Minolta Europe (and Japan) has announced the compact, DiMAGE E203. This 2 megapixel is a step up from the E201 as it adds a F2.8 - F4.6, 3x optical zoom lens. What's also significant about the E203 is its storage format. Unlike the E201 which has a Compact Flash slot, the E203 has an SD/MMC slot and is provided with an 8 MB SD card. Power comes from one CR-V3 Lithium or two AA batteries. As far as we know this camera will not be available in the US.

Minolta DiMAGE E203 specifications

Imager 1/2.7" 2.1 million pixels (2 million pixels effective)
Image sizes 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Image formats JPEG, AVI (movies)
Lens 3x zoom; 38 - 105 mm (as 35 mm equiv.)
F2.8 - F4.6
Lens construction 7 elements in 6 groups (extending)
Lens thread None
Focus distance Normal: 80 cm - Infinity (2.6 ft - Infinity)
Macro: 25 cm - 80 cm (9.8 in - 2.6 ft)
AF System Contrast detect
Digital zoom 1.5x, 2.0x
Sensitivity ISO 100 equiv.
Metering Center-weighted average, Spot
Exposure modes Auto (Program AE), Night portrait, Landscape / Night view, Macro, Self-timer
Exposure compen. +/-1.5 EV in 0.3 EV steps
White balance Automatic,4 presets
Shutter speed 2 sec - 1/2000 sec
Flash range Wide: 0.8 - 2 m (2.6 - 6.6 ft)
Tele: 0.8 - 3 m (2.6 - 9.8 ft)
Flash modes Auto, Red-Eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Flash cancel
Self Timer 3 or 10 seconds
Movie clips QuickTime Motion JPEG, 320 x 240 or 160 x 120
Viewfinder Optical (75% FOV)
LCD 1.5" TFT, 120,000 pixel
Storage SD (Secure Digital)/MMC Card, 8 MB card provided
Connectivity USB
Video Out None
Power 1 x CR-V3 Lithium battery or 2 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Dimensions 101 x 62 x 40 mm (4.0 x 2.4 x 1.6 in)
Weight (no batt) 286 g (10.1 oz)
Print compliance DPOF, EPSON Print Image Matching (PIM)
Accessories inc. Hand Strap, USB Cable, Memory Card, CR-V3 battery, CD-ROM, ArcSoft PhotoImpression

Press release:

Minolta DiMAGE E203

Small, Simple, and Versatile, 2.0 Million Pixel,* 3X Zoom Digital Camera

Minolta is pleased to introduce the DiMAGE E203, a compact digital camera with high-quality images, automated features, and versatile functions.

Not much bigger than a deck of cards, the DiMAGE E203 can easily find space in a bag, and anyone can capture great moments with point-and-shoot simplicity. The completely automated feature is further complemented by various shooting functions available with the press of a button: beautiful night portraiture, dynamic landscapes, macro images, or self-portraits. It is a fun and versatile camera bursting with features such as movie recording.

The 2.0 million pixel resolution and quality aspheric optics promise clear, crisp images. The 3X optical zoom and the 2X digital zoom bring distant subjects closer. Effortless operation is complemented by simple in-camera viewing and editing. For users with a little more experience, the camera allows for control over exposure, white balance, and image size.

Transferring images to a personal computer is just as easy with the supplied USB cable and the camera acting as a mass-storage device. Simply install the bundled photo-retouching software to manipulate the images to create impressive presentations limited only by imagination: personalized calendars, postcards, etc. Everyone will find the DiMAGE E203 is a fun, simple, compact, digital camera.

* 2.0 million as effective number of pixels. Total number of pixels is 2.1 million.

Main Features

The compact and versatile DiMAGE E203 can be taken anywhere and capture high-quality images easily.

Elegant, Pocket-Sized Body

The DiMAGE E203 is one of the smallest digital cameras that packs a 3X optical zoom with 2.0 million pixel resolution. The compact body fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, and slips easily into a pocket or purse. Measuring 101.5 (W) X 61.5 (H) X 35* (D) mm, the DiMAGE E203 is not much bigger than a deck of cards. The elegant body sports a cool, metallic silver accents.

* 35 mm excluding the lens when retracted. 40mm including the lens when retracted.

