The DiMAGE F300 features a similar design to the F100, but with a 5 megapixel CCD imager. Minolta has provided us with the following backgrounder document detailing the new camera. Full specifications also follow...
MINOLTA’S NEW 5.0 MEGAPIXEL DIGITAL CAMERA: THE DiMAGE F300
The new Minolta DiMAGE F300 provides high-quality, high-resolution images and features advanced automatic functions, and fast, effortless operation. Following the sleek design of the Minolta DiMAGE F100, the DiMAGE F300 is one of the world’s lightest and smallest 5.0 megapixel digital cameras with a built-in zoom lens.
High-Precision Electro-Optical System
Employing technology from the top-of-the-line Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi digital camera, the F300’s high-precision electro-optical system is designed to maximize image quality. The system is built around a 5.3 megapixel 1/1.8-type interline primary-color CCD with 5.0 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. This pixel resolution will produce 13” x 17” 150dpi prints or 6.5” x 8.5” photo-quality prints; this creates a print size larger than both A3 and A5 respectively.
Minolta’s responsive autofocus system
Minolta’s new autofocus (AF) system featured in the DiMAGE F300 and DiMAGE F100 makes bringing people into focus to catch the perfect moment easy. This sophisticated system locates the subject in three-dimensional space within the extra-wide focus frames so there aren’t complicated procedures to lock the focus on the subject.
Subjects no longer have to be placed in the center of the picture in order to properly focus using the Area AF. Employing technology developed for the top-of-the-line Minolta Maxxum 9 and Maxxum 7 35mm SLR cameras, Area AF evaluates the objects in the focus frames and locks the focus on the subject. The active AF sensor is displayed to confirm the point of focus. The extra-wide focus frames cover approximately 50% of the horizontal and vertical field of view. The user simply points the camera at the scene and the autofocus system does the rest.
The Minolta DiMAGE F100 was the first digital camera in the world to feature Subject Tracking AF. This AF system complements the Area AF by being able to follow a subject moving through the extra-wide AF area in three dimensions. Once the Area AF system locates the subject, Subject Tracking AF will follow that person no matter the direction of motion: to the left or right, toward or away from the camera. Catching the action has never been this simple.
Information about the subject location from the Area AF and Subject Tracking AF systems is monitored by a built-in computer to calculate perfect exposures. The multi-segment metering system uses subject-position information and 256 metering segments to calculate the exposure based on the subject and background luminance. There is no need to worry that subject details will be lost in the deep shadows of noon or washed out in front of dark backgrounds. The aperture and shutter speed are controlled for optimum exposures, and the flash is activated automatically in backlit or low-light situations. This highly accurate system ensures the photograph will be perfectly exposed for the subject time after time.
In addition to the sophisticated Area AF and Subject Tracking AF system, the DiMAGE F300 can be manually focused. During manual focus, the monitor image is automatically enlarged so image sharpness can be easily judged.
Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection
Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection analyzes the shooting conditions and selects the best Digital Subject Program or programmed auto exposure (AE) to match that condition. This frees the photographer from having to set the camera controls each time the shooting situation changes. With five subject programs available: portrait, sports action, landscape, sunset and night portrait, the DiMAGE F300 automatically responds to each new situation to ensure the best possible results.
Digital Subject Programs optimize exposure and image-processing controls for specific shooting conditions and subjects. Six subject programs are available:
- Portrait: optimized to reproduce warm, soft skin tones and a slight defocusing of the background
- Sports action: to make clear, sharp images of fast moving subjects
- Landscape: optimized to take sharp images of expansive scenes
- Sunset: optimized to reproduce rich, warm sunsets
- Night portrait: for deep, subtle night scenes. When used with the built-in flash, the subject and background exposures are balanced
Built-in 3x Zoom Minolta GT Lens
The DiMAGE F300’s Minolta GT lens is a marvel of optical design. The sophisticated eight-element, seven-group design is only 24mm long, less than an inch, when retracted. With a focal range of 7.8mm to 23.4mm, it is equivalent to a 38mm - 114mm 35mm zoom lens. It can range from wide angle for landscapes and interiors to telephoto for intimate portraits and details of distant landmarks. The 3x optical zoom employs three aspheric elements to ensure sharp, contrasty images at all focal lengths.
4x Digital Zoom
DiMAGE F300’s digital zoom seamlessly takes over from the maximum focal length of the optical zoom without interrupting the monitor image. The digital zoom can extend the optical zoom’s performance by four times in 0.1x increments giving the F300 an equivalent of a 456mm lens on a 35mm camera. The combined optical and digital zooms give this compact camera an amazing 12x zoom range.
CxProcessTM: Minolta’s Image Processing Technology
The DiMAGE F300 features Minolta’s proprietary CxProcess, Minolta’s image processing technology that provides vivid and natural images.
