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(21ST CENTURY DIGITAL CAMERAS, PHOTO PRINTERS, PHOTO PAPERS, CAMCORDERS, IMAGING SOFTWARE, DIGITAL EQUIPMENT AND MORE!) MINOLTA DiMAGE 7Hi
MINOLTA INTRODUCES NEW DiMAGE 7Hi 5 MEGAPIXEL DIGITAL CAMERA (09/10/02)
Minolta has announced today at the start of the Seybold Tradeshow in San Francisco a new version of its popular 5 megapixel, 7X optical zoom DiMAGE 7i camera called the DiMAGE 7Hi, featuring a new black colored body (and new black rubber on the hand grip for better comfort), a new flash synchronization terminal (aimed to help with studio work & more) and a new "extra fine" jpeg image quality setting. The new version retains all the benefits and improvements that the recent DiMAGE 7i offered over the original DiMAGE 7, such as faster auto focus and improved burst mode abilities. The new DiMAGE 7Hi also features a huge 64MB SDRAM memory which allows new high speed 3fps capture of 5 megapixel images, up to 1/4000 to 15 second shutter speeds, selectable color space between Adobe RGB and sRGB, the ability to embed ICC profiles into images, an enhanced quick view mode which allows access to various main displays such as playback while still in capture mode, 9 position white balance with new fluorescent pre-sets & 3 customizable, various customizable interface controls, and easy resetting to default or your preferred manual selections with P-reset and P-reset undo settings. We have also seen reference to the fact that the new 7Hi is compatible with Epson's PIM II print standard.
Minolta has indicated that the new DiMAGE 7Hi will be available later in September 2002 at a suggested price of $1,299.00. For more details including our initial Review comments, several colorful sample photo galleries, the Minolta Press Release, Backgrounder Information & Specifications see our coverage further down this page.
MINOLTA DIMAGE 7Hi INITIAL REVIEW (11/13/02)
We have now used the Minolta 7Hi for about three weeks and have taken it to a wide variety of locations including World Series games, the beach, Disneyland and have used it around the home and office both indoors and outside. We have also had the benefit of taking some of the pictures at the same time with several other cameras we have been testing, such as the Nikon D100 and the Sony F717 to help us get a bit more of a direct comparison of its abilities. In addition, as we always do, our opinions take into consideration how the camera is performing in producing pictures on several Epson Photo printers we use daily. Accordingly, we now feel that we have gained some fairly good insights into how the 7Hi performs and how it compares to its main competition.
Initially, we have already stated that we are very impressed with the new black color for the 7Hi, as it really adds to the high quality look and gives the camera a more solid & pleasing appearance. We also very much like the new soft feel of the hand grip on the front of the camera, and overall the camera is fairly light, small and easy to carry with you as well as to hold/shoot, especially when you consider that this high end 5 megapixel camera also provides a huge 7X optical zoom lens (aprox. 28 - 200 mm). The camera is also very easy to quickly turn on by a one position turn of the main dial on the top of the camera which has the clearly marked off position next to the red camera icon record mode setting. On many occasions after we got familiar with the position and feel of the controls we were able to turn the camera on in one easy motion without really taking any time to look at the dial as we started bringing the camera up to a shooting position, with it being ready to go by the time we looked into the viewfinder.
The camera comes with 4 1850 milliamp Sanyo AA rechargeable batteries and a rapid battery charger which appears to be charging the set of 4 batteries in well under 2 hours. We very much like the small rapid battery charger which has the wall prongs pop out from the back of the unit which eliminates the need for a messy cord while on the road. While in general we are happy with the use of easy to find AA batteries, we did find that overall battery consumption was a bit faster on the 7Hi in comparison to the excellent performing Sony battery in the Sony F717, and yet it was fairly close but still seemed a bit faster compared to the performance of the Nikon 5700 proprietary rechargeable battery. In comparing the battery performance of the 7Hi overall to all the other cameras we have used extensively over the past few years, we would have to rate it as just average, allowing us to shoot about 60 images with very heavy image review (which we admit is probably much heavier then most would need to do). The issue of battery performance further loses much of its importance when you consider the fact that by using AA batteries its cheap and it is fairly easy to have a spare set available should you need fresh batteries before you can recharge.
