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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
PMA 2004: Konica Minolta today placed its chips on the eight megapixel roulette table with the DiMAGE A2. Clearly based around the DiMAGE A1 the A2 has the same seven times optical zoom lens and Anti-shake system achieved by moving the CCD rather than a lens element. Other new features include a '3D Auto Focus system' which Konica Minolta claim to be 1.5 times faster than the AF system in the DiMAGE A1, a new high resolution electronic viewfinder and a higher resolution and higher frame rate video mode.
New DiMAGE A2 features ultra-fast operation and high-speed start-up
as well as several professional-type functions
Las Vegas, NV (February 12, 2004) - Konica Minolta introduces the DiMAGE A2 SLR-type digital camera, a camera that inherits the excellent image quality and performance of the original DiMAGE A1 while being able to provide photographers with quality digital photographs comparable to an SLR camera. The DiMAGE A2 incorporates a high-quality 8-megapixel CCD and Super Fine Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) outperforming the previous model's resolution by 4 times to achieve extremely clear VGA-level images when both shooting and viewing.
Featuring a fast, innovative new 3D autofocusing (AF) system (1.5 times faster than the DiMAGE A1) with 3D Predicative Focus Control and Movement tracking, a fast built-in f/2.8 - 3.5 7x optical zoom lens, Anti-shake function for still images and VGA quality movies, CxProcess II Image Processing technology, the world's first VGA-resolution Viewfinder (approximately 922,000 pixels), UHS Continuous Advance rate of 7 frames per second, high-speed USB 2.0 support and compatibility with portable and studio flash systems, the DiMAGE A2 provides the tools digital photographers need to express their creativity and solve visual problems. In addition, Konica Minolta has also introduced new remote imaging software for use with the DiMAGE A2, the new DiMAGE Capture software, for enhanced creative capabilities.
"The new DiMAGE A2 digital camera represents a new generation of high-end digital camera quality and performance from Konica Minolta," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Konica Minolta's Camera Division. "The DiMAGE A2 provides creative digital photographers with excellent image quality in virtually any photographic situation. And multiple professional-type functions which fully utilize the camera's optical and image-processing technologies will please even the most demanding photographer."
The DiMAGE A2 comes equipped with an 8-megapixel 2/3-inch progressive primary-color CCD with 8.0 million effective pixels for super-high-resolution, making even individual hairs or the threads of a suit stand out in sharp detail. The 7x optical Konica Minolta GT APO lens ensures that light reaches the CCD sensor with maximum fidelity. Plus, Konica Minolta's CxProcess II image-processing technology ensures that the colors reproduce just the way the photographer sees them.
The DiMAGE A2's Super Fine electronic viewfinder (EVF) is sharp and clear thanks to a high-density display composed of 922,000-pixels, 4 times as many as the previous model. The EVF has also evolved to make digital photography even more of a pleasure. Precise focusing is amazingly easy, allowing the photographer to see the tiniest details in the most realistic colors. Switching into Smooth Mode provides 60 frames per second, making it a easy to focus on fast moving subjects.
As in the DiMAGE A1, the new DiMAGE A2 is equipped with an Anti-Shake function. The camera incorporates CCD shifting technology to minimize the effect of camera shake up to 800%. Konica Minolta's proprietary Anti-Shake function delivers a highly effective way to take high-quality images with hand-held shooting under telephoto and low lighting situations, even when a relative novice is handling the DiMAGE A2.
The DiMAGE A2's fast f2.8 - f3.5 7x optical zoom lens features an advanced apochromatic (APO) lens design employing anomalous dispersion (AD) glass to minimize chromatic aberration at all focal lengths and produce sharp, contrasty images. With a focal range of 7.2mm to 50.8mm, it is equivalent to a 28mm to 200mm zoom lens in 35mm format.
Konica Minolta's 3D AF provides seamless subject tracking as it focuses
on moving subjects to capture sharp, high-quality images, even when they
are coming straight toward the camera along the X-, Y-, and Z-axes of
the picture frame. Pressing the shutter release button launches the 3D
Predictive Focus Control, which calculates exactly where the subject will
be and accurately focuses on that point at the time of exposure. The AF
speed outstrips anything in its class for any SLR-type digital camera
with non-interchangeable lens 5x or greater optical zoom.* The 3D AF and
the focus speed combine to give hassle-free focusing.
