PMA 2003: Minolta has today announced the direct successor the the F100 (and you thought it was the F300!), the new four megapixel DiMAGE F200. Interestingly the F200 has a different layout than the F100 or F300 with rubberized strips and relocated controls, levers and displays. "The compact body borrows the fine soft curves and intersecting planes of its predecessors, and adds distinctive rubberized grips and a new control layout. The rich aluminum exterior reflects the quality of the design. The camera is available in two colors: silver and indigo."

Press Release:

The new 4.0 megapixel DiMAGE F200

Osaka, Japan, January 27th, 2003: The DiMAGE F200 is a stylish 4.0 megapixel camera that can go anywhere you do. The sophisticated automatic functions make photography simple, and the 4.0 megapixel CCD, Minolta GT lens, CxProcess, and 12-bit A/D conversion ensures beautiful images. The new F200 is also packed with functions that allow total control over image making. But this unique digital camera is not limited to capturing still images; it can also make digital audio and video recordings. The DiMAGE F200 is a powerful, easy-to-use digital camera.

The DiMAGE F200 is striking, the perfect complement to any lifestyle. The compact body borrows the fine soft curves and intersecting planes of its predecessors, and adds distinctive rubberized grips and a new control layout. The rich aluminum exterior reflects the quality of the design. The camera is available in two colors: silver and indigo.

With the lens retracted, the DiMAGE F200 is 11cm wide, 5.3cm high, and 3.2cm deep (4.4 (W) X 2.1 (H) X 1.3 (D) in.) and weighs only 185g (6.5 oz). The camera is the most unobtrusive companion; just slip it into a pocket or small bag each time you go out.

Increased and expanded performance makes the DiMAGE F200 easy to use. Improvements to both hardware and software increase the response and versatility of the autofocus systems.

The DiMAGE F200's improved Subject Tracking AF follows a subject through three-dimensional space as naturally as seeing and can be used with Area AF or Focus Area Selection. When combined with Area-AF, simply press the shutter-release button partway down and the camera evaluates the objects in the extra-wide focus frames and automatically locks onto the subject. If the subject moves, Subject Tracking AF will adjust the focus to ensure a sharp image; the active AF sensor is displayed in the focus frames and will follow the subject movement. No complicated procedures to lock the focus on off-center subjects are necessary. Simply point the camera at the scene and the autofocus systems do the rest. When Subject Tracking AF is combined with Focus Area Selection, the photographer can select a specific subject and the camera will then follow the movement of that subject.

The new Auto Rotate function eliminates the need to keep turning the camera sideways when playing back images. Vertical shots will be correctly oriented when viewing images on the camera or a television monitor.

In the past, photographers always had to make time-consuming manual adjustments as the subject and shooting environment changed. The DiMAGE F200's improved Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection analyzes the shooting conditions and selects among five subject programs and programmed AE to optimize the camera's exposure, white-balance, and image-processing controls. The five subject programs cover common and specialized shooting conditions and can be selected manually:

- Portrait: optimized to reproduce warm, soft skin tones and a slight defocusing of the background.
- Sports action: to make clear, sharp images of fast moving subjects.
- Landscape: optimized to take sharp images of expansive scenes.
- Sunset: optimized to reproduce rich, warm sunsets.
- Night portrait: the flash and ambient exposures are balanced to reveal the night scene behind the subject.

Unlike the extreme sensitivity of the human eye, low light levels have always limited photographic systems. Displaying a bright monitor image for composing and evaluation in these conditions is a challenge because of the exposure limitations of the monitor frame rate. Automatic monitor amplification adjusts monitor gain so a color image is visible under less than ideal lighting conditions.

Digital video also suffers from the same exposure problems. The DiMAGE F200's improved Night Movie mode is able make color recordings under these same conditions.

Employing the technology from the top-of-the-line DiMAGE 7Hi, the F200's high-precision electro-optical system is designed to maximize image quality. The system is built around a 4.1 megapixel 1/1.8-type interline primary-color CCD with 4.0 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. This pixel resolution will produce B4 size 150dpi prints or A5 size photo-quality prints.

Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, and 12-bit A/D conversion guaranties the image from the CCD will faithfully reproduce the scene. With billions of colors and 4,096 levels in each color channel, images possess almost lifelike color and detail. Color is critically controlled to prevent objects from appearing over-saturated in the image while remaining vibrant; the warmth of the human complexion or the rich subtleties of green foliage will be rendered as clearly as they were perceived. Contrast is regulated to bring out a luminous quality in the mid-tones and highlights, and to strengthen and enrich the shadows.

