Short-form review posted for Minolta DiMAGE Xi!|
(Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 02:07 EST)
I've just posted my review of Minolta's diminutive DiMAGE Xi.
This is an update of last year's DiMAGE X model, with the resolution boosted to 3.2 megapixels, audio recording capability, much-improved low light performance, and several other improvements. Overall, I was quite impressed with the Minolta DiMAGE Xi, even more so than with the original DiMAGE X. Ultra-compact digicams often seem to involve a lot of compromises and tradeoffs, but the DiMAGE Xi takes great photos under a wide range of conditions, offers a decent range of exposure control (exposure compensation and white balance adjustments), and has a surprisingly long battery life when the LCD is left off.
You do give up a little image sharpness, relative to the best full-sized three megapixel cameras, but there's plenty of resolution here to make sharp 8x10 prints. This is a great "take anywhere" camera, appealing to both non-techies and enthusiasts alike. For the non-techies, it's easy to use and takes nice pictures. For the enthusiasts (taking myself as an example), it makes a great "second camera", something that you'd just toss in your pocket without thinking.
Another personal confession: As much as I rant about "cameras in drawers not taking pictures", that's exactly where my digicams tend to live most of the time. With the DiMAGE Xi, I at least have a fighting chance of having the camera along with me wherever I go. If you want to have no excuse for not having your camera long with you, the DiMAGE X makes a great companion. I definitely put the DiMAGE Xi in the "highly recommended" category. Check it out!