versus the G600's 6 Megapixels.

Now, if you're not printing at larger than 8x10" sizes, you really don't need more than about 3 megapixels anyway (unless you plan to crop). So, this isn't a big deal to many users.

The G600 appears to have better flash flash (and it will probably resolve a more real detail). But, you may not see any benfits from the extra detail, unless printing at larger sizes.

The DSC-L1 appears to be faster focusing (and it may or may not have less redeye, which is a problem with the Konica Minolta Gxx series cameras, as well as most other subcompacts). You'll need to compare them and decide.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Sony's smaller models. I owned a DSC-P10 for a short while, and I wasn't impressed with it's metering, etc. Of course, you're looking at newer models now.

Steve Sanders has a review of this camera that you may want to take a look at. Here is his conclusion page:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/l1_pg5.html
Riyas 19-May-2005 21:44
Hi Jim, I found your advice in one of the website very help to recover the images from my xD card. Thanks. Riyas.
Guest 07-May-2005 10:03
P.S. Sony Cyber shot DSC-L1:)
Jani 07-May-2005 09:57
Hello Jim!Please help me!
I am trying to decide between the Konica Minolta G600 and the Sony Cyber shot DSC. If you were buying, which would be your choice?Do you thing which one optic is better 3X Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar®(Sony) or Konica Minolta GT HEXANON lens.Also G500 or G600 - in my country(Bulgaria) two cameras have identical price - 300 euro.What your opinion about Konica Minolta E50http://www.dpreview.com/news/0501/05011701konicaminolta_e50.asp ?
julie s. 03-Aug-2004 10:54
Thanks so much for replying at dpreview's forum. It helped me tremendously. This site (that you recommended I look at) is very helpful. I'm a frequent visitor. Thanks again for your help.
julie s. 03-Aug-2004 10:53
Thanks so much for your replying at dpreview's forum. It helped me tremendously. This site (that you recommended I look at) is very helpful. I'm a frequent visitor. Thanks again for your help.
fbphx15-Jul-2004 07:32
So, far I enjoy this camera and it goes with me everywhere (except photoshoots, when I bring my Canon MK2). I've owned the Oly C5050 and I find the g500 easier and faster to use, and much smaller for carry purposes. And no noticeable drop off in pic quality.
Thanks for all your tips posted. I am still learning to use the G500 but so far, so good....
Jim Cockfield13-Jun-2004 04:02
Bob:

Yes, I still like my KD-510z (G500). As far as 8 Megapixel Models, I'm not sure that I like any of them enough to buy one. The Olympus C-8080 does seem to control noise a little better than the others. It also has a pretty decent built-in flash.
Guest 12-Jun-2004 15:34
Missed the beginning. Is the G500 still your favorite in the pocket small camera? Bob
Guest 12-Jun-2004 15:32
still your favorite small in the pocket camera? New things come out so fast, just wondered. Also I'm sure prices are down on web,but to let others know there is a special on G500 at costco's for $279. coming up soon. What camera in the $1000. range would you buy if you were to buy one soon. Olympus C 8080? Thanks, Bob
Jim Cockfield02-Jun-2004 12:47
Bob:

I have not noticed any kind of color cast in my photos. You may want to post an example. If flash is being used, it should be able to get rid of any problems from ambient lighting.

As far as ISO 50, I've found that it's only useable for closeup work indoors. You really need to use ISO 100 for properly exposed photos at anything other than very close distances.

As far as the "super zoom" models, I'd personally be inclined to lean towards one of the Olympus Models. The Kodak will not give you any control of JPEG Compression/Quality (it uses a pretty aggresive JPEG Compression algorithm).
Guest 28-May-2004 16:32
Hi Jim,
I notice I am getting a slight purple color in my prints from G500 when using flash. Subject say 4 ft away. Skin tones and hair very slight purple color and white wall has a purple color. I had slow shutter off. I might have had it on 50 iso. Usually I have it on 100. Outdoor pictures seem fine, no flash of course. Also now nice weather here have you tried G500 on flowers. What setting do you recommend as a general answer? Tripod? I don't like one flower in picture. Like a bullseye. Say grouping of 3? 3rd question: Do you know anything about any of the "inexpensive" cameras that have 10x optical? Or recommend any. I see many people like kodak dx 6490, but then some say it is NG? Or any recommendations? Hope all is well with you. Thank you, Bob Essak
Ritchie 26-May-2004 13:48
Hello Jim,
I came acroos your pages looking for comments/reviews for the Minolta Dimage G-600. I clearly understood that the G-500 is a very good camera but I have not see any clear comment/review of how the G-600 is.
I have always been a fan of the Canon cameras and I have been looking at the IXUS series when I discovered a fantastic 6 megapixel camera: Minolta Dimage G-600. This together to the double slot for SD and Memory Stick and all the features one can dream about were enought to interest me.
Before taking any decision I would like to know if you wrote or where I can find any comments.
Thank you very much.
Ciao
Jim Cockfield15-May-2004 00:35
You'll need to experiment, and decide how much compression is "good enough" for your purposes.
Micke 07-May-2004 07:55
Thank you for your answer!

Maybe i should use irfanview, i can be really boring using photoshop to resize aver picture.

But, do you think the picture get worse quality if u save it in maximum (10) compared to maximum (12) in photoshop? Maybe you could try? Gor the web i save them as 800x600 high (8), think this is enough for the web, it doesn't reduce the quality so that the eye can see it?
Jim Cockfield07-May-2004 02:28
Micke:

I do not have to resize the photos for viewing here at pbase.com

The servers do it automatically. I can create an album, select a "style sheet", and upload a .zip file. The software here at pbase.com automatically extracts the original images I upload, and then it creates all of the other viewing sizes for you (the menu under each photo allows you to view small, medium, large or original sizes).

Slug and Emily started this web site, as a place for users to share their photos. It's very nice (with unlimited bandwidth, and lots of features), and the prices are great (only $23.00 per year for each 200mb of space). They also don't charge extra space for the other viewing sizes created automatically.

It looks the Image Processing is being performed by ImageMagick

See the "About Pbase" page here, then scroll down to the bottom and you will see a section on "Pbase Software":

http://www.pbase.com/server_info

However, I can give you a few tips, if you need to resize your images yourself.

I usually use Irfanview for resizing images at home. Under the Image, Resize/Resample Menu, you'll see the Lanczos setting. This one is best for resizing. The software can be downloaded from http://www.irfanview.com (make sure to download the plug-ins, too). Irfanview is free.

As far as ACDSee, when you use the "Save As" menu choice, you'll see an "Options" button. When you click on it, you will see a slidebar for the amount of JPEG Compression being used. Look at where it is set if you think it looks OK now when you use "save as". Then, just use the same amount of compression when you are saving images (or, experiment with different amounts).

You can do the same thing with most other software, too (select how much compression to apply). Even Irfanview can do this (when you use the "save as" menu choice, you'll see a slide bar for JPEG Quality).

However, keep in mind, that each time you resave a JPEG Image, it degrades slightly in qualty. So, if you are already working in Photoshop, you may want to keep editing steps to a minimum. Photoshop has a Bicubic algorithm that works OK for resizing, too (but I think Lanczos works a little better).
Micke 06-May-2004 09:57
Hi again, forgot to say, it would be GREAT if you could answer to my email!

Keep up the good work.

U can see some of my pics at:http://hem.bredband.net/difference

/Micke
Micke 06-May-2004 09:56
Hi!

I have a question about editing photos that i have taken with my Monolta Dimage F300. I take my pictures at 1948x1536 resolution. BUt of course i edit them to about 1024x768 to view them on my computer (but ofcourse i save the originals too). I use photoshop as an editor. My question is: If i want to publish my pics on my website, i want them to be pretty small to save space. I want them to be about 800x600 and saves them. Now, should i save them as quality high or maximum or something else? If i save them as maximum they gets about 500 kb big, i looked at some samples u have on your page here, ther are about max 200 kb even when they are in 1024x768. There also is an option "save for web" in photoshop, thi makes the picture files a LITTLE smaller, but not that small as yours are. The only way to get them that small is to reduce the quality to medium, but then i really can see that the quality is a lot reduced... I figured something out yesterday, if u look at a pic with ACDSee and right click on it and choose "save as" and saves it on antoher place, then it gets about 10 times smaller than the one with similar resolution and im sure the quality is not much reduced at all. Why is that sp with acdsee? This was a long email, but my main question is, how do YOU save the sample pictures you take with all cameras and in wath quality?

Thanks!

/Micke
Jim Kunshier 29-Mar-2004 19:02
I read your tips and set up like you suggested. Also playing around with the shutter speed today. This DOES seem to help. I think it would have helped me out if there had been a written manual to look at. The manual on CD is a little cumbersome. I was afraid I had one of those "lemons" that needed replacing. Thanks so much for your tips. I really would have been lost without your help. Jim
Jim Cockfield29-Mar-2004 13:23
Jim:

If you are only getting blur in lower light, then your problem may be that the shutter speed is too slow (blur from camera shake/subject movement). As a general rule of thumb, you want a shutter speed of at least 1/focal length. For example: if taking a photo at full wide angle (39mm equivalent), you'll want a shutter speed of 1/39 second or faster. At full zoom (117mm equivalent), you'll want a shutter speed of at least 1/117 second or faster.

In lower light, the camera may be selecting a slower shutter speed than needed to prevent blur if you are not using the flash. Staying at wide angle will help (around 3 times as much light can reach the sensor through the lens at wide angle, versus full zoom).

The camera's lens is rated at F2.8/F4.9. This is going to be typical for a compact model, so far more light can get through at wide angle.

One other thing to try would be to set the ISO speed to 100 under the Quality Menu (select a user profile). The camera is using ISO 50 without flash (even though the EXIF shows ISO 100), so setting the camera to use ISO 100 will allow shutter speeds twice as fast without flash.