The main camera operations themselves such as start up time, shutter lag, focusing time, and file processing seemed very quick and responsive, especially compared with the Nikon Coolpix 5700. We also found the controls over the image results to be extensive and much more flexible especially compared to the Sony F717 and in a few instances also in comparison to the Nikon Coolpix 5700. For instance, the Dimage 7Hi has very good control over the image contrast, saturation levels, color hue, sharpness, white balance, color space and image quality settings which include a new "extra fine" jpeg setting for very little compression or the option to use RAW data image capture for very powerful post shot image control. The camera has an excellent feature which we really got to appreciate with the ability of the viewfinder to automatically switch on when you bring your eye up to look through it, and then it switches back to the main lcd on the back of the camera when you take the camera away from your eye. This allows a much faster ability to start taking picutures right away, and an easier time at viewing images in playback or to make changes to the menus and other camera settings that rely on the use of camera's monitors.
Overall, the images we have obtained from the Minolta 7Hi in just the auto/program mode at ISO 100 and at the factory defaults are of very high quality, and with some experience and tweaking along with use of the live histogram, one can obtain excellent 5 megapixel results. Some of our shots out a Disneyland in very bright/sunny (high contrast) conditions are showing that the default contrast levels tends to be slightly on the high side with shadows appearing very dark on occasion and in a few instances highlights are a bit overwhelmed, a finding similar to how the Nikon Coolpix 5700 handled the tough lighting out a Disneyland on an extremely bright day with the Sony F717 doing just bit better controlling especially the tough highlights. Keep in mind however that the Minolta Dimage 7Hi does offer control over the contrast setting, so again with experience users would learn to make a slight adjustment for the extreme lighting conditions we encountered Sunday afternoon to obtain more optimal results (adjusting the contrast to a slightly lower setting and saturation up one notch would easily tweak these images if that is the look you prefer).
Yet the 7Hi does handle the colors in a more neutral fashion compared to its main competition as we saw no color casts and if you prefer a slight change to a warmer or colder look, the flexible controls over the image results allow you to shift the hue settings to your liking. The default saturation levels appear to be less aggressive then most other cameras we have used lately with the Nikon 5700 appearing to have gone towards a more saturated or vivid color look while Sony seems to have lowered overall saturation levels in the new F717 compared to its predecessor the F707. Once again though the flexible controls on the 7Hi allow for a good variety of changes as you can set the camera to a Vivid color space setting and/or you can adjust saturation levels in the camera's menu options should you wish to get a higher saturation look straight out of the camera. In our opinion the Minolta 7Hi handled reds the best we have seen in a camera in a long time, especially compared with the Nikon 5700 and Sony F717 which still can show a bit of an over saturated red and/or red/orange neon look with certain reds, on certain surfaces (such as certain clothing like red t-shirts etc...) and also often only in certain lighting.
As far as the final image sharpness goes, we found the Dimage 7Hi to be very similar to the Nikon 5700, with both being just slightly less sharp straight out of the camera then the Sony F717. We did notice that noise levels, especially in dark blue skies where the exposure may be just a bit underexposed overall, did appear to be a bit higher (but not to the point where it was a real issue) then the Nikon or Sony. However, this is consistent with Minolta's approach not to force more aggressive default settings on its high end users, as greater in camera sharpness settings can come at the cost of some image detail and introduce higher noise levels, and if you prefer you can increase the sharpness setting on the camera. Overall the noise levels are not a major issue at all for most purposes as you can essentially only see any noise at all when viewing the image at 100 percent or greater (and often only in certain areas of a picture), something that in practical terms is just not done with final image results meant for normal viewing. In addition, and we stress this, whatever noise people feel they are seeing in close (over examination?) of image files, we just did not see any unacceptable noise appearing in any of our test print samples which we did up to 8 by 10 for now. Yes, if you look at a few of the pictures with lots of blue sky for example which are slightly underexposed and compare a patch of sky taken at the same time from the Sony F717 and/or the Nikon 5700 you may be able to see a bit more noise, but again it just is not detracting from the final image results for resized images viewed on a monitor or in prints we have seen so far.
So which camera is best for you if you want a 5 megapixel CCD and a nice zoom lens? We certainly feel that you should look at the pros and cons of each camera, as they all have both in making your decision. As far as the Minolta Dimage 7Hi goes, the few cons we found were the battery performance was not quite as good as we would prefer, it costs a bit more then its competition (and its own competing sibling the Dimage 7i), it has slightly more noise in some instances, and it tends to produce images at its default auto settings with high contrast which can lead to darker shadow areas and some blown highlights in very bright conditions. And yet the overall image results are in deed of very high and pleasing quality allowing for great results for images to be viewed on the Internet or computer and for large print sizes the bigger 5 megapixel imager allows.
