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Is Retro Minolta Z1 3.2mp Digital Camera Still good in 2023? Landscape Photography Test Sutton Park

ByKevin Simon

Oct 19, 2023

I have been buying old digital cameras off car boot sales mainly to test and also sell for a bit of profit, well previous I tested a old kodak 2mega pixel camera that I brough for just £1 , I tested it for a small bit of landscape photography at the wall roman site near me just off the A5 in Staffordshire, you can see the results of this little photoshoot in a video I created see my article and video HERE .

Well this time I pushed the boat and spend a whole £2 this time for a camera again form car boot, this time was a Minolta Z1 3.2 mega pixel camera. Now this was released in mid 2003 at a retail price of under £400, the camera even in 2023 from the front anyway doesn’t look out of place compared on a dslr, bridge or mirrorless camera , its the back that makes it look unusual / outdated.

The camera has a 10x optical zoom, the lens aperture is between f2.8 – f3.4, the focal range is 5.8mm to 58mm, it is equivalent to a 38 – 380mm 35mm camera lens. |You do also have a digital zoom so this could give you upto 40x zoom total equivalent to a 38 – 1520mm lens. The camera’s Super Macro mode lets photographers focus down to 1.6 inches from the front of the lens.

Well this time for testing an older retro camera I went out on a Sunday afternoon to Sutton park, Birmingham which is only about 20mins away from me. I took a walk around on of the one of the 7 lakes in this 2400 acre national reserve. Sutton park is also one of the largest urban parks within Europe. Sutton Park has been designated as a National Nature Reserve, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

To see the results from the camera and also about my walk around Sutton parks see the video below on my YouTube channel, and if you enjoy it please give it a like and if you want to see more video like this please SUBSCRIBE to the channel as I’m trying to grow the channel to gives me a bit more incentive to create more videos like this.

Here are the best images I took , though do be aware they have been reduced a bit in quality for upload purposes.

Below are the specs of the camera

Sensor 1/2.7″ type CCD (3.3 million pixels total)
Effective pixels 3.2 megapixels
Image sizes • 2048 x 1536 • 1600 x 1200 • 1280 x 960 (UHS mode only) • 640 x 480
Image quality • Fine, Standard, Economy
Image formats • JPEG EXIF 2.2 (Still), MOV Motion JPEG (Movies)
Movie clips • 640 x 480, 30/15 fps, 13/26 sec max, with audio, 320 x 240, 30/15 fps, 21/41 sec max, with audio, 160 x 120, 30 /15 fps, 82/150 sec max, with audio
Sensitivity • Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
Lens • 10x optical zoom

  • 38 – 380 mm equiv.
  • F2.8 – F3.5
    Digital zoom Up to 4.0x
    Focus range (normal) • Wide: 50 cm – Infinity (1.6 ft – Infinity) • Tele: 2 m – Infinity (6.6 ft – Infinity)
    Focus range (macro) • Wide: 10 cm (3.9 in) • Tele: 120 cm (47.2 in)
    Focus range (super macro) • Fixed zoom: 4 cm (1.6 in)
    Auto focus Rapid AF: Hybrid external passive and video AF
    AF areas • Wide focus area • Spot focus area with area selection
    Focus modes • Single shot AF• Full time AF • Manual focus
    Shutter speed • Program AE/Aperture Priority: 4- 1/1000 sec • Shutter Priority/Manual exposure: 15 – 1/1000 sec + Bulb (30 sec) • Auto/Scene: 2 – 1/1000 sec
    Noise reduction Dark frame subtraction for long exposures (can be disabled)
    Metering • 256 Multi-segment • Center-weighted average • Spot
    Exposure modes • Program AE • Aperture Priority• Shutter Priority• Manual exposure
    Subject modes • Auto, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait
    (Automatic selection available)
    Exposure compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
    Exposure bracketing • Three images• 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV steps
    Flash • Manual pop-up • Metering: Pre-flash TTL • Range (wide): 0.2 – 6.1 m (0.8 – 20 ft) – Auto ISO • Range (tele): 1.2 – 4.8 m (3.9 – 15.7 ft) – Auto ISO• Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill, Slow sync • Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
    External flash • Accessory shoe• Auto-flash metering with Program/Maxxum Flash 2500 (D), Program/Maxxum 3600HS (D), Program/Maxxum Flash 5600HS (D)
    Flash sync All shutter speeds
    Continuous drive • Standard: 1.5 fps (up to 6 frames)
  • UHS progressive drive (1280 x 960): 10 fps (up to 10 frames)
    White balance • Auto, sunny, cloudy, flash, manual, incandescent
    Image parameters • Contrast: 3 evels • Sharpness: 3 levels • Saturation: 3 levels
    Color modes • Natural color • Vivid color• B&W • Sepia
    Print compliance • Print Image Matching II, Exif Print (EXIF 2.2), USB Direct-Print
    Viewfinder • Reflected LCD image• 98% frame coverage
    LCD monitor • 1.5″ TFT LCD• 113,000 pixels• 100% frame coverage
    Storage • SD / MMC card • 16 MB SD card supplied
    Power 4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
    Connectivity • USB 1.1• Video out
    Dimensions 110 x 78 x 80 mm (4.3 x 3.1 x 3.2 in)
    Weight (no batt) 305 g (10.8 oz)
    Weight (with batt) 411 g (14.5 oz)

By Kevin Simon

I run this blog & also self employed cleaning out fish ponds, but due to spinal problems not able to do as much, now started a youtube channel showing my converted Peugeot Partner micro camper also as interest in photography so now vlog about the trips and of course Lego figures out in the wild photos.

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