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Minolta DiMAGE S404 Review

April 2002 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production DiMAGE S404, firmware D2v001u

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.

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.

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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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