To see some tips on camera setup and use, see the 24-Jan-2004 19:11 entry in the forum under the photos athttp://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z
Jim Kunshier 28-Mar-2004 20:56
Hi Jim; I recently pruchased the Minolta G500. I love the looks and the size of the camera but have been having problems with the pictures. Photo's are great on a bright and sunny day, but the photo's are blurry on cloudy days. Indoor photo's are okay if I am close enough, but again, are blurry when I am a little further away (like only 15-20 ft.) Do you have any hepful hints? I haven't reviewed all the information on your great site yet, but will be doing that soon. I have until April 5 to return the camera and get a full refund. Thanks for any help. Jim K.
Jim Cockfield19-Mar-2004 18:47
Christer:

Once the battery indicator changes from full, you will need to change the battery quickly. This behavior is typical for most digital cameras (with the exception being the Sony InfoLithium Battery system).
Christer Engstrand 16-Mar-2004 16:10
In my previous comment, the subject line was missning - the camera is Minolta Dimage G500, so you don´t have to guess...

/Christer
Christer Engstrand 14-Mar-2004 15:31
Hi Jim,

thanks for great reviews for this camera. I bought it just recently and
I'm very happy with it! But there are many advanced options and it takes time to get a good overview, so I can use them "in the field".

But the battery confuses me - suddenly power is gone and the camera is stone dead! And the battery indicator "line" (like an /) is just 1/3 from the bottom (is that an indicator or just a symbol?). How do I do to get a battery warning, before it´s too late? On the whole, battery capacity is good, but I feel uncertain about when it´s time to recharge, so for safety reasons I feel I must recharge very frequently...

Got any idea to avoid this problem?

From Gothenburg, Sweden
/Christer
Jim Cockfield08-Mar-2004 15:14
Bob:

You'll need to ask the seller what is missing (battery, charger, USB cable, etc.). You don't have to use the Nikon Software (Nikon View). I've owned 2 Nikons (Coolpix 950, 990), and never did use Nikon's software. As for photo transfer from CompactFlash, I just bought an inexpensive Card Reader.
Frankinho 07-Mar-2004 08:43
You've created some nice and informative pages here. Thanks! Frankinho, Berlin/Germany
Guest 06-Mar-2004 01:43
It also says it may be missing accessories, on Nikon 4500 Bob
Guest 06-Mar-2004 01:41
Jim,
What does it mean if a Nikon Coolpix 4500 is for sale , but does not come with software? The minolta G 500 just had to put in memory, battery, and ask Jim for directions. But I don't know of any software? Thank you, Bob
Guest 04-Mar-2004 20:31
As I am trying to decide which digi cam to go for I found your site (linked to your comments about the overenthusiastic green tint of the pictures produced by the Sony P10)of great help.

Thank you.
Jim Cockfield03-Mar-2004 23:21
Bob:

I have no experience with these products. However, I did find some user reviews:

User Review of Lumiflow:
http://www.shootsmarter.com/infocenter/jt004.html

Niagra II forum thread with user comments:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=6692965
Guest 03-Mar-2004 15:09
Hi Jim,
Do you have any knowledge of niagra 11 or lumiflo ink systems for printers. You remove the regular cartridge and replace it with the niagra or lumiflo cartridge, which has tubes attached to each color and is supplied with ink by bottles which sit outside of and next to your printer. The idea is after initial investment you buy bulk ink and save money, and the colors are supposed to be much better. I have been trying to research it on computer but just seem to come up with places selling the systems and not any independent opinion or evaluations. Thank you, Bob
Jim Cockfield02-Feb-2004 14:23
P.S.
Also make sure that Memory Priority is set to either the SD or MS cards. Internal Memory only supports low resolution (640x480).
Jim Cockfield02-Feb-2004 13:36
Bob:

Most menu settings work by setting them, then using the left arrow to exit the menus. Using the menu button again may be changing it back.
Guest 01-Feb-2004 18:07
HI Jim, I am on resolution and size sets, but when I arrow down to compress, click to right to change from normal to fine, it changes to fine and then I click right to hold it or menu set, but it always reverts back to normal. What am I missing or doing wrong? When I am on compress and click right it goes from normal to fine. How do I hold it on fine selection? If I click menu set after set to fine, it goes back to normal. I think resolution works the same and I do not have a problem setting resolution.

I hope I made the problem clearer so you can answer. Thank you so much. Bob
Jim Cockfield01-Feb-2004 14:29
Bob:

Leaving the battery out does not appear to change any settings (only the date and time are impacted, based on what I've seen). However, the camera will go to 640x480 resolution (very poor quality), if the memory cards are removed or full and the camera is turned on (so you'll have to change this setting back).

You'll fine the compression (JPEG Quality) under the Resolution Menu. For most photos, I just use the highest resolution with Normal Quality. However, for "special" photos that I may want to print at larger sizes, I'll select Fine quality instead.
Guest 31-Jan-2004 19:59
Jim, I found it. The default adjustment was changed cause battery was out at repair. Now I am on minolta CD and am having trouble selecting fine for compression ratio, and I have directions right in front of me. Hopefully I'll get it straight before you answer. Bob
Guest 31-Jan-2004 04:38
Jim, I meant to say no compression or firm or normal??
Guest 31-Jan-2004 04:36
Hi Jim, I haven't talked to you since my sensor went bad. I sent it back to minolta and they replaced the sensor. Now I have another problem. On the "red" menu setup I only get resolution, movie on , monitor adj, setup, and return. As you scroll down it just keeps repeating these items only. Also, on resolution, there is now compressing at all. What is going on?? Thank you , Bob PS It took close to a month to get it back.
Jim Cockfield20-Jan-2004 18:57
Paddy:

I just e-mailed them to you, using an address I found in one of your earlier entries in the guestbook.
Guest 19-Jan-2004 22:35
Thanks a lot Jim. I've downloaded the program and will see how I go with it. By the way, I saw in comments in your gallery that Sean asked you to email him your tips for the 510z - could you please email them to me, too?? I'd really appreciate that. So far I have been more or less just using the camera's default settings, and I'm not always happy with the results. I think I need to understand more about the settings so that the camera can better suit my needs... any tips would be really useful. Once again, thanks for your great advice.

Paddy
Jim Cockfield18-Jan-2004 18:19
Paddy, after I'm sure the photos have finished copying (I usually wait a couple of minutes, just to be safe), I simply unplug my camera. I've never run into any problems doing it this way.

BTW, a new G500 owner just wrote a free program for downloading images. You can see it at this link. I have not tried it yet.

http://www.dps.uk.com/freeware_transferer.htm
Paddy 18-Jan-2004 14:44
Jim,

Thanks for that, I think you were right, I did have icons present that must have been forcing the flash. I'll watch that and see how it goes.

Another question I have, after I download my photos onto my computer I am not sure of the best way to turn the camera off, before removing the USB cable. It says in the manual not to remove the cable until the camera is switched off. However, even though the camera appears to be off, both the red and green light are still on so I presume I have to get rid of them before removing the cable. The only way I can get them to go off is to open the lens cover and thereby turn the camera fully on, and then close it again, which turns it off properly and the red and green lights go off. Is this the only way to do it? It seems a nuisance to have to turn it on, which fires up the lens, and then turn it off again. The other thing that happens is that when I remove the USB cable from the camera (the camera is switched off at this point) the screen starts to glow, then after a time it displays what is on the memory card. I then have to switch it off by pressing the Play button. Is this normal? I would have thought that when you removed the USB cable the camera would stay switched off.

Many thanks,
Paddy
Jim Cockfield17-Jan-2004 23:02
Paddy, in reference to my previous post, use the right controller key to make sure that no flash related icons are present. This toggles between auto flash (no icon present), redeye reduction (eye present), forced flash (lighting bolt present), night portrait flash (half moon).

If you have any icons present, the camera may be forcing flash.
Jim Cockfield17-Jan-2004 22:58
Paddy, try resetting your camera to factory defaults (press menu, then go to Setup, Default and select Yes). Also, make sure you don't have flash forced on (lighting bolt present means you have it forced on).

If this doesn't correct the problem, the camera is probably defective.
Paddy 17-Jan-2004 15:35
Jim,

I'm having trouble with the flash on my 510z - it doesn't seem to detect when the day is bright and it needn't fire. It fires in full sunshine outdoors, but is erratic, sometimes it does it and sometimes it doesn't. What does this mean? Is it faulty or is it just an idiosyncrasy that I should live with?
Thanks,
Paddy
Jim Cockfield14-Jan-2004 03:19
Gerald:

I wouldn't worry about discussing in the forums. I have no problem with this camera's behavior. Mine works the same way (the focus lock indicator is not representative of actual focus, but my photos look fine).

I suspected that the indicator was too heavily weighted towards available light, not the camera's ability to focus (since it's behavior changes too much when using zoom), and my tests seem to support this.

Do some cameras work better than others? I think so, based on user comments that I'm seeing. Look at the examples that Jim Dawson posted (totally out of focus images when he didn't have a lock, at the same subject that he did get a lock on at wide angle).

That's unacceptable to me, and is an example of a camera that is out of tolerance or defective IMO. His images probably looked OK at wide angle, just because of the increased Depth of Field. But, when using zoom, his camera's problems just became more apparent (because of less depth of field as focal length was increased). If my camera worked that way, I'd want to return it. I think he just got two bad cameras (30 serial numbers apart).

Personally, I believe that a firmware upgrade is needed to address the focus lock indicator, and for the camera to automatically vary the signal from the CCD for the most accurate focus in all conditions. But, even if they didn't fix this, I wouldn't mind. There is no way that I'd return mine.

As far as returning your camera, that's up to you. Personally, if my camera was working fine (other than the focus lock indication), there is no way that I'd return it.

If however, my camera exhibited behavior like Jim Dawson's, I would definitely return it. Unfortunately, Digicams do seem to have a higher problem rate than most products!
Gerald Licht 13-Jan-2004 21:22
I decided to post this to you privately in view of the inflamed rhetoric currently in the forums. If you think that it would be appropriate, I will do so.



I just talked to the head of the Minolta Corporation Service Center about the question of the green light flashing in low light situations while the camera appears to be focusing correctly. She said the light is just indicating that there isn't enough light for "complete" autofocus but that you can still take the picture anyway. She has not heard of any problems with the camera in this area. The people that I have talked to at Minolta are unwilling to look at any of the customer sites for complaints or problems. When I brought up the discrepancy between the manual and the camera's operation she said that focus was subjective. I asked if Minolta had specifications for low light focusing and she said that they had for their technical people but did not publish them. She urged that I send my camera in for repair or exchange it with my dealer. I got no where with my argument about knowing if my camera was operating properly. Frankly, I don't know how to break through this screen.
Paddy 11-Jan-2004 14:59
Jim,

Thanks for this. I seem to be making progress with it, lots of trial and error. I'm using the different media types as you suggest and in this way I have managed to download something from the MS. Thanks a lot for your help, this is a great service you offer. I hope Konica appreciates it!
Jim Cockfield11-Jan-2004 14:40
Paddy:

For copying photos, I've got a self written batch file (that I wrote for my own use), that automatically prompts me for the destination directory on my PC, then copies all of the photos to it when initiated.

