capsule review

Minolta DiMage G500

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Konica Minolta DiMAGE G500 Compact Camera

Minolta DiMage G500
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Konica and Minolta formally merged in October, so it's not surprising that the Minolta G500 looks very much like the Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z we reviewed nearly a year ago. The G500 offers the same quiet, silky operation, fast start-up time (less than 2 seconds), mushy menu navigation button, and tiny buttons for operating the zoom. The only things we can tell that have changed are the etched brand and model names on the front, and the substitution of Minolta's DiMage Viewer software for Adobe Photoshop Elements (we'd rather have Elements).

The garish menu backdrop (a bright red curtain) hasn't changed either. The camera has no mode dial, so most controls are still buried in the menus. For example, choosing movie mode requires several button pushes. It's one of the few cameras we've seen that has a shutter-priority mode but no aperture-priority.

You don't have to spin a dial to review captured images; a dedicated button pulls your pics up quickly.

The camera comes with a 16MB SD card, but it has slots for both SD card and Memory Stick media. About the same size and weight as Kyocera's FineCam S5R, the G500 also has a small (1.5-inch) LCD; other manufacturers have introduced high-resolution cameras that are smaller and lighter, but with larger LCDs.

The G500 performed very well in our image-quality tests, earning the best marks overall in this round of point-and-shoot models. An indoor shot looked a bit yellowish, but our outdoor shot looked particularly well exposed. The camera allows individual settings for red, green, and blue color values, but you can't adjust them on the fly--you must store them in a batch of user settings, and you won't see a live preview while you're adjusting them. The camera didn't fare as well in our battery tests, though, lasting for 213 shots, or an hour and 14 minutes. That's about 25 percent below the average.

The DiMage G500 seems caught between camera classes. Cameras of its size and resolution now offer much more control over exposure, and if you don't care about having manual controls, you can find much smaller cameras these days.

Alan Stafford

This story, "Minolta DiMage G500" was originally published by PCWorld.

To comment on this article and other TechHive content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Konica Minolta DiMAGE G500 Compact Camera

Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.