CxProcess controls sharpness by balancing resolution with acutance. This allows fine detail to be preserved while adding depth to the image. Color is critically controlled to prevent objects from appearing over-saturated in the image while remaining vibrant; the warmth of the human complexion or the rich subtleties of green foliage will be rendered as clearly as they were perceived. Contrast is regulated to bring out a luminous quality to mid-tones and highlights, and to strengthen and enrich shadows.
12-bit A/D conversion
Smooth gradations and fine details bring a photograph to life. The 12bit A/D conversion preserves all the subtleties of the original scene. With billions of colors and 4,096 levels in each color channel, images possess almost lifelike color and detail. This is especially evident in portraiture: smooth complexion, fine hair detail, and vivid eye color.
Noise, an ever-present problem in electronic systems, manifests itself by giving a grainy or sandy appearance to the image. The DiMAGE F300 combats noise by employing a large signal-to-noise ratio to minimize its effect even with higher CCD gain as well as allowing photographers to select noise reduction to control image quality. The new selectable feature compensates for dark noise caused by exposures of one second or longer.
Low light enhancements
Unlike the extreme sensitivity of the human eye, photographic systems have always been limited by low light levels. Two new features to Minolta’s F series cameras improve operation and expand versatility.
In low light, displaying a bright monitor image for composing and evaluation is a challenge because of exposure limitations of the monitor frame rate. Automatic monitor amplification adjusts monitor gain so a color image is visible under less than ideal lighting conditions.
Also suffering from exposure limitations, digital video is difficult to record under low light. The DiMAGE F300’s improved Night Movie mode can make color recordings under these conditions. When light levels fall below a certain point, the camera automatically activates this mode.
Sleek, Slim Design
The elegantly designed outer shell of the new DiMAGE F300 is constructed of aluminum and stainless steel. The camera’s slim profile and compact body can easily slip into a pocket or small bag. The DiMAGE F300 is not only one of the lightest 5.0-megapixel digital cameras with a built-in optical zoom in the world, it is also one of the smallest. With the lens retracted, the camera is 4.4 (W) x 2.1 (H) x 1.3 (D) in. The camera’s grip follows the elegant design of the body without adding unnecessary bulk to the camera.
Continuous advance modes
Catching the perfect moment has never been easier. Two continuous advance modes let you take multiple images of an event so the photographer can be sure to get the right image. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous advance drive mode can capture eleven 1280x960 size images in approximately one second. Standard continuous advance gives the choice of capturing 1.2 frames a second at any image size.
Functions and imaging controls to capture beautiful pictures
The automatic functions of the Minolta DiMAGE F300 make picture taking easy while the camera’s manual functions give photographers complete creative control. The DiMAGE F300 has three metering modes: multi-segment, center-weighted, and spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure. Four exposure modes are available: program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. 15-second bulb exposures can be made in manual exposure, and to limit the effect of camera shake, the shutter can be opened and closed with the optional remote control RC-3. Both ambient and flash exposures can be compensated independently by ±2 EV in 1/3 EV increments. Camera sensitivity can be set to auto or to one of four ISO equivalent levels: 64, 100, 200, or 400. And to ensure the correct exposure, an automatic three-frame bracket can be made.
Digital effects control
Digital Effects Control is an image-processing center built into the camera. It is located on the camera’s function menu viewable on the built-in LCD panel. The color, contrast, and saturation can be adjusted before the image is captured.
The color mode switches between Natural Color, Vivid Color, and Black and White images. Natural Color preserves the actual colors of the scene and Vivid Color accentuates them. Contrast controls the difference between brightness levels; increasing the contrast makes the highlights brighter and the shadows darker. Color saturation changes the vividness of the colors.
White Balance Control
White balance controls how the camera interprets the color of the ambient lighting. Auto white balance compensates for changes in lighting automatically. Four preset white-balance settings - daylight, cloudy, tungsten, and fluorescent - can be selected for specific light sources. And for critical control over color, a custom setting allows the camera to be calibrated to the lighting conditions at the scene.
Flexibility in saving the image
Two copy functions allow image files to be duplicated in camera. The E-mail Copy function allows a still image to be copied and resized to a VGA format so that it may be attached to an e-mail message or posted on the Internet. The standard copy function makes a direct copy of a file onto the same or another memory card.
Audio and video options
The DiMAGE F300 is not limited to recording still images, and new movie recording features expand its digital video capabilities. Two image sizes can be selected: 160 x 120 pixels and 320 x 240 pixels. The new XR (Extended Recording) movie processing permits a 20-minute 160 x 120 movie clip or a 3-minute 320 x 240 clip to be recorded. Night Movies give the option to record under low light conditions. All the camera’s white balance controls are available for movie recording.
