Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

Sep 10, 2002 at 07:51 GMT

0700 EST: Seybold SF 2002: Minolta has today announced the DiMAGE 7Hi. This camera is base on the DiMAGE 7i with a black body design and has new features and improvements including a built-in PC Sync terminal, selectable color space, extra-fine JPEG mode, more white balance modes and a full rubber hand grip.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Specifications

Expected September 2002
Price US: $1,299
Sensor 2/3" 5.24 megapixel CCD (12 bit ADC)
Effective pixels (JCIA) 5.0 million
Image sizes

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

Image formats  • RAW
 • Super Fine (TIFF)
 • Extra Fine (JPEG) [NEW]
 • Fine (JPEG)
 • Standard (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 : 8 - 1/4000 sec
 • Aperture Priority: 15 - 1/4000 sec
 • Shutter Priority: 15 - 1/2000 sec
 • Manual: Bulb (max 30 secs), 15 - 1/2000 sec
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 1
 • Fluorescent 2
 • Cloudy
 • Manual preset (1, 2, 3)
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
External flash via PC Sync socket
Continuous drive advance
 • UHS (Ultra High Speed) - 7 fps @ 1280 x 960
 • High-speed continuous - 3 fps (9 @ Fine, 7 @ Extra-Fine) *
 • Standard continuous - 2 fps (9 @ Fine, 7 @ Extra-Fine) *
* Measured at 2560 x 1920 resolution
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 (sRGB)
 • Vivid colour (sRGB)
 • B&W (neutral or toned)
 • Solarization
 • Adobe RGB [NEW]
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
 • Print Image Matching II
 • ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
Storage Compact Flash Type I / II (IBM Microdrive supported)
Custom controls

 • Memory Recall: Function Dial / DSP button
 • Control Dial (M mode): Shutter Speed / Aperture
 • Manual shift: On / Off
 • Bracketing: DEC control / Exposure
 • Color Profile: Not embedded / Embedded *
 • Delete confirmation: "Yes" / "No"
* Recognized by Photoshop

Connectivity  • PC Sync terminal (external flash)
 • 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 113 mm (4.6 x 3.6 x 4.5 in)
Weight (inc batt) 650 g (1.4 lb)
Standard accessories Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000, Lens Cap (49mm) LF-1249, Accessory Shoe Cap SC-9, AV Cable AVC-300, 16MB CompactFlash Card, USB Cable USB-100, DiMAGE Software CD ROM (Includes DiMAGE Viewer), Lens Shade DLS-7Hi, Four AA, Ni-MH batteries, Ni-MH Battery Charger
Optional accessories AC Adapter AC-1L, External High Power Battery Pack Kit EBP-100,
Remote Cord RC-1000S, Remote Cord RC-1000L, Step Up Adapter
49mm - 62mm

Press Release:


New 5 megapixel digital camera with built-in 7x optical zoom lens, faster autofocusing, new flash synchronization terminal and superior image quality enhances the DiMAGE line

San Francisco, CA (September 10, 2002) - Minolta Corporation expands its digital camera line with the introduction of the new sleek and stylish Single Lens-Reflex (SLR)-type Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi. Based on the award-winning DiMAGE 7 and incorporating improved features from its sister model - the top-of-the-line DiMAGE 7i - the new DiMAGE 7Hi has been further enhanced with features such as a built-in flash synchronization terminal making it a versatile digital imaging tool in the studio and on location, as well as everyday use.

With a 5-megapixel resolution, 7x optical, 2x digital zoom lens and superior GT Lens technology, the DiMAGE 7Hi is a complete digital imaging center that can control all the essential elements for high-quality photography: sharpness, exposure, contrast, color, and saturation. With 12-bit A/D conversion and Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, what you see will be what you get. In addition, image quality choices have been improved with the inclusion of a new extra-fine image setting.

"With the introduction of the new DiMAGE 7Hi, Minolta makes it easier and more affordable to bring digital imaging into the studio," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "Differing from its sister model, the DiMAGE 7i, this new camera's built-in flash synchronization terminal and extra-fine image setting are sure to please the professional level photographer as well as advanced amateurs looking for the best digital photography has to offer. Building on the success of the award-wining DiMAGE 7 series of digital cameras Minolta is proud to now offer a broad line of high quality digital cameras each designed for different applications and different users."

The new DiMAGE 7Hi 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 is 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 7Hi 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.

Just like the DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi's AF system is almost twice as fast the original DiMAGE 7, and the capturing interval has been reduced to make a more responsive camera. 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 3 frames per second even with high-quality TIFF and RAW images. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance can capture approximately 7 frames a second to compete with most professional film cameras.

The DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings - extra fine, fine, and standard - to produce JPEG files with varying degrees of image compression. 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. Simply plug the flash's PC cord into the terminal. Designed for center-negative and center-positive polarities, the camera is compatible with most studio and location lighting systems.

Accurate color reproduction is a necessity for today's photographer and simple for the DiMAGE 7Hi. To capture images under varying natural and artificial lighting sources, white balance is controlled with nine settings, five preset, three custom, and one auto. So that colors are not distorted when printed or displayed on monitors, the color space can be selected between sRGB and Adobe RGB, and the camera's ICC profile can be attached to the image file.

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 black finish and a comfortable new rubber grip. The DiMAGE 7Hi retains the same simple ergonomic control layout of the DiMAGE 7 and 7i.

The DiMAGE 7Hi can record high-quality 16-bit audio with still and moving images. Along with standard QVGA digital movies, three new movie functions allow greater creative freedom.

The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi and DiMAGE 7i will be available side-by-side at retail at differing price points. The DiMAGE 7Hi will be available to consumers in September 2002 with an estimated street price of $1,299.

Minolta Backgrounder:

New Minolta Single Lens Reflex (SLR)-type Digital Camera: The DiMAGE 7Hi

Targeted for release in September 2002, the new Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi digital camera, sister model to the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, is designed to meet the needs of photographers wishing to have an SLR-type digital camera that performs under varying photographic conditions, including studio and on location, and features convenient functions that produce high quality photographic images. The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi and DiMAGE 7i will be available side-by-side at retail at differing price points.

How is the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi different?

Main Features:

High-Precision Electro-Optical System

The new Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system contains a 5.2 megapixel, 2/3-type interline primary color CCD with 5 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. The pixel resolution of the CCD will produce 13" x 17" 150dpi prints on an inkjet printer.

Extra-fine Imaging

The DiMAGE 7Hi features three image-quality settings - extra fine, fine, and standard - to produce JPEG files with varying degrees of image compression. 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 new DiMAGE Viewer and saved with an 8-bit or 16-bit color depth.

Minolta's CxProcess

Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, guarantees the image from the CCD will faithfully reproduce the photographic scene. CxProcess controls image sharpness, color, and contrast while minimizing noise to produce vivid, natural pictures.

CxProcess controls sharpness by balancing resolution. This allows fine detail to be preserved while adding depth to the image. Color is critically controlled to prevent objects from appearing over-saturated in the image while remaining vibrant; the warmth of the human complexion or the rich subtleties of green foliage will be rendered as clearly as they were perceived. Contrast is regulated to bring out a luminous quality in the mid-tones and highlights, and to strengthen and enrich the shadows.

12-bit A/D conversion

The secret to high quality photography is in the details. Smooth gradations and fine details bring a photograph to life. The 12-bit A/D conversion in the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi preserves all the subtleties of the original scene. With billions of colors and 4,096 levels in each color channel, images possess almost life-like color and detail.

Minolta GT LENS

A high-resolution CCD is only as good as the lens in front of it. The Minolta GT LENS featured in the DiMAGE 7Hi is an optical jewel cut in glass. The fast f2.8 - f3.5 7x optical zoom is an advanced apochromatic (APO) lens. With a resolution to produce a fine image on a seven-million pixel CCD, this lens employs AD glass and aspheric elements to ensure sharp, contrasting images with no chromatic aberration at any focal length. In addition, the Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi's optical zoom lens accepts standard 49mm filters.

7x Optical, 2x Digital Zoom Lens For Flexibility

With a focal range of 7.2mm to 50.8mm, the DiMAGE 7Hi's fast 7x zoom lens is equivalent to a 28mm to 200mm 35mm zoom lens. This lens is perfect for photographing sweeping landscapes and confined interiors as well as for intimate portraits and close-up details of distant subjects.

The DiMAGE 7Hi zoom lens has a dual-focal macro system. This system allows the lens to be set at the wide-angle or telephoto position to take advantage of different focal lengths. At the wide-angle position, the larger field of view and depth of field create a stronger perspective and a sense of space. The telephoto position isolates the subject and minimizes distortion with a narrow field of view and shallow depth of field.

Advanced Autofocus System

As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi's wide autofocus (AF) makes accurate focusing simple. Within the large focus area are three sensitive AF sensors including a central crosshair sensor, providing accurate focusing regardless of subject contrast orientation. The camera automatically locates the subject within the wide frames and confirms the point of focus by briefly displaying the active AF sensor. The AF system works in low-light conditions, the fading light of twilight or dimly lit interiors, without the need of a special AF illuminator. The monitor and viewfinder image is automatically amplified so the subject is always visible.

