Konica Minolta Announces DiMAGE Z3

From the press release:

Konica Minolta introduces a new addition to the Z-series of digital cameras – the DiMAGE Z3. With Konica Minolta’s unique CCD-shift Anti-Shake System accompanying the camera’s built-in 12x optical zoom lens, the stylish DiMAGE Z3 provides photographers of all levels with very steady and sharp hand-held telephoto shots. Its speed also enables photographers to get those action shots right away with Rapid Autofocus (AF) – the fastest auto focus in its class*1. The camera’s AF also has a Predictive Focus Control for unmatched high-speed focusing that brings out the very best in the DiMAGE Z3’s superior ability to capture fast moving subjects.

“Photographers will never miss a shot with the new DiMAGE Z3,” said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Konica Minolta’s Camera Division. “With combined functions such as the Anti-Shake System, Rapid Autofocus capabilities, and 12x optical zoom lens, this digital camera provides advanced amateur as well as serious photographers with the versatility and reliability they need to get the shot right the first time.”

Previously a function found only on the high-end Konica Minolta DiMAGE A-series digital cameras, the Konica Minolta CCD-shift Anti-Shake System is now available for the first time in the Z-series of DiMAGE cameras. This system compensates to minimize the effect of camera shake at 2-3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function*2 (equivalent to 2-3 exposure increments).

For hand-held dim light photography and telephoto shots, both of which are susceptible to the effects of camera shake because of their slow shutter speeds, photographers can now get steady, blur-free images without the use of a flash or tripod. Unlike an optical system, Konica Minolta’s proprietary Anti-Shake System uses a unique CCD-shift mechanism. This keeps the lens compact and the camera lightweight.

The new DiMAGE Z3 features a 12x optical Mega Zoom lens, which can be combined with the camera’s 4x digital zoom for up to 48x total zoom capability. The DiMAGE Z3’s newly developed GT APO lens offers strikingly clear, high-contrast, high-resolution images thanks to Konica Minolta’s G lens optical technology. The AD (anomalous dispersion) glass and two aspheric lens elements help the DiMAGE Z3 correct spherical aberration and curvilinear distortion, factors that can cause problems at high zoom ranges. The advanced, high-sensitivity 4-megapixel CCD combines with Konica Minolta’s proprietary CxProcessâ„¢ II technology to give photographers images as beautiful as those they see with their own eyes.

The DiMAGE Z3 incorporates an AF-dedicated ASIC to video AF system for focusing, enabling its Rapid AF to focus faster than previous models. Focusing time is approximately 0.15 second in wide-angle position and approximately 0.2 second in telephoto position. The DiMAGE Z3 also boasts a fast startup speed, a real motion monitor with 50-frames-per- second capability for smooth video viewing, minimal shutter-release time lag, and continuous shooting at 2.2 frames per second.

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

Despite its large 12x zoom, the Z3 sports a light, compact body whose design evokes a modern, cosmopolitan image. The Z3’s ergonomic grip makes it easy and comfortable to carry around and its large, intuitive operation section keeps you in control at all times.