Thoughts and comments can be recorded with or without a still image. The audio recording mode records up to 180 minutes of audio. Voice memo allows up to 15 seconds of audio to be attached to an image when it is captured. The audio-caption function can attach an audio track to any recorded still-image. The audio tracks can be played back in the camera.
Camera controls and dials are laid out for clear, intuitive operation. All shooting controls are placed around the grip area. Audio signals are used to confirm camera settings. In addition, a personalized shutter effect can be recorded using the camera’s built-in microphone.
A large built-in memory gives the DiMAGE F300 its responsiveness. The 32MB buffer memory allows large numbers of images to be captured smoothly in the continuous-advance drive modes as well as fluid playback operation. In playback mode, still images are loaded in approximately 0.2 seconds regardless of resolution and file type, and movie clips can be rewound and fast forwarded quickly.
The DiMAGE F300 comes bundled with a 32MB SD (Secure Digital) memory card, four Ni-MH batteries, an Ni-MH battery charger, sports case and ArcSoft Funhouse software. The DiMAGE F300 will be available to consumers in February 2003.
Specifications are subject to change without notice.
Please see the www.minoltausa.com Web site for the most updated specifications.
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Minolta DiMAGE F300
|Number of effective pixels ||5.0 million |
|CCD || |
|1/1.8-type interline primary-color CCD |
|Total pixels: 5.3 million |
|A/D conversion ||12 bit |
|Camera sensitivity ||Auto and 64, 100, 200, and 400 ISO equivalents |
|Focal length ||7.8 – 23.4mm (35mm equivalent: 38 – 114mm) |
|Lens construction ||8 elements in 7 groups (includes three elements with four aspheric surfaces) |
|Maximum aperture ||f/2.8 – f/4.7 |
|Minimum focus distance ||1.6ft (0.5m) from CCD |
|Macro focus range ||5.7 – 21.5 in. (14.5 – 54.5cm) from front of lens |
|Maximum magnification || |
|0.17x (1: 5.88) |
|Equivalent to 0.74x (1: 1.35) in 35mm format |
|Area covered at maximum magnification ||1.25 x 1.65 in. (31.7 x 42mm) |
|Viewfinder type ||Optical real-image zoom viewfinder |
|Monitor LCD || |
|1.5 inch (3.8cm) low-temperature polysilicon TFT color with anti-reflection coating |
|Total number of pixels: 110,000 |
|Automatic monitor amplification |
|Shutter ||CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter |
|Shutter speed range || |
|4 - 1/1000 second in programmed-AE and aperture-priority modes |
|15 - 1/1000 second in shutter-priority and manual exposure modes |
|Bulb (maximum 15 seconds) |
|Autofocus system ||Video AF |
|Autofocus areas || |
|Wide focus area (Area AF) |
|Spot focus areas with Focus Area Selection |
|Focus modes ||Subject Tracking AF, Single-shot AF, Full-time AF, Manual focus |
|Focus lock || |
|With single-shot AF and Focus Area Selection |
|By pressing shutter-release button partway down |
|Subject lock || |
|With Subject Tracking AF |
|By pressing shutter-release button partway down |
|Metering ||Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot |
|Multi-segment metering ||256 segments |
|Exposure modes ||Programmed AE, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual |
|Digital Subject Programs || |
|Automatic selection: Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait |
|Manual selection: Portrait, Sports action, Landscape, Sunset, Night portrait, Macro |
|Exposure compensation ||±2 EV in 1/3 increments |
|AE lock ||By pressing shutter-release button partway down |
|Flash range || |
|Wide: Approximately 1.6 – 11.2 ft. (0.5 – 3.4m) |
|Telephoto: Approximately 1.6– 6.6 ft. (0.5 – 2m) |
|(Camera sensitivity: auto) |
|Flash modes || |
|Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill flash, Flash cancel |
|With aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual exposure, fill flash, fill flash with red-eye reduction, flash cancel only. |
|Flash compensation ||± 2 EV in 1/3 increments |
|Continuous advance || |
|UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous advance: Approximately Eleven 1280 x 960 frames in one second |
Standard continuous advance:
- Approximately 1.5 frames per second without shutter sound effect
- Approximately 1.2 frames per second with shutter sound effect
|*Actual speed may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings |
|* UHS and standard continuous advance cannot be used with super fine images |
|Exposure bracketing ||1.0, 0.5, 0.3 EV increments |
|Self-timer ||Approximately 10 seconds |
|Remote control ||IR Remote Control RC-3 (sold separately) |
|Movie || |
|20 minutes maximum with 160 x 120 images |
|3 minutes maximum with 320 x 240 images |
|Frame rate: 15 frames per second |
|Fast forward and rewind control. |
|Monaural audio with playback volume control. |
|Night movie (automatic selection or disabled) |
|* The writing speed of the memory card in use may prevent an entire movie clip from being recorded. |