The DiMAGE 7Hi incorporates Direct Manual Focus (DMF). DMF is found in professional-level film cameras like the award-winning Minolta Maxxum 7. It allows the focus to be fine tuned manually, after the AF system has focused and locked on the subject. The DiMAGE 7i was the first Minolta digital camera to incorporate DMF.

The Flex Focus Point adds unlimited versatility to the AF system. When the camera is attached to a tripod or when the position of the focal plane is critical, as with close-up photography, it can be very difficult to use most autofocus systems because the camera must be moved to focus and then repositioned to compose the image. Flex Focus Point is a single, crosshair sensor that can be placed anywhere within the field of view. With the camera on a tripod, simply use the four-way controller to position the Flex Focus Point on the subject. The AF system will use that point for each exposure.

Functions to Help Composition and Luminance

The Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi has two additional displays for critical composition: grid and scale. Usually found in large-format view cameras, the grid makes aligning the camera with vertical or horizontal elements within the image simple. The grid confirms that the horizon or buildings are straight. The scale can be used in close-up photography to judge the relative proportions of the subject.

Unique to digital imaging, the DiMAGE 7Hi's real-time histogram shows the luminance distribution of the image before it is captured. Displayed with the live image, the histogram allows the subject brightness and contrast to be evaluated to optimize the camera's exposure and contrast controls.

The viewfinder and monitor display active camera settings, exposure information, and warnings. This information can be turned off so that the entire image can be viewed.

Fast Shutter Speed Range

The new DiMAGE 7Hi has a dynamic shutter-speed range from a maximum of 15 seconds to a fast 1/4000 second to control exposure and motion in the program and aperture-priority exposures modes. In shutter priority and manual modes, the maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 second. Bulb exposures up to thirty seconds can also be made.

System Accessories

A Fast, Responsive Camera

The DiMAGE 7Hi is a responsive imaging tool built to work effortlessly under demanding situations. The high-performance AF system is borrowed from the DiMAGE 7i and twice as fast as the DiMAGE 7. And with two continuous-advance rates, photographers are sure to catch the action as it unfolds.

New to the DiMAGE 7Hi is the high-speed continuous-advance drive mode makes it possible to record at a rate of approximately 3 frames per second with full-size images at any quality setting including high-quality TIFF or RAW data files. UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous-advance can capture SXGA size images (1280 X 960 pixels) at approximately 7 frames per second. This is equivalent to many motor drives on professional 35mm cameras. The standard continuous-advance mode can capture images of all sizes from full-size (2560 X 1920) to VGA (640 X 480) images at a maximum of two frames per second.

High Contrast LCD

The DiMAGE 7Hi is fitted with a 1.8-inch low-temperature high-contrast color LCD monitor. The monitor has an extended color gamut, contrast, and dynamic range. These improvements make judging image quality and sharpness even easier. In addition, the monitor has a wide-viewing angle so that the camera does not need to be held perpendicular to clearly view the live image.

Captured images can be easily accessed from the recording mode. Simply pressing the Quick View button displays the recorded images. The images can be enlarged to confirm sharpness and a histogram can be displayed to judge exposure. Images can be displayed with or without shooting data or in a nine or four-frame index format.

Intuitive Controls

The controls and dials are laid out for clear, intuitive operation. All shooting controls are placed around the grip area. The camera can be controlled with the thumb and index finger while allowing a firm grip on the body. Creative and high-level functions are located on the function dial and Digital Effects Control on the opposite side of the camera. Setting single or multiple functions is quick and easy.

The function dial sets the metering, drive, and exposure modes as well as the white balance, camera sensitivity, and memorized camera settings. The Digital Effects Control allows changes to be made to color, saturation, contrast, and exposure. Located above the grip, the main dial turns the camera on and gives direct access to the recording, playback, movie, setup, and data-transfer modes.

Placed conveniently on the back of the camera, the controller is a straightforward five-way array used to control many of the camera's advanced features and menus. The controller has been redesigned with a separate four-way key and central enter button.

Functions can be customized to suit individual shooting preferences. The dials or buttons to control memory recall and manual exposure settings can be changed. The bracketing drive mode can be switched between exposure bracketing only and Digital Effects Brackets. The camera's ICC profile can be attached to image files when recorded. And the default setting for the delete confirmation screens can be switched between the yes and no button.

After making changes to shooting functions, the camera can be instantly reset to programmed-automatic operation with the press of a button. And if the camera is reset accidentally, a new undo function will return the camera to the previous settings.

