IntroductionCamera make and model:
Konica Revio KD-420Z (almost identical to Minolta Dimage G400)
Review camera serial number:
Average street price (6th April, 2004): UKŁ229, US$350, EU€350
The Konica Revio KD-420Z is a smart looking, slimline, four megapixel compact digicam with a generous looking list of features. The 420Z is one of the last cameras that will bear the sole 'Konica' brand. All new models from the newly-merged Konica Minolta company will carry a combined Konica Minolta logo. The 420Z was born in the Konica side of the new family and is an evolution of a number of Konica Revio models from the last couple of years. But just confuse things, a Minolta-branded version of the 420Z is also available, known as the Dimage G400.
If this Minolta Dimage G400 looks familiar, that's because it's a Konica Revio KD-420Z with a Minolta badge
Notable competitors include: Canon Digital Ixus 430, Olympus Mju 410, Casio QV-R41, Fujifilm FinePix F420, Pentax Optio S4, Samsung Digimax V4, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P8, HP Photosmart R707.
With the lens revealed you can see how physically small it is
Basically, the 420Z has a very familiar specification, including a four megapixel (actually just over 4.2 million sensor pixels, but just under 3.9 million effective pixels) 1/2.5 CCD sensor and a 3x 34-102mm equivalent zoom range, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the wide end and f/4.9 at the telephoto end of the zoom range. Both manual and fully automatic exposure controls are available to the user.
A rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the 420Z and a separate charger unit is supplied so you can use the camera with one battery while charging an extra (optional) battery if required.
Movie recording, with sound, is possible in Motion JPEG/AVI format, though only at Quarter VGA (QVGA 320x240) resolution.
ISO speeds can be manually selected between 50 and 400. There are several auto exposure modes designed to work optimally in certain conditions, including: Portrait, Landscape, Nightscape, Snap, Sports and Angel – the last being a mode to enhance skin tones.
The 420Z has a distinctive and stylish design even with the sliding lens protector closed
What makes the 420Z stand out from what is quite a big crowd? The main feature that Konica waves its big flag for is ultra-fast power up and power down times. Slide the front panel lens protector to the right and the lens emerges as if it's spring loaded and the electronics aren't far behind. You simply don't have to wait.
The DSP (digital signal processor) that contributes to the power on speed of the 420Z also boosts the performance of the autofocus system and the camera's shot to shot speed.
It's a similar story when you want to switch off – slide the cover towards the lens, the lens retracts with indecent haste and you can close the cover all the way home almost immediately.
Another particular feature of the 420Z is its smart steel clad design that is slim enough, when the lens is retracted, to fit into a shirt pocket. Certainly distinctive is a bright blue LED that shines when the camera is switched on. However, it doesn't appear to serve any other purpose.
Both SD cards (above) and Sony Memory stick cards can be used in selected Konica Revio models like the 420Z
A lot of cameras in the same class as the 420Z use SD memory cards and the 420Z is no exception. However, the 420Z continues Konica's policy of endowing selected Revio models with both an SD card slot and a Sony Memory stick compatible slot as well.
Notable features missing
There are a few things that some of the 420Z's competitors offer that the 420Z doesn't. These include low light AF-assist illumination, exposure histogram, best shot selection mode, blur warning, a pixel mapping mode to map out hot or stick CCD pixels, an audio/video out port – to watch any movies on TV you have taken using the 420Z you need to use a separate memory card TV player or simply watch them on a PC.