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Minolta Dimage S304

Minolta packs Dimage technology & optics into a compact 3.3 megapixel prosumer camera!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 9/13/2001

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3.3-megapixel CCD delivers uninterpolated images up to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels
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High-resolution Minolta GT lens with 4x optical zoom (35-140mm equivalent focus range)
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CxProcess image processing and Large Scale Integration image processing chip
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12-bit Analog / Digital conversion for more than 4,000 levels per channel (Red, Green, Blue)
 


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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 marked the introduction of three new Dimage digicam models -- each representing a separate price point to appeal to different segments of the digital market. The Dimage 7, reviewed elsewhere on the site, is designed to 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 midrange model, with the same sophisticated controls, but a smaller 3.34-megapixel CCD and shorter 35-250mm equivalent lens. Finally, the compact, autofocus Dimage S304, targeted for the amateur market, shares 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 currently in the market. (September, 2001)


Highlights

  • 3.3-megapixel CCD delivering resolutions as high as 2,048 x 1,536 pixels.
  • 12-Bit A/D conversion.
  • Real-image optical zoom viewfinder.
  • 1.8-inch TFT color LCD monitor.
  • 4X zoom, 7.15-28.6mm lens (equivalent to a 35-140mm lens on a 35mm camera) with a maximum aperture of f/3.0 or f/3.6, depending on the zoom setting.
  • 2x digital zoom.
  • Manual, Full-Time Auto, and Autofocus with selectable focus points.
  • Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, and Manual Exposure modes, plus five Subject-Program modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 4 seconds, with a Bulb setting for longer exposures (up to 15 seconds).
  • Multi-Segment and Spot metering options.
  • Adjustable ISO with five settings. (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800)
  • Built-in flash with five operating modes.
  • Self-Timer, Remote Control (optional), Continuous Advance, and Bracketing Drive modes.
  • Movie mode records up to 60 seconds of video with sound at 320 x 240 pixels.
  • Sharpness, Contrast, and Color Saturation adjustments.
  • Adjustable White Balance with six modes.
  • Color and Black and White modes.
  • Uncompressed TIFF, JPEG, Motion JPEG, and WAV file formats.
  • Images saved to CompactFlash Type I memory cards (16MB card included).
  • 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.
  • PRINT Image Matching for auto color management on compatible Epson printers.


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