3rd March 2003, 12:21 AM
2 new digital camers from Minolta
DiMAGE Xt: More versatile but smaller than ever
3.2-megapixel lifestyle camera
Langenhagen, March 2003
The new 3.2-megapixel DiMAGE Xt camera has more attractive features packed into an even smaller body that its popular predecessor, the DiMAGE Xi. The camera’s sleek, go-anywhere design is the perfect accent to any lifestyle with an understated elegance that blends into all kinds of situations, formal or casual.
Great versatility in a stylish, compact body
A new design has cut 5% off the size and 8% off the weight of the DiMAGE Xi. At 85.5 x 67 x 20mm and only 120g, the DiMAGE Xt is the world’s thinnest* compact, planar digital camera with a 3x optical zoom and a start-up time of 1.1 seconds1. The secret is Minolta’s exclusive folded optical zoom system and a non-extending lens that maintains the camera’s 20mm-thin profile while recording or when stored. The 3X optical zoom, equivalent to a 37-111mm lens in a 35mm camera, is assisted by a 4X digital zoom to provide a seamless 12X zoom range – ideal for capturing sharp images of anything from landscapes to close-ups. The non-extending lens, versatile zoom and compact profile are all ideal “lifestyle elements”, making it easy to capture pictures of family and friends without intruding on the spontaneity of the moment.
Excellent image-making qualities
A high-precision electro-optical system and Minolta’s image-processing technology, CxProcess, work together to maximise image quality. A CCD with 3.2 million effective pixels creates high-resolution images from which B4-size 150dpi or A5-size photo-quality prints can be produced. CxProcess controls image sharpness, colour and contrast while minimising noise to produced vivid, natural pictures. Dark noise, an ever-present problem in electronic systems when images taken with long exposures end up looking grainy or sandy, is combated by a selectable noise-reduction function that automatically activates for exposures of one second or longer.
The DiMAGE Xt is not just a still camera. New features and increased performance also make it a flexible audio and video recording tool. Extended Recording (XR) movie processing allows digital video to be captured with accompanying audio recordings and the Xt can also be used a remote camera for video conferencing.
Whats more, if an image created by the DiMAGE Xt is to be transmitted by e-mail, a special copy function is available to resize a recorded still image for attachment to an e-mail message.
Convenience with a capital “c”
As befits its spectacularly convenient size, the DiMAGE Xt has a number of practical new features. Its charger can recharge the battery while it is still in the camera, charge a single spare battery by itself and double as a camera stand when the Xt is used for self-portraits, as a remote camera or when connected (via the USB cable) to a computer. The Xt is supported by Seiko Epson USB DIRECT-PRINT, which allows images to be printed directly from the camera to a compatible printer via the USB cable. Last but not least, a waterproof Marine Case complements the Xt’s ultra-portable profile by equipping it for use at up to depths of 30 m or the tops of rugged peaks. Taking advantage of the Xt ultra-slim profile, the Case is easy to store in a buoyancy vest or daypack – extreme usability from an extremely versatile digital camera designed for any kind of lifestyle and any kind of place.
*as of 1 February, 2003 , fastest start-up time of any digital camera with an 3x optical zoom
DiMAGE F200: Simple sophistication in digital photography
Latest addition to Minolta F Series with improved image-making features
Langenhagen, March 2003
The striking harmony of form and function that has characterised Minolta’s F Series digital cameras is again reflected in the latest addition to the family, the DiMAGE F200. With its sophisticated automatic functions and image-processing technology, 4-megapixel CCD and 12-bit A/D conversion, the F200 takes the effort out of beautiful digital photography and puts the user in total control of image making.
Improved image making
The F200’s improved Subject Tracking AF follows a subject through 3-D space as a naturally as the human eye. In combination with the unique Area AF system, the camera will evaluate the objects in the extra-wide focus frames and automatically lock onto the subject. If the subject moves, Subject Tracking AF will adjust the focus to ensure a sharp image. So no complicated procedures are required to lock the focus on off-centre subjects. When Subject Tracking AF is combined with Focus Area Selection, the camera will then follow the movements of the selected subject. In addition to Area AF and Subject Tracking AF systems, there is also a manual focus function with an automatically enlarged monitor image for better judgement of image sharpness.
The F200’s improved Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection functions analyses shooting conditions and selects from five subject programs (Portrait, Sports Action, Landscape, Sunset, Night Portrait) and programmed AE to optimise the camera’s exposure, white-balance and image-processing controls.
The F200 also has outstanding exposure controls, e.g. three metering modes (multi-segment, centre-weighted and spot), four exposure modes (program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual), automatic camera sensitivity or one of four ISO-equivalent levels (100, 200, 400 or 800), auto white balance or four present white-balance settings, and a colour mode that switches between natural colour, vivid colour, black and white and sepia settings.
Maximum image quality
The F200’s high-precision electro-optical system employs the technology from Minolta’s top-of-the-range DiMAGE 7Hi to maximise image quality. The 4-megapixel CCD generates high-resolution images from which B4-size 150dpi or A5-size photo-quality prints can be produced. Minolta’s image-processing technology, CxProcess, and 12-bit A/D conversion guarantee that the image from the CCD will faithfully reproduce the scene. The F200’s Minolta GT lens is less than an inch long (24mm) when retracted yet with a focal range equivalent to a 38-114mm 35mm zoom lens, it can range from wide-angle landscape or interior shots to telephoto for intimate details. The 3X optical zoom employs three apheric elements to ensure sharp, high-contrast images at all focal lengths while the digital zoom seamlessly takes over from the maximum focal length of the optical zoom without interrupting the monitor image. The combined optical and digital zooms give this compact camera an amazing 12X zoom range – !
equivalent to a 456mm lens on a 35mm camera.
Though maintaining the outstanding harmony of form and function of the other F Series “slip-into-the-pocket cameras”, the F200 looks slightly different with distinctive rubberised grips for even safer handling and a completely redesigned control layout with a separate zoom lever behind the shutter-release button for easy operation of the 3X optical zoom and a five-key controller array for setting camera functions next to the LCD monitor. The new Auto Rotate function conveniently does away with the need to keep turning the camera sideways when playing back images by ensuring that vertical shots are oriented horizontally for viewing purposes.
The F200’s image-capturing quality and convenience are not just limited to still images. New movie recording features have expanded its digital video capabilities. Two image sizes can be selected, the length of Extended Recording (XR) movie clips is only limited by the memory card capacity, and the new Direct Video function allows the F200 to be connected directly to a VHS or DVD recording deck.
Two copy functions allow in-camera duplication of image files. An improved e-mail copy function resizes an image to one of two formats for attachment to an e-mail message or posting on the Internet while the standard copy function makes a direct copy of a file onto the same or a different memory card.
Despite all its sophisticated functionality, the F200 is only 11cm wide, 5.3cm high and 3.2cm deep (with the lens retracted) and weighs a mere 185g. As an unobtrusive but powerful image-making companion, it will easily slip into a pockets or bag.