Also, each of these issues have mitigating factors. The battery type which is used is the most flexible, cheapest, and easy to find anywhere in the world. The camera has many extra features which for many will justify the higher price including the many flexible image control settings, the huge and faster memory buffer providing an excellent burst mode for sports and other coverage, use of Compact Flash type II memory cards, RAW image files for great post shot image control, and not to mention the great 7X optical zoom coverage you get from a wide angle of 28mm all the way up to 200mm, and a host of other high end features found on this camera. The slightly higher noise levels some may find in certain shots are just not that noticeable in normal viewing or printing in our opinion to be a cause for very much concern. And finally, the contrast/saturation levels can easily be tweaked in the camera's menus along with use a a live histogram to get optimal results. The Dimage 7Hi certainly has many more pros then cons in our opinion and so in the end it comes down to whether you want all the bells and whistles this camera has to offer which does come at a bit of a price increase with the cost generally at well over one thousand dollars. The Minolta 7Hi is about the closest you can get to having the larger feature set of a higher end DSLR camera with the benefit of having a smaller, lighter camera with a built in yet flexible range on the zoom lens.
We will be posting a few more sample galleries including some flash and indoor samples along with some other information with this summary. For now we invite you to check out the sample photo galleries we have taken so far to give you a better idea of how we are finding the camera to perform. Below are our links to the Disneyland pictures, Newport Beach Sunset, and World Series pre-game 6 pictures we hope you find them useful. Give them a good viewing and let us know what you think!
Minolta Dimage 7Hi Disneyland Sample Gallery Minolta Dimage 7Hi Sunset Sample Gallery World Series Pre-Game 6
WEEKEND UPDATES - 11/10/02 - 11/13/02
UPDATES - 11/12/02 - We are posting this morning some samples from the 5 megapixel Minolta Dimage 7Hi digital camera taken during the Sunday evening sunset at Newport Beach, California. Those of you familiar with the area will note the sun setting behind Catalina Island about 22 miles off the coast. These pictures were taken in full program mode, ISO 100, with no changes to the default settings. We have a set of over 20 pictures from Disneyland we will post later tonight, it just takes a while to go through them all and set them up on our pages. We will post some opinions of the Minolta Dimage 7Hi later tonight when we post the Disneyland shots. For now we thought we would share some nice sunsets the 7Hi captured! And don't forget our initial Minolta 7Hi gallery from the World Series Pre-Game 6.
Minolta Dimage 7Hi Sunset Sample Gallery
MINOLTA INTRODUCES THE STYLISH NEW DiMAGE 7Hi DIGITAL CAMERA - PRESS RELEASE
New 5 megapixel digital camera with built-in 7x optical zoom lens, faster autofocusing, new flash synchronization terminal and superior image quality enhances the DiMAGE line
San Francisco, CA (September 10, 2002) - Minolta Corporation expands its digital camera line with the introduction of the new sleek and stylish Single Lens-Reflex (SLR)-type Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi. Based on the award-winning DiMAGE 7 and incorporating improved features from its sister model - the top-of-the-line DiMAGE 7i - the new DiMAGE 7Hi has been further enhanced with features such as a built-in flash synchronization terminal making it a versatile digital imaging tool in the studio and on location, as well as everyday use.
With a 5-megapixel resolution, 7x optical, 2x digital zoom lens and superior GT Lens technology, the DiMAGE 7Hi is a complete digital imaging center that can control all the essential elements for high-quality photography: sharpness, exposure, contrast, color, and saturation. With 12-bit A/D conversion and Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, what you see will be what you get. In addition, image quality choices have been improved with the inclusion of a new extra-fine image setting.
"With the introduction of the new DiMAGE 7Hi, Minolta makes it easier and more affordable to bring digital imaging into the studio," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "Differing from its sister model, the DiMAGE 7i, this new camera's built-in flash synchronization terminal and extra-fine image setting are sure to please the professional level photographer as well as advanced amateurs looking for the best digital photography has to offer. Building on the success of the award-wining DiMAGE 7 series of digital cameras Minolta is proud to now offer a broad line of high quality digital cameras each designed for different applications and different users."
The new DiMAGE 7Hi features a 2/3 inch-type CCD image sensor with 5-megapixel effective resolution. The camera incorporates a 7x zoom apochromatic Minolta GT LENS with two anomalous dispersion (AD) glass elements for color accuracy and dual aspherical elements which, combined with a 2x digital zoom, provides a compact lens design with a wide image capture range. The optical zoom lens range is 7.2mm - 50.8mm (equivalent to 28mm -200mm in 35mm).
The image formed on the CCD is enhanced by Minolta's exclusive CxProcess image processing technology to optimize sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to create clear and natural images. The wide dynamic range is provided by an improved electro-optical system with 12-bit A/D (analog to digital) conversion to ensure natural color and tonal reproduction.
