Minolta DiMAGE A1 review
I have bought mine recently and obviously used, to have alongside my KM 7D and film Dynax 5L. At first I thought there was a problem with it as it was displaying some oblique vertical scanlines. As the hours passed, the lines disappeared. I did think this may have been one of the models affected by Sony's CCD recall but since the lines were gone and haven't come back yet, I guess all is well.
I believe the camera was probably not switched on for quite a long time. Well what can I say about this camera:
*This camera is probably one of the fastest compacts in operation still today. The AF is brilliant and write speeds are very improved after firmware upgrade (mine had 1.01 and I upgraded to 1.13u), but they are still fast without.
*Wealth of controls and easy access to them via knobs and buttons (many people don't like the knobs and buttons and say this is a choice for kids,well I bet those are the ones that waste time in situations delving into menus while the action is passing in front of their eyes)
*The GT lens: little to no chromatic aberration, good zoom range and relatively fast.
*Works with my Sigma Super ST DG ADI flash wirelessly and at high speed (but not in consecutive shots)
*Very good EVF and LCD, both tiltable, opens up tottally new photographic opportunities
*Grip sensor activates Full-Time AF so it locks on targets even faster as soon as you raise it to the eye
*Lots of detail captured in its 5MP images, very colour accurate, can be easily toned up if you wish without over saturating.
*Tremendous battery life (uses NP-400 batteries)
*Anti-Shake (goes without saying).
All in all, this camera is very very good, offering near DSLR performance in a smallish package with zoom lens range to match.
I am in general very satisfied with it and proud to have a nice piece of Minolta history and quality.
As for the negatives:
*Noise - Even though images are quite clean at ISO100-200 (exhibiting a little noise in dark areas), ISO400 is just usable, 800 don't even go there (after all it's a small sensor and a CCD realistically nobody can expect miracles given these 2 factors, want better, go DSLR)
*Artifacts in JPEG images
*Shallow consecutive shot depth (3 JPEG at 2 or 3fps or 5 RAW)
I can't think of much at the moment, but these negatives are barely a small scratch in the Dimage A1's shiny armour. What the camera offers you in terms of image quality and performance outweighs by 10 tons these.
If you can get one in good to mint condition these days, get it, you won't regret it.
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