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Minolta DiMAGE 7i Review

June 2002 | By Phil Askey

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

Last year Minolta stormed into the prosumer end of the market with what was the first five megapixel digital camera, the DiMAGE 7. Just a year later they announced the DiMAGE 7i seen as an progressive update to the 7. The DiMAGE 7i has a five megapixel CCD sensor and 28 - 200 mm equiv. (7x zoom) lens. Clearly the D7i is essentially an 'upgraded' D7, the body design, control layout and overall operation is virtually identical.

There are however some subtle differences as well as new features, these are summarized below.

Minolta DiMAGE 7i vs. DiMAGE 7 (differences)

  Minolta DiMAGE 7i Minolta DiMAGE 7
Macro focal len. • At 28 mm (equiv.)
• Between 175 and 200 mm (equiv.)
• Between 175 and 200 mm (equiv.)

• Standard continuous - 2.5 fps
• UHS (Ultra High Speed) - 7 fps @ 1280 x 960

• Standard continuous - 1.2 fps
AF/AE Lock button Labeled 'Spot' Labeled 'AF/AEL'
Direct MF Yes (for after AF adjustment) No
Movie clips • 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
• Standard: 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 60 secs without audio
Voice memos Yes, 5 or 15 seconds No
Filters Yes, 7 colour and 11 B&W No
Live view overlay • Standard display
• Focus frame only
• Standard display with histogram
• Grid only
• Scale only
• Image only
• Standard display
• Focus frame only
• Image only
Flash modes • ADI (Advanced distance integration)
• Pre-flash TTL
• Manual flash control
• ADI (Advanced distance integration)
• Pre-flash TTL
Wireless flash Yes No
Batteries • 4 x AA NiMH included
• Charger included
• 4 x AA Alkalines included
• NiMH rechargeable recommended
Compliance • DPOF
• EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint)
• Print Image Matching
• Print Image Matching
Dimensions 117 x 91 x 123 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 4.8 in)
117 x 91 x 113 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 4.4 in)
Weight (inc batt) 627 g (1.4 lb) 603 g (1.3 lb)

Review notes (Important)

Because of the similarity to the DiMAGE 7 much of our review of that camera was used for at least the first half (body / operation / menus) of this review.

There are also two major sections of this review which are yet to be completed. These are the ISO sensitivity comparison test and scene comparison shot test. This is because I intend to compare the DiMAGE 7i to Nikon's Coolpix 5700. However, at this time a production Coolpix 5700 is not yet available. This review will be updated as soon as a production 5700 arrives.

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).

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 2001 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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