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Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Review

November 2002 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production DiMAGE 7Hi, firmware Ver 1.00u

On September 10th at Seybold SF Minolta revealed the new black bodied DiMAGE 7Hi. Clearly another refresh of the original DiMAGE 7 design the 7Hi builds on the 7i's feature set and adds a considerable range of improvements. These improvements are designed to push the camera higher up the prosumer category with some unique features which we would only expect to see in a D-SLR. Apart from the obvious colour change there are plenty of internal improvements, buffer space has been increased to deliver more continuous shooting 'depth' (number of shots before the buffer fills), there's a new finer JPEG mode and notably the camera now supports selectable colour space in-camera and can even embedded the ICC profile into the JPEG header.

These new features do however come at a price, the DiMAGE 7Hi has a list price of $1,299, that's $300 more than it's earlier sibling the DiMAGE 7i. The big question now is are those few new features and increased buffer space worth the extra $300 and how does the 7Hi stack up against the competition. We'll try to answer those questions in this review.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi vs. DiMAGE 7i (differences only)

  Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Minolta DiMAGE 7i
 
List price $1,299 $999
Body finish Matt black (mottled effect) Silver 'alloy'
Hand grip Soft rubber coated Plastic
Image formats • RAW
• Super Fine (TIFF)
• Extra Fine (JPEG)
• Fine (JPEG)
• Standard (JPEG)
• RAW
• Super Fine (TIFF)
• Fine (JPEG)
• Standard (JPEG)
• Basic (JPEG)
Timed slow shutter • Timed up to 15 secs *
• Bulb up to 30 secs
* Depends on selected ISO
• Timed up to 4 secs
• Bulb up to 30 secs
Max shutter speed • Program AE : 1/4000 sec
• Aperture Priority: 1/4000 sec
• Shutter Priority: 1/2000 sec
• Manual: 1/2000 sec
• All: 1/2000 sec
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent 1
• Fluorescent 2
• Cloudy
• Manual preset (1, 2, 3)
• Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Cloudy
• Manual preset (custom)
Continuous drive • UHS - 7 fps @ 1280 x 960
• High-continuous - 3 fps (9 frames*)
• Continuous - 2 fps (9 frames*)
* At 2560 x 1920 resolution
• UHS - 7 fps @ 1280 x 960
• Continuous - 3 fps (3 frames*)
* At 2560 x 1920 resolution
Color modes • Natural colour (sRGB)
• Vivid colour (sRGB)
• B&W (neutral or toned)
• Solarization
• Adobe RGB
• Vivid Colour
• Natural Colour
• B&W
• Solarization
Embedded profile Yes, optional embedded ICC profile No
Quick View mode • View last image
• Browse images (single / thumbs)
• View histogram / exposure info
• Magnify image
• Delete image
• View last image
• Browse images (single / thumbs)
• View histogram / exposure info
• Delete image
Default settings • Pro-Auto button
• Pro-Auto Undo is available
• Pro-Auto button
Compliance • Print Image Matching II
• ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
• Print Image Matching
• ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
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: No / Embedded
• Delete confirmation: "Yes" / "No"
None
External flash • PC Sync terminal
• Minolta Hot-shoe
• Minolta Hot-shoe

Review notes

Because of the 7Hi's similarity to the 7i much of the first half of this review (body design / operation / display) is based on the 7i review.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally 960 x 720 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This review is Copyright 2002 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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