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Minolta DiMAGE 7i

By dpreview staff on Mar 13, 2002 at 09:10 GMT

CeBIT 2002: 0800 GMT: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE 7i as an update to its popular DiMAGE 7. The DiMAGE 7i keeps the same 7x optical zoom lens and 5 megapixel sensor. Major improvements are a re-styled hand grip, improved 'wide AF' with faster AF response and manual adjustment AFTER auto focus, LCD/viewfinder grid overlay, LCD/viewfinder live histogram, improved LCD viewfinder, maximum 1/4000 sec shutter speed, Ultra High Speed continuous mode (7 fps, 1280 x 960), two macro positions, wireless / remote slave control over Minolta flash units, improved saturation, contrast and exposure control and three new movies modes.

Minolta DiMAGE 7i

Phil: It's amazing how much different a slightly re-styled hand grip can make, this camera's starting to look even more attractive. The new features are impressive and it's clear that Minolta has listened to both owners, reviewers and forums users ;) alike. Minolta assure me that they've also addressed the heat problem, though it's not clear that there are any improvements to power usage.

New features (supplied by Minolta):

Minolta DiMAGE 7i major new features

  • Advanced technology gives the camera professional versatility. The DiMAGE 7i features a 3-point wide AF system for fast, accurate focusing, a Flex Focus Point for precise control over the focusing area and a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) to make instant adjustments to the autofocus.
     
  • The DiMAGE 7i has expanded options for composition. The viewfinder and monitor displays have been expanded not only to show the status of the camera, but also the options of including a grid for aligning the camera to the horizon or vertical subject elements and a scale to judge image size in close-up photography. In addition, a real-time histogram is available to evaluate the effects of exposure and contrast on the image before it is captured.
     
  • The new DiMAGE 7i is fast. In the program and the aperture-priority exposure modes, the shutter speed tops out at 1/4000s. The new UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance drive mode can capture approximately 7 frames per second to compete with most professional film cameras. The AF system is almost twice as fast as its predecessor, the DiMAGE 7, and the capturing interval has been reduced to make a more responsive camera.
     
  • With new, extensive system accessories, the DiMAGE 7i is a serious photographic tool. The camera can be coupled with powerful shoe-mounted and off-camera flash units from portable camera strobes to large studio lighting systems. The new wireless/remote function allows slave control over the Minolta 5600HS(D) and the 3600HS(D) program flashed. Remote cables and standard 49mm filters can also be used.
     
  • The DiMAGE 7i makes composition easier. The LCD monitor and Digital Hyper Viewfinder have been improved for easier viewing and more accurate color rendition. These are housed in a durable magnesium-alloy body with a rich, new finish and comfortable new grip.
     
  • Increased control over the image allows for more special effects. 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. This offers unparalleled creative freedom when combined with the two new color modes: Vivid Color and Solarization.
     
  • New movie modes allow the DiMAGE 7i to capture a moment with ease. The DiMAGE 7i can record high-quality 16-bit audio with still and moving images. Along with standard QVGA digital movies, three new movie functions have been added. Night movies allow monochrome images to be recorded in low light. Time -lapse movies capture the imperceptible motions of the world. The UHS continuous advance movies show unfolding events.

Press release:

MINOLTA INTRODUCES THE DiMAGE 7i DIGITAL CAMERA

Minolta's newest 5-megapixel, SLR-type digital camera offers photographers increased speed, versatility and control

Ramsey, NJ (March 13, 2002) - Minolta Corporation expands its digital camera line with the introduction of the new Minolta DiMAGE 7i. Based on the award-winning Minolta DiMAGE 7, the versatile and stylish DiMAGE 7i features a 5-megapixel resolution, 7x optical zoom, and superior GT LENS technology, as well as more features and improved performance capabilities than its predecessor.

The DiMAGE 7i incorporates an autofocusing system that's 2x faster than the DiMAGE 7. 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 approximately 7 frames per second to compete with most professional film cameras.

"With capabilities and features previously found only on semi-professional and professional equipment, Minolta's new DiMAGE 7i is for the photographer looking for the ultimate in quality and control," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing for Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "This camera targets the serious photographer and those who truly enjoy imaging."

The DiMAGE 7i features a 2/3 inch-type CCD image sensor with 5-megapixel effective resolution 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 7.2mm - 50.8mm (equivalent to 28mm -200mm in 35mm).

The image formed on the CCD is enhanced by Minolta's exclusive CxProcess image processing technology to optimize sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to create clear and natural images. 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 7i features a 3-point wide AF system for fast, accurate focusing, a Flex Focus Point for precise control over the focusing area and a Direct Manual Focus (DMF) to make instant adjustments to the autofocus.

The AF system is almost twice as fast as its predecessor, the DiMAGE 7, and the capturing interval has been reduced to make a more responsive camera.

It's new automatic bracketing enhances exposure, contrast and color saturation. Four color modes allow for creative in-camera effects and two continuous advance rates allow the photographer to capture all but the most fleeting action. Significant improvements have also been made to the DiMAGE 7i's video and audio recording capabilities.

