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Compact Flash Compartment

The Compact Flash compartment is located in the side of the hand grip, the door has a spring loaded hinge mechanism which holds it closed. The DiMAGE A2 supports both Compact Flash Type I and Type II including the IBM Microdrive, it also supports the FAT32 filesystem which means that it can use cards with a capacity greater than 2 GB.


Connections

The A2's connectors are in three different places. First on the rear of the camera at the bottom are the DC-IN and remote terminals (compatible with Minolta remote cable RC-1000L/S). Just to the left top edge of the compact flash compartment is the combined USB (2.0 full speed) and A/V out connector (actual output depends on the cable used). On the left side of the camera is the PC Sync flash terminal which can be connected to studio, location or simply off-camera flash equipment.

 


Lens

Three years on, yes that's how long Minolta has been using this "GT Lens", which made its first appearance on the DiMAGE 7 back in February 2001. It's a lens which has done well on the five megapixel DiMAGE 7, 7i, 7Hi and A1. It has a nice mechanically linked wide zoom (28 to 200 mm equiv.) which makes for fast and accurate zooming and no delay at startup. It's also relatively fast with a maximum aperture of F2.8 at wide angle and F3.5 at telephoto.

The pictures below show the lens without and then with the supplied DLS-7 hood and also a 'transparency shot' of the length of the lens at full telephoto.

 

Lenses compared

Camera Labeled as Zoom range
(35 mm equiv.)
Max aperture
(wide - tele)
Zoom type
Nikon Coolpix 8700 Nikkor ED 35 - 280 mm F2.8 - F4.2 Motor, lever
Minolta DiMAGE A2 GT Lens 28 - 200 mm F2.8 - F3.5 Mechanical, ring
Canon PowerShot Pro1 Ultrasonic L-series 28 - 200 mm F2.4 - F3.5 Motor, ring
Olympus C-8080 WZ ED High Resolution 28 - 140 mm F2.4 - F3.5 Motor, lever
Sony DSC-F828 Carl Zeiss T* 28 - 200 mm F2.0 - F2.8 Mechanical, ring


Base / Tripod Mount

The bottom of the camera is fairly unexciting, the battery compartment door, a large rubber grip area (although perhaps the rubber is too hard to be that useful) and a metal tripod mount which is unfortunately not in line with the center of the lens.


Pop-up flash

The DiMAGE A2 has a manual pop-up flash which is opened by pushing it upwards from its spring loaded closed position. This automatically enables flash mode and starts to charge the flash capacitor. The flash is rated as having a range of wide: 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft) and tele: 0.5 - 3 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft) (ISO 100). Flash modes available are Fill-in, Red-eye, Rear sync and Wireless. There are three selectable flash metering options: ADI metering uses subject distance and aperture to calculate flash power, pre-flash TTL uses a short pre-flash just before the main exposure to meter the scene, finally there is manual mode.

Flash range at different sensitivities (from the DiMAGE A2 manual), note that in Auto ISO mode the flash range is the same as listed for ISO 200:

Sensitivity Flash range (wide angle) Flash range (telephoto)
ISO 64 0.5 - 2.1 m (1.6 - 6.9 ft) 0.5 - 1.7 m (1.6 - 5.6 ft)
ISO 100 0.5 - 2.7 m (1.6 - 8.8 ft) 0.5 - 2.1 m (1.6 - 6.9 ft)
ISO 200 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft) 0.5 - 3.0 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft)
ISO 400 0.5 - 5.4 m (1.6 - 17.6 ft) 0.5 - 4.2 m (1.6 - 13.8 ft)
ISO 800 0.5 - 7.6 m (1.6 - 25.0 ft) 0.5 - 6.0 m (1.6 - 19.6 ft)


Accessory shoe

The accessory shoe is compatible with Minolta Dynax / Maxxum system flashes and most probably third-party flash systems. Primarily it is fully compatible with the Program Flash 2500(D), 3600HS(D) and 5600HS(D) as well as the Macro Twin Flash 2400 and Macro Ring Flash 1200.

Wireless Flash

Just like the 7 series the DiMAGE A2 supports wireless flash using the 5600 HS(D) or 3600 HS(D) flash units. Simply slide the flash onto the camera, set the camera to wireless flash mode and it will communicate with the flash unit, program itself to the correct wireless channel and configure the flash unit. The flash may then be removed and positioned up to 5 m (16.4 ft) from the camera and will be remotely trigged at the time of exposure.


Battery Pack BP-400 (Optional)

Available as an option for the DiMAGE A2 is the BP-400 Battery Pack. This unit attaches to the bottom of the camera and provides the ability to use up to two NP-400 Lithium-Ion batteries or six NiMH batteries (using an included adapter caddy). The BP-400 also provides a vertical (portrait) grip with shutter release although it has no other controls. The BP-400's design allows you to attach it without the need to remove the battery compartment door, that simply slides into a slot in the unit. Also included is a hand strap which attaches to the grip (bottom) and camera body (top).

(Pictures shown above are from our DiMAGE A1 review)


Supplied in the box

Box contents may vary by region:

• Minolta DiMAGE A2 digital camera
• Lens cap LS-1249
• Lens hood LF-1249
• 32 MB CompactFlash card
• Lithium-Ion battery NP-400
• Battery Charger BC-400
• Neck Strap NS-DG4000
• Video Cable AVC-400 (two RCA jacks)
• USB Cable USB-500
• Software CD-ROM (DiMAGE Viewer)
• User Manual / Quick Ref / Warranty Card


Minolta Accessories

Program Flash
3600HS(D)
Program Flash
5600HS(D)
Macro Ring Flash
1200
Macro Twin Flash
2400
Bounce Reflector
V-Set
Close-up Diffuser
CD-1000
Soft Lighting
Set II (flash not included)
Off-camera Cable
OC-1100
External Battery Pack
EP-1, EP-2 (for flash unit)
Triple connector
TC-1000
Off-camera shoe
OS-1100
Cable 'CD'

Other accessories (not shown)

  • Step-up adapter 49 - 62 mm
  • AC Adapter AC-1L
  • Leather Neck Strap NS-DG1000
  • Holding Strap HS-2
  • Li-Ion battery NP-100
  • Battery Pack BP-400
  • DiMAGE Capture
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