Minolta has today announced the new DiMAGE X20 digital camera. According to Minolta the X20 is "the world's smallest and lightest 2-megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom". The camera is clearly based on the 'folded optics' lens design first seen in the DiMAGE X, that is a 3x optical zoom mechanism which is 'laid' inside the camera body and views the world through a mirrored prism. This entry level camera is powered by two AA batteries and stores images on SD card. The X20 also has a 'self-portrait mirror' on the front of the camera to help you take those all important pictures of yourself!

Press Release:

MINOLTA INTRODUCES THE NEW DiMAGE X20 DIGITAL CAMERA

World's smallest and lightest 2 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens* makes creative digital photography fun and easy

Ramsey, NJ (July 17, 2003) - Minolta Corporation introduces the world's smallest and lightest 2-megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom* - the DiMAGE X20. This tiny new fun and easy to use digital camera incorporates numerous creative features such as slide show playback, self-portrait mode, multi-frame drive mode, Image Pasting, movie mode, noise reduction function and web communications capability. The new Minolta DiMAGE X20 combines responsive performance and a user-friendly design with the incredible non-extending zoom lens and fast startup time inherited from Minolta's DiMAGE X series of digital cameras. A user simply turns the camera on, and in one second the camera is ready to take pictures.

"The DiMAGE X20 is a high quality little camera with a big appetite for action," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "This digital camera fits easily into your pocket - and fits easily into your life. Small, speedy and stylish, you will want to have this camera with you at all times."

Creative Control

Unique to the Minolta DiMAGE X20 is a self-portrait mode. While holding the camera at arm's length, the use of the specially curved mirror on the front of the DiMAGE X20 allows users to correctly compose a picture of themselves and a friend without having to hand the camera off to a stranger.

Minolta's new multi-frame drive mode, captures nine sequential frames of a single event in one picture like the reaction of a friend as they walk in on a surprise party. The nine images are laid out in a 3 x 3 grid in a single frame.

The portrait mode controls exposure, flash, and image processing to emphasize the subject's natural skin tone. And for something a little different, images can be captured in one of five monochrome modes; the traditional grays of black and white, the warmth and ageless quality of sepia, or red, green, and blue tones to add fun or feeling.

Image Pasting allows one image to be placed within another for a creative touch. After choosing the background image, a user simply selects the frame shape and size and positions it over the chosen background image. The live image is displayed inside the selected frame. After composing the subject in the frame the user presses the shutter button to embed and save the image.

But the Minolta DiMAGE X20 will do more than just take photographs. XR (Extended Recording) movie processing allows digital video with audio to be captured and played back. The length of the XR movie is only limited by the memory card capacity and image size. Two image sizes can be selected: 160 x 120 pixels and 320 x 240 pixels.

For the more serious photographer, the DiMAGE X20 features a 3 x 3 graphic menu that provides easy and quick access to the camera's controls. Camera settings are changed with a simple five-way controller on the back of the camera.

The DiMAGE X20 makes face-to-face conversations possible with friends or family that have moved away when it is used as a remote camera for web communication. Using the supplied USB cable a photographer can connect the camera to a computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system and a compatible application such as Microsoft Net Meeting.

Camera Features

The DiMAGE X20 is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system uses a 2.1 megapixel 1/3.2-type interline primary-color CCD with 2.0 million effective pixels for fine images. This pixel resolution can produce letter size 150dpi prints or postcard size photo-quality prints.

The DiMAGE X20 uses Minolta's unobtrusive non-extending zoom lens. This revolutionary design uses internal folded optics, which does not change the slim profile of the camera even while recording. The 3x optical zoom, equivalent to a 37 - 111mm lens on a 35mm camera, is assisted by a 4x digital zoom giving a seamless zoom range of 12x.

Dark noise, a persistent problem in digital photography, manifests itself by giving a grainy or sandy appearance to images taken with long exposures. The DiMAGE X20 combats this with a noise-reduction function that automatically activates for exposures of one second or longer.

The camera's high-performance five-point autofocus system makes taking beautiful, sharp images simple. Place the subject anywhere within the extra-wide focus frames and the camera will do the rest. The camera uses visual and audio signals to confirm focus.

Close-up pictures can be made with the DiMAGE X20. The lens focuses down to 3.9 inches at all focal lengths without the need of a separate function. This covers an area of about 1.6 x 1.2 inches.

One of the most popular features of digital photography is being able to see pictures immediately. The DiMAGE X20 makes viewing digital pictures easier than ever. With the press of a single button, users can access their recorded images. VGA (640 x 480) jpeg files of the user's images can be collected in one folder so they can be shared by using either the camera as an electronic photo album or by sending them via e-mail. Images can also be played back like a slide show complete with dissolves, wipes, and fades either on the camera's LCD panel or on a TV or computer screen. Vertical images can also be rotated for horizontal viewing from within the camera - an added benefit for slide show viewing.

* As of June 15th, 2003.

Minolta DiMAGE X20 Specifications


Sensor 1/3.2" 2.1 milion pixels total
Effective pixels 2.0 million
Lens

 • 37 - 111 mm equiv.
 • 3x zoom
 • F2.8 - F3.7
 • 10 elements in 9 groups

Focus distance 0.1 m (3.9 in)
Auto focus  • Wide focus area (five-point AF)
 • Video AF
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Image sizes  • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 640 x 480
Movie sizes  • 320 x 240 (15 fps, 19 sec max, audio)
 • 160 x 120 (15 fps, 1 min 14 sec max, audio)
Image format  • Still: JPEG
 • Movie: MOV (Motion JPEG)
Image quality  • Fine
 • Standard
 • Economy
Sensitivity  • ISO 64
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
Metering 256 Multi-segment
Exposure mode Programmed AE
Exposure compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Shutter speed 4 - 1/1000 sec
Aperture  • Wide: F2.8 / ?
 • Tele: F3.7 / ?
White balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Cloudy
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
Flash  • Built-In
 • Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill, Cancel, Night Portrait
 • Range (wide): 0.1 - 3.6 m (0.3 - 11.8 ft)
 • Range (tele): 0.1 - 2.7 m (0.3 - 8.9 ft)
Toning  • Neutral
 • Black & White
 • Sepia
 • Red tone
 • Blue tone
 • Green tone
Portrait mode Optimizes color response for skin tones
Noise reduction Automatic
Continuous Yes
Self-timer 10 sec
Self-portrait Mirror on front of camera
Multi-frame 9 images at 3 fps in a 3x3 grid in a single image
Image pasting Embed an image in another image
Audio clip  • Voice memo: 15 sec
 • Audio caption: 15 sec
E-mail copy Create a 640x480 or 160x120 JPEG for emailing
LCD Monitor  • 1.6" TFT
 • 84,960 pixels
 • Anti-reflective coating
Print compliance  • Exif PRint
 • Print Image Matching II
 • Epson USB DIRECT-PRINT
Storage  • SD / MMC card
 • 8 MB SD card included
Connectivity  • USB 1.1
 • Video out
Power  • 2 x AA (NiMH rechargeable recommended)
 • Optional AC adapter
Dimensions 86 x 67 x 24 mm (3.39 x 2.64 x 0.93 in)
Weight (no batt) 115 g (4.1 oz)
Included accessories Neck Strap NS-DG500, AV Cable AVC-200, USB Cable USB- 500, 8MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, Two AA Alkaline batteries, DiMAGE Viewer
Optional accessories Metal Chain Neck Strap NS-DG100, AC Adapter