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Compact Flash Compartment

The S404's Compact Flash compartment is located in the side of the hand grip. It's opened by pressing down on a small lever, the large door then springs open (on a pretty good mechanism) to reveal the Type I compartment, and connectors.

The CF eject mechanism is good and the card is pushed well out of the camera, thumb lip facing the back. The strap eyelet can get trapped in the door when closing.


Connections

All of the S404's connectors are to be found on the right side of the camera (from the back), behind the CF compartment door are the A/V out (supplied cable ends in two RAC jacks) and USB connectors (cable supplied), below this (but exposed without opening the door) is the DC power-in connector.


Lens

Once more the lens used is labelled as a 'Minolta GT Lens', all glass and derived from their "G series" SLR lenses. This compact lens provides an impressive 4x optical zoom with a 35mm equiv. range of 35 mm to 140 mm. What's a little disappointing is the relative slowness of the lens, with a maximum aperture of F3.0 (at wide angle) to F3.6 (at full telephoto). However, that does make it faster at the telephoto end than some other digital cameras.


Base / Tripod Mount

Probably one of the worst locations for a tripod mount, ever. Clearly this was a bit of an afterthought in the overall design of the camera. There's really no easy way to use the tripod mount in this location, on any decent tripod shoe the camera will tip forwards and to the right. What's even worse is that the actual thread isn't deep enough for most mounts, the bolt tightens and the camera can still rotate on the mount... Terrible.


Internal flash

The S404's flash is located in the top right (from the front) corner of the camera, just like the DiMAGE 5/7 it has a noticeable yellow filter glass. The manual states the flash range as (ISO 100) wide angle: 0.7m - 2.4m (2.3 ft. - 7.8 ft.), telephoto: 0.9m - 2.1m (3.0 ft. - 6.9 ft.).

Full details of flash range at different sensitivities can be seen in the table below.

Flash range at different sensitivities (from the DiMAGE S404 manual):

Sensitivity Flash range (wide angle) Flash range (telephoto)
AUTO 0.5 m- 3.5 m (1.6 ft. - 11.5 ft.) 0.9 m - 3.0 m (3.0 ft. - 9.8 ft.)
ISO 64 0.5 m - 2.0 m (1.6 ft. - 6.6 ft.) 0.9 m - 1.7 m (3.0 ft. - 5.6 ft.)
ISO 100 0.5 m - 2.5 m (1.6 ft. - 8.2 ft.) 0.9 m - 2.1 m (3.0 ft. - 6.9 ft.)
ISO 200 0.5 m - 3.5 m (1.6 ft. - 11.5 ft.) 0.9 m - 3.0 m (3.0 ft. - 9.8 ft.)
ISO 400 0.5 m - 5.0 m (1.6 ft. - 16.4 ft.) 0.9 m - 4.2 m (3.0 ft. - 13.8 ft.)


Supplied in the box

Supplied in the box are:

  • Minolta DiMAGE S404 digital camera
  • Lens cap
  • 16 MB CompactFlash card (Lexar branded)
  • 4 x AA Alkaline batteries
  • Neck Strap
  • Audio/Video Cable (ends in two RCA jacks)
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD-ROM (Minolta Image Viewer utility, ArcSoft PhotoImpression)
  • Manual
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