The DiMAGE F200's Minolta GT lens is a marvel of optical design. The sophisticated eight-element, seven-group design is only 24mm long, less than an inch, when retracted. With a focal range of 7.8mm to 23.4mm, it is equivalent to a 38mm to 114mm 35mm zoom lens. It can range from wide angle for landscapes and interiors to telephoto for intimate portraits and details of distant landmarks. The 3X optical zoom employs three aspheric elements to ensure sharp, contrasty images at all focal lengths.

Dark noise, an ever-present problem in electronic systems, manifests itself by giving a grainy or sandy appearance to images taken with long exposures. DiMAGE F200 combats this with a selectable noise-reduction function, which automatically activates for exposures of one second or longer.

The DiMAGE F200 not only has sophisticated automatic technology to produce beautiful images effortlessly, but also it has been given an array of creative tools. Whether you want to capture the moment without having to worry about camera settings, or to control the image-making process to realize your inspiration, the DiMAGE F200 has what you need.

The controls over exposure are amazing. The DiMAGE F200 has three metering modes: multi-segment, center-weighted, and spot. Multi-segment metering uses 256 segments to determine exposure. Four exposure modes are available: program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. 15-second bulb exposures can be made in manual exposure. Camera sensitivity can be set to auto or to one of four ISO equivalent levels: 100, 200, 400, or 800.

White balance controls how the camera interprets the color of the ambient lighting. Auto white balance compensates for changes in lighting automatically. Four preset white-balance settings, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, and fluorescent, can be selected for specific light sources. And for critical control over color, the custom setting allows the camera to be calibrated to the lighting conditions at the scene. All the camera's white balance controls are available for movie recording.

The color mode switches between Natural Color, Vivid Color, black and white, and Sepia. Natural Color preserves the actual colors of the scene and Vivid Color accentuates them. Black and white creates a neutral monochrome image whereas the new Sepia mode gives the classic appearance of toning in old photographs.

DiMAGE F200's digital zoom seamlessly takes over from the maximum focal length of the optical zoom without interrupting the monitor image. The digital zoom can extend the optical zoom's performance by four times in 0.1X increments giving the F200 an equivalent a 456mm lens on a 35mm camera. The combined optical and digital zooms give this compact camera an amazing 12X zoom range.

As well as the sophisticate Area AF and Subject Tracking AF system, the camera can be manually focused. During manual focus, the monitor image is automatically enlarged so image sharpness can be judged.

The DiMAGE F200 is not limited to recording still images, and new movie recording features expand its digital video capabilities. Two image sizes can be selected: 160 X 120 pixels and 320 X 240 pixels. The length of XR (Extended Recording) movie clips is only limited by the memory card capacity. The new Direct Video function allows the camera to be connected directly to a VHS or DVD recording deck; the only limit to recording is the length and speed of the tape or the capacity of the DVD. Direct Video uses both the NTSC and PAL format.

Two copy functions allow image files to be duplicated in camera. An improved E-mail Copy function allows a still image to be copied and resized to 640 X 480 or 160 X 120 pixels so that it may be attached to an e-mail message or posted on the Internet. The standard copy function makes a direct copy of a file onto the same or another memory card.

Audio signals are used to make positive confirmation of button settings. A shutter sound effect accompanies the release of the shutter. As well as the electronic and mechanical shutter sounds, a personalized shutter effect can be recorded using the camera's built-in microphone.

Thoughts and comments can be recorded with or without a still image. The audio recording mode records up to 180 minutes of audio. Voice memo allows up to 15 seconds of audio to be attached to an image when it is captured. The audio-caption function can attach an audio track to any recorded still-image. The audio tracks can be played back in the camera.

The DiMAGE F200 control layout has been completely redesigned. A separate zoom lever is placed behind the shutter-release button for simple operation of the 3X optical zoom. The five-key controller array is located next to the LCD monitor and is used for setting camera functions. A rounded rubberized grip is on the front of the body, and a rubber pad is placed on the back for sure handling.

A large built-in memory gives the DiMAGE F200 its responsiveness. During playback, still images are loaded in less than 0.2 seconds regardless of resolution and file type, and movie clips can be rewound and fast forwarded quickly.

