First Look Review posted for Minolta DiMAGE F100!|
(Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 15:04 EDT)
Dave tries out the Minolta DiMAGE F100 with its high-tech subject-tracking autofocus system...
I've just posted my review of Minolta's new DiMAGE F100 4 megapixel compact digicam. Although final judgement will have to wait until I can test a production unit, this looks like a very nice little camera. Apart from some prototype-related issues in the unit I tested, color was very vibrant, and seemed quite accurate as well. The 4 megapixel CCD and excellent Minolta "GT" lens produced sharp, high-quality images.
The unusually sophisticated Autofocus (AF) modes for the most part worked well (if not infallibly), providing more consistent focusing with off-center subjects than you'd normally experience with a typical single-point digicam AF system. Exposure control is also very versatile, with controls that let you tweak color saturation, brightness, contrast, and sharpness. I also thought Minolta hit the size vs comfort balance just about right: The F100 is small enough that it could be called "pocket sized," but was big enough that even hamfisted Westerners like myself can hold it and manipulate the controls easily. The very high eyepoint on the viewfinder is a boon to eyeglass wearers too.
This is only a "First Look" review, with no sample photos available though, because the unit I tested showed some odd white balance behavior that Minolta assures me will be corrected before the final units ship. Not wanting to give an inaccurate impression of the camera's capabilities, I decided not to show the photos I'd shot, but rather will wait for a production model to arrive. What I saw was very encouraging though, with really nice color and resolution in a very compact yet full-featured digicam. Check it out!