|Audio || |
|Audio recording: 180 minutes maximum * |
|*128MB memory card is required |
|Voice memo: 15seconds maximum with still image |
|Audio caption: 15 seconds maximum with still image |
|Monaural audio with playback volume control |
|Fast forward and rewind control with audio recording |
|White balance control ||Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy), Custom |
|Digital Effects Control ||Contrast compensation, Color saturation compensation, Sharpness, Color modes |
|Contrast compensation ||Three levels (Low, Normal, High) |
|Color saturation compensation ||Three levels (Low, Normal, High) |
|Sharpness settings ||Three levels (Soft, Normal, Hard) |
|Color modes ||Natural Color, Vivid Color, Black and white |
|Noise reduction ||User selectable |
|Digital zoom ||4x (maximum) in 0.1x increments |
|Copy function ||To copy single or multiple images to the same or another memory card. |
|E-mail Copy function ||Creates a compressed VGA JPEG image for transmission. |
|Date imprinting || |
|Year/month/day (Format can be changed.) |
|Imprinting can be disabled |
|Image-quality modes ||Super fine, Fine, Standard, Economy |
|Number of recorded pixels (Still images) || |
|2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480 |
|1280 x 960 only in UHS continuous-advance mode |
|Number of recorded pixels (Movie clips) ||320 x 240, 160 x 120 |
|Storage capacity || |
|Approximate storage capacity of a 32MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card |
| || |
|Super fine || |
|Fine || |
|Standard || |
|Economy || |
|Movie ||1 minute 29 seconds with 320x240 images, 5 minutes 56 seconds with 160x120 images |
|Audio recording ||1 hour 4 minutes 40 seconds |
|* Still images are recorded without voice memo or audio caption |
|** Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and memory card used |
|File formats || |
|JPEG, TIFF, Motion JPEG (MOV), WAVE |
|DCF 1.0-compliant |
|DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1) |
|Folder name formats ||Standard, Date |
|Printing output control ||PRINT Image Matching II, Exif Print |
|Recording media ||SD (Secure Digital) Memory Cards, MultiMediaCards |
|Computer interface ||USB 1.1 |
|Direct print ||USB DIRECT-PRINT |
|AV output ||NTSC, PAL (selected on the camera) |
|Batteries ||One CR-V3 lithium battery or two AA Ni-MH batteries |
|Battery performance (Playback) || |
|Approximate continuous playback time: 270 minutes |
|Based on Minolta’s standard test method with a CR-V3 lithium battery. |
|Battery performance (Recording) || |
|Approximate number of recorded images: 260 frames |
|Based on Minolta’s standard test method: CR-V3 lithium battery, LCD monitor on, Full-size images (2560X1920), Standard image quality, No instant playback,No voice memo, No full-time AF, No Subject Tracking AF, Flash used with 50% of the frames. |
|External power source ||3V DC with specified AC adapter (sold separately) |
|Dimensions || |
|4.37(W) x 2.07(H) x 1.28(D) in. |
|111.0(W) x 52.5(H) x 32.5(D) mm |
|Weight ||Approximately 6.5 oz. (185 g) without batteries or recording media |
|Operating temperature ||32-104°F (0-40ºC) |
|Standard accessories ||Hand Strap HS-DG100, AV Cable AVC-200, USB Cable USB-500, 32MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, CR-V3 lithium battery, four Ni-MH batteries, Ni-MH battery charger, sports case, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM, ArcSoft Funhouse CD-ROM |
|Optional accessories ||AC Adapter AC-6, IR Remote Control RC-3, Metal Chain Neck Strap NS-DG100 |
|System Requirements || |
|IBM PC/AT compatible computers with Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 98*, or Windows 98 Second Edition* and with a USB port as standard interface. |
Apple Macintosh computers with pre-installed Mac OS 8.6** – 9.2.2, Mac OS X v10.1.3 – 10.1.5, and v10.2.1 and with a USB port as standard interface.
- The computer and operating system must be guaranteed by their manufacturers to support USB interface.
- Problems may be encountered depending on what other USB devices are being used in parallel with this product.
- Only a built-in USB port is supported. Problems may be encountered when the camera is connected to a USB hub.
- Normal operation may not be possible even when all the system requirements are met.
|* Users with Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition must install dedicated driver software included in the DiMAGE F300 package |
|** Users with Mac OS 8.6 must download and install free driver software from the Apple Computer web site |
|System requirements are based on the latest information available at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice. |
* Windows is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries
|* Macintosh is a trademark or registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. |
|* Other corporate names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. |
Specifications are subject to change without notice.