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Minolta Dimage 7

Minolta unleashes the first 5-megapixel camera, with a tack-sharp 7x zoom lens, and amazingly sensitive electronic viewfinder!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 5/23/2001

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5.2-megapixel CCD delivers uninterpolated images up to 2,560 x 1,920 pixels
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Tack sharp 7x optical zoom lens covers a 28-200mm equivalent focus range
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Ferroelectric LCD technology gives sharp electronic viewfinder image that is visible even at low light levels
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12-bit A/D conversion provides excellent tonal range

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Manufacturer Overview
Minolta Corporation is a traditional camera manufacturer of long experience, making a slow but calculated entry into the digital marketplace. Like its popular line of 35mm SLRs, the Maxxum Series, Minolta's Dimage Digital Cameras are developing a reputation for innovative technology in light metering, exposure control, and compact autofocus lens design. In 1996, Minolta introduced the Dimage V, the first digital camera with a detachable lens that enabled users to preview pictures with the camera body in one hand, while holding the lens at a distance in the other. Eventually Minolta developed the EX1500, a modular digital camera used as the framework for an amazingly effective 3D capture system, developed in partnership with the software firm MetaCreations (renamed Viewpoint Corporation in Fall 2000). In addition to conventional and digital cameras, Minolta manufactures high-quality light meters, spectrophotometers, colorimeters, and an award-winning line of film scanners, including the Dimage Scan Elite, Scan Dual II, and Scan Multi II.

Spring 2001 marks the introduction of three new Dimage digicam models -- each representing a separate price point to appeal to different segments of the digital market. Arguably the most exciting camera announcement of the year thus far (late May, 2001) The Dimage 7, reviewed here, will appeal to serious photographers who want high resolution (5.24 megapixels), a long-range wide-angle-to-telephoto zoom lens (equivalent to 28-200mm), and a sophisticated user interface with extensive creative controls. The Dimage 5 is the middle-range model, with the same sophisticated controls and 7x, but a smaller 3.34-megapixel CCD and a slightly shifted focal length range of 35-250mm equivalent. Finally, the compact, autofocus Dimage S304 is targeted for the amateur market, sharing the same microprocessor and most of the same technology, but with a 3.34-megapixel lens and 4x zoom lens equivalent to a 35-140mm on a 35mm camera. All three models are scheduled for release in the summer.

Highlights

  • True 5.24-megapixel CCD delivering resolutions as high as 2,568 x 1,928 pixels.
  • 12-Bit A/D conversion.
  • Digital Hyper Electronic viewfinder with 90-degree variable position.
  • 1.8-inch TFT color LCD monitor.
  • 7.2-50.8mm lens (equivalent to a 28-200mm lens on a 35mm camera) with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or f/3.5, depending on the zoom setting.
  • 2x digital zoom.
  • Auto and Manual focus.
  • Macro setting at maximum telephoto.
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, and Subject Program shooting modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 4 seconds, with Bulb setting for longer exposures (up to 30 seconds).
  • 300 Multi-Segment, Center-Weighted, and Spot metering options, with AE Lock function.
  • Adjustable ISO with five settings.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with three operating modes, a flash metering system, and adjustable intensity.
  • External flash hot-shoe for Minolta accessory flash units.
  • Continuous Shooting, Interval, and Movie shooting modes.
  • Digital Effects Control for Exposure, Color Saturation, and Contrast Compensation with Bracketing
  • Adjustable White Balance with six modes.
  • Saturation, Sharpness, Contrast, and Black and White modes.
  • RAW, uncompressed TIFF, and JPEG file formats.
  • Images saved to CompactFlash Type I or II memory cards (16MB card included), Microdrive compatible.
  • USB cable and interface software for connecting to a computer and downloading images.
  • NTSC and PAL selectable video output signals, with cable included.
  • Power supplied by four AA batteries or separate AC adapter (available as an accessory).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant.



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