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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 is unveiled

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 is unveiled - The DiMAGE Z2 is the second in a series of easy-to-use, powerful SLR-type digital cameras and a step up from the groundbreaking DiMAGE Z1.

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Category : Compact Cameras
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Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 is unveiledThe DiMAGE Z2 is the second in a series of easy-to-use, powerful SLR-type digital cameras and a step up from the groundbreaking DiMAGE Z1. The DiMAGE Z2 also boasts the Rapid AF (Autofocus) and high-quality VGA/SVGA movie functionality of its predecessor. This time, Konica Minolta has raised the bar with the adoption of a GT lens and a 4-megapixel resolution, delivering picture clarity at the very top end of the spectrum. The addition of a Predictive Focus Control has increased the speed of the AF function, which means that shooting sports events or any moving object are even more easy.

With its 4-megapixel resolution, the DiMAGE Z2 will appeal to users with a slightly more developed appreciation of high-resolution photography.

Why not use the DiMAGE Z2 to capture those everyday yet significant occurrences that happen when close friends and family spend time together? The DiMAGE Z2's simple operation makes it easy to keep a record of those precious moments. Whether it's a child's first faltering steps, a day trip with your family, camping in the middle of the great outdoors, or just leisure time spent with those you love, the DiMAGE Z2 can help you capture those images forever.

All the things that you love about digital photography are here: in addition to high resolution pictures and an excellent zoom, the DiMAGE Z2 delivers speed in bundles. Quick start up, fast-reacting LCD display, Rapid AF, minimal release time lag, super-fast continuous advance records and quick playback are all testaments to the speed of the DiMAGE Z2.

Product Highlights
The DiMAGE Z2's 4-megapixel CCD Konica Minolta all-glass apochromatic (APO) GT lens is equipped with Mega-zoom, which allows you to use the 10X optical zoom and a 4X digital zoom for fine, detailed images even in close-up.
Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control, the only camera in its class* that delivers this functionality, gives the sharpest focus possible on a moving subject. The performance feels like you are taking pictures with a high-end SLR camera.
* As of January 1, 2004, digital camera with a built-in 10X or greater optical zoom.

Frame your shots with the same perspective and clarity as the naked eye thanks to the Switch Finder viewfinder with 60 frames per second and Real Motion Monitor. Even moving subjects can be optimally framed thanks to this high refresh-rate.
The DiMAGE Z2 features Progressive Capture. This function means you won't miss a thing. Press and hold the shutter-release button. Immediately Progressive Capture begins saving images in the internal memory.
Incredibly short start-up time for a camera with a 10X optical zoom: The DiMAGE Z2 is ready to go in 1.8 seconds.
The camera records high-quality VGA/SVGA movies. Play your movies back through a TV or a PC and you'll marvel at the picture quality. The picture clarity and resolution of the movies you can take using the DiMAGE Z2 are on a par with today's digital video cameras.
The DiMAGE Z2 includes a movie-editing feature that allows you to leave unwanted clips on the cutting room floor.
It has built-in compatibility with the Minolta Program Flash 3600HS (D) or 5600HS (D) units as well as the latest addition to the line, the Program Flash 2500 (D).
The DiMAGE Z2 is powered by AA long-life batteries.
The body design transmits a feeling of high technology at one's fingertips. The DiMAGE Z2 has a compact body that fits around your lifestyle-take it everywhere with you.

Features
· Fine Image Quality with the Mega-zoom
It's no coincidence that the groundbreaking DiMAGE Z2 is the first Konica Minolta digital camera to be equipped with the new Mega-zoom featuring the all-glass apochromatic (APO) lens. This incredible zoom delivers a focal range equivalent to a 38 to 380 mm range on a 35mm camera lens. Combining the 10X Optical Zoom of the GT Lens with the 4X digital zoom gives the DiMAGE Z2 an amazing 40X total zoom range. This flexibility makes it possible to capture outdoor events, sports, and landscapes the way you see them.

· Konica Minolta GT Lens
The DiMAGE Z2 sports the GT lens, the finest all-glass apochromatic (APO) zoom lens designed specifically for digital photography.

The GT lens is the leading lens designed by Konica Minolta for digital cameras. The reputation of a lens is defined by one thing: image quality. Only those lenses that pass the strictest quality standards earn the GT lens designation. The GT lens is only fitted to those camera models that have been developed true to the concept of "Superior Image Quality" and the DiMAGE Z2 is no exception to this rule. The GT lens benefits from Konica Minolta's original technology for minimizing various types of imperfections, such as colour aberration.

The DiMAGE Z2 user will notice the benefits of the APO lens immediately: every single shot comes out sharper, clearer, and without any colour aberration, even when using the large aperture setting.

The lens is the heart of the camera and this GT lens has 11 elements in 7 groups. The APO effect is delivered by anomalous dispersion (AD) glass elements to ensure maximum colour fidelity and aspheric elements to suppress distortion at the outer edges of an image.

