Minolta Dimage X: First impressions.

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Jan 17, 2002
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Well, a few nice things about the camera.

Firstly, the startup time is really fast. Without a lens to extend out, all it needs is for the metal lid to slide out and you're ready to use the camera!

Another thing is that the camera feels very quick. AF is faster than my 775, and with less tendency to hunt. Also, the continous shooting mode is also very fast. I did a test run of 6 shots at about 3fps. For a DC of 700+, it beats the competition, and then some.

And then there's the main selling point: The slim design of the camera, which is possible by using a prism to bounce light 90 degrees into the vertical lens housing. The overall styling is quite nice, though the rather square form factor might not appeal to some people.

It's also very easy to use; typical of most P&S in this price range.

Now, the major letdown is that the images aren't very good. Those that complained the Nikon 5000 is soft, well, this is truely soft! In addition to the softness, there's a fair amount of chromatic aberration. See pictures below:

Test scene, taken Alan Photo. :p

Here are two crops:

Note the aberrations around the box, and at the edge of the table. Also the noise level, and somehow overall softness.

Here's a crude macro shot:

That was about the closest I could go before the AF gave me warning lights. I tried at a few different focal lengths.

Overall, this camera is more of a design or fashion statement than something that I'd use as a standby camera when I'm not lugging something big and heavy around. At $700+, if you want a decent camera, there are better choices, but for tech heads and gadget freaks, it might be worth considering.

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