However, you don't need to copy the photos one at a time. After opening the folder on the camera containing the photos, you can use "Edit, Select All" to mark all of the photos in a folder (it will highlight them). Then, you can use "Edit Copy" to copy all of them. Then, open the desired folder on your C Drive (local hard disk drive), and Select "Edit, Paste" from the menus and it will copy all of the selected photos.

As far as copying from different media, I typically only use one media type at a time. However, at times, I do "overflow" to the other card in my camera. If that happens, I simply remove the other card, and can copy from the one remaining in the camera. I've also heard that you can use the Memory Priority menu choice to switch between them for copying.

Another option would be to purchase a USB 2.0 Card Reader. These are very inexpensive (usually, under $30.00 for a reader capable of supporting many memory types). This would allow much faster transfer, but you'd still need to use the Edit, Select All menus to mark photos for copy.

Some photo editing packages also support transferring of photos, although I usually did it myself via a batch file I wrote for my own use.
Guest 10-Jan-2004 22:08
Dear Jim

Many thanks for your great advice on the Konica 510z. I have recently purchased one but am having trouble making sense of it, even with fairly basic things, due to the useless instruction manual. I really have little idea of the capacity of the camera as the instruction manual tells you so little, certainly almost nothing about the menu topics. The things that I don't understand are too many to list and at the moment I am just using the camera as a point and shoot camera. I am even having trouble copying my photos to my computer because the instructions are absolutely minimal - I do manage to do this but only if the photos are recorded on the SD, not on the message stick. It won't copy anything for me if I took it on the memory stick (but I don't know how to switch between them). I also seem to be downloading them in a particularly laborious way (copying one at a time) - surely there must be a faster way than this? Do you have any advice for idiots like myself (or for those who can do anything if it is clearly explained in the manual, but next to nothing if it isn't)?

Many many thanks,
Paddy
Jim Cockfield08-Jan-2004 13:36
Bob:

To delete photos, when in a gallery, go to the "Edit this Gallery" link. Then check each photo you want to delete (there is a "select" check box by each photo). You will see a "Remove Selected Photos" button further down on the page.

This removes the selected photos from the current album. If the photos exist in more than one album (because you copied them between albums), they will only be deleted in the current album. Also, they don't charge extra space against your account if the same photo is in more than one album.

As far as batteries, if you search on Ebay for Battery Konica KD-400z; you will find Generic 850mAh batteries for cameras using the DR-LB4. The G500 works fine with the 850mAh batteries from ebcbattery.com (one of the Ebay vendors). They usually sell two Generic DR-LB4 batteries for under $30.00 including shipping by Priority Mail (around 10.50 each + 5.99 shipping for first battery + 1.00 shipping for each additional battery).

The DR-LB4 batteries will work in the Konica KD-310z, KD-400z, KD-410z, KD-500z, KD-510z; and Minolta G500. Although, I never see anyone advertising the DR-LB4 battery for the G500, it works fine (as do the higher capacity generics from ebcbattery.com).
Guest 08-Jan-2004 05:00
Jim,
Does using a 3.7 volt 850mAh instead of minolta's 3.7 820 mAh cause any problems? Thanks again, Bob
Guest 08-Jan-2004 04:58
I have downloaded more pictures. Did one test with black shot and can see green dot in it. I would like to exchange camera for a new one that has no hot pixel. Appreciate your help. Did the deadpixel test and can make black picture real big and there is the green dot.

How on pbase do I delete pictures, especially the dupicates? Thanks again, bob
Jim Cockfield07-Jan-2004 14:27
Bob:

Force the flash off (round circle in flash choices), go to a dark room, and take a photo with the lens sitting down on a surface (as not to let any light in). Then, upload the photo to your Pbase.com album so that it will be more visible.

Make sure that you are not shooting a slower shutter speeds (because hot pixels are NORMAL at slower shutter speeds -- just not at the 1/60th second shutter speed you were using for your flash photos).

There is also a utility that you can run to see identify it's exact location, available at this download link:

http://www.starzen.com/imaging/deadpixeltest.htm

It will probably not be noticeble on most prints (unless you print at larger sizes). Bear in mind, that it's only one pixel (out of 5 Million) in the photo. You can also do a 100% crop of the area and print it.

Some people don't even bother to worry about replacing a camera (since it is not usually noticeable). Others sometimes wait until just before there warranty expires before replacing a camera with bad pixels (because sometimes more can appear as a sensor ages). This is a common problem, but not a serious one. I scrutinized the photos in great detail, just to find it.

Upload a test photo, and I'll try to give you a hand documenting it if time permits, if you want to replace it.
Guest 07-Jan-2004 05:22
Jim,
Ive printed pictures were i see green tiny dot and the dot does not come out on the printed pictures, even when i use hi gloss paper???? Bob
Guest 07-Jan-2004 04:49
Just to be sure I'm looking at the right green dot. It is very tiny, correct. I do see it and printed something out on plain paper and the dot doesn't show. Do i have to use hi gloss? When I first thought about it i thought I bought camera from B&H but as I said, i got it from Ritz, here in Chg.

Also i don't see it on every picture. Seems like see it on fairly close shots were there is a solid color so can spot it . I'm upset about the camera. But glad i got a few pictures on so you found the problem.

If have any suggestions on downloading pictures to Pbase, appreciate it. I was kind of in a hurry, as usual, and got some pictures down, but i was doing something incorrectly because only a few got on. Oh well, Thanks, Bob
Guest 07-Jan-2004 04:38
I bought the camera from Ritz here in Chicago on 9/20/03. I'll try them and I have my warranty card so can send to Minolta if they won't stand by it, which they probably won't. Thanks again, Bob PS I was having trouble downloading my pictures to Pbase. I have I-Mac computer with I-Photo, if you have any suggestions. Bob Essak
Guest 07-Jan-2004 04:17
You sure are observant. I see a tiny green dot as you say , going back to September pictures. Thank you . I guess I have to go to Minolta, but I'll check it out. I bought camera from B&H. Bob
Jim Cockfield06-Jan-2004 14:28
Bob:

You have a bad camera. I looked at your recently uploaded photos. If you look closely, you will see a bright green dot in the same place on all of your photos. This is known as a "hot pixel". If possible, I'd see if the vendor will swap it (print the photos, circle the bad pixel, and explain the problem). You should not have any hot pixels at normal exposure times.

This is a common fault with the CCD Sensors (the sensor in your camera is a Sony 5 Megapixel 1/1.8" Sensor).

If your vendor won't exchange the camera. I'd send it to Minolta for warranty repair.
Jim Cockfield31-Dec-2003 21:04
Bob:

It's hard to see with the downsized photos. Can you upload a full size photo to your pbase.com album? That way, I could see it better. It's most likely just flash reflections - however, it could be artificats from downsizing. I'll need to see the full size photo to tell.
Guest 31-Dec-2003 04:32
Jim,
You might need my password to get on the site to see the sparkles. It is judybob. I've tried to get rid of the password but am not sure i have. Thanks , Bob
Q 30-Dec-2003 18:39
Hello all,

If possible, could someone send me the tips that Jim sent regarding the minolta g500. I have it on the way and will need all the help I can get.

Thanks in advance.
Guest 27-Dec-2003 20:39
Jim,
Also under Sam and Jen family there is picture of Stuart or Stu and Lena. Grandpa holding Lena. His hair has the sparkles. Bob
Guest 27-Dec-2003 20:36
Dear Jim,
I wrote you and told you I am getting "sparkly" hair and you said you would have to see the picture. I just made a site. http://homepage.mac.com/bessak/ Under the Zeidman pictures there is a close up of a boy with a blue shrt and glasses and sparkly hair. You can also check other sections and look at any close picture usually of an adult and find the sparkles. But the one of the boy, you can't miss. On G500 how put on diffuser for closeups? Or how set camera? Thank you, Bob
Jim Cockfield24-Dec-2003 20:54
OK - we're on "on the road" for the next few days over the holidays, and I may not be checking forums or e-mail. So, have a safe and happy Holiday Season!
Jim Cockfield24-Dec-2003 20:53
Bob:

I don't know. I'd have to look at the photos. It's probably just flash reflections at close range.
Guest 24-Dec-2003 17:00
Dear Jim,
Using flash with my G500 I am getting some flash pictures in which persons hair is coming out like they have sparkles in their hair. Like tons of dandruff sparkly. One even beard. Seems to be hair in general. How avoid and what causes???? Best regards and happy holiday season and happy New Year to a wonderful person. Bob Essak
Gerald Licht 16-Dec-2003 01:08
Thnks again for the information. I'm finding as I go through the postings that you have answered most of my questions in the past. As some members have suggested, you probably should write a book about the G500. You could put together an edited version of your assembled postings. My camera will probably arrive tomorrow and I'll let you know how I make out. Regards
Jim Cockfield15-Dec-2003 22:00
Gerald:

There is no real benefit to having both types in the camera, unless you want to maximum the amount of memory available, without needing to worry about carrying spare cards with you. You also have to remove the Secure Digital Card from the camera before you can transfer photos from the Memory Stick (which is a minor annoyance).

The G500 can use Standard Memory Sticks (NOT pro), which are available in sizes up to 128mb. It can also use the Sony MSA-128S2 (Memory Stick Select), which is like having two 128mb Memory Sticks in the same card. Basically, there is a very tiny embedded switch that you have to move between Bank A (128mb) and Bank B (128mb) to get to the rest of the memory. You must remove the Memory Stick from the camera to do this.

If you buy Memory Stick Media, I'd suggest sticking with genuine Sony Brand. I'm using a Lexar 128mbx2 Memory Stick in my camera with no problems. However, I have seen two users report problems using this Lexar media in their models. The Sony MSA-128S2 Memory Stick has been tested by Konica-Minolta and is considered to be compatible. The Lexar has not been tested by Konica-Minolta.
Gerald Licht 14-Dec-2003 17:27
Thanks for your quick response. I remember that you once mentioned using the memory stick in conjunction with the SD card as additional memory. Do you still do this with the advent of larger cards? if so, which brand and and size card would you recommend.

By the way, who should I contact at the Minolta forum to figure out a way to get registered. My guess is that my cable provider is blocking some sites because of hackers and viruses. I do enjoy reading the postings and commend you on the gentle way you handle some of the comments. Regards
Jim Cockfield14-Dec-2003 14:58
Gerald:

Ignore my last. LOL

I mistakenly thought that you were the same user I responded to earlier (Bob) concerning a special macro requirement (blurring backgrounds with macro photos of small flowers). The Nikon Coolpix 4500 has the best macro mode of any camera made (able to "fill the frame" with an object as small as 3/4" across). No other digital camera can even come close to it's macro ability.

The Simpletech Standard 256mb Secure Digital Card appears to work fine. I've been told that it is using Panasonic Controllers and chips, but I have no way to verify this.

I know multiple users of the G500 and Simpletech Standard SD card without any problems. I would personally avoid the new Pro-X card, since I know of nobody that has tested this card in the G500. It could be using a different controller. Even though it is rated just as fast, there could be some other compatibility issues with it. There is no way to know unless somebody tests it. I would stick to the standard (verus Pro-X) Simpletech Cards.
Jim Cockfield14-Dec-2003 14:53
Gerald:

The Nikon Coolpix 4500 I recommended would have been a much better camera for your macro needs (because of the much better aperture control for blurring backgrounds, and lower distortion since it will work when using zoom in macro mode).

However, you can probably get away with the G500 for this purpose, too -- using F2.8 in macro mode. With the G500, you only have a choice of two apertures at wide angle (F2.8 and F4.7); with the aperture varying according to the amount of zoom used. You must go to manual exposure mode in the G500(versus the programmed exposure mode in the Nikon 4500), to choice the desired aperture.

The Simpletech Standard 256mb Secure Digital Card appears to work fine. I've been told that it is using Panasonic Controllers and chips, but I have no way to verify this.

I know multiple users of the G500 and Simpletech Standard SD card without any problems. I would personally avoid the new Pro-X card, since I know of nobody that has tested this card in the G500. It could be using a different controller. Even though it is rated just as fast, there could be some other compatibility issues with it. There is no way to know unless somebody tests it.
Gerald Licht 13-Dec-2003 13:23
Dear JIM

I ordered my G500 and it's somewhere between here and CA. I would post this question on the regular Minolta Forum but for some reason byond my control the registration process doesn't work. I'm still confused as to whether the Simpletech 256 sd chip being sold at Sam's Club will work in the G500. I called Simpletech and they are recommending their PRO Sd card although the tech that I talked to said their regular 256 and 512 sd card would read and write at 10MB. Have you heard of problems with the Simpletech 256 sd card. The price of the regular sd card is considerably cheaper than the PRO version or the Panasonic card. TIA
Dick Copeland 10-Dec-2003 23:54
Thanks much, Jim....now we know the word for "flashing blue/green light" in Japanese....it's BEEP.
Dick
Jim Cockfield10-Dec-2003 17:31
Dick:

The manual does leave a bit to be desired. A lot got lost in the translation from Japanese. They even warn about cryogenic (meaning cold) burns from a hot camera. LOL

To turn off the LED's, simply go Setup, Sounds and turn off Beep.
Dick Copeland 10-Dec-2003 04:18
Hi Jim,
You mentiond in an e mail to Omar of 9/11/2003 that you were able to turn off the blue/green light on the front of your Konica KD-510Z. I just bought a Minolta DiMage G500 and I have gone through the manual several times and can't find a way to turn off the light. Maybe it's an undocumented feature and I'd sure appreciate it if you could tell me how you did it on your Konica. Flashing lights don't help a bit when you are takeing pictures in a school play or in church or just taking candid pictures - period. The only other solution that I can see is some kind of opaque paint in the crack the light comes out of -- tape won't work because of the sliding door.
You are right that this is a great camera. What sold me were the pictures you posted that were a lot like the pictures I have taken with my Oly D40Z, in quality and type. Thanks for your fine public spirited site, it was a big help.
Dick
Jim Cockfield09-Dec-2003 00:58
Brian:

I spoke with Lexar again. I have e-mailed you a name and phone number of who to talk to.
Jim Cockfield08-Dec-2003 21:28
Brian:

I just hung up with online tech support at Lexar U.S. They indicate that the cards should be the same except for packaging. However, they have referred me to Senior Level Person to dicusss the issue with (this was a first line support person, who may not be aware of any differences). I have a call into the person I was referred to now, and left a message explaining the problem, along with my name and Phone Number. I will let you know what I find out.
Brian Hackl 08-Dec-2003 20:57
Thanks for the good ideas Jim. I guess I should push the issue with Lexar. Their tech support says he can't confirm the compatibility since they don't have a G500 to test with.

Unfortunately, dealing with the seller will not be fun, since I bought the memory stick from a Yahoo online dealer, and he is in the US and I live in Canada.

Thanks for the help.
Jim Cockfield08-Dec-2003 20:48
Brian:

Also, note that Lexar's page on Memory Stick Media says this:

"100% Compatibility Guaranteed, Plus a 5-year Limited Warranty
The Digital Film Compliance seal assures you that your Lexar Media film is 100% compatible with your Memory Stick digital camera. Moreover, your film is also backed by a 5-year limited customer-satisfaction warranty."

http://www.digitalfilm.com/dynamic-frameset_dm.html?http://www.lexarmedia.com/digfilm/ms.html
Jim Cockfield08-Dec-2003 20:43
Brian:

Yes, I've heard of Dane-Elec. However, I have no way to confirm Panasonic is their OEM Supplier or not. Did you purchase the Lexar Memory Stick locally? Perhaps the vendor will consider replacing it. Also, you may be able to get a replacement from Lexar. I would let them know about the problem, and give them the number off of my Lexar MS, too (that way, they may be able to determine if it's a compatibility problem with a certain card series, or if it's only a defective card).
Brian Hackl 08-Dec-2003 20:29
The writing on the stick says "256100BV4503 Made in Singapore - 256 MB - 128 MB x2". It doesn't sound good for this card, so I am thinking about getting another one so I have something to use for now.

I can't find any Panasonic memory locally, and I hate to go to mail order for something like this, especially now that I have been stung. I can get "Dane-Elec" SD cards locally. I have been advised that Dane-Elec are manufactured by Panasonic, but I wonder if you can depend on that. Have you heard of "Dana-Elec"? I can get a 256 MB SD made by Dane Elec for $100 Canadian. It would be a great deal if they are compatible.
Jim Cockfield08-Dec-2003 19:25
Brian:

This is the second report I've heard like this. The first one was from a Konica KD-410z user. I'm using a Lexar 128mbx2 Memory Stick in my camera with no problems (along with the supplied Toshiba Secure Digital Card). Startup Speed is fine.

Do me a favor. Check the back of your Memory Stick. Mine says 256100AV1903 Made in Singapore. That may help us figure out if it's a bad stick, or if there is more than one type of Lexar 128mbx2 Stick on the market.

BTW, I've also seen reports of a similiar problem with some of the larger Secure Digital Media (very slow startup times), when using incompatible cards.
Brian Hackl 08-Dec-2003 14:36
I just received my G500 last week - GREAT little camera. I decided to go with a memory stick for now rather than buy an SD card that might not be compatible. I purchased a Lexar 128MB/128MB. When it is in the camera, the camera takes about 10 seconds to power up, versus about a second with the Minolta supplied Toshiba SD card. Also, often as not, the Memory stick is not recognized, and the camera goes to the SD card even though the Memory stick is selected as the primary memory. Both sides of the memory stick have been formatted in the camera.

When the memory stick is recognized, the camera takes still pictures properly, but is very slow to read and write movies. Does this sound like a defective card, or an incompatible memory stick? Lexar tech support says that they do not have a G500 to test compatibility, and to ask Minolta for help. Any ideas?
Gerald Licht 07-Dec-2003 16:36
Many thanks for your fast response. I pride myself in keeping up on technology but I must admit that staying abreast of the rapid change in the digital camera business is proving a challenge. This strange mix of optical and computer technology is weird.
Jim Cockfield07-Dec-2003 06:11
Gerald:

I would take a look at the Lexar USB 2.0 Multi-Card Reader. It's under $30.00 discounted now. Here's an example:

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10345401&loc=101

If you don't have USB 2.0 ports, it's backwards compatible with USB 1.1 (but it won't be as fast). You can get a USB 2.0 I/O Card for under $20.00 now, too (if your PC doesn't have USB 2.0 ports already). Here's an example:

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10353356&loc=101&sp=1

Here's a review of the Lexar card reader:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/lexar_mcr-usb2.html

I just did a quick search on buy.com to find some prices. You can probably shop around and find other options, too.
Gerald Licht 07-Dec-2003 04:41
Thanks for your patience in answering my questions. Would you direct me toward a site that could compare memory card readers with recommendations as to purchase.Thanks again and I hope you will feel better. Gerald Licht
Jim Cockfield07-Dec-2003 02:05
Gerald:

I have no experience with Extended Warranties at all. Most of the vendors seem to sell them, but I have never bought or used one.
Glicht 05-Dec-2003 04:25
Dear Jim; I have noticed that there is little discussion of extended warranties. Do you have any experience with their utilty. Do you feel that they are worthwhile. Thanks
Gerald Licht
Guest 05-Dec-2003 03:00
Jim,
Thank you very much. Bob Essak
Jim Cockfield03-Dec-2003 06:53
Bob:

Examples with a Nikon Coolpix 4500 Digital Cameras:

F3.9 at 9.1mm
http://www.pbase.com/image/14219249

F4.0 at 12.7mm:
http://www.pbase.com/image/14034795

F2.9 at 10.9mm
http://www.pbase.com/image/15078186

All you have to do to decrease DOF, is use zoom in macro mode (most of these were taken near the wide angle end of the camera). The macro sweet spot is at around half zoom. Again, see me previous posts, and you'll find an example of doing this on one of the pages.
Jim Cockfield03-Dec-2003 06:03
Bob:

Read my response again. I understand how apertures work. At F8 on digital camera like the Nikon Coolpix 4500, you'll have way too much depth of field for the subject you're describing (several 1 inch flowers in focus, with the background blurred).

