Full Review Posted for Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi|
(Friday, October 18, 2002 - 01:47 EDT)
I've just completed my review of a production-level DiMAGE 7Hi from Minolta. (No images quite yet, they're all shot, but I need to complete my analysis of them. Stay tuned, they should be up by the end of the week.)
This is yet another update to Minolta's very successful DiMAGE 7 design, which was rev'd earlier this year to the DiMAGE 7i. The faster autofocus speed and reduced shutter delay of the 7i are retained, as were the myriad other improvements in that model. The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi adds somewhat faster continuous shooting cycle times, an external flash sync connector (hooray), multiple color spaces, including standard sRGB, "vivid" sRGB, and Adobe RGB, shutter times to 15 seconds, an "extra fine" JPEG compression level, more direct control of camera setup functions, and an extra fluorescent white balance setting and three separate custom white balance settings. (Phew.)
Image quality and other performance parameters seem very similar to those of the 7i. The addition of the PC flash sync terminal and option for Adobe RGB color space should increase the appeal of this model for studio shooters and others working in professional, color-managed environments. The long-ratio zoom lens, faster continuous-mode cycle times and already-fast autofocus and shutter response make it one of the best cameras on the market for amateur sports shooting.
While not as sweeping a set of upgrades as we saw in the 7i, the 7Hi represents yet another meaningful enhancement to the Dimage 7 platform. (The 7i and 7Hi will apparently coexist in the marketplace.) Stay tuned in a few days for a full set of test images and my detailed analysis of them, but read my review in the meantime for all the details.