Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600

Pros

  • Compact, very fast, great pictures, manual modes

Cons

  • No continuous shot function, no bracketing or manual white balance controls

Bottom Line

A camera that caters very well to advanced amateurs and more serious photographers, it offers almost a full range of manual controls, but lacks some of the presets that please beginners.

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The Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600 is a fast, sleek, metallic little number that takes clear pictures and offers enough creative controls to keep advanced amateurs and enthusiastic hobbyists entertained.

Weighing only 220g with battery and measuring 94 x 56 x 29.5mm, the DiMAGE is definitely compact. Stainless steel and aluminium design elements create a modern and sturdy-looking camera that is ergonomic to use. The otherwise effective control placement is let down by the zoom buttons, which are difficult to use while looking through the viewfinder. The 3X zoom moves quickly, but not smoothly, from telephoto to wide angle.

The 6 megapixel DiMAGE is capable of delivering 2816 x 2112 images of excellent quality. Images are saved to a Secure Digital card. The camera also supports Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and MMC media. Images can only be saved as JPEG at two different levels of compression: Fine and Normal. Images at the highest resolution at Fine JPEG compression take up about 3.2MB each.

Pictures were clear, crisp and well exposed. The camera handled large amounts of blue sky, ocean or greenery excellently. Auto exposure and colour accuracy worked well in a variety of settings. The auto flash was a little harsh for subjects closer than 1.5m.

The DiMAGE is exceptionally fast. It takes one to two seconds to start up and has barely one second of processing time between photos. Extensive manual control is available through the camera's menu, viewed on the 1.5" LCD screen. Aperture and shutter speed options can be selected, with a shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/1000th second. The apertures available depend on the position of the zoom lens: f2.8 and f4.7 for wide angle; f4.9 and f8.3 for telephoto.

Exposures of a half-second or longer automatically use noise reduction. Exposure compensation can be adjusted in 0.3 increments. ISO can be set to Auto, 50, 100, 200 and 400. Autoflash and Night Portrait cannot be used when ISO is set to 50.

Flash compensation, contrast, sharpness, colour saturation and colour channels can all be adjusted on camera. Any changes are made to the live image.

The camera can record up to 30 seconds of digital video, stored as MJPEG (AVI) files with sound as WAV. Up to 30 seconds of audio can be recorded and saved on its own or attached to a still image.

The DiMAGE sports an easy to use self-timer for self-portraits with a 3 to 10 second delay. A blue lamp on the front of the camera flashes quickly just before the photo is taken.

It lacks any set continuous shoot mode. A series of photos can be taken by simply holding down the shutter button, but it takes about five or six seconds between photos if the camera is set to continually refocus. Because the camera is so fast in normal shooting mode, you are better off forgetting about the so-called continuous shoot.

Two other omissions in the DiMAGE are the lack of any manual white balance controls and the lack of exposure bracketing. However, the auto white balance modes--cloudy, daylight, tungsten and fluorescent--seem to do well in most instances and exposure can be manually set in 0.3 increments to 1.5 EV positive or negative.

Another downfall for those after an easy point-and-shoot camera is the DiMAGE's lack of preset modes. There aren't any. The camera simply has a macro or landscape setting, nor sepia or black and white settings. Instead it offers full manual control, making it appealing to experienced photographers. It is a shame that pictures can only be saved as JPEG and that there is no manual white balance or exposure bracketing modes.

The DiMAGE supports the PictBridge standard, making it possible to print photos directly to supporting printers. A huge bonus is that you can zoom up to 14X on a photo in playback mode.

The camera's lack of preset modes, exposure bracketing, continuous shoot, file choices and manual white balance are only minor issues, and the positives far outweigh them.

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