In designing the DiMAGE Z2, Konica Minolta kept in mind that a camera has many faces. The DiMAGE Z2 has to capture shots of scenery, travel, sports, business settings, and close-ups. Even misty locations are rendered in crisp tones and lines thanks to the GT lens.

· Super Macro Mode
With the press of a button, the Super Macro mode lets you focus as close as 3cm (1.2 inches) away from your subject. So whether you're shooting small gadgets, tiny insects, or delicate flowers, get up close with the Super Macro mode.

· Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control
Predictive Focus Control keeps a clear focus on fast-moving subjects until you're ready to shoot. It calculates exactly where a moving subject is going to be at the moment of shutter-release, and makes certain that the focus is razor sharp.

Also, the DiMAGE Z2 employs Rapid AF, the only camera in its class*, to ensure sharp images with minimum delay. The DiMAGE Z2's powerful optics and high-resolution, 4-megapixel 1/2.5 interline primary-colour CCD require a powerful AF system.
* The DiMAGE Z2 is the only camera featuring Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control among digital cameras with a built-in zoom lens with 10X or more optical zoom, as of January 1, 2004.

A passive AF sensor locks on to the moving subject and calculates the distance to the subject, causing the Rapid AF to react and adjust itself. The focus point is determined in relation to the camera CCD. In the blink of an eye, a high-speed drive focuses the lens quickly and smoothly.

· Real Motion LCD monitor and Switch Finder
The DiMAGE Z2 features the Real Motion LCD monitor, which delivers crystal clear images to the user with a 60 frames per second rate. Conventional monitors on digital cameras use a 30-frames-per-second display format that sometimes results in a less-than smooth display. The 60 frames per second Real Motion Monitor rate gives smooth action that brings images to life. The LCD monitor on the DiMAGE Z2 can be viewed directly or through the viewfinder, thanks to Switch Finder. There is no colour, contrast, and resolution difference between separate rear and viewfinder monitors because only one monitor is used. The monitor image is large and clear as the viewfinder was designed with a large apparent angle of view.

· Long Caption (Progressive Capture)
With the DiMAGE Z2 on Progressive Capture mode, when you cease pressing the shutter-release button, your images are saved automatically. Progressive Capture means that it's the last several images in the sequence get saved: as many as 5 images (standard continuous advance) or 12 images (UHS continuous advance). So when you are shooting fast-moving objects, Progressive Capture will ensure that they are recorded when and where you want them.

· Super-Fast UHS Continuous Shooting
Regardless of how fast something is moving, the DiMAGE Z2 can capture everything. Select the UHS (Ultra High Speed) option from the rapid shooting menu. The enlarged 32MB internal memory allows more continuous shooting. The DiMAGE Z2 captures 15 images, 10 frames per second at super-fast UHS continuous shooting mode.

· PASM Exposure Control and Metering Modes
The DiMAGE Z2 offers incredible control over exposure. There are four modes: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. Select manual exposure to enable the 30-second time exposures. The DiMAGE Z2 has three metering modes: multi-segment, center-weighted and spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure.

· High-Quality VGA/SVGA Movies
Of course, the DiMAGE Z2 is not limited to capturing still images. Offering the kind of image clarity hitherto only seen on digital video cameras, the DiMAGE Z2 can record high-quality 30 frames per second VGA (640 X 480) movies. The VGA 30 frames per second is as clear and as smooth as the moving image on a television. Try the world's first 15 frames per second SVGA (800 X 600) movie option and you will see that you are only limited by your imagination.* Viewed on a PC the SVGA movie delivers approx. 6 more pixels than the standard QVGA (320 X 240) format favored by other digital cameras. You can keep recording until the memory card is full.* *

Image sharpness and brightness are crucial when capturing movies. This is doubly true for the DiMAGE Z2 because it can capture large, high-quality VGA (640 X 480) movies. The DiMAGE Z2 always maintains the sharpest focus. The Night-Movie mode can make colour recordings under extreme low-light conditions.
*As of January 1st, 2004
**On rare occasions, the memory card may not record to full capacity due to its writing speed.

· Edit on the bounce with the DiMAGE Z2
Editing with this new function couldn't be simpler. Select the scene you wish to cut from the footage being replayed and save the edited version using the Movie Select Shot Function. Unwanted movie footage is removed, freeing up valuable memory space. These saved movie images can also be processed with one of the Colour Modes: vivid, natural, black and white, or sepia.

· CxProcess™ II Image Processing Technology
The DiMAGE Z2 incorporates Konica Minolta's CxProcess™ II image processing technology. This advanced process brings out the best in the 4-megapixel, primary-colour CCD. Brilliant, saturated colour remains vibrant without becoming unnatural or flat, because the CxProcess™ II controls the essential image qualities of colour, contrast, and sharpness while minimizing noise. Details in the highlights and shadows are preserved to render a subtle contrast whilst retaining the richness and depth of the subject. Sharpness is controlled by balancing resolution with acutance to show fine detail, thus minimizing hard, unnatural edges.