The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi features a 3-point wide AF system for fast, accurate focusing, a Flex Focus Point for precise control over the focusing area and a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) to make instant adjustments to the autofocus.
Just like the DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi's AF system is almost twice as fast the original DiMAGE 7, and the capturing interval has been reduced to make a more responsive camera. In the program and aperture-priority exposure modes, the shutter speed tops out at 1/4000 second. The new high-speed continuous-advance drive mode allows successive images to be captured at approximately 3 frames per second even with high-quality TIFF and RAW images. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance can capture approximately 7 frames a second to compete with most professional film cameras.
The DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings - extra fine, fine, and standard - to produce JPEG files with varying degrees of image compression. To preserve all the detail in an image with no compression, the super-fine setting creates a high-quality TIFF file and the RAW setting creates a Minolta RAW data file. This RAW data can be opened in the supplied DiMAGE Viewer software and saved with an 8-bit or 16-bit color depth.
A new built-in flash sync terminal allows the DiMAGE 7Hi to be connected to professional studio and location flash systems. Simply plug the flash's PC cord into the terminal. Designed for center-negative and center-positive polarities, the camera is compatible with most studio and location lighting systems.
Accurate color reproduction is a necessity for today's photographer and simple for the DiMAGE 7Hi. To capture images under varying natural and artificial lighting sources, white balance is controlled with nine settings, five preset, three custom, and one auto. So that colors are not distorted when printed or displayed on monitors, the color space can be selected between sRGB and Adobe RGB, and the camera's ICC profile can be attached to the image file.
The LCD monitor and Digital Hyper viewfinder have been improved for easier viewing and more accurate color rendition. These are housed in a durable magnesium-alloy body with a rich black finish and a comfortable new grip. The DiMAGE 7Hi retains the same simple ergonomic control layout of the DiMAGE 7 and 7i.
The DiMAGE 7Hi can record high-quality 16-bit audio with still and moving images. Along with standard QVGA digital movies, three new movie functions allow greater creative freedom.
The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi and DiMAGE 7i will be available side-by-side at retail at differing price points. The DiMAGE 7Hi will be available to consumers in September 2002 with an estimated street price of $1,299.
For more detailed information on features and specifications of the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi,
please refer to the enclosed backgrounder and specification sheets.
Minolta Corporation, headquartered in Ramsey, New Jersey, is the largest subsidiary of Minolta Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, a leading manufacturer of cameras, business equipment, radiometric instruments and planetariums. Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group (CPG) markets 35mm film and Advanced Photo System cameras, digital cameras, binoculars, accessory lenses, photographic light meters, 35mm and Advanced Photo System film scanners and other consumer products.
The corporation's Business Products Group (BPG) markets digital and analog office equipment. Products include black-and-white copiers, digital black and white printer/copiers, plain-paper laser facsimile machines, digital color printer/copiers, micrographic systems, document management software, and related office equipment.
For more information, visit Minolta's Web site located at www.minoltausa.com or access Minolta's PHOTOFAX at 800-528-4767.
New Minolta Single Lens Reflex (SLR)-type Digital Camera:
The DiMAGE 7Hi
Targeted for release in September 2002, the new Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi digital camera, sister model to the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, is designed to meet the needs of photographers wishing to have an SLR-type digital camera that performs under varying photographic conditions, including studio and on location, and features convenient functions that produce high quality photographic images. The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi and DiMAGE 7i will be available side-by-side at retail at differing price points.
How is the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi different?
· Extra-fine imaging. The new Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings - extra fine, fine, and standard - to produce JPEG files with varying degrees of image compression. To preserve all the detail in an image with no compression, the super-fine setting creates a high-quality TIFF file and the RAW setting creates a Minolta RAW data file. This RAW data can be opened in the new DiMAGE Viewer software and saved with either 8-bit or 16-bit color depth.
· Creative lighting capability. A new built-in flash synchronization terminal allows the DiMAGE 7Hi to be connected to professional studio and location flash systems. Simply plug the flash's standard PC cord into the terminal. Designed for center-negative and center-positive polarities, the camera is compatible with most studio and location lighting systems.
· The new DiMAGE 7Hi is fast. The DiMAGE 7Hi has a dynamic shutter-speed range from a maximum of 15 seconds to a fast 1/4000 second to control exposure and motion in the program and aperture-priority exposures modes.
· Elegant Styling. The DiMAGE 7Hi is housed in a feather-light magnesium-alloy body with a professional black finish. This high-tech alloy provides the benefits of rugged die-cast construction without the weight.
High-Precision Electro-Optical System
The new Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system contains a 5.2 megapixel, 2/3-type interline primary color CCD with 5 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. The pixel resolution of the CCD will produce 13" x 17" 150dpi prints on an inkjet printer.
The DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings - extra fine, fine, and standard - to produce JPEG files with varying degrees of image compression. To preserve all the detail in an image with no compression, the super-fine setting creates a high-quality TIFF file and the RAW setting creates a Minolta RAW data file. This RAW data can be opened in the new DiMAGE Viewer and saved with an 8-bit or 16-bit color depth.
Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, guarantees the image from the CCD will faithfully reproduce the photographic scene. CxProcess controls image sharpness, color, and contrast while minimizing noise to produce vivid, natural pictures.
CxProcess controls sharpness by balancing resolution. This allows fine detail to be preserved while adding depth to the image. Color is critically controlled to prevent objects from appearing over-saturated in the image while remaining vibrant; the warmth of the human complexion or the rich subtleties of green foliage will be rendered as clearly as they were perceived. Contrast is regulated to bring out a luminous quality in the mid-tones and highlights, and to strengthen and enrich the shadows.
12-bit A/D conversion
The secret to high quality photography is in the details. Smooth gradations and fine details bring a photograph to life. The 12-bit A/D conversion in the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi preserves all the subtleties of the original scene. With billions of colors and 4,096 levels in each color channel, images possess almost life-like color and detail.
Minolta GT LENS
A high-resolution CCD is only as good as the lens in front of it. The Minolta GT LENS featured in the DiMAGE 7Hi is an optical jewel cut in glass. The fast f2.8 - f3.5 7x optical zoom is an advanced apochromatic (APO) lens. With a resolution to produce a fine image on a seven-million pixel CCD, this lens employs AD glass and aspheric elements to ensure sharp, contrasting images with no chromatic aberration at any focal length. In addition, the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi's optical zoom lens accepts standard 49mm filters.
7x Optical, 2x Digital Zoom Lens For Flexibility
With a focal range of 7.2mm to 50.8mm, the DiMAGE 7Hi's fast 7x zoom lens is equivalent to a 28mm to 200mm 35mm zoom lens. This lens is perfect for photographing sweeping landscapes and confined interiors as well as for intimate portraits and close-up details of distant subjects.
The DiMAGE 7Hi zoom lens has a dual-focal macro system. This system allows the lens to be set at the wide-angle or telephoto position to take advantage of different focal lengths. At the wide-angle position, the larger field of view and depth of field create a stronger perspective and a sense of space. The telephoto position isolates the subject and minimizes distortion with a narrow field of view and shallow depth of field.
Advanced Autofocus System
As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi's wide autofocus (AF) makes accurate focusing simple. Within the large focus area are three sensitive AF sensors including a central crosshair sensor, providing accurate focusing regardless of subject contrast orientation. The camera automatically locates the subject within the wide frames and confirms the point of focus by briefly displaying the active AF sensor. The AF system works in low-light conditions, the fading light of twilight or dimly lit interiors, without the need of a special AF illuminator. The monitor and viewfinder image is automatically amplified so the subject is always visible.
The DiMAGE 7Hi incorporates Direct Manual Focus (DMF). DMF is found in professional-level film cameras like the award-winning Minolta Maxxum 7. It allows the focus to be fine tuned manually, after the AF system has focused and locked on the subject. The DiMAGE 7i was the first Minolta digital camera to incorporate DMF.
The Flex Focus Point adds unlimited versatility to the AF system. When the camera is attached to a tripod or when the position of the focal plane is critical, as with close-up photography, it can be very difficult to use most autofocus systems because the camera must be moved to focus and then repositioned to compose the image. Flex Focus Point is a single, crosshair sensor that can be placed anywhere within the field of view. With the camera on a tripod, simply use the four-way controller to position the Flex Focus Point on the subject. The AF system will use that point for each exposure.
Functions to Help Composition and Luminance
The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi has two additional displays for critical composition: grid and scale. Usually found in large-format view cameras, the grid makes aligning the camera with vertical or horizontal elements within the image simple. The grid confirms that the horizon or buildings are straight. The scale can be used in close-up photography to judge the relative proportions of the subject.
Unique to digital imaging, the DiMAGE 7Hi's real-time histogram shows the luminance distribution of the image before it is captured. Displayed with the live image, the histogram allows the subject brightness and contrast to be evaluated to optimize the camera's exposure and contrast controls.
The viewfinder and monitor display active camera settings, exposure information, and warnings. This information can be turned off so that the entire image can be viewed.
Fast Shutter Speed Range
The new DiMAGE 7Hi has a dynamic shutter-speed range from a maximum of 15 seconds to a fast 1/4000 second to control exposure and motion in the program and aperture-priority exposures modes. In shutter priority and manual modes, the maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 second. Bulb exposures up to thirty seconds can also be made.
