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Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D

Quickly on the heels of its first dSLR, Konica Minolta shrinks the form factor and the price without losing in-camera image stabilization.

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Page 10:Image Storage & Interface

Review First Posted: 10/31/2005

Image Storage and Interface

The 5D uses CompactFlash Type I or Type II memory cards, or the IBM Microdrive for image storage. The camera ships without a memory card, so you'll want to purchase one at the same time. The CompactFlash slot is on the right side of the camera, covered by a hinged plastic door that slides opens easily and snaps shut crisply. The card inserts with the connector edge going in first, and the rear of the card facing the back of the camera. A small button beside the slot ejects the card by popping it up slightly, letting you pull the card the rest of the way out.

Although individual CompactFlash cards cannot be write-protected or locked against erasure or manipulation, the 5D lets you lock individual images or groups of images through the Playback menu. Once protected, images cannot be erased or manipulated in any way, except through card formatting. The Playback menu also lets you delete images shown in the LCD display, change the number of images in the Index display, create a custom slide show, and set images up for printing on DPOF compliant printers.

Three image resolution settings are available: 3,008 x 2,000; 2,256 x 1,496; and 1,504 x 1,000 pixels. Files may be saved in any one of three JPEG compression levels, as well as a compact RAW format. (By its nature, the RAW format only saves the full-resolution image size.) The 5D also allows you to simultaneously save images in both RAW and JPEG formats, allowing you to have the convenience of JPEG files but the security of a RAW copy of your images should you desire the maximum quality later.

The table below summarizes the compression ratios and number of images that can be stored on a 256 MB memory card (a common size that should probably be considered a minimum for use with the camera), with each Resolution / Quality (JPEG Compression) combination.

Image Capacity vs
256 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
3008 x 2000 Images
(Avg size)
6.1 MB
3.1 MB
1.8 MB
9.5 MB
3:1 6:1 10:1 2:1
2256 x 1496
(Avg size)
3.5 MB
1.8 MB
1.1 MB
3:1 6:1 9:1 -
1504 x 1000
(Avg size)
1.6 MB
869 KB
549 KB
3:1 5:1

A USB 2.0 High Speed cable and interface accompanies the Maxxum 5D for quick connection and image downloading to a PC or Macintosh computer. By default, it appears as a "storage class" USB device, meaning that no driver software is needed for Mac OS versions 8.6 or later or for Windows Me, 2000, and XP. The Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony VAIO desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 815 KBytes/second, on the low end of USB 2.0 High Speed transfers and certainly lower than the 7D's excellent 1182 KBytes/second. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast v1.1 interfaces run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)

When its USB interface is set to PTP mode, the 5D supports direct printing (no computer required) to PictBridge compatible photo printers. The extent of PictBridge support varies greatly between cameras, and the 5D's support is more robust than many. Provided that it's connected to a printer that offers an equivalent level of support and control, you can select batch printing or an index print, paper size, layout (bordered or borderless prints), print quality, and date and filename imprint options directly from the camera's menu system. (Very slick.) Printing via PictBridge to our Canon i9900 studio printer though, we found it to be rather slow in formatting and preparing the data to send to the printer. (It took 3 minutes and 50 seconds to print a 4x6 photo at best quality.)

Recommended Software: Rescue your Photos!
Since we're talking about connectivity and memory cards, this would be a good place to mention recovering images from damaged memory cards: Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. I get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A surprising number of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digicam reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...


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