See the link to the cactus photo at both F9.3 (foreground and background in focus), and F3.3 (foreground in focus, background blurred). You can click on the cactus photos to get a better idea (you'll see the full size photo then). The link is in my last post.

You have MUCH greater Depth of Field with a digital camera, for the same aperture value in a 35mm camera. This is because of the much smaller sensor and lens. Even though the lens on a camera like the Nikon 4500 is "equivalent" to a 38-155mm lens on a 35mm camera, it's really a 7.85 - 32mm lens, focusing on a .556 inch sensor (MUCH smaller than 35mm film size), with tremendous depth of field because of the true (not equivalent) focal length of the lens design.

As a result, the apertures needed are much different.

Read my previous post again. It has links to a page explaining how to vary the aperture in Programmed Auto Mode (the P setting on the Nikons mode dial). It's very simple to use (set the mode dial to P, then move a wheel while it goes through different shutter speed/aperture combinations. You can also shoot in Aperture Priority mode if desired. One of the links in my previous post, pointing to a 4500 review page explains it.

Again, you'll also see a link to a page from a Nikon 995 review, where F3.3 was used to have good focus on a cactus, while blurring the background. Scroll down on the page I had a link to, and you'll see the Depth of Field tests with the Cactus.

This would most likely be about right for three 1 inch flowers in focus, if all 3 are at about the same distance from the camera's lens (while blurring most of the rest of the plant). The range to the three 1 inch flowers, would most likely be about the same range as used to take the cactus photo.

F8 would definitely be way too much depth of field for blurring the background on a digital camera with this lens design for the subject you are describing, at most focal lengths.

Scroll down on the page I had the link to, and you'll see the examples. Click on the photos taken at both F9.3, and F3.3 to get a better idea of the differences in DOF with a Digital Camera. The scene you described (several one inch flowers in focus, with the background blurred) will require a much wider aperture than F8. It's not the same with a digital camera.

Unfortunately, most salespeople don't understand cameras (I don't care if he was the manager of the department). Simply put the Nikon in Macro Mode (if he doesn't understand how to do this, tell him to read the review or manual for the camera). You can then find the macro sweet spot (using some zoom, which will also help your ability to blur the background, since it will be at a longer focal length there).

The macro icon actually changes color when you're at the sweet spot (no distortion). You'll see an explanation of how this works on the macro page for the 4500 I gave a link to.

It's really quite simple to use a Nikon to vary aperture for macros. You just have to get used in thinking about aperture values needed differently. You'll need much wider apertures to blur backgrounds, and you'll need to use some zoom for the subject you are describing, too. This will reduce distortion, and make it easier to blur the background.

And the Nikon 4500 has the best macro ability of any digital camera you can buy, at any price. It can fill the frame with an object as small as 2/3" across, with no distortion at the macro sweet spot. The rest of them can't even come close.
Guest 03-Dec-2003 03:14
Dear Jim,
To Get great depth of field of the flowers themselves you need to close down your f stops not open them. F2.8 you will have no depth of field at all. With 35mm we usually close down to as an example F8 or maybe F11 , but usually not f16 or f22 because then you get all the background in sharp focus. For example, all the pictures of flowers ar in range of f8 to f16, otherwise the full "depth " of the flower or indian pipe or orchids would not be sharp. But usually are at f8 if necessary to blur out background. When background is not a problem he goes to f16 and sometimes f22. F2.8 you would have a very blurred picture of a "flower". How is this accomplised with a digital camera, and will the nikon coolpix 4500 do this? I was in camera store and mgr of digital cameras said you could do what I am asking. I said, "show me." He had a subject and placed something a ways behind it , and was surprised that no matter how he tried, he could not get the backgroun object unsharp???
Jim Cockfield02-Dec-2003 19:14
Bob:

A digital camera with a small sensor has a much greater depth of field at the same aperture rating, compared to a film camera. But, yes. You have very fine aperture control with the Nikon Coolpix 4500 (much more control, than with a camera like my G500). The Coolpix 4500 would be a very good choice in a digital camera for macros (it's probably the best "out of the box" macro camera you can buy, at any price). You'll need a wider aperture than F8 to blur backgrounds, but this is not a problem (you can go down to as wide as F2.6 if needed).

Phil Askey (owner/editor of dpreview.com) has a review of the camera showing it's macro ability. See this page:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/page15.asp

The Nikon has a great implemention for varying aperture, too. When in Programmed Auto mode, you can move a thumbwheel to vary exposure choices, until you find the aperture/shutter speed combination that works best for your scene (more or less Depth of Field as desired, while still using the camera's autoexposure algorithms). Phil explains how this works (P setting) on this page:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/page15.asp

He doesn't show how aperture impacts Depth of Field in his Nikon 4500 review, but you can get an idea of how aperture works in the older model Nikon Coolpix 995 on this page:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp995/page20.asp

Note that at F9.3, the smaller aperture allowed more of the photo to be in focus. However, when using a wider aperture (F3.3), the background was blurred. Wider apertures also allow faster shutter speeds, useful for preventing blur with closeups.

I personally don't think you'll find a better camera than the Nikon Coolpix 4500 for your purposes (photographing flowers, with fine control over aperture for blurring backgrounds as desired). Nikon has stopped manufacturing it, so I'd grab one of the refurbished models from Ritz, before they run out of them.

http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=13113751&cmCat=SEARCH

BTW, I've owned two of the older model Nikons (Coolpix 990 ,and Coolpix 950). I still have the 950. No other digital cameras can even come close to the macro ability of the swivel bodied Nikons (950, 990, 995, 4500), not even other Nikons.

The only problem you'll have is lighting (if taking photos indoors). You'll most likely want to use a tripod with external lighting to prevent reflections from the flash for indoor closeups. Nikon does make a Macro Light that attaches to the front of the lens for closeups though:

http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=13035154&cmCat=SEARCH
Guest 02-Dec-2003 04:28
Dear Jim,
Does the coolpix 4500 or the nikon 4500 close down to say equivalent of f8 and blur out the background? What is required in digital to do this? Thanks again, bob
Jim Cockfield30-Nov-2003 18:55
Bob:

Unfortunately, there aren't many flowers this time of year. LOL

You can use manual exposure in the G500, and set the aperture to a wider value (i.e., F2.8 at full wide angle). This should be good enough to blur the background for macros. Although, bear in mind that you do have much greater Depth of Field with a camera using a tiny lens and sensor. I used manual exposure for the only macros I took, to get more of the photo in focus (not the opposite). I'll try to experiment more with it soon(perhaps with artificial flowers). But, I doubt you'd have a problem blurring the background at closer distances at F2.8

I've used the Nikon Coolpix 950, Coolpix 990; Olympus C-2500L; Sony DSC-F505, Sony DSC-P10 (owned very briefly); Epson PhotoPC 3000z; and my newest model, the Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500). I also use an old Nikon N4004s film camera sometimes (but not lately). The only two digitals I currently own are my Nikon CP 950 (great macro camera), and the Konica KD-510z.

The best deal going for a great macro camera right now is probably the Coolpix 4500 (available refurbished at Ritz Camera and Video for only $349.95). But, for a small group of flowers, you won't need this good of macro (the Nikon 4500 can "fill the frame" with an object as small as 2/3" across, with virtually no distortion, since the "sweet spot" is at around half zoom).

The Minolta G500 will have some barrel distortion for macros at wide angle (about 1%).
Guest 30-Nov-2003 18:09
Jim,
Is it possible with the G500 to take outdoor pictures of a group of say three one inch flowers and get the background out of focus?. With my nikon 8808S on a tripod I set fstop at say f8 and usually works. If f16, too much depth of field and background sharp and disturbing to subject.

What other digital cameras do you use? Without getting into the $2000. range and up what is a very good choice for a second digital camera besides the G500? Say under $1000 or even lower would be better, if get extra quality, etc.
Thanks again for your sharing your knowledge, Bob Essak
Jim Cockfield28-Nov-2003 19:53
Lennart:

As I mentioned in my previous response to you, I would not trust the information you got from Konica-Minolta, stating that all Secure Digital Cards are compatible. Konica-Minolta Japan disagrees, and I know of users having problems with slower cards.

Now, Konica-Minolta in the U.S. has also published a new compatiblity chart, concuring with Konica-Japan's findings (and what I've found out from users of these models). Here is the link:

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/main/MinoltaUSA/MUSAContent/CPG/CPG_Compatibility/DiMAGEG500

.
Jim Cockfield27-Nov-2003 03:38
Brian:

That is my understanding (with cards up to 128MB, you should have no problems). The only reports of problems that I've seen, were with larger cards. BTW, I did send an e-mail to someone else about the compatiblity list today. Hopefully, this information will get to the right people. Since I've seen users report problems, I am personally going to take it seriously (I will not buy a slow card for my camera).
Brian Hackl 25-Nov-2003 22:30
I have REALLY enjoyed your input about the Minolta camera. Mine is on order, I should have it shortly.

It sounds as though Panasonic is the way to go until this compatability thing is better understood. I think what I will do for now is buy a 128MB memory stick for now, and find out more about SD cards later. From what I understand, there are no compatability problems to worry about with those?
Jim Cockfield25-Nov-2003 18:58
Lennart:

I would not trust Konica-Minolta Support. They are "behind the curve" on compatible cards. I've seen multiple users reporting problems using slower media (corrupted files, slow startup times, card failing to format, etc.).

Use the tests from Konica-Minolta Japan. Apparently, the U.S. support is not aware of the problems.

http://ca.konicaminolta.jp/cgi-bin/compati.cgi?category=DSC&product=rkd510

BTW, I've even seen users of other camera models with problems using slower media. Here is an HP camera owner that had problems with Sandisk 256mb Secure Digital. He switched to Panasonic, and his problems were solved (scroll down through my comments, and you'll see that his problems were solved with a faster Panasonic card):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1001&message=6728378
Jim Cockfield25-Nov-2003 18:52
Well, unless you can find someone that has tested one of these cards, I don't know of a way to find out. Konica-Minolta Japan only considers Toshiba and Panasonic Secure Digital Cards to be compatible in 256mb size; and only Panasonic Secure Digital to be compatible in 512mb size.