· A new built-in flash synchronization terminal allows the DiMAGE 7Hi to be connected to professional studio and location flash systems. Simply plug the flash's standard PC cord into the terminal. Designed for center-negative and center-positive polarities, the camera is compatible with most studio and location lighting systems.
· The powerful Program Flash 5600HS (D) and 3600HS (D) offer versatile functions such as auto power zoom and test flash. The wireless/remote flash function gives even more control over flash photography by allowing multiple off-camera Minolta flash units to be fired simultaneously by the camera without the need of cables. Minolta 5600HS(D), or 3600HS(D) flash units can be placed around the subject to create attractive side lighting.
· The DiMAGE 7Hi is also compatible with normal slave units where the camera flash can act as a main or fill light while triggering single or multiple off-camera lighting units. This manual flash control can be set at three levels: full power, 1/4 power, and 1/16 power.
· Macro flash units provide solutions for accurate and versatile digital macro photography with the use of the Macro Flash Controller. The Minolta Macro Twin Flash 2400 provides flexible lighting for nature macro photography while the Macro Ring Flash 1200 offers shadowless lighting, ideal for medical and scientific use.
· The Remote Cord RC-1000S allows off-camera shutter operation to minimize camera shake during long exposures. The Remote Cord RC-1000L allows remote shutter operation from 16 feet (five meters) away.
· The camera accepts 49mm diameter filters; the Minolta Step-up Adapter 49mm to 62mm is available.
A Fast, Responsive Camera
The DiMAGE 7Hi is a responsive imaging tool built to work effortlessly under demanding situations. The high-performance AF system is borrowed from the DiMAGE 7i and twice as fast as the DiMAGE 7. And with two continuous-advance rates, photographers are sure to catch the action as it unfolds.
New to the DiMAGE 7Hi is the high-speed continuous-advance drive mode makes it possible to record at a rate of approximately 3 frames per second with full-size images at any quality setting including high-quality TIFF or RAW data files. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance can capture SXGA size images (1280 X 960 pixels) at approximately 7 frames per second. This is equivalent to many motor drives on professional 35mm cameras. The standard continuous-advance mode can capture images of all sizes from full-size (2560 X 1920) to VGA (640 X 480) images at a maximum of two frames per second.
High Contrast LCD
The DiMAGE 7Hi is fitted with a 1.8-inch low-temperature high-contrast color LCD monitor. The monitor has an extended color gamut, contrast, and dynamic range. These improvements make judging image quality and sharpness even easier. In addition, the monitor has a wide-viewing angle so that the camera does not need to be held perpendicular to clearly view the live image.
Captured images can be easily accessed from the recording mode. Simply pressing the Quick View button displays the recorded images. The images can be enlarged to confirm sharpness and a histogram can be displayed to judge exposure. Images can be displayed with or without shooting data or in a nine or four-frame index format.
The controls and dials are laid out for clear, intuitive operation. All shooting controls are placed around the grip area. The camera can be controlled with the thumb and index finger while allowing a firm grip on the body. Creative and high-level functions are located on the function dial and Digital Effects Control on the opposite side of the camera. Setting single or multiple functions is quick and easy.
The function dial sets the metering, drive, and exposure modes as well as the white balance, camera sensitivity, and memorized camera settings. The Digital Effects Control allows changes to be made to color, saturation, contrast, and exposure. Located above the grip, the main dial turns the camera on and gives direct access to the recording, playback, movie, setup, and data-transfer modes.
Placed conveniently on the back of the camera, the controller is a straightforward five-way array used to control many of the camera's advanced features and menus. The controller has been redesigned with a separate four-way key and central enter button.
Functions can be customized to suit individual shooting preferences. The dials or buttons to control memory recall and manual exposure settings can be changed. The bracketing drive mode can be switched between exposure bracketing only and Digital Effects Brackets. The camera's ICC profile can be attached to image files when recorded. And the default setting for the delete confirmation screens can be switched between the yes and no button.
After making changes to shooting functions, the camera can be instantly reset to programmed-automatic operation with the press of a button. And if the camera is reset accidentally, a new undo function will return the camera to the previous settings.
New and expanded features allow more control over accurate color reproduction. White balance has five preset settings; daylight, cloudy, tungsten, white fluorescent, and cool white fluorescent as well as three custom settings for balancing the camera to specific lighting conditions and auto white balance. For accurate color management when using output devices such as monitors and printers, the camera's color space can be switched between the universal sRGB space and the extended Adobe RGB space, and the camera's ICC profile can be attached to the image file.
