Minolta Japan has announced that it will soon be making available a firmware upgrade for the DiMAGE 7. This new firmware incorporates several of features found in the new DiMAGE 7i such as improved AF speed, improved continuous shooting, Ultra High Speed (UHS) 1280 x 960 shooting mode, direct manual focus (manual focus after AF) and the real time histogram display (plus some others). Minolta Japan are offering this upgrade for 6,000 YEN (approx. $50), a new version of DiMAGE Viewer is also priced at 6,000 YEN (approx. $50) or a bundle of the two for 10,000 YEN (approx. $80). It's unclear at this stage whether this upgrade service will be available in other regions of the world.

Minolta DiMAGE 7 firmware upgrade
(translated from Japanese)

Main points

  • Improved AF speed
    The AF speed is improved by a ratio of about 1.5 times.
  • Improved continuous shooting
    Continuous shooting at 2560 x 1920 improves from 1.1 fps to 1.5 fps.
  • Addition of UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous shooting
    Shoot at 5 fps at a resolution of 1280 x 960
  • Addition of DMF (Direct Manual Focus) feature
    Ability to adjust the focus point using the manual focus ring after AF (during a 'half-press')
  • Addition of real-time histogram feature
    This feature assists in the adjustment of the exposure to see the instant effect on-screen

Other points

  • Grid lines on viewfinder display - the old D7 mode, a grid overlay mode and a ruler/scale overlay mode
  • Addition of monochrome Night movies, Time-lapse movies and UHS continuous movies
  • Addition of flash power control
  • Improved QV (Quick View) function includes histogram display
  • EXIF Print (EXIF 2.2) support

Thanks to Thordur Arnason for clarification of the grid lines issue.