New and expanded features allow more control over accurate color reproduction. White balance has five preset settings; daylight, cloudy, tungsten, white fluorescent, and cool white fluorescent as well as three custom settings for balancing the camera to specific lighting conditions and auto white balance. For accurate color management when using output devices such as monitors and printers, the camera's color space can be switched between the universal sRGB space and the extended Adobe RGB space, and the camera's ICC profile can be attached to the image file.

Lightweight, Sleek, Professional Body

The DiMAGE 7Hi is housed in a feather-light magnesium-alloy body with a professional black finish. This high-tech alloy provides the benefits of rugged die-cast construction without the weight. Magnesium is the lightest structural metal on earth, about 30% lighter than aluminum and 65% lighter than steel.

The DiMAGE 7Hi is not only light, it is compact. The body is significantly smaller than compact 35mm SLR cameras with a built-in flash and zoom lens. This sophisticated imaging system can easily slip into a fanny pack or hip bag.

A new contoured grip gives the DiMAGE 7Hi secure, comfortable handling.

Digital Hyper Viewfinder

The Digital Hyper Viewfinder gives the DiMAGE 7Hi the same feel as an SLR. It can be tilted between 0° and 90° for comfortable shooting at low angles or in confined spaces. In addition, the viewfinder has an improved optical system for easier viewing and a reduction in aberrations, as well as refined color matching for more accurate color rendition. Because the viewfinder LCD is shielded from ambient light, it makes it the perfect tool when working in bright lighting conditions.

Digital Effects Control

The Digital Effects Control (DEC) is an image-processing center built into the DiMAGE 7Hi. As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE 7, exposure, contrast, and color saturation can be adjusted before the image is captured.

The DiMAGE 7Hi has an additional filter setting to control the overall color of the image. When taking color images, the filter can affect the mood of the picture by making the color cooler or warmer in seven levels. This offers unparalleled creative freedom when combined with the camera's four color modes: Natural Color, Vivid Color, Solarization and black and white. When used with black and white images, the filter can create a warm or cool toned image similar to sepia or gold toners with photographic prints as well as the unique tones of magenta and green. Ten tones in all are available. Vivid Color increases the saturation to produce vibrant color images. Solarization creates a partial reversal of image tones to produce unique imaging effects.

The Digital Effects Control allows image data to be maximized at the scene by controlling the essential elements of image quality. Exposure controls the brightness of the image. Contrast controls the difference between brightness levels. Color saturation changes the vividness of the colors.

A Digital Enhanced Bracket can be made to guarantee the correct level of adjustment with the Digital Effects Control. This bracket is a series of images with a slight increase and decrease in exposure. The DiMAGE 7Hi can also make contrast, color saturation and filter bracket. Simply select the bracketing drive mode and then select the image quality to be bracketed. The camera will automatically make a three-image bracket of the selected quality.

Digital Subject Programs

Digital Subject Programs optimize exposure and image-processing controls for specific shooting conditions and subjects. Simply select the appropriate Digital Subject Program and the camera is ready to shoot. Five subject programs are available:

As with the Minolta DiMAGE 7i and DiMAGE 7, personal camera settings for specific situations can also be saved. The camera can memorize the exact functions and settings in use. These can be recalled and reapplied to the camera at any time.

Audio and Video Capabilities

Just like the Minolta DiMAGE 7i, the DiMAGE 7Hi is capable of recording audio along with still images. Voice memo allows a 16-bit audio track of up to 15 seconds to be attached to an image after it has been captured. The voice memo can be played back in the camera.

Audio signals, used to confirm camera operations, and shutter sound effects, used to indicate the recording of images, can be selected or turned off independently of each other. Signals come with high-tech electronic tones or with mechanical sounds. The shutter sound effects were styled on the professional Minolta Maxxum 9 SLR and the legendary Minolta CLE rangefinder 35mm cameras.

Data imprinting allows the date or time to be printed on the image as well as text and serial numbers. The electronic keyboard used to imprint text has an expanded character set for European languages. Accents and umlauts can be added to certain vowels and the German double "S" can be used.

The DiMAGE 7Hi will not only produce great still-images, but also makes digital videos in multiple creative formats. Standard QVGA (320 x 240) color movies and monochrome night movies up to 60 seconds with 16-bit audio can be made. The night-movie mode can record movie clips under extreme low-light conditions. The interval function can produce a series of still images taken at regular intervals or it can combine the images into a time-lapsed movie at any image size. The time-lapse movie plays the images back at 4 frames per second so that normally imperceptible motion springs to life, such as the blossoming of a flower or the setting of the sun. In UHS continuous advance, a VGA (640 x 480) movie file can be created of an unfolding event. In addition, the Digital Effects Control can be used with the movie modes to adjust color, contrast, saturation, and exposure.