Lightweight, Sleek, Professional Body
The DiMAGE 7Hi is housed in a feather-light magnesium-alloy body with a professional black finish. This high-tech alloy provides the benefits of rugged die-cast construction without the weight. Magnesium is the lightest structural metal on earth, about 30% lighter than aluminum and 65% lighter than steel.
The DiMAGE 7Hi is not only light, it is compact. The body is significantly smaller than compact 35mm SLR cameras with a built-in flash and zoom lens. This sophisticated imaging system can easily slip into a fanny pack or hip bag.
A new contoured grip gives the DiMAGE 7Hi secure, comfortable handling.
Digital Hyper Viewfinder
The Digital Hyper Viewfinder gives the DiMAGE 7Hi the same feel as an SLR. It can be tilted between 0° and 90° for comfortable shooting at low angles or in confined spaces. In addition, the viewfinder has an improved optical system for easier viewing and a reduction in aberrations, as well as refined color matching for more accurate color rendition. Because the viewfinder LCD is shielded from ambient light, it makes it the perfect tool when working in bright lighting conditions.
Digital Effects Control
The Digital Effects Control (DEC) is an image-processing center built into the DiMAGE 7Hi. As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE 7, exposure, contrast, and color saturation can be adjusted before the image is captured.
The DiMAGE 7Hi has an additional filter setting to control the overall color of the image. When taking color images, the filter can affect the mood of the picture by making the color cooler or warmer in seven levels. This offers unparalleled creative freedom when combined with the camera's four color modes: Natural Color, Vivid Color, Solarization and black and white. When used with black and white images, the filter can create a warm or cool toned image similar to sepia or gold toners with photographic prints as well as the unique tones of magenta and green. Ten tones in all are available. Vivid Color increases the saturation to produce vibrant color images. Solarization creates a partial reversal of image tones to produce unique imaging effects.
The Digital Effects Control allows image data to be maximized at the scene by controlling the essential elements of image quality. Exposure controls the brightness of the image. Contrast controls the difference between brightness levels. Color saturation changes the vividness of the colors.
A Digital Enhanced Bracket can be made to guarantee the correct level of adjustment with the Digital Effects Control. This bracket is a series of images with a slight increase and decrease in exposure. The DiMAGE 7Hi can also make contrast, color saturation and filter bracket. Simply select the bracketing drive mode and then select the image quality to be bracketed. The camera will automatically make a three-image bracket of the selected quality.
Digital Subject Programs
Digital Subject Programs optimize exposure and image-processing controls for specific shooting conditions and subjects. Simply select the appropriate Digital Subject Program and the camera is ready to shoot. Five subject programs are available:
· Portrait: optimized to reproduce warm, soft skin tones and a slight defocusing of the background.
· Sport action: to make clear, sharp images of fast moving subjects.
· Sunset: optimized to reproduce rich, warm sunsets.
· Night portrait: for deep, subtle night scenes. When used with the built-in flash, the subject and background exposures are balanced.
· Text: for the crisp reproduction of black text on white backgrounds.
As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE 7, personal camera settings for specific situations can also be saved. The camera can memorize the exact functions and settings in use. These can be recalled and reapplied to the camera at any time.
Audio and Video Capabilities
Just like the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi is capable of recording audio along with still images. Voice memo allows a 16-bit audio track of up to 15 seconds to be attached to an image after it has been captured. The voice memo can be played back in the camera.
Audio signals, used to confirm camera operations, and shutter sound effects, used to indicate the recording of images, can be selected or turned off independently of each other. Signals come with high-tech electronic tones or with mechanical sounds. The shutter sound effects were styled on the professional Minolta Maxxum 9 SLR and the legendary Minolta CLE rangefinder 35mm cameras.
Data imprinting allows the date or time to be printed on the image as well as text and serial numbers. The electronic keyboard used to imprint text has an expanded character set for European languages. Accents and umlauts can be added to certain vowels and the German double "S" can be used.
The DiMAGE 7Hi will not only produce great still-images, but also makes digital videos in multiple creative formats. Standard QVGA (320 x 240) color movies and monochrome night movies up to 60 seconds with 16-bit audio can be made. The night-movie mode can record movie clips under extreme low-light conditions. The interval function can produce a series of still images taken at regular intervals or it can combine the images into a time-lapsed movie at any image size. The time-lapse movie plays the images back at 4 frames per second so that normally imperceptible motion springs to life, such as the blossoming of a flower or the setting of the sun. In UHS continuous advance, a VGA (640 x 480) movie file can be created of an unfolding event. In addition, the Digital Effects Control can be used with the movie modes to adjust color, contrast, saturation, and exposure.