High-Quality Imaging

2.0 Million Pixels and High-Quality 3X Zoom Lens

Although compact, the DiMAGE E203 produces crisp, detailed images. The resolution of 2.0 million effective pixels delivers impressive 150 dpi printouts on A4 size paper. The high-quality optics brings out the best of the CCD. It includes two double-sided aspheric elements that minimize chromatic and spherical aberration, reproducing fine details.

3X Optical Zoom and 2X Digital Zoom

3X Optical Zoom

The versatile 3X optical zoom has a focal length range from 5.4mm to 16.2mm (approximately equivalent to a 35mm to 105mm lens in 35mm film format). It covers various shooting opportunities from expansive landscapes to candid snap shots and vivid portraits.

2X Digital Zoom

A distant subject can be brought even closer with the two step digital zoom: 1.5X and 2X. The 2X digital zoom doubles the effect of the optical zoom to give an equivalent of 210mm in a 35mm format, resulting in impressive images.

Simple and Easy to Use

Fully Automatic for Best Results --- Auto-Recording Mode

With the DiMAGE E203, capturing great pictures cannot be easier. Simply set the camera to the auto-recording mode, frame the picture, and press the shutter-release button; the autofocus and programmed autoexposure system, and automatic white balance control will accurately produce sharp, clear, colorful images. Under low-light conditions, the built-in flash fires automatically.

Beautiful Pictures with Easy to Access Shooting Modes

The flash modes and shooting modes offer possibilities over different shooting conditions. By simply pressing the mode button, users can select a setting that best suits the type of subject. Basic flash modes include autoflash, fill flash, red-eye reduction, and flash cancel settings. Landscape/night view mode makes it simple to capture dynamic landscapes, and spectacular night scenery. In night portrait mode, ambient light and flash exposure are balanced so that the subject is seen in a glittering background. Getting close to the subject is possible with the macro mode. From as close as 25 cm, an area of about 7 cm x 9cm can be captured as a full-frame image. Self-portraits are easy with the built-in self-timer.

Easy to Use

The DiMAGE E203 is easy to use. The combination of the easy-to-control four-way keys and simple menu screens offers easy camera setup. The 38mm (1.5 inch) TFT color monitor displays clear images with approximately 120,000 pixels. The camera can be powered by a long-life lithium battery, inexpensive, readily-available AA alkaline batteries, or rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. The recording media is a compact SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, a next-generation memory card being increasingly adopted in the digital applications such as cellular phones, and PDAs (personal digital assistants).

Quick and Simple PC Connection --- USB Mass Storage

The supplied USB cable allows quick and simple access to images. Simply plugging the USB cable between the camera and the computer enables the camera to be recognized as an external storage device; users can directly open image files, or drag and drop them into the computer's hard disk.

Fun to Use Software

Supplied with the DiMAGE E203 is the ArcSoft PhotoImpression 3.0 photo-retouching software. This easy to use software allows novices to use their pictures in many ways. The program provides simple but powerful retouching tools as well as effects to transform images beyond the ordinary.

Movie Recording

Not only can still images be made of important moments, but also the entire moment can be captured with the DiMAGE E203. 15 seconds of digital video can be recorded with a choice of two resolutions: 320 x 240 pixels or 160 x 120 pixels. The motion JPEG files can be sent to friends by e-mail or used to add spice to web pages.

Other Versatile Features

For Users with More Experience --- Multi-Function Recording Mode

Multi-function recording mode allows users greater control over camera images with a simple menu. The calculated camera exposure can be compensated by +/- 1.5 Ev's in 1/3 increments. The white balance can be matched to several light sources: daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, or flash. The spot-metering mode allows accurate exposures of a specific subject within the frame eliminating the influence of bright or dark areas in the scene. Black and white mode adds a touch of sophisticated or timelessness to images.

Viewing and Editing

Images can be viewed and edited directly on the camera's LCD monitor. The images can be viewed singularly or on a nine-image index display. For closer examination, a single image can be enlarged two times with the press of a button. The images can also be presented in an automated slide show. Deleting or locking images as well as formatting memory cards can be done quickly and easily on the camera.

Because the camera is supported by DPOF, images can be printed without the need of a computer. Simply create a print-order file on the camera and take the memory card to a photofinisher or service bureau to get it printed. Prints can also be made with DPOF-compliant printers.