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Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z review: Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z

Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z

Eamon Hickey
4 min read
Konica's Digital Revio KD-500Z packs 5 megapixels and a retractable 3X zoom lens into a tiny package. While its feature set is strictly for snapshots, this Revio is a sprightly performer and takes top-notch pictures. If you're searching for ultimate portability in a camera that can support big enlargements, the KD-500Z is worth a serious look.
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You can program the four-way rocker switch to access exposure-compensation and white-balance settings.
One of the smallest 5-megapixel, 3X-zoom cameras currently made, the Revio KD-500Z slips into a shirt pocket with room to spare. Its slim, dark-gray, stainless-steel body weighs only 6.5 ounces with the battery and the media installed. We like the KD-500Z's sleek styling overall, but its panache is comically undermined by an extrawide green LED under the lens, which flashes crazily whenever you slide open the lens cover to turn on the camera. Konica says this "provides a contemporary appearance," which might have been true when disco was king.
There are very few external controls on the KD-500Z. You'll have to get to most of the camera's options through the main menu system, which can be a bit of a chore. However, you can program the four-way menu-navigation rocker switch to directly access exposure-compensation and white-balance settings. Unfortunately, that switch is tiny and a bit frustrating to use.
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Above the LCD are the quick-review and delete buttons.
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The tiny optical viewfinder is situated in the upper middle of the camera back.
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Yes, there are two media cards in there. You can use an SD/MMC card, a Memory Stick, or both in this camera.
Underscoring its snapshot orientation, the KD-500Z has all the necessary automatic features but few advanced options. Programmed Auto is the only exposure mode, and you can choose either center-weighted or spot metering. Exposure compensation ranges in roughly one-third-step increments to plus or minus 1.5 EV if you access it through the menus and plus or minus 0.6 EV if you access it directly with the navigation button. Though you get five white-balance presets, there is no manual white-balance setting.
The camera's 3X zoom lens covers a range equivalent to 39mm to 117mm in 35mm-camera terms, which provides almost no wide-angle capability. The lens won't accept add-on wide-angle or telephoto adapters.
The camera's still images are in JPEG format only, and there are two compression levels to choose from. In movie mode, you can capture 320x240-pixel video with sound in clips up to 30 seconds long. You can also record voice memos of up to 30 seconds. Konica makes much of the fact that the KD-500Z has dual slots for both SD/MMC cards and Memory Sticks. We don't know anyone who's been clamoring for this innovation, but it does make it more likely that the memory cards you purchase for the camera will be compatible with your other consumer electronics devices.
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The small, proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable battery held up for the equivalent of a day's shooting in our tests.
In use, the KD-500Z is nicely responsive. Start-up time is a very quick 1.4 seconds. The camera's autofocus is perhaps a tad slower than average, but shutter delay is minimal if you prefocus. Shot-to-shot time is a fairly fast 2 to 3 seconds. The lens zooms rapidly, if a bit noisily, and you can control it with reasonable precision. Other operations such as switching from record to playback mode and reviewing photos are also speedy. There is a continuous-shooting mode, but at about 1.25 frames per second, it's hardly worthy of the name.
The camera's 1.5-inch LCD is pretty sharp, and we had little trouble using it in bright outdoor light. The tiny, not very sharp optical viewfinder is much less pleasing. It shows about 84 percent of the actual image. The built-in flash's 10-foot maximum range is a bit better than that of many other ultracompact cameras. The KD-500Z produces pictures that are quite detailed and just as sharp as those from the best of the 5-megapixel competition. Our ambient-light exposures were good overall, but our flash photos were less consistent. Some were mildly underexposed, others mildly overexposed. The camera's lens shows moderate barrel distortion at its wide-angle end.
Colors in our test shots were generally accurate but sometimes a bit undersaturated. Happily, the camera's automatic white balance does a good job even in difficult indoor lighting. The KD-500Z's image-quality record has two relatively minor black marks: Moderate purple color fringing around dark foreground objects with bright backgrounds occurred in several of our test pictures. We also noticed some moiré in areas with strong patterns, but we don't expect that problem to crop up frequently or very noticeably.

Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 8Image quality 8