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Konica Minolta Focuses on Speed With New Intros

7/09/2004 10:17:00 AM Eastern

Mahwah, N.J. — Konica Minolta introduced four new digital cameras this week emphasizing fastest-in-class speeds for start-up and shot-to-shot times, as well as powerful optical zoom lenses.

The company introduced two DiMAGE units in its Z-series and two new models in its ultra-compact X-series.

The 3.2-megapxiel DiMAGE Z10 features a 0.5-second start-up time, 8x optica/4x digital zoom lens, Predictive Focus Control and a new energy saving design which the company says allows the camera to capture up to 500 frames with the included AA alkaline batteries.

The Z10's Rapid Autofocus (AF) system combines a passive AF sensor with a video AF system, which enables the Z10 to focus in 0.3 seconds in both wide-angle and telephoto positions. The Rapid AF also features Predictive Focus Control, which can predict where a moving subject is heading and focus accordingly.

The Z10’s macro mode focuses as close as 0.4 inches from the subject.

The company also added the DiMAGE Z3 to its lineup, featuring the proprietary Anti-Shake System previously found on its high-end A-series models. Unlike an optical stabilization system, Anti-Shake reduces blur in dim light and telephoto shots with a CCD-shifting mechanism.

The 4-megapixel Z3 features a 12x optical/4x digital zoom lens and Rapid AF with Predictive Focus Control.

According to Konica Minolta, focusing time for the Z3 is approximately 0.15 second in wide-angle position and approximately 0.2 second in telephoto. The Z3 also features a real motion monitor with 50 frames per second (fps) capability and continuous shooting at 2.2 fps.

In movie mode, the Z3 can capture VGA movies at 30 fps with a silent zoom mode that minimizes the noise the optical zoom makes when filming video with audio.

The company also added two new models to its X-series of ultra-thin digital cameras, increasing the performance time and enlarging the LCD screens.

The 5-megapixel X50 features a 2.8x non-protruding optical zoom lens with a new sliding lens cover, a 2-inch LCD screen, and a 0.5-second startup time. An Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection mode automatically selects the optimum-shooting mode for the subject at hand, rather than using pre-selected scene modes.

The X50 can focus up to four inches from the subject without switching to macro mode and offers a “Super Macro mode” for close-ups to 2.4 inches.

The 3-megapixel X31 features a 3x optical/4x digital zoom lens and the ability to take photos as close as 3.9 inches to the subject without having to switch to a separate macro mode.

The camera can power on in approximately 1 second and sports a 0.1 second shutter release time lag.