has introduced a new Mac-compatible (Mac OS 8.6 to 9.2.1, as well as Mac OS X) digital camera, the Single Lens-Reflex (SLR)-type Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi. Based on the DiMAGE 7 and DiMAGE 7i models, the new camera boasts features such as a built-in flash synchronization terminal, 5-megapixel resolution and 7x optical, 2x digital zoom lens.
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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 purportedly enhanced by Minolta’s exclusive CxProcess image processing technology to optimize sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to create clear and natural images. Minolta also says that 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, a Flex Focus Point for more precise control over the focusing area, and a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) for making quick adjustments to the autofocus. 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 three frames per second. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance can capture approximately seven frames a second.
The DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings: extra fine, fine and standard. 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 by plugging the flash’s PC cord into the terminal. To capture images under varying natural and artificial lighting sources, white balance is controlled with nine settings, five presets, three customs, and one auto. The color space can be selected between sRGB and Adobe RGB so that colors don’t end up distorted when printed or displayed on monitors. Also, the camera’s ICC profile can be attached to the image file.
The camera can record 16-bit audio with still and moving images. Due later this month, the DiMAGE 7Hi will have an estimated street price of US$1,299.