PMA : Minolta's 5Mpixels SLR - More Infos/photos

Started Feb 10, 2001 | Discussions thread
Frances Veteran Member • Posts: 4,966


Dimâge 5
and Dimâge 7:
comes back in strength
on the

One waited for the answer of Minolta to ' Olympus E-10 (those that knew how to read between lines, in our test bed, had understood him). She/it arrives, biting, under the shape of two astonishing enough devices, the Dimâges 5 and 7.

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With these two “bridge - photoscopes”, Minolta hits a big stroke and comes to contest the supremacy of Olympus on this gap. On the outside, nothing permits to distinguish them, to part their acronym (Dimâge 5 and 7) and a discreet mention of the resolution in the face before (3,3 and 5 Mpixes respectively).

Before retailing their features, this “gémellité” deserves a word of explanation: the two devices benefit from the same objective, a zoom Apo x 7 f/2,8-3,5s of 7,2 to 50,8 mms of focal distance. Is this objective presented like an equivalent 28-200 mms with the Dimâge 7 and like an equivalent 35-250 mms for the Dimâge 5: by what sleight of hand?

Two resolutions and two… different diagonals!
Simple: enters the two devices, only the sensor changes.

Thus, the Dimâge 5 receives a sensor classic 3,34 Mpixes of Sony of which the diagonal lower-case letter of 1/1,8th of inch succeeds to focal distance indicated for this case.

The Dimâge 7, him, receives the new sensor Sony 3/8th of inch of 5 Mpixes: his/her/its stretched out diagonal allows him to offer an equivalent focal distance beach more appetizing for experts because finally having a true position big angle.

Crafty, of as much that this sensor, thanks to his/her/its more important diagonal, offer also of pixels of comfortable surface in spite of the elevated resolution: with 3,4 microns of side against 3,45 microns, the sensor 5 Mpixes should offer performances equivalent those of the 3,3 Mpixes in low light or with an elevated sensitivity (crucial point for the practiced users, of as much as the Dimâges 5 and 7 climb to the value, record in this category, of 800 ISOS!).

Evidently, to get good results without using all the encircles picture, an optics is necessary to the exceptional nosedive, from where the choice of an ambitious zoom Apochromatique Hyper EVF to performances announced like exceptional by the manufacturer.

Only one mechanical frame, only one objective to develop, an almost identical electronic circuit in the two cases, calling on the same calculators (DSP) and to the same afficheurses for the aim and the rear display: as many sources of economy for these photoscopeses upscale with which the amateur and the pro will have the choice between a presumably affordable product (around 10.000 FS?) with “only” 3,34 Mpixes (2.000 xes 1.600 pixels) or dearer but even reasonable (less than 15.000 FS) for the version 5 Mpixes (2.600 xes 1.900 pixels). The availability of mass of the Dimâge 7 is not assured however because of the difficulty to produce in big set the new sensor 3/8 Sonies that will remain rare enough in all probability on the market until the end of the year 2001!

Electronic aim!

The electronic sights “way camescope” hit again! Yet, rédhibitoires at Olympus (Camedia 2100), with difficulty acceptable at Cannon (ProShot 90), they could really begin to find a semblance of justification with this new Dimâges. The afficheur “TTL Hyper EVF” offer henceforth 230.000 pixels and one fashion “high resolution” N & commutable B to the demand (automatically by weak light), permitting a better appreciation of the cleanness: to when a testeur of field depth?

The commutation dorsal viseur/afficheur is automatic thanks to an Eye-Start of which Minolta has the secret! One evidently arranges a corrective dioptrique and one fashion “gnarl” but–even more astute–the sight is at will adjustable upwards until 90°: ideal for the macro, the studio… A pity that the LCD afficheur 2 inches are not, him also, adjustable like the one of the Cannon ProShot 90!
Flash: compatible Minolta multiflash

To the instar of their cousins argentiqueses of the Dynax set, the Dimâges 5 and 7 exhibit the claw flash proudly “of security” clean to the mark. Good news: compatibility is assured with flashes 5600/3600 HS-DS and with the new flash macro (to see following page). The device includes an independent proofreader for the lightning and the built-in flash pilots in auto - TTL multiflash without cords the compatible flashes with this function.

The system of exhibition is the one of all Minoltas “experts”: besides fashions classic PS, TO, S and M, one finds the programs Result (including one fashion sunset and one fashion text high resolution and high contrast), a key “Panic” of réinitialisation, a proofreader of exhibition, contrast and saturation and the memorization of AE-L exhibition.

The balance of the white is evidently auto or manual, by choice. All as the ISO regulating that can adjust thus to best to conditions of view hold (ambient light, type of topic), either automatically, either on demand. According to our information value maxi would be 800 ISOS: exceptional with this type of device generally limited to 400 ISOS… to best!

It is probably necessary there to see the profit of a DSP or numeric signal processor of which Minolta affirms that he is especially effective and will contribute to optimize returned it final of pictures, notably in the case of the flea 3,34 Mpixes a few disappointing side background noise in shades. His/her/its “nosedive” elevated will be exploited certainly to best by the die-hard - effective objective, apochromatique high resolution, attended by an autofocus himself very effective et/ou by a fine manual clarification thanks to the aim “reflex” commutable in N & B.


This same DSP manages functions appropriate under way of the device and autofocus that will be, according to Minolta, unusually fast for a photoscope of this type: “speed of reaction without precedent”, as good for the wakening of the device always ready to photograph that for autofocus multiplage (automatic selection either managed by him “clover” rear) fast and precise. A key of AF memorization completes the compatible device with the dynamic follow-up of the topic in continuous view hold (AF-C): has that is good omen, even though it is not necessary to be in ecstasies more on a characteristic adds all banal in world argentique!

It is not necessary to conclude this skimming of functions appropriate to the point without mentioning the automatic basculement key in manual clarification, insured by the metallic crown surrounding the basis of the objective, the zooming being gotten by rotation of a ring rubberized: ouf… one escapes it “power - zoom!” Other dawns strong: the position macro is gotten to the longest focal distance of the zoom, what facilitates the small objective lighting a lot thanks to a substantial frontal distance. Without speaking of bugs…

The other features are classic to this level of ambition: CompactFlash cards I type and II (compatibility insured with the MicroDrive IBM), USB interface and Pal-Secam video, take for release flexible filaire Minolta RC-1000 (compatible all cases argentiqueses), registration of sequences video, ergonomic survey taken care of with a case all compact and light metal and the direct access to the useful functions as the regulating of sensitivity, the AF, the gnarl, the stake to the trash can of a picture…

To the exit of a fast taken in hands of a device for the non functional hour (announced exit, to best, for May 2001), we can only salivate facing the consistency of the survey led by Minolta: the Dimâges announce themselves entry of game as products particularly succeed and pleasant to use, under reserve that this flipping LCD sight is finally a compatible sharpness with the verification of the picture cleanness!


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