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Minolta's DiMAGE E323 digital camera. Courtesy of Minolta, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Minolta announces 3mpix, 3x zoom compact digicam
By
(Thursday, August 7, 2003 - 09:19 EDT)

12pm EST: Minolta USA today announces a new (and rather stylish looking) digital camera with a 3.3 megapixel CCD imager, the DiMAGE E323.

The new camera also features a 3x optical zoom lens, 1.6" TFT LCD display, Secure Digital / MultiMediaCard storage, built-in flash, USB connectivity and power from 2 AA batteries. The E323 focuses down to 50cm, or 11cm in macro mode, and exposures are fully automatic with ISO from 50 - 200, 256-segment matrix metering, Auto or 4-preset white balance, and auto noise reduction.

Pricing and availability have not been announced at this time. Full specifications courtesy of Minolta follow.

Our apologies to readers who've been waiting patiently for the last few hours for our coverage of this announcement. Unfortunately as noted in our coverage of the DiMAGE A1 announcement, the time we were given by Minolta did not match the correct announcement time.

Minolta DiMAGE E323
Minolta's DiMAGE E323 digital camera. Courtesy of Minolta, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Number of effective pixels

3.2 million

CCD

1/2.7-type interline primary-color CCD
Total pixels: 3.3 million

Camera sensitivity

Auto (between ISO 50 – 200 equivalent)

Focal length

5.6 – 16.8mm (35mm equivalent: 36 - 108mm)

Lens construction

7 elements in 6 groups (includes four aspheric surfaces)

Maximum aperture

f/2.8 – f/4.9

Minimum focus distance

1.6ft. (0.5m) from CCD

Minimum macro distance

5.9 in. (15cm) from CCD, 4.3 in. (11cm) from front of lens at the 5.6mm focal length

Area covered at maximum magnification

4.79 x 3.56in. (121.74 x 90.32mm)

Maximum magnification (in 35mm format): 0.287x (1:3.48)

Viewfinder type

Optical real-image zoom viewfinder

Monitor LCD

1.6 inch (4.0cm) digital-interface TFT color monitor

Total number of pixels: 84,960

Shutter

CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter

Shutter speed range

1/2-1/2,000 second in full auto, sports, portrait, cosmetic, and slim (changing aspect ratio of image) modes
2-1/2,000 second in landscape and night view modes

Autofocus system

Video AF

Metering

256-segment metering

Exposure control

Programmed AE

Scene selection modes

Full auto, Sports, Portrait, Landscape, Night view, Cosmetic, Slim

Exposure compensation

±1.8 EV in 1/3 increments

Flash range

Wide: Approximately 0.4-9.8 ft. (0.11-3.0m) from front of camera
Telephoto: Approximately 1.6-5.6 ft. (0.5-1.7m) from front of camera

Flash modes

Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Flash cancel

Continuous-advance modes

Best select, Standard

Self-timer

Approximately 10 seconds, 2 seconds

Movie recording

Recording time dependent on memory card capacity and image resolution.

Frame rate: 15 frames per second

White-balance control

Automatic, Preset (Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy)

Noise reduction

Auto

Digital zoom

4x (maximum)

E-mail Copy

Creates a 640x480 or 320x240 JPEG image for transmission.

Compression modes

Fine, Normal

Number of recorded pixels (Still images)

2880 x 2160 (interpolated), 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480

Number of recorded pixels (Movie clips)

320 x 240, 160x120

Storage capacity

Approximate storage capacity of a 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card:

2880 x 2160 2048 x 1536 1600 x 1200 640 x 480

Fine:

6 frames 13 frames 21 frames 111 frames

Normal:

10 frames 20 frames 33 frames 148 frames

Movie clip:

45 seconds with 320x240 images; 2 minutes 38 seconds with 160x120 images

* Actual number of images may vary depending upon the subject and memory card.

File format

JPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV)

DCF 1.0-compliant

DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1)

Exif 2.2

Slide show

With automatic dissolve effects.

Rotate

Rotates images clockwise or counterclockwise in 90° increments.

Printing output control

PRINT Image Matching II, Exif Print

Recording media

SD (Secure Digital) Memory Cards, MultiMediaCards

Computer interface

Full-speed 12Mbps USB

Video output

NTSC, PAL (selected on the camera)

Batteries

Two AA batteries: Ni-MH, alkaline.
One CR-V3 lithium battery

Battery performance (Playback)

Approximate continuous playback time: 275 minutes with alkaline batteries.

