Digital Camera Home > Digital Camera Reviews > Minolta Digital Cameras > Minolta DiMAGE A1

Minolta DiMAGE A1

Minolta updates their revolutionary five-megapixel electronic SLR with faster shutter speeds, an Anti-Shake mode, 14-bit A/D, and a tilting LCD monitor, among other improvements.

<<Image Storage & Interface :(Previous) | (Next): Test Results & Conclusion>>

Page 11:Video, Power, Software

Review First Posted: 08/08/2003, Updated: 11/10/03

Video Out
The DiMAGE A1 provides a video output jack with an accompanying video cable. The signal timing can be set to NTSC or PAL via the Setup menu. The Video output duplicates the contents of the LCD in all modes, permitting it to be used as an auxiliary viewfinder.


The DiMAGE A1 uses an NP-400 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, or the optional AC adapter. The camera comes with a battery and charger and shows excellent battery life, but I highly recommend picking up a spare and keeping it freshly charged at all times.

Here are the power-consumption numbers I measured for the DiMAGE A1 in the lab, along with estimated run times, based on a single lithium-ion cell:

Operating Mode
(mA @?v)
Est. Minutes
(One 1500mAh lithium-ion pack)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
480 mA
Capture Mode, w/EVF
263 mA
Capture Mode, EVF off
224 mA
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
578 mA
Half-pressed w/EVF
449 mA
Memory Write (transient)
525 mA
Flash Recharge (transient)
961 mA
0.8 mA
(1800 hours) 
Image Playback
492 mA

Overall, these are excellent battery life numbers, some of the best in the prosumer digicam marketplace. This constitutes dramatic progress relative to the previous 7-series DiMAGE models, which earned a well-deserved reputation for being rather power-hungry. I still highly recommend purchasing a second NP-400 battery pack, but the DiMAGE A1 has much better than average battery life.

The A1 has an optional power grip available as an accessory, shown above. The grip accepts inserts holding either six AA cells or two NP-400 LiIon packs. The grip works with either ordinary alkaline AAs for emergency backup power, or NiMH AA cells for low-cost rechargeable operation. (Although it should be pointed out that a set of six high-capacity NiMH AAs only provides about 35% more power than does a single NP-400 carried inside the camera body itself. NiMH AAs might make sense as a backup solution, or as a cheaper, lower-performance alternative, but if you're really interested in maximum run times with the A1, think in terms of multiple NP-400 packs. They're very compact, and pack a load of power.)


In the Box
The DiMAGE A1 ships with the following items:

  • Lens shade
  • Lens cap with strap
  • Neck strap
  • Video cable
  • USB cable
  • 16MB CompactFlash card
  • NP-400 lithium-ion battery pack and charger
  • CD-ROM with DiMAGE software
  • Instruction manual and registration information

Recommended Accessories

  • Camera case
  • Additional battery
  • AC adapter
  • Larger capacity memory card



Reader Comments! --> Visit our discussion forum for the Minolta DiMAGE A1!

<<Image Storage & Interface | Test Results & Conclusion>>

Follow Imaging Resource: