The three megapixel DiMAGE S304 was announced at PMA 2001 (at the same time as the DiMAGE 5 & 7). On January 8th, 2002 as part of the lead-up to PMA 2002 Minolta announced the updated four megapixel DiMAGE S404. The S404 is identical to the S304 in design, control layout, menus and optical design. Notable differences are the 4 megapixel sensor and the shift of the ISO sensitivity range from ISO 100 - 800 to ISO 64 - 400. As such this review is based largely on my S304 review. For those who have already read the S304 review you may wish to skip through to the features section where we begin to examine image quality and features.

Playing the price game

At this stage (April 2002) the DiMAGE S404's major competition comes from the Canon PowerShot G2, Sony DSC-S85 and Olympus C-4040Z. The Minolta has two major advantages, firstly it's the only four megapixel camera with a four times optical zoom and secondly at $499 it's a whole $300 cheaper than the G2 or C-4040Z and $200 cheaper than the DSC-S85.