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. This offers unparalleled creative freedom when combined with the two new color modes: Vivid Color and Solarization.

The DiMAGE 7i will be available to consumers in late spring 2002 with an estimated street price of $1,099.

Minolta DiMAGE 7 specifications


Sensor 2/3" 5.24 megapixel CCD (12 bit ADC)
Effective pixels 4.9 megapixel
Image sizes

 • 2560 x 1920
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 640 x 480

Image formats  • RAW
 • Super-Fine (TIFF)
 • Fine (JPEG)
 • Standard (JPEG)
 • Economy (JPEG)
Lens 7x optical zoom, 28 - 200 mm equiv. F2.8 - F3.5
Lens construction 16 elements in 13 groups
Normal focus range 50 cm (1.6 ft) to Infinity (from CCD)
Macro focus range
(from lens front)
 • Wide: 21 - 51 cm (8.3 - 20.0 in)
 • Tele: 13 - 50 cm (5.1 - 19.7 in)
Zoom control Manual zooming ring, mechanically linked
Digital Zoom Up to 2x
Lens thread 49 mm
ISO Sensitivity  • Auto
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
 • ISO 800
Shutter speed Program AE / Aperture Priority: 4 - 1/4000 sec
Shutter Priority / Manual: 4 - 1/2000 sec
Bulb: max 30 seconds
Auto focus areas  • Wide focus area
 • Spot focus point
 • Flex Focus Point control
Focus modes  • Auto focus single shot AF
 • Continuous AF
 • Manual focus
Manual focus control Fly-by-wire focus ring
Metering  • 300 Multi-segment
 • Center-weighted average
 • Spot metering
Exposure modes  • Program AE (with program shift)
 • Aperture Priority
 • Shutter Priority
 • Manual mode
 • Subject modes
Subject modes  • Portrait
 • Sports action
 • Sunset
 • Night portrait
 • Text
Exposure compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
AE Lock  • Spot AE Lock button
 • Half-press of shutter release
 White Balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Cloudy
 • Manual preset
Flash metering  • ADI (Advanced distance integration)
 • Pre-flash TTL
 • Manual flash control
Flash range (Auto ISO) Wide: 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft)
Tele: 0.5 - 3.0 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft)
Flash modes  • Fill flash
 • Red-eye reduction
 • Rear sync flash
 • Wireless / remote flash
Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Flash sync speed All shutter speeds
External flash Via built-in flash hot shoe: Auto-flash metering with Minolta Program Flash 5600HS(D), Program Flash 3600HS(D), Macro Twin Flash 2400*, Macro Flash Ring 1200*
*Macro Flash Controller is necessary
Compatible with Minolta PC Flash Adapter
Continuous drive advance  • UHS (Ultra High Speed) - 7 fps @ 1280 x 960
 • Standard continuous - 2 fps
Timelapse recording  • 2 - 99 frames
 • 1 - 10, 15, 20, 30, 45 or 60 minute intervals
Digital bracketing  • Exposure, contrast, colour saturation, filter
 • Exposure: 1.0, 0.5 or 0.3 EV steps
 • Contrast and Colour Saturation, Filter: fixed increments
 • Bracket: 3 frames
Self-timer 10 seconds
Movie recording  • Standard: 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 60 secs with or without audio
 • Night movie: 320 x 240, 15 fps, 60 sec max, with or without audio
 • UHS: 640 x 480, 7 fps, without audio
 • Time-lapse movie: 640 x 480, 4 fps without audio
Audio Voice memo: 5 or 15 seconds (max) with still image
Colour modes  • Natural colour
 • Vivid colour
 • B&W (neutral or toned)
 • Solarization
Sharpness settings  • Soft
 • Normal
 • Hard
LCD monitor  • 1.8" TFT 118,000 pixel
 • 100% view
Viewfinder  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) - 0.19" LCD
 • 220,000 pixels
 • Can be tilted through 90 degrees
 • 100% view
 • Auto-display (eye proximity sensor)
Viewfinder dioptre control Variable: -5 to +0.5
Compliance  • Print Image Matching
 • ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
Storage Compact Flash Type I / II (IBM Microdrive supported)
Connectivity  • USB 1.1
 • DC in
 • Video output (NTSC / PAL switchable)
Misc. Date imprinting
Power 4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Dimensions 117 x 91 x 123 mm (4.6 x 3.6 x 4.4 in)
Weight (no batt) 525 g (18.5 oz)
Standard accessories Neck Strap NS-DG7; Lens Cap (49mm) Lf-1249 ; Accessory Shoe Cap SC-9 ; AV Cable AVC-300 ; CF (CompactFlash) 16 MB card ; USB Cable USB-100 ; DiMAGE Software CD-ROM (includes DiMAGE Viewer) ; Lens Shade for DiMAGE 7i DLS-7i, Four AA Ni-MH batteries, Ni-MH charger
Optional accessories AC Adapter AC-1L ; External High Power Battery Pack Kit EPB-100 ; Remote Cord RC1000s ; Remote Cord RC 1000L ; Step Up Flash Adapter 49mm - 62mm ; PC Flash Adapter PCT-100
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