· Noise Reduction Function
One characteristic of electronic systems is the phenomena of "dark noise"-a grainy or sandy appearance on images taken with long exposures. The DiMAGE Z2's advanced noise reduction circuitry helps you clearly capture slow shutter images of night scenes.

· Sophisticated Design
The compact design and go-anywhere body can easily slip into a hip bag or fanny pack. The DiMAGE Z2 weighs only 305g (11 oz.) so you certainly won't strain yourself carrying it around.

Also, the simple yet thoughtful layout of the controls and dials makes for clear, intuitive operation. The well-balanced camera body allows you to operate the DiMAGE Z2 from a handheld stance in low-light conditions or when using low focal lengths.

· Wide-Angle Converter (option)
You'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the DiMAGE Z2 can handle wide shots even with its 10X Mega-zoom. To extend the versatility of the powerful 10X Mega-zoom, an optional 0.75X wide-angle converter is available for the DiMAGE Z2.

This lens attachment increases the lens' angle of view, giving it a maximum coverage approximately equal to a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera. The adapter ring supplied with the wide-angle converter allows 52mm filters to be used with the camera.

· Real-Time Histogram Display
Taking pristine images in brilliant daytime conditions has never been easier with the live viewfinder, equipped with a helpful live histogram function that assists the user in bright sunlight. Because it's not always easy to determine the brightness levels within your image when the sun is beating down from above, the histogram supplies you with the information to adjust exposure more accurately. A luminance reading can be displayed on the DiMAGE Z2's viewfinder before the picture is taken or while playback. With the Histogram Display, the DiMAGE Z2 will inform you of the luminance distribution at a glance. The Histogram Display also adjusts brilliance when viewing pictures and movies from the memory.

· Flash Compatibility
No other digital camera on the market today has a flash as powerful as that of the DiMAGE Z2. When the DiMAGE Z2 is set at the wide-angle position with autoexposure and auto camera sensitivity, even if the subject is standing 6.1m (20ft) away, the flash, rated with a guide number of 12 in meters (39 in feet), can illuminate the subject perfectly.

The DiMAGE Z2 is equipped with a flash unit that will literally light up your pictures. But if it's even more flash power you require, consider the Konica Minolta Program Flash 3600HS (D) or 5600HS (D) units as well as the latest addition to the line, the Program Flash 2500 (D). All of these incredibly versatile and powerful flash units are compatible with the DiMAGE Z2.

· Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection
The DiMAGE Z2's Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection analyzes the shooting conditions and selects from among five subject programs and programmed AE to optimize the camera's exposure, white balance, and image processing controls. This eliminates the need for time-consuming manual adjustments when the subject and shooting environment change. The five subject programs are portrait, sports action, landscape, sunset, and night portrait. These five options cover common and specialized shooting conditions and can be selected manually.

· Rotate Function
Don't worry about turning the DiMAGE Z2 this way and that to view your images. Pictures can be rotated to orient them correctly so you don't need to twist your head to the left or right when playing back vertically framed shots.

· Key Customization
Operation of the DiMAGE Z2 can be tailored to meet the photographer's needs. For example, the function set using the flash-mode button can be customized to control the flash mode, white balance, drive mode, focusing mode, or colour mode.

· Automatic Monitor Amplification
The DiMAGE Z2 compensates when you find yourself working in less than ideal lighting conditions and when framing an image on the monitor is difficult. The Automatic Monitor Amplification function brightens the monitor under low light so the live image is always visible.

· White Balance Control
Auto White Balance compensates for these changes automatically. Select from one of five preset white-balance settings: daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, and flash. The names of the settings refer to specific light sources. The DiMAGE Z2 allows for critical control over colour. Select the custom setting to calibrate the DiMAGE Z2 to the particular lighting conditions at the scene.

Other Features
· Long Battery Life
You'll never have to worry about obscure batteries that require a specialist to replace. Easy-to-find AA batteries power the DiMAGE Z2. Ubiquitous alkaline or rechargeable Ni-MH can be used.

· Manual Focus
MF is an essential for the enthusiast and a great learning tool for the beginner. Switch off the AF and focus your own shots manually.

· Direct Printer Connection
Printouts can be made easily, without going through a computer, by directly connecting the DiMAGE Z2 to a PictBridge*-compliant printer. You can check which image you want to print on the LCD monitor.
* PictBridge is an industry standard established by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

ArcSoft VideoImpression™ 2 CD-ROM
ArcSoft VideoImpression™ 2, bundled with the DiMAGE Z2, offers a fun way to merge your movie clips and still shots. Working through a step by step guide, you can add text, music, and special effects to your movie. Record the finished movie onto a video CD.

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 is a versatile and powerful SLR-type digital camera that has everything the enthusiast could ever want, in addition to providing novices all the ease of use they need. So pick up a DiMAGE Z2 today and start capturing those memories forever.

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