Specifications are subject to change without notice.
Please see the www.minoltausa.com Web site for the most updated specifications.
MINOLTA DiMAGE 7Hi DIGITAL CAMERA
- Number of effective pixels - 5.0 million
CCD - 2/3-type interline primary-color CCDTotal pixels: 5.2 million
A/D conversion 12 bit
Camera sensitivity - Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800 equivalents
Focal length - 7.2 - 50.8mm (35mm equivalent: 28 - 200mm)
Lens construction - 16 elements in 13 groups (includes two AD glass elementsand two aspheric elements)
Maximum aperture - f/2.8 - f/3.5
Minimum focus distance - 1.6 ft. (0.5m) from CCD
Macro focus range - At 7.2mm: 11.8 - 23.6 inches / 30 - 60 cm from CCD 8.3 - 20 inches / 21 - 51 cm from front of lensAt 42.7 - 50.8mm: 9.8 - 23.6 inches / 25 - 60 cm from CCD 5.1 - 19.7 inches / 13 - 50 cm from front of lens
Maximum magnification 0.177x (1: 5.65)Equivalent to 0.7x (1: 1.43) in 35mm format
Area covered at maximum magnification 1.97 x 1.46 inches / 50 x 37mm
Optical zooming control - Manual zooming ring
Filter diameter 49mm
Viewfinder type - EVF (Electronic viewfinder)Variable-position: 0-90º Automatic monitor amplificationElectronic magnification
Viewfinder LCD - Ferroelectric 4.8mm (0.19 inch) reflective liquid crystal microdisplayEquivalent visual resolution: 220,000 pixels
Monitor LCD - 46mm (1.8 inch) low-temperature polysilicon TFT colorTotal pixels: 118,000
Field of view - EVF: 100% (approximately)External LCD monitor: 100 % (approximately)
Display-mode switch Auto-display, Electronic-viewfinder display, External LCD-monitor display
Viewfinder magnification 0.31 - 2.1x
Diopter control - 5 ~ +0.5 diopter
Eye relief 20mm
Shutter - CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter
Shutter speed range 15 - 1/4000 second at ISO 100 in programmed-AE and aperturepriority exposure modes.Maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 second at ISO 100 in shutterpriority and manual exposure modes. * The slowest shutter speed varies with the camera-sensitivity (ISO) setting. Bulb (maximum 30 seconds)
Autofocus system - Video AF
Autofocus areas - Wide focus area, Spot focus pointFlex Focus Point control is available with the spot focus point.
Focus modes - Autofocus: Single-shot AF, Continuous AF Manual focus with 4x electronic magnification
Focus lock By pressing shutter-release button partway down. Also possible with spot-AE lock button.
Metering Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Multi-segment metering - 300 segments
Exposure control range - Programmed AE and aperture-priority modes:Wide: EV -1 - 18Telephoto: EV -0.4 - 18.7Shutter-priority and manual modes:Wide: EV -1 - 17Telephoto: EV -0.4 - 17.7
Exposure modes - Programmed AE (with program shift), Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual
Digital Subject Programs Portrait, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Text
Exposure compensation ± 2 EV in 1/3 increments
AE lock With spot - AE lock button or by pressing the shutter-release button partway down
Flash control - ADI, Pre-flash TTL, Manual flash control
Flash range - Wide: 1.6 - 12.5 ft. / 0.5 - 3.8m (approximately)Telephoto: 1.6 - 9.8 ft. / 0.5 - 3m (approximately)(Camera sensitivity: auto)
Flash modes - Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction, Rear flash sync, Wireless/Remote flash
Flash recycling time - Approximately 7 seconds
Flash compensation ± 2 EV in 1/3 increments
Flash-sync speed - All shutter speeds
External flashes Auto-flash metering with Program Flash 3600HS(D), ProgramFlash 5600HS(D), Macro Twin Flash 2400,* Macro Ring Flash1200.**Macro Flash Controller is necessary.Non-dedicated off-camera flash units can be used using the camera's flash-sync terminal.
Continuous-advance modes - UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous advance: approximately 7 frames per secondHigh-speed continuous advance: approximately 3 frames per secondStandard continuous advance: approximately 2 frames per second*Actual speed may vary depending upon the subject and camera settings.
- * Users with Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition must install dedicated driver software included in the DiMAGE 7Hi package.
** Users with Mac OS 8.6 must download and install free driver software from the Apple Computer web site.
- Windows is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Macintosh is a trademark or registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. Other corporate names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
- Specifications, accessories and system requirements are subject to change without notice.
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