Would the new Sandisk Ultra work? Probably, but there is no way to tell for sure. Besides, chances are, the Panasonic Standard Cards in these sizes are lower priced (and their standard 256mb and 512mb Secure Digital Cards are 10mb/second. Personally, I'd probably go with Simpletech (their standard 256mb and 512mb cards appear to be rebranded Panasonic), and are rated at 10mb/second, too.
Brian Hackl 25-Nov-2003 17:55
These cards boast 10MB/sec. Will they work properly in the G500 Minolta? How could I find out without buying one?
Lennart 25-Nov-2003 09:59
Hi,

I'm going to buy larger memory cards to our KD-420z and KD410z.

I talk to support.
They say that all producers Sd card should work (and size).
If there is a problem, then the card is bad or formating isn't done correctly.

The speed of new cards 10Mb/s doesnt make any better performance when taking photos.
When using a large card it's better to use a cardreader when uploading.

Jim,
The price for new SD 10Mb/s 256Mb in Sweden is 165$ it' 50$ more than old 256Mb cards.

Should a trust the supportguy or what do you think ?

Thanks
Jim Cockfield24-Nov-2003 15:42
Glicht:

I usually use the LCD for framing. It's very good, and is more useable in sunlight than the LCD's on cameras I've used in the past. The Viewfinder is small, but it's quite useable. It's located in the center of the camera, and your nose will touch the LCD. But, even though your eye is still located away from the viewfinder, it works quite well (I suspect Konica designed it so that it's adjusted for your eye being away from the viewfinder). I even wear glasses, and have not problems using the Viewfinder.

But, I usually use the LCD anyway. You can change any settings you want to, by using the LCD for framing, and using the back panel controls to make any adjustments you want to. I really like it's design.



Glicht 24-Nov-2003 02:58
I really appreciate your dedication in spreading the word about the
konica/Minolta G500. I am very experienced in operating film cameras but am sadly lacking in digital experience. Several of the discussion groups have mentioned problem of using the LCD screen in bright sunlight. This would seem to emphasize the imprtance of the optical viewfinder. The G500 seems to have a tiny one- say compared the Pentax 550. Has this caused you any problems? Do you normally use the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen? I'd appreciate your comments. Gerald Licht
Jim Cockfield19-Nov-2003 20:41
Andrew:

I spent a lot of time looking at photos from both models, before finding my Konica (about two weeks after is started shipping in Japan). Also, I had looked closely at comments from users of the older Konica KD-500z, that were very pleased with it (even though it lacks the feature set of the newer Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500). BTW, follow the links in this forum post, to comments from users who have owned both the KD-510z/Minolta G500, and the Canon S400. They both prefer the Konica:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1024&message=6427181
Andrew Mitchell18-Nov-2003 15:15
I must say that the back of the G500 is far better looking than the G400.

I also take a lot of indoor flash shots, and use an external flash on my Oly C5050 to pretty good effect. One of my colleagues has just lent me her Canon S400 for a couple of days to rattle of a few hundred shots. In the past I have always found Canon flash shots to give very unatural skin tones (something than my 2 Olys seem to excel at), so it will be interesting to give it a real workout.

No doubt the Canon was on your shortlist when you were shopping? Why didn't you like it? It must be about the same size as the G500.

Regards

Andrew
Jim Cockfield17-Nov-2003 17:47
Andrew:

No problem. That's what attracted me to this camera, too (able to carry a camera everywhere in my pocket). The choices in the pocketable category are very limited now.

I also looked at things like CCD density, flash range, focus speed/accuracy, lens quality, etc., when comparing models.

Unfortunately, the new G400 will have a MUCH weaker flash (similiar to some of the other "ultracompacts"), so it would not be suitable for me (since I like to take lots of indoor photos at parties, restaurants, family gatherings, etc.).

It will also use a smaller, denser CCD (1/2.5"), which means the noise levels will most likely be higher.

So, even it it focuses faster (I suspect it will be one of the "fastest non-SLR digital cameras on the planet" from a autofocus lag perpsective), the G400 would not suit me (flash is FAR too weak to be practical for my needs, noise will most likely be higher, too).

Andrew Mitchell17-Nov-2003 05:10
Thanks, Jim, that was pretty much what I expected.

I'm going to sit on the fence for a while until the Minolta/Konica G400 starts hitting the shelves and then compare the G500 and G400 for: price/size/focusing speed/focusing accuracy.

But the lure of a camera I can keep in pocket (like my Ricoh GR1s film compact) is pulling hard!

Regards

Andrew
Jim Cockfield16-Nov-2003 20:36
Andrew:

If you want a subcompact camera, you're going to see a high percentage of redeye in photos, regardless of which manufacturer and model you're choosing. As a general rule, the closer the flash is to the camera's lens, the higher the potential for redeye in your photos.

I always shoot with redeye reduction disabled (in my opinion, the preflash used by redeye reduction modes "spoils the shots", since facial expressions will change when the preflash fires.

All redeye reduction modes work by using a preflash (or series of preflashes) that cause the subjects pupils to shrink. Cameras with redeye reduction modes can reduce redeye (because the pupils are smaller), but this does not always eliminate it. So, I choose to shoot with it turned off (preflash spoils the shots, regardless of the camera used, in my opinion).

So, yes, a very high percentage of shots will have redeye.

If you want a camera with no redeye, my advise would be to buy a much larger model, with the flash located high above the lens (pop-up flash, in a larger camera).

As far as correcting it, it's really quite simple. I use the free Irfanview (available fromhttp://www.irfanview.com ) for correcting redeye in my photos, since it allows you to vary the amount of correction being applied). I've also found that Compupic does an outstanding job on the particular shade of red found in the photos from this camera, while leaving the eyes looking very natural (without the "black holes" you get from some packages).

You can download a free trial from their web site here:

http://www.photodex.com/products/compupic/windows/features.html

Bottom Line: If you want a camera without redeye in all shooting conditons, don't buy a subcompact camera from any manufacturer.
Jim Cockfield16-Nov-2003 20:26
Jim, Is the Konica KD-510Z available in the U.S. as the Konica or only as the Minolta G-500. Am considering it vs. the Canon S-400, A-80, or S-50. Thanks!

Curtis:

The Konica Revio KD-510z and Minolta DiMAGE G500 are identical, except for the logo and model number. Everything else is the same. After the Konica-Minolta merger, they decided to market the camera under the Konica label in Europe and Asia, and under the Minolta label in the U.S.

As far as the S400 vs. A80 vs S50, I think you'll find that the lens in the Konica is much better matched to the sensor (the S400 and S45/S50 use the same lens). The S50 has relatively high Chromatic Aberrations, as does the S50.

As for the S400, see my Konica Album Forum (on the main album page). You'll see links to comments of users that have owned both the Canon S400, and the Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500). They both prefer the Konica (better and more accurate low light focus, better color, etc.
Andrew Mitchell16-Nov-2003 04:42
Very interesting stuff, Jim. It's nice to read a review that hasn't come from one of the 4 "main" internet reviewers, who's stuff is either too simple or too complicated! They always mange to miss out those everyday flash photos that us simple folk like to take all the time.

Not mentioned in your reviews, but implied, is the fact that all your flash pictures have red-eye. Is this the case? I hate having to clear up red eye, and usually trash photos rather than deal with this. Luckily the 2 digicams I use at the moment (Olympus C-2100UZ & Olympus C5050) rarely give red-eye with flash photos. Just as well as red-eye removing software is limited for the Mac, which I use.

This would be a deal breaker for me, so would be interested to know what % of your flash pics have red-eye.

Many thanks for all the info

Andrew (in Taipei, Taiwan)
Curtis Anderson 14-Nov-2003 12:02
Jim, Is the Konica KD-510Z available in the U.S. as the Konica or only as the Minolta G-500. Am considering it vs. the Canon S-400, A-80, or S-50. Thanks!

Curt
Jim Cockfield08-Nov-2003 02:17
Haroon:

No problem, I'm glad we were able to help narrow down your choice. You may also want to read the forum posts on my main Konica gallery page. It has many more entries, compared to the guestbook here.

http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

Also, make sure you take note of my Secure Digital Card warning (in the top of the gallery). Some cards may not work correctly (Konica-Minolta Japan has noted problems on Sandisk manufactured cards larger than 128mb. These cards are dramatically slower than cards manufactured by Panasonic or Toshiba. In fact, in 512mb size, only the Panasonic Secure Digital Card is considered compatible (both Pansonic's 256mb and 512mb SD cards are rated at 10mb/second -- much, much faster than cards from other manufacturers).

Enjoy your camera when it arrives!
Haroon 08-Nov-2003 01:23
You guys are awesome. The various postings/responses below answered all my lingering questions.

Having researched various websites for reviews on 4MP/5 MP digital cameras that are (1) pocketable (2) have high image quality and (3) provide value for money I am going to buy the Minolta Dimage G500 from buydig.com for about $319.

FYI, the other contenders who could caem close but just couldn't match up in my book were the Canon S400, Casio Z4U and Sony P10.

Thanks much, Jim.

Haroon
Jim Cockfield07-Nov-2003 19:36
Scott:

The Konica Revio KD-510z started shipping in Japan at the end of June. It would have been my first choice. But, since I was unable to locate one, I decided to compromise, and went with the Sony. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. I was looking for a pocketable camera, with a good balance between image quality, flash strength and user control. The Sony looked good "on paper" (scene modes to take the place of manual exposure, better flash range than most, 5 megapixels with a sharp lens, very pocketable). Unfortunately, it's indoor metering was terrible (not to mention my dislike of the ergonomics, color accuracy, etc.). I am VERY glad I returned it!

So, rather than compromising again (and going with a larger camera than I wanted, since the existing 5MP Pocketable models were limited in the U.S.), I deliberately sought out (and managed to find) a Japanese Konica KD-510z. I bought it with no warranty, from someone that acquired two of them, within 2 weeks of it being released in Japan.