With sophisticated automatic functions, a 4.0 megapixel CCD, Minolta's CxProcess, and 12-bit A/D conversion, beautiful photography has never been so simple. Whether you want total control over image making, or the ability to make audio and digital video recordings, the F200 has the tools. The Minolta DiMAGE F200, a powerful, easy-to-use digital camera that can go anywhere you do.

Minolta DiMAGE F200 specifications

Sensor 1/1.8" 4.1 megapixel CCD (12 bit ADC)
Effective pixels 4.0 megapixel
Image sizes

 • 2274 x 1704
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 640 x 480

Image quality  • Super-Fine (TIFF)
 • Fine (JPEG)
 • Standard (JPEG)
 • Economy (JPEG)
Lens 3x optical, 38 - 114 mm equiv., F2.8 - F4.7
Lens construction 8 elements in 7 groups
Focus range Normal: 50 cm (1.6 ft) - Infinity
Macro: 20 - 60 cm (7.8 - 23.6 in)
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4.0x in 0.1x increments
Focus modes  • Auto focus: Subject tracking AF, Single shot AF, Full-time AF
 • Manual focus
Focus areas  • Wide focus area (Area AF)
 • Spot focus area with focus area selection
ISO sensitivity  • Auto
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
Metering  • 256 Multi-Segment
 • Center-weighted
 • Spot
White Balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Cloudy
 • Manual preset
Exposure modes  • Program AE
 • Aperture Priority
 • Shutter Priority
 • Manual Mode
 • Subject modes
Subject modes  • Auto: Portrait, sports action, landscape, sunset, night portrait
 • Manual: Portrait, sports action, landscape, sunset, night portrait, macro
Shutter speed  • Auto: 4 - 1/1000 sec
 • Manual / shutter-priority: 15 - 1/1000 sec & Bulb (max 15 secs)
Exposure compensation +/2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Flash modes  • Auto
 • Auto & Red-Eye reduction
 • Fill Flash
 • Off
Flash range (Auto ISO)  • Wide: 0.5 - 3.4 m (1.6 - 11.2 ft)
 • Tele: 0.5 - 2.0 m (1.6 - 6.6 ft)
Flash compensation +/2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Drive modes  • Single shot
 • Continuous (approx 1.5 fps)
 • Continuous UHS (1280 x 960)
Exposure bracketing 0.3 EV, 0.5 EV or 1.0 EV increments
Movie modes  • 160 x 120, 15 fps, 20 mins max *
 • 320 x 240, 15 fps, 3 mins max *
 * Depends on writing speed of storage card
Audio recording  • Voice memo: 5 or 15 seconds with each still image
 • Audio caption: 15 seconds max with each still image
 • Audio recording: 180 minutes max
Colour modes  • Natural
 • Vivid
 • B&W
Sharpness setting  • Soft
 • Normal
 • Hard
Digital Effects control  • Contrast (3 levels)
 • Saturation (3 levels)
 • Sharpness (3 levels)
 • Color modes (Natural, Vivid, B&W)
Noise reduction User selectable
Playback modes  • Single image
 • Magnify (up to 5x)
 • 9 thumbnails (3 x 3)
 • Exposure information
Viewfinder Optical, no dioptre adjustment
LCD monitor 1.5" 110,000 pixel
Storage SD/MMC card (16 MB SD included)
Power  • 2 x AA batteries (NiMH supplied) or
 • 1 x CR-V3 Lithium battery
Charger 4 x AA battery charger and NiMH batteries supplied
Remote control Yes, IR optional
Connectivity  • DC in
 • USB 1.1(supports Direct-Print)
 • A/V out
Compliance  • USB Direct-Print
 • Print Image Matching
 • ExifPrint (EXIF 2.2)
 • DCF 1.0
Misc.  • Image copy (copy one image from a one card to another)
 • E-mail copy (creates a compressed VGA JPEG for transmission)
Dimensions 111 x 52 x 32 mm (4.3 x 2.1 x 1.3 in)
Weight (no batt) 185 g (6.5 oz)
Standard Accessories Hand Strap HS-DG100, AV Cable AVC-200, USB Cable USB-500, 16 MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, CR-V3 lithium battery, four Ni-MH batteries, Ni-MH battery charger, sports case, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM, ArcSoft Funhouse CD-ROM
Optional Accessories AC Adapter AC-6, IR Remote Control RC-3, Metal Chain Neck Strap NS-DG100