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Minolta Intros DiMage Digital Cameras

New models offer higher resolution, increased memory By Dave Nagel
[Editor's note: This article contains information updated since its original publication, including ship dates and pricing. --Dave]

Minolta today introduced four new models in its line of DiMage digital cameras. These include two higher-end 5-megapixel models, as well as two 3.2-megapixel cameras. All are expected to ship in September.


Heading up Minolta's new lineup is the new A1, built upon the DiMage 7 series of cameras. The new model is an SLR-style camera offering a 5-megapixel resolution, built-in f2.8-3.5 7x optical zoom lens, a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 second, dual-focal macro system, extra-fine image-quality option, Minolta's new CxProcess II and 3-D Predictive Focus Control, Subject Tracking AF, Anti-shake function and compatibility with portable and studio flash systems. Its apochromatic lens employs anomalous dispersion (AD) glass designed to minimize chromatic aberration at all focal lengths. It also incorporates direct manual focus for fine tuning, as well as a new Flex Digital Magnifier for enlarging a section of a live image for focusing. It will sell for $1,199.

The DiMage G500 also offers a 5-megapixel resolution. It includes a 3x aspheric zoom lens with seven elements in six groups and offers a dual-slot card system for either Memory Stick or SD media (or both) for up to 640 MB of storage. The G500 also features manual controls for exposure, saturation, contrast, sharpness and color balance. It measures 3.7" x 2.2" x 1.2". It will sell for $499.

Minolta has also introduced the new Z1, a 3.2-megapixel camera. Minolta says the Z1 is the first in a new series of SLR-style cameras designed for ease of use. The camera includes a built-in f/2.8-3.5 10x zoom lens plus 4x digital zoom. (An optional 0.75x wide-converter is also available.) Other features include:

  • Super Macro mode for capturing images as close as 1.6 inches;
  • Ability to capture 30 FPS VGA-resolution movies;
  • CxProcess II image processing technology;
  • 60 FPS sampling rate for determining optimal focus;
  • Progressive Capture drive system for capturing images continuously to buffer memory;
  • Shutter release lag of 0.06 seconds.

The Z1 will run $399.

Finally, Minolta has also introduced the fully automatic DiMage E323, a compact camera offering a 3.2-megapixel resolution. It includes a seven-element f/2.8-4.9 3x optical zoom lens (plus 4x digital zoom), along with a macro mode that allows for shooting a subject as close as 4.3 inches. It can also capture movies at up to 320 x 240 resolution. It will sell for $279.

Further specs are available on the Minolta's Web site. For more information, visit http://www.minoltausa.com.


Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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