*As of December 1st, 2003
The DiMAGE A2 also features high-quality movie recording at 544 x 408 pixels with audio at 30 frames per second, a resolution that looks great even when viewed on a TV screen. And the bundled video editing software turns users into movie makers.
|Sensor|| 2/3" Type CCD
8.0 million effective pixels
|Image sizes|| 3264 x 2448
2560 x 1920
2080 x 1560
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
|File formats|| RAW (12 bits per pixel)
JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
MOV (Motion JPEG)
|Quality levels|| Extra-Fine
|Movie clips|| 544 x 408, 15 / 30 fps, max
320 x 240, 15 / 30 fps, max 15 mins
640 x 480, time-lapse movie
Normal / Night Movie / Time lapse Movie
|Lens|| 7x optical zoom
28 - 200 mm equiv.
F2.8 - F3.5
16 elements in 13 groups (including 2 AD glass, 2 aspherical elements)
Manual mechanically linked zoom ring
Filter thread 49 mm
|Auto focus|| Video AF
3 Point Wide area / Spot focus area
Flex Focus Point in Spot focus area mode
|Focus modes|| Single
Subject tracking AF
Manual focus (3.3x magnifier during MF)
|Manual focus||Focus by wire ring at rear of lens barrel|
|AF assist beam||Unknown|
|Focus range|| Normal: W 0.5 m - Infinity,
T 2 m - Infinity
Macro (at wide): 21 - 51 cm (8.3 - 20 in) *
Macro (at tele): 13 - 50 cm (5.1 - 19.7 in) *
* From front of the lens
|Shooting modes|| Program AE (with shift)
|Scene modes|| Portrait
|Metering|| Multi-segment (300 segments)
Spot (center or with Flex Focus Point)
|Sensitivity equiv.|| Auto
|Exposure compen.|| -2.0 to +2.0 EV
0.3 EV steps
|Exposure bracketing|| Three images
0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
|Digital Enhanced bracketing|| Three frames
Contrast, Color saturation or Filter bracketing
|Shutter speed|| 30 - 1/4000 sec
Bulb (max 30 sec)
|AE lock||AE lock button or shutter release half-press|
|Noise reduction||User controllable (dark frame)|
|White balance|| Auto
Custom (3 memories)
|Color modes|| Natural Color (sRGB)
Vivid Color (sRGB)
Embedded Adobe RGB
Black and white (neutral and toned)
|Color spaces|| sRGB
|Image parameters|| Contrast
Sharpness (Soft, Normal, Hard)
|Self-timer||2 or 10 sec|
|Interval recording|| Frames: 2 - 240
Interval time: 30 sec, 1 - 10 min, 15 min, 20 min, 30 min, 45 min, 60 min
Start time: 0 - 24 hours in 0.5 hour increments
|Flash|| Manual pop-up
Control: ADI, Pre-flash TTL, Manual flash
Range (wide): 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft) - Auto ISO
Range (tele): 0.5 - 3.0 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft) - Auto ISO
Modes: Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction, Rear flash sync, Wireless/Remote flash
Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Recycle: 5 sec
|External flash|| Accessory shoe
Auto-flash metering with Program/Maxxum Flash 2500 (D), 3600HS (D), 5600HS (D), Macro Twin Flash 2400,* Macro Ring Flash 1200 *
*Macro Flash Controller is necessary. Non-dedicated off-camera flash units can be used using the camera's flash-sync terminal.
PC Sync terminal
|Flash sync||All shutter speeds|
|Continuous drive|| Standard: 1.8 fps (up to
High-speed: 2.7 fps (up to 3 frames)
UHS progressive drive (1280 x 960): 7 fps (up to 10 frames)
|Image parameters|| Contrast: 3 evels
Sharpness: 3 levels
Saturation: 3 levels
|Color modes|| Natural color
|Audio||Voice memo: Maximum 15 seconds monaural audio with still image|
|Print compliance|| Print Image Matching II
Exif Print (EXIF 2.2)
|Direct print||PictBridge compatible printers|
|Viewfinder|| EVF (Electronic viewfinder)
0.44" Type TFT, 922,000 pixels
Proximity auto switch between LCD and EVF
Dioptre: - 3.5 ~ +1.5 m-1
Eye relief: 19.5 mm at -1 m-1
Variable-position: 0 - 90º
|LCD monitor|| 1.8" TFT LCD, 113,000
100% frame coverage
Variable-position: -20 - 90º
|Storage|| Compact Flash Type I/II
|Power|| NP-400 Lithium-Ion rechargeable
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 (full speed)
PC Sync flash terminal
|Dimensions||117 x 85 x 114 mm (4.6 x 3.4 x 4.5 in)|
|Weight (no batt)||565 g (1.2 lb)|
|Standard accessories||Neck Strap NS-DG4000, Lens Cap (49mm) LF-1349, Accessory Shoe Cap, AV Cable AVC-400, USB Cable USB-500, DiMAGE Viewer, ULEAD Video Studio 7 SE, Lens Shade DLS-2, Lithium-ion Battery NP 400, Lithium-ion Battery Charger BC-400|
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
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