Minolta Corp. has expanded its digital camera line with two new Mac compatible models: the DiMAGE 7i and the DiMAGE F100.
Based on the Minolta DiMAGE 7, the newDiMAGE 7i features a 5-megapixel resolution, 7x optical zoom and GT LENS technology, as well as more features and improved performance capabilities than its predecessor. It incorporates an autofocusing system that’s 2x faster than the DiMAGE 7, according to Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing for Minolta Corp.’s Consumer Products Group. In the program and the aperture-priority exposure modes, the Minolta DiMAGE 7i’s shutter speed tops out at 1/4000s. The new UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance drive mode can take approximately 7 frames per second to compete with most professional film cameras, Sienkiewicz said.
The image formed on the CCD is enhanced by Minolta’s CxProcess image processing technology to optimize sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to create clear and natural images, Sienkiewicz said. 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, he added.
The Minolta DiMAGE 7i features a 3-point wide AF system for fast focusing, a Flex Focus Point for control over the focusing area, and a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) that’s designed to offer instant adjustments to the autofocus. Four color modes allow for creative in-camera effects and two continuous advance rates allow the photographer most types of action.
The Digital Effects Control (DEC) and the Digital Enhanced Bracketing gives the photographer control over saturation, contrast and exposure, as well as new control over color. A new filter effect has been added to the DEC so that color images can be made warmer or cooler; and black and white images can be toned. Plus, there are two new color modes: Vivid Color and Solarization.
The DiMAGE 7i will be available in late spring at an estimated street price of $1,099.
The Minolta DiMAGE F100 is touted as the world’s first digital camera with Area autofocus (Area AF) and Subject Tracking autofocus (AF) and automatic digital subject program selection. It features a 1/1.8-inch type CCD with 4-megapixel effective resolution. The camera incorporates a 3x optical zoom Minolta GT LENS for color accuracy and three aspherical elements that, combined with a 2.5x digital zoom, provide a compact lens design with a wide image capture range.
The DiMAGE F100 is the first compact digital camera in the world to be equipped with Subject Tracking AF and also features Minolta’s Area AF, according to Sienkiewicz. These work together to locate and follow the subject through three-dimensional space within the camera’s extra-wide focusing area, “making the autofocus system ready to take a picture when you are,” he added. Activate the Area AF system with the shutter-release button and the camera evaluates the objects in the extra-wide focus frames and pinpoints the subject. If the subject moves, Subject Tracking AF will adjust the focus to ensure sharp images; the active AF sensor is displayed in the focus frames and will follow the subject movement.
The DIMAGE F100 is also the first digital camera with Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection, Sienkiewicz said. This advanced feature automatically selects one of five subject programs (portrait, sports action, landscape, sunset or night portrait) to optimize the camera’s exposure and image-processing controls based on the subject and scene. This frees the photographer from having to evaluate the conditions and make camera settings for each new situation, Sienkiewicz said.
The DiMAGE F100 allows complete control over exposure, color, contrast, saturation, white balance, camera sensitivity and focus. It can also record movies and audio. Like the DiMAGE 7i, it also uses the CxProcess image processing technology. The DiMAGE F100, also due in “late spring, will have an estimated street price of $699.
Both cameras, according to info on Minolta’s Web site, are compatible with Mac OS 8.6 to 9.2.1, as well as Mac OS X.