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Minolta's DiMAGE S304 digital camera. Courtesy of Minolta. Minolta announces DiMAGE S304!
By
(Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 03:00 EDT)

3 megapixel, 4x zoom digicam which first showed up at PMA is now official...

Minolta has today officially announced its DiMAGE S304 digital camera, which we first told you about a little over two months ago at the PMA 2001 show in Orlando. At that time, little was known of the camera, the official statement being that the S304 would feature a 3.3 megapixel 1/1.8" CCD image sensor, 4x optical zoom lens equivalent to a 35-140mm lens on a 35mm camera, and would have "high performance AF and AE", as well as "quick response and easy operation".

Now, we can reveal full specifications of the camera, and they're interesting indeed. The body is the same width and height as Minolta's previous Dimâge 2300, but slightly thicker. The camera is much more capable, however, with ISO ratings from 100 to 800, manual white balance, focus, and exposure (as well as aperture priority mode), 256-segment multi and spot metering, bulb mode allowing exposures as long as 15 seconds, PRINT Image Matching compliance and a whole lot more...

Full specifications for the Minolta DiMAGE S304 are in our database. Specifications highlights are as follows:

Specification Highlights - full specifications here
Minolta DiMAGE S304
Minolta's DiMAGE S304 digital camera, front view.  Courtesy of Minolta. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Model Number: S-304
Camera Format: Compact
Price: Unknown
Date Available: Unknown
Image Capture
Image Sensor: 0.555" 3.34 megapixel RGBG CCD
Image Resolution: 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
Lens
Focal Length (effective): 35-140mm (4x optical zoom)
Digital Zoom: 2x
Auto Focus: Yes, Video AF
Manual Focus: Yes
Normal Focus Range: 50 cm to Infinity; 20.4 in to Infinity
Macro Focus Range: 16 - 60 cm; 6.4 - 24.5 in
Aperture Range: f/3.0 (wide) / 3.6 (tele) - ???
Display
Optical Viewfinder: Yes (Optical real-image zoom)
LCD Viewfinder: Yes (1.8 inch, 122000 pixel)
Exposure
ISO Settings: 100, 200, 400, 800
White Balance Settings: Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Manual
Manual White Balance: Yes
Shutter Speeds: 15 - 1/1000 second
Exp Adj Range: +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps
Metering Modes: 256 segment multi and spot
Exposure Modes: Auto, Aperture Priority, Manual
Self Timer (seconds): 10
Flash
Internal Flash: Yes
Flash Modes: Auto, Auto w/ red-eye reduction, Fill, Fill w/ red-eye reduction, Off
Flash Range Description: 0.5 - 3.5 meters (wide) / 0.9 - 3 meters (tele)
Ext Flash: No
Image Storage
Flash Memory: CompactFlash Type 1
Memory Included (MB): 16
File Formats: TIFF, JPEG, WAVE, AVI (MotionJPEG) with audio
More Information
Weight: 320 g; 11.2 oz
Weight With Batteries? No
Size: 114 x 64 x 59mm; 4.5 x 2.5 x 2.3in
Notes & Features: 12-bit A/D conversion. Lens has 11 elements in 9 groups, including 1 AD element and 2 double-sided aspheric elements. Shutter speeds 4-15 seconds are in bulb mode only. Has choice of wide focus area, or focus area selection modes. Flash metering is ADI (advanced distance integration) type. Flash recharges in 7 seconds. Has exposure bracketing mode (3 frames, 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0EV steps). Voice memo mode. Adjustable contrast, saturation and sharpness. PRINT Image Matching compliant. Bundled with neckstrap, lens cap, USB cable, video cable, 16MB CompactFlash card, AA alkaline batteries, and software CDs. Optional IR remote, camera case, AC adapter and high-power external battery pack available.
More Photos
Minolta's DiMAGE S304 digital camera, rear view.  Courtesy of Minolta. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Source: Minolta Corp.

Original Source Press Release:

MINOLTA DIMAGE S304 COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA OFFERS HIGH-PERFORMANCE WITH FAST, SIMPLE OPERATION

3.34-Megapixel Pocket-Sized Digital Camera features 4x Optical Zoom Range

New York City/San Francisco (May 23, 2001) – Minolta Corporation sets a new standard for compact digital camera performance with the introduction of the new 4x zoom 3.34 megapixel DiMAGE S304. The new DiMAGE S304 is an autofocus digital camera that combines high quality images and automatic features, allowing users to obtain the best photographic results with point-and-shoot design and easy camera operation. It’s the ideal choice for a variety of applications and users ¾ personal or business, from novice to enthusiasts.

“Building on our strong success and long history as a camera manufacturer, Minolta has harnessed its expertise to create a high-performance, easy-to-use digital imaging system,” said Brain Miller, vice president of marketing for Minolta Corporation’s Consumer Products Group. “The Minolta DiMAGE S304 packs a high density CCD with high optical zoom magnification, and other great features, into a small, compact size to make it a fun and affordable digital camera solution for consumers looking to get into digital picture-taking.”

Based on similar technology to the new Minolta DiMAGE 7 and DiMAGE 5, the DiMAGE S304 is a compact digital still camera that offers the superb image quality, innovative functions and quick response usually found only in top performing SLR-type digital cameras. Fundamental to the design of this new camera is the core technologies of a ultra high resolution apochromatic lens (Minolta GT LENS), Minolta’s innovative CxProcess(TM) Image Processing Technology, plus a high speed Large Scale Integration (LSI) chip and advanced autofocus technologies.

“In designing the new DiMAGE S304 digital camera, Minolta engineers incorporated the most sought after digital camera features into the highest quality digital camera that most consumers will ever need,” said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president, digital imaging products, Minolta Corporation’s Consumer Products Group.

The new DiMAGE S304 features a 1/1.8-type CCD with 3.34 megapixel resolution. The camera incorporates a 4x zoom apochromatic Minolta GT LENS with AD glass and dual aspherical elements which, combined with a 2x Digital Zoom, provides a wide image capture range. The zoom lens range is equivalent to 35mm -140mm in 35mm and with digital zoom, the range is equivalent to 35mm - 280mm.

The image formed on the CCD is enhanced by Minolta’s exclusive CxProcess image processing technology to optimize sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to create clear and natural images. The wide dynamic range is provided by 12-bit A/D conversion to ensure natural color and tonal reproduction. Innovative autofocus technology includes both a wide focus area and a focus area selection, allowing photographers to move the focusing point on the LCD monitor.

The DiMAGE S304 offers diverse automatic and manual image control options, including the Digital Effects Control where users can adjust the color saturation, contrast and exposure before saving the image to the Type I CompactFlash Card.

For more detailed information on features and specifications of the Minolta DiMAGE S304, please refer to the enclosed backgrounder and specification sheets.

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. Minolta is the exclusive distributor of Cokin filters.

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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