This camera didn't start shipping in the U.S. (as the Minolta DiMAGE G500) until MUCH later.
Tom Tsui 07-Nov-2003 16:55
Dear Jim,

I just want to say " Thanks so much to introduce this great camera G500 to everybody !"
I totally agreed with your posted review. It is the best balanced ,no camera is perfect, between photo quality, flash strength, useful manual control, compact size & low light foucing especially. Thanks for the "light sensor" which located (black hole) under the flash lamp. I belive that it generates an unvisable infrared "IR" to help user to focus in dark. I have experienced to take a photo between 1-2 meters in total dark although i cannot see anything in monitor. The G500 can also focus and provide clear picture accurately. It's similar to Sony "light frame system" except we cannot see any images in LCD monitor and focus point.

Once again, thanks so much !

Best regards,
Tom
Sony DSC-F707, Minolta G500
Guest 07-Nov-2003 16:55
Dear Jim,

I just want to say " Thanks so much to introduce this great camera G500 to everybody !"
I totally agreed with your posted review. It is the best balanced ,no camera is perfect, between photo quality, flash strength, useful manual control, compact size & low light foucing especially. Thanks for the "light sensor" which located (black hole) under the flash lamp. I belive that it generates an unvisable infrared "IR" to help user to focus in dark. I have experienced to take a photo between 1-2 meters in total dark although i cannot see anything in monitor. The G500 can also focus and provide clear picture accurately. It's similar to Sony "light frame system" except we cannot see any images in LCD monitor and focus point.

Once again, thanks so much !

Best regards,
Tom
Sony DSC-F707, Minolta G500
Scott Klettke 07-Nov-2003 03:27
I read in the dpreview.com Minolta forum that you were considering these choices: Minolta F300, Canon S400, Olympus Stylus 400, Sony DSC-P10, Minolta G500. You ultimately choice the Sony DSC-P10, but returned it because you were not satisfied with it.

What features did the Sony have that made you choose it over the others? Put another way, why was the Minolta G500 your "second" choice?

Thanks again,
Scott
Jim Cockfield05-Nov-2003 16:01
Scott:

Konica has come out with multiple firmware updates for previous models (KD-310z, KD-400z, KD-410z, KD-500z), improving things like startup times, while balance, color and more.

I have no contacts at Konica-Minolta, so I don't know what their plans are for firmware upgrades. I'm hopeful that they will come out with one including an aperture priority mode. However, if not, the manual exposure works well -- with the camera's metering showing you if your choice in aperture/shutter speed will result in overexposure or underexposure of a photo (it displays the EV from your settings in 0.3EV increments from -2.0 to +2.0 in manual mode). It's like having a built in light meter.

As far as the case, I don't use one. I carry my Konica in my front pants pocket (I keep one pocket just for the camera, with my keys and change in the other pocket). This allows me to pull out the camera quickly, to capture a photo "on a moments notice".

As far as batteries, actually, the Generic Batteries appear to be rated slighter better than the battery included with my camera (the Generics are rated at 850mAh, and the one with my camera is marked 820mAh. I doubt you'd see any "real world" difference between them.
Scott Klettke 05-Nov-2003 02:59
Thank you so much for posting your pictures and responding in detail to messages on the dpreview.com Minolta message board.

Like many, I have been debating between the Canon Powershoot S400, the Minolta G500, and the Minolta G400. Based on your's and others' messages, I've narrowed it down to the G500 or G400. Since I'm not going to be getting the camera until Christmas, I have the luxury of waiting until the G400 is reviewed.

As you said, the less dense G500 CCD should get better picture quality than the more dense CCD on the G400. However, Minolta/Konica might have made some breaththrough in noise reduction so I'm willing to wait until the reviews. I really like the idea of the hybrid focusing system and the aperture priority on the G400. However, from everything I've read, the G500 focusing system outperforms the S400's Ai AF TTL 9-point, so I'm not sure how much of an "improvement" the G400 hybrid focusing system could be. Also, could aperture priority be added in a firmware update? How often does Minola/Konica come out with a firmware update? And, if you have any idea, ss it very likely that they will include this feature in the next firmware?

One last question. What case are you using for your camera? Does Minolta/Konica make a leather case specifically for this model? And, how well do those $11 batteries on Ebay work? I don't think they are at the same capacity as the official batteries, but they sure are a lot cheaper! (Okay, that was more than one question ;-) ).

Thanks again!

Scott
Jim Cockfield29-Oct-2003 19:51
Werner:

I'm glad you like the camera. I've also been very pleased with this choice (which is why I've been trying to "spread the word" about it). It's a great camera, at a great price, compared to the other models in it's class.
Werner Nieke 29-Oct-2003 09:10
Hi Jim,

thanks for your in-depth article on dpreview.com, in particular the description of the 4 way controller!
I have to admit that I was very uncertain about what camera I wanted, like some of the users in your guestbook. Originally, I hadn't even considered a five megapix camera.
After reading your article and a small number of reviews posted elsewhere I got the Konica two weeks ago, and it feels like a perfect choice! I am only beginning to reveal the "hidden secrets" as to functionality, like you indicated in your article. It's really a great camera and I haven't regretted my choice a single time.
I think the main point was - next to its great number of features - the speed at which it is ready to operate, in particular when it comes to flash speed and concurrent shots. OK, I spent some 100 dollars more, but I think this great gadget is more than worth it!

To anyone who is undecided between the Konica and the Sony: The only things that are missing on the Konica are the headphone jack and TV-out, but I don't miss them at all, since my pictures go right into my new Apple Powerbook ;-) and into the Photo Library. Other than that, I personally think that the Konica is technically way superior to the SONYs of this world and sorts (and I have friends who are using the SONY). If you need any more convincing, take a look at Jim's photos, in particular the "macro test" or check my first shots taken with the Konica (and little knowledge about its capabilities :-)):
www.nieke.de/first_tries/
www.nieke.de/krumbach/
www.nieke.de/fotosafari/

(They're all taken at a resolution of 640x480, because I knew they'd go on the web)
Thanks again, Jim, great job!
Regards,
Werner
Pat 27-Oct-2003 19:32
Hi Jim: Thank you for your prompt and informative reply to my earlier question. I have read everything I can find on most of the compact digitals, and based largely on your review, your comments, and your answers to questions in the forums about the Minolta G500, I have just ordered one. I will let you know what I think when I've tried it out, but I'm certain that I will be completely satisfied. BTW, I'm using your guestbook because I cannot register with the dpreview forum because of my email address.
Jim Cockfield27-Oct-2003 01:21
Tina:

The Sony's metering was very inconsistent (especially indoors). One shot may be OK, the next one very dark (even though you were shooting at the same thing, at the same distance, in the same lighting).

Outdoor photos were more consistent, but they tended to be overexposed slightly, and sometimes certain shades of green seemed artificially bright.

The flash recycle time was also very slow. I also did not appreciate the ergonomics, the way the lens was on one side of the camera. It made it very difficult to hold with both hands. When I tried to use it with one hand, my photos often came out tilted. With two hands, my left hand seemed to be in the way (trying to avoid blocking the lens).

Anyway, I like the Konica MUCH better. You can read my review of the Sony here if you like (not very detailed, as in my Konica review, but you can tell what I did and did not like about it). I'm very glad that I returned it (because I like the Konica so much more)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=sony_dscp10&opinion=17422
Tina 25-Oct-2003 21:05
Jim,

I was debating between a Sony PSC-P10 and the Canon S50. Then, I heard about this camera and read that you had returned your Sony. What did you not like about the Sony? I know nothing about cameras and go back and forth from one review to another. Can you say something about the pros and cons of the Sony vs the Minolta? Also, do you have a preference for a printer to go with the Minolta?

Thanks, Tina
Jim Cockfield22-Oct-2003 17:40
To Pat (pgeveland):

The new G400 will use a much smaller CCD (1/2.5") versus the 1/1.8" CCD in the G500. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the G500 image quality will be better.

There are some benefits to the G400 (faster startup, faster cycle times, some additional features, smaller size), but if image quality is more important, I'd stick with the G500. I have not been impressed with any camera using the new, denser 4 Megapixel 1/2.5" CCD yet (although Konica-Minolta may surprise me -- we'll have to wait for "real world" photos to find out, though). In any event, there is no way that the smaller CCD is going to have better image quality.

As far as the Pentax. I think it's good camera, offering a lot of zoom range. But, it's too large for me (too thick for comfortable pocket carry), and is a little slow getting started, too (although the new model may be faster).
Jim Cockfield22-Oct-2003 17:34
To Pat (easyfat8):

The Canon S400 takes great photos, but users of both the S400 and KD-510z (G500) that I've chatted with, prefer the Konica-Minolta (better indoor focus, more accurate colors, more flexible. I have not been as impressed with the S50. I'd go with the S45 first (less Chromatic Aberrations and noise compared to the S50).

I really don't think much of the others. If pocketability is a big factor, I'd definitely go with the G500, versus the larger S45 though. I really like this camera.

If pocketability is not a factor, the S45 would make a great choice.



Hi Jim, I'm looking for a compact Digital camera for travel to S.E Asia. I have read alot of review, and was consider Canon S400 or S50. Then I came across the Camera store and find that Minolta G500 that looks great and love the Style, but was not sure how the image quality will be. I try to read more review about G500, but so far did not find many review for it. So, between the Canon S400, S50, Olympus C-50, Fuji F700, Nikon 4300, and most recently Minolta G500. Which one would you recommend? Your advice will be deeply appreciate.
Pat 22-Oct-2003 00:15
Hi Jim: I have been researching cameras for several weeks now, but just today discovered your review of the Minolta G500. I want a small camera to carry around with me in my pocket, as is your custom. I currently own and enjoy my Olympus C4040, but it's too bulky for any pocket I have. I had just about decided to buy a Pentax Optio 550, but found your comments on the G500 to be very persuasive. However, I have yet to hold one in my hand. In addition, I have noted the release of the Minolta G400. I gather you haven't seen it yet. What are your thoughts on the G500 compared to the Optio 550? I am aware that the latter is rather more expensive. Should I be patient and wait for the G400? Thanks, Jim
Pat 20-Oct-2003 05:08
Hi Jim, I'm looking for a compact Digital camera for travel to S.E Asia. I have read alot of review, and was consider Canon S400 or S50. Then I came across the Camera store and find that Minolta G500 that looks great and love the Style, but was not sure how the image quality will be. I try to read more review about G500, but so far did not find many review for it. So, between the Canon S400, S50, Olympus C-50, Fuji F700, Nikon 4300, and most recently Minolta G500. Which one would you recommend? Your advice will be deeply appreciate.

