Minolta DiMAGE S304 gets 'DPReviewed'!|
(Thursday, September 6, 2001 - 12:15 EDT)
Phil Askey delivers the first full review of Minolta's 3 megapixel, 4x optical zoom digicam...
The fine folks over at the Digital Photography Review website have posted the first full review we've seen thus far of Minolta's DiMAGE S304, a model whose announcement was somewhat overshadowed by the DiMAGE 5 and 7 announcements it accompanied. The S304 certainly looks promising on paper though, particularly thanks to a somewhat stronger than usual 4x optical zoom lens... How does it fare?
"Minolta have put together a camera which provides a good range of both basic point-and-shoot and manual control it produces good coloured (once run through the Image Viewer) and sharp images from its 4x optical zoom lens. Unfortunately for Minolta the S304's directly comparable competition is Nikon's very strong Coolpix 995. From a features, build and control point of view the 995 has it, but that's not to say that those thinking of a 995 shouldn't give the S304 a long, serious look. Especially considering the price difference between the two." Bear in mind that Phil's review is based on a pre-production camera, and it is conceivable that some of the problems he notes (flaky autofocus, flat area noise) could be improved in final-version cameras. Also bear in mind that the sample images could differ significantly from those produced by retail cameras - they should offer a benchmark of what the camera can do, but firmware is often being tweaked by manufacturers right up until the product ships to stores...
When you're done with Phil's review, you can find more info on the DiMAGE S304 in the Steve's Digicams first-look. Steve hasn't finalised his review due to the fact that he also examined a pre-production camera, however he does have a good selection of samples and plenty of info on camera design and control to keep readers going (with the same caveats, of course)!
Digital Photography Review website