While Konica-Minolta Corp. ceased camera operations on March 1, 2006, there's good news for owners of Konica-Minolta, Konica and Minolta digital cameras. Sony has taken over the service and support role for Konica-Minolta's digital camera line.
Sony's service website (http://eservice.sony.com) now carries warranty service information for the Konica-Minolta digital camera line. Manuals and drivers can still be found at the Konica-Minolta site: http://ca.konicaminolta.com/support/index.html.
If you need to download Sony files or documents, Sony's own excellent download site (www.sonydigital-link.com) is extremely easy to navigate. Sony digital camera drivers, firmware updates, manuals and other documents are all readily available there.
If you're looking for an excuse to buy a Sony Cybershot digital camera, here it is: Carl Zeiss® lenses. All of Sony's current line – except the DSC-S500 – feature Carl Zeiss optics.
For over 150 years, the name Carl Zeiss has been associated with superior optics. Zeiss lenses were selected for use by NASA beginning with the Mercury 8 mission in 1962. And Zeiss lenses are found in some of the largest optical telescopes in the world. They've even been honored for lens developments by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences – twice.
Sony may not be a name traditionally associated with photography, but the company's current line of cameras feature some of the finest optics in the world.
The one real drawback to the Sony Cybershot line of digital cameras is the issue of memory. All of Sony's current digital cameras (except the DSLR-A100, DSLR-A100K and DSC-R1 high-end cameras) use Sony's proprietary Memory Stick® Duo flash memory cards exclusively.
While this doesn't create a problem during use, it can create an unwanted expense down the road. Most current digital cameras use Compact Flash or Secure Digital/ MultiMedia Cards. If you own a Sony camera and decide to move to a different brand later, you'll probably have to buy all new memory cards, too.
If a Sony Cybershot clearly fits your needs, don't let the Memory Stick media stop you. But if another brand meets them equally well, this is something to consider in making your decision.
Another Sony camera that deserves mention is the Cybershot DSC-H5. Consider these features:
* 12x (Yes, twelve!) Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar zoom lens
* 3” (230K pixels) LCD screen
* 7.2 megapixel effective resolution
* Sony's Super Steady Shot optical image stabilization
* Auto, Program Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Full manual exposure modes
* Multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering
These are all features one would expect on a much pricier camera. That Sony could pack them into such a reasonably priced camera is very close to remarkable. If you're looking to step up to a full-featured camera with a long zoom – but don't want to go to a SLR system – consider the DSC-H5.
This isn't a feature most people consider much, but the Sony digital camera battery is worthy of mention. Called a “High-Stamina InfoLithium® Rechargeable Battery,” these batteries are amongst the best on the market, outlasting nearly all the competition in almost every camera category.
Of particular note is the new battery for the Cybershot DCS-T30, which allows the ultra-compact to take up to 420 shots on a single charge.
Another great feature of Sony's InfoLithium batteries is that they tell you how many minutes of operation are left before they need recharging.
Several models of Sony digital camera - the DSC-T30, DSC-T9, DSC-N1 and DSC-M2 – have the ability to play slide shows in-camera. The built in software includes selectable transition effects and a selection of four different music backgrounds.
The included Picture Package Music Transfer software even allows you to capture tracks from MP3 files or audio CD's and download them to the camera (the camera holds only four music tracks at a time).
With LCD screens up to 3”, these models make picture playback a little livelier – anywhere, anytime.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|