Battery performance (Recording)

Approximate number of recorded images: 80 frames

Based on the following test conditions: alkaline batteries, LCD monitor on, 1600x1200 images, Normal compression, no instant playback, and flash used with 50% of the frames.

External power source

3.4 V DC with specified AC adapter (sold separately)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

3.9 x 2.44 x 1.36 inches (99 x 62 x 34.5mm)

Weight

Approximately 5.1 oz. (145g) without batteries or recording media

Operating temperature

32-104°F (0-40ºC)

Standard accessories

Hand strap, Video cable VC-300, USB cable USB-900, 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, Two AA batteries, DiMAGE Viewer

Optional accessories

AC Adapter AC-7

.

Original Source Press Release:

MINOLTA INTRODUCES THE NEW DiMAGE E323 DIGITAL CAMERA

Stylish compact 3.2 megapixel camera makes digital photography simple and fun

New York, NY (August 7, 2003) - Minolta Corporation introduces the new DiMAGE E323 - an easy-to-use, compact 3.2 megapixel digital camera. This stylish camera combines high-quality digital images and value-added features, such as the ability to make 6-megapixel images for high quality printing and digital video, all in one attractive package.

"The new DiMAGE E323 provides fabulous digital images with point-and-shoot simplicity," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "This camera adds diversity to Minolta's digital camera lineup ensuring more choices for users of today's digital cameras."

The DiMAGE E323's precision electro-optical system is built around a 3.3 megapixel 1/2.7-type interline primary-color CCD with 3.2 million effective pixels for high-resolution images. This resolution can produce 10 x 14-inch 150dpi prints or 4 x 6-inch size photo-quality prints. For those special occasions where users want to make big prints, the camera can automatically interpolate the data when it is captured to create a large 6-megapixel image. This will allow users to make up to 11x17-inch 150dpi prints or letter-size 300dpi prints.

The DiMAGE E323 is equipped with a 3x optical zoom lens. With a focal range of 5.6mm to 16.8mm, the lens is equivalent to a 36 - 108mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It can range from wide angle for landscapes to telephoto for portraits. The resolution of the seven-element, six-group lens design ensures the best quality results from the camera's 3.3 megapixel CCD image sensor. The maximum aperture of /2.8 - 4.9 allows the camera to be used in less than ideal lighting conditions without the need of the built-in flash.

The new Minolta DiMAGE E323's digital zoom can extend the optical zoom lens performance by four times giving the E323 an equivalent of a 432mm lens on a 35mm camera. The combined optical and digital zooms give this compact digital camera an amazing 12x zoom range. The camera's macro mode also allows small objects and details to be captured. The lens can focus down to 4.3 inches for close-up photographs.

The DiMAGE E323 could not be easier to operate. Exposure, focus, white balance, and flash are all controlled automatically for clear, sharp color pictures. By simply pointing and shooting, the camera will do the rest. And to transfer the data from the camera, a user simply connects the USB cable, and drags and drops the images into their computer.

The DiMAGE E323 is not limited to recording still images - movie sequences can be captured too. The length of the movie clip is only limited by resolution and the capacity of the camera's memory card. Clips can be shot at two resolutions: 320 x 240 pixels for large (QVGA) images or 160 x 120 pixels for frugal use of the SD memory card.

Captured still and video images can be played back in the camera or on a TV. Still images can be played back automatically like a slide show. Images can be rotated to orient them correctly so viewers don't need to twist their heads to the left or right to view vertically composed shots.

Minolta Corporation
Minolta Corporation, headquartered in Ramsey, New Jersey, is the largest subsidiary of Minolta Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, a leading manufacturer of cameras, business equipment, radiometric instruments and planetariums. Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group (CPG) markets 35mm film and Advanced Photo System cameras, digital cameras, binoculars, accessory lenses, photographic light meters, 35mm and Advanced Photo System film scanners and other consumer products.

The corporation's Business Products Group (BPG) markets digital and analog office equipment. Products include black-and-white copiers, digital black and white printer/copiers, plain-paper laser facsimile machines, digital color printer/copiers, micrographic systems, document management software, and related office equipment.

For more information, visit Minolta's Web site located at www.minoltausa.com or access Minolta's PHOTOFAX at 800-528-4767.

All brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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