P/S. Please excuse my English, it is my Third.
George Liebert 15-Oct-2003 16:27
So Jim, now that a g400 is coming out, which would you get? the 400 or the 500?
Jim Cockfield14-Oct-2003 15:24
Bob:

After changing to Macro mode, I stayed at full wide angle, where the autoexposure would have normally picked F2.8; I switched to manual exposure and used F4.7 instead for more depth of field. I then used the on screen EV indication you have when using manual exposure to check my settings (using half shutter button presses), to let the camera tell me when the exposure was correct (F4.7 at 1/50 second).

The shades were open, so I was using natural light (coin on top some fabric my wife had, laying in a chair by the window), so I had plenty of light to take it this way in macro mode.
Guest 13-Oct-2003 03:00
Jim,
Somehow I got the "icons" for the custom adjustments straightened out, but I am not sure how I did it, so still apprecitate your response to both questions. Did you adjust the shutter a crack open same as adjusted fstop in manual; right next to fstop is shutter speed? With 35mm you would be f8.5 or more closed and with a slow shutter speed like maybe close to a second. I see you can adjust shutter manually just as do fstop? Is that what you meant?
Guest 12-Oct-2003 23:39
Hi Jim,
In your explnation of how to take close up's, you stated, "I had the shutters cracked open for better light for the macro photo." How did you do this? Also I was making some adjustments with the CD "instruction book" and now somehow I turned off the display for all the custom set-ups. They come on when I select them, but now they go off in a few seconds, and I can't figure out how to return to what I had. Before I could select anything: any flash, white balance, close up, scenic, etc and anyh exposure compensation and display would stay until I wanted to change. Now it goes off after a few seconds. I've been fooling around for about 2 hours and can't get it back. Thanks for a sharing guy named Jim Cockfield.
Jim Cockfield10-Oct-2003 16:55
To Bob and Janusdevil:

Bob:

I had the shutters cracked open for better light for the macro photo. I also used manual exposure for this one, so that I could set the aperture for more (rather than less) depth of field (higher F-Stop = smaller aperture = more depth of field).

Autoexposure seemed to work fine, except for some mild softness away from the center, so I bumped the Aperture up using manual (the default autoexposure was selecting an F2.8 Aperture Setting).

Janusdevil:

Both the Simpletech and Panasonic 256mb and 512mb Secure Digital Cards are rated at 10mb/second. Most cards are MUCH slower than these. Also, cards smaller than 256mb from Panasonic and Simpletech are also much slower (most have a maximum transfer rate of 2 to 3 mb/second).

See Simpletech's specifications on this page (click on a card size to see the transfer rates): http://www.simpletech.com/flash/secure_digital.php

I have not yet tested the camera with a fast (10mb/second) cards. However, the way I look at it, the price differences between these (and MUCH slower cards from other manufacturers) is negligible.

I'm currently using a Toshiba 32mb Secure Digital Card (that shipped with my Japanese Model Camera), along with a Lexar 256mb (128mb x 2) Memory Stick. Both seem to work equally well as far as camera performance.
Jim Cockfield10-Oct-2003 16:48
Bob:

I'd recommend either the Simpltech or Panasonic 256mb Secure Digital. They're both rated a 10mb/second transfer rate. Most cards (including smaller cards from these manufacturers) are MUCH slower (the fastest are usually around 2 or 3mb/seconc).
Guest 08-Oct-2003 03:49
I am getting very good pictures with the DimageG500, thanks to you. What is the secret to getting the closeups, as you have of the coins and derringer? Did you use a tripod. I've tried it without a tripod and not quite in focus. Do you use a tripod for macro this close? Bob Essak arbuckle2@comcast.net
janusdevil 07-Oct-2003 23:52
Hi Jim..really enjoyed your in depth review at dpreview. After reading your posts, I have decided to get the minolta dimage g500. This would be my first digital camera and I am looking forward to playing with it. This is a very very "noob" question concerning the storage media for the g500. Which MMC/SD/Memory stick do you use? Brand and the memory size? I've read all I can about these cards and I'm still clueless as to which ones I should get. I will be going on a trip soon and will be taking a lot of pictures and obviously 16MB is not going to cut it. I want to take quality pics and that means I should get higher memory right? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

P.S. Those Konica people should make you their spokesmodel. I think you alone swayed a lot of people into considering buying this product. :)
Jim Cockfield28-Sep-2003 16:42
Bob:

I just noticed an error in my response to you. After you enable the AE Lock feature in the custom menu, AE lock is engaged if you half press the shutter button, then press the up arrow, not the left or right arrow. AF lock is engaged when you half press the shutter button, then press the left arrow. You'll see AE or AF lock icons in the LCD when these modes are engaged.
Jim Cockfield20-Sep-2003 15:02
Bob:

It's really quite simple (the instructions are just pretty darn cryptic, unless Minolta rewrote them).

Go to Setup, then Custom

Under Flash, you'll see the ability to click any of the available options on or off (Auto, REdeye Reduction, Forced Flash, Night Portrait, Flash OFF). If you leave these turned on (as in the defaults, these will be the choices available when you press the Right Controller key.

Under Macro (which is really the focus choices available), you'll see Auto, Macro, Landscape, 4m, 2m, 1m. Most choices are available with and without Self Timer. The cnoices turned On, will appear when you use your left controller key.

Under AF, AE, AWB, you'll see the ability to turn on the available White Balance Choices, as well as AF (autofocus lock), and AE (autoexposure lock). The White Balance choices turned on, will appear when you press the down arrow key in record mode. The AE and AF lock choices are available when you press the shutter button down half way, and press either the left or right controller keys. When AE or AF lock is enabled, you'll see the AE or AF lock icons on your display when in record mode.

Basically, you can allow or deny any of your choices for white balance, focus distance, self timer, flash modes, etc., under the controller keys -- so that you have more or less choices (depending on how you are using the camera).

Continuous - You'll see an on or off choice for this. Turn it on. This allows you to press and hold the shutter button down, and the camera will take photos until you release the shutter. With it turned off, the camera will still take photos with the shutter button held down, only it will refocus and remeter after each shot. It will also display the image taken briefly after each shot. With it turned on, it doesn't do these things, so it's much faster for continuous shooting (I've clocked it a 1 photo every 1.27 seconds until the memory cards are full, with Continuous turned on). I leave mine on all the time, and never accidently take more than one photo this way.

See my review of the camera for more info on how to use these features:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=konica_kd510z&opinion=17947
Guest 20-Sep-2003 02:56
Dear Jim,
You have wonderful and technically excellent photographic work. I am a just fair photographer and never had a digital camera. I think I want to get the minolta dimageG500 which you have talked about. I went to two different Ritz camera stores, they had the camera but could not show me how to customize the 4 way controller. I called a third store and the person seemed to know how to do it and if he can show me plus some other features, i will buy it. Eventually maybe get on pbase with some digital shots. In the meantime, I would greatfully appreciate it if you could e-mail me and expanation of how you customize the the 4 way controller? I saw your evaluation on dpreview but for a novice and older person like myself , you did not explain how you customized the controller.

Thank you in advance, Bob Essak arbuckle2@comcast.net
Jim Cockfield12-Sep-2003 02:06
Andrew:

You can customize the left controller key to allow you to easily toggle between focus choices (1m, 2m, 4m, Landscape, Landscape w/self timer, Macro, Macro w/self timer, Normal, Normal w/Self Timer). You can allow (or deny) any of these choices from appearing when you use this key, allow you to easily flip to the ones you use more often.
Jim Cockfield11-Sep-2003 20:03
John:

The Konica KD-510z does not have any scene modes per se, as is the trend on some cameras lately. However, it's loaded with features (Macro, Landscape, and other focus settings; different flash modes like Night Portrait, Fill flash, Red Eye Reduction, etc., as well as lots of user settable parameters. For example: ISO Speed, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, Flash Strength, Color (separate channels for Red, Green & Blue) Slow Shutter Settings with Noise Reduction on Exposures 1/2 second or longer, Manual Exposure (Aperture/Shutter Speed), with to 15 seconds, etc. You can also setup user profiles (Default, User1, User2), so that you can have different settings for different purposes. It's an extremely flexible camera.
Jim Cockfield11-Sep-2003 19:51
Omar:

The Konica KD-510z has aqua (blue/green) lights on the front, but I've got mine turned off.

John 07-Sep-2003 09:16
Jim, could you please let us know how many scene/"best shot" modes are included with the KD-510z/G500 and how simple they are to access on the fly? Actually, a listing would be even better. Thanks.
Omar 01-Sep-2003 18:37
Out of curiosity I wanted to ask you whether the new KD-510Z also has the cool flashing blue light that the Kd 400 did.

Thanx
Andrew 13-Aug-2003 10:40
I have enjoyed reading your review on the DPreview website. Can you please tell me how the 3 position manula focus works. Is is like preset snap shot distances

Thanks
Jim Cockfield11-Aug-2003 22:21
Dana:

I wanted a "pocketable" digital camera that I could carry in my front pants pocket, and compared subcompact cameras to find the best balance between physical size, ergonomics, photo quality, flash range, lens quality, processing speed and features. I really like this camera.

Unfortunately, this camera is not shipping yet in the U.S., and I found one from a seller with a Japanese Model. Thanks to the merger between Konica and Minolta, Minolta is releasing this camera as the Minolta DiMAGE G500 too, so it should be available here soon.

You can read my mini review of this camera here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=konica_kd510z&opinion=17947
Dana Tower 11-Aug-2003 20:01
Jim -

Read your review of the Sony P-10 vs.the Konica KD-510 zoom. Until then I was leaning toward the Sony. Apparently this Konica is still not available in the U.S. Where did you buy yours and how much did it cost? Can you explain further what led you to choose the Konica over other 5.0 Megapixel cameras. I'm an amateur - lots of photos of my children. I'm trying to make the leap to digital and need a good, simple first digital camera. Any info you have to share will be helpful and appreciated.

Thank you.

Dana Tower
danatower@fuse.net
Guest 14-Jun-2003 18:20
Thank you for your comments and your help. As I said at the forum, the program is incredible, that was what I was looking for.

The photos of the link are great. I will try to show you some examples when I finish my exams at university.

Thank you again. Pak