Minolta DiMAGE 5 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The DiMAGE 5 is pretty fast, it has a large internal buffer and relatively quick response to user inputs. Noticeably fast are shot to shot times (with instant playback disabled). Start up time is also fairly quick (compared to some of the competition). The DiMAGE 5 is probably only let down by its lacklustre auto focus speed at mid - full telephoto.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Supplied CF card (Lexar 8x 16 MB) was used for timings. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 FINE JPEG image (approx. 1.1 MB per image).
|Power: Off to Record||4.1|
|Power: Off to Play||4.1||Image is displayed|
|Power: Record to Off||2.5|
|Power: Play to Off||2.2|
|Mode: Record to Play||2.3||Image is displayed|
|Mode: Play to Record||1.5|
|Play: Magnify||To x2.0||2.8||*1|
|Play: Browse delay||Delay between images||~0|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.7|
|Auto Focus LAG||Full wide angle (35mm equiv.)||0.9 - 1.5||Average - Fast *2|
|Auto Focus LAG||Full telephoto (250mm equiv.)||1.5 - 2.8||Slow *2|
|Auto Focus LAG||Full telephoto Macro||2.5 - 4.0||Slow|
|Shutter Release LAG||0.1||Fast|
|Total LAG||1.0 - 2.0||Fast to Average|
|Off to Shot Taken||6.9||Average|
|Shot to Shot||2048 x 1536 JPEG FINE||2.0||Very Fast *3|
|*1||Subsequent zoom levels take approximately half a second.|
|*2||At either wide angle or telephoto with sufficient light. If auto focus can't lock it may take up to a second longer before the red dot appears.|
|*3||Instant playback disabled, must wait for focus brackets to reappear before pressing shutter release otherwise shutter release is locked.|
Continuous drive mode
The table below shows the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames at a selection of image resolution / quality settings and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take the next shot. Storage card used for this test: Simpletech 512 MB CF Type II.
|Image Type||Frames per sec
||Max no. of frames||
|2048 x 1536 FINE||1.5 fps||12||2 sec|
|2048 x 1536 STANDARD||1.5 fps||24||2 sec|
|1600 x 1200 STANDARD||1.2 fps||63||2 sec|
|1280 x 960 STANDARD||1.2 fps||-||-|
|*1||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background"). Timings taken using the supplied Nikon branded SanDisk CF card.|
The DiMAGE 5 has a decent sized buffer but the 1.5 fps may be a little disappointing to some (who are expecting prosumer performance), that said drop the quality down to standard and you can still fire off 24 three megapixel images at 1.5 fps. Just as we observed with the DiMAGE S304 the DiMAGE 5 actually shot slower at lower resolutions (maybe the CPU cycles required to downsample the image).
Once we got down to 1280 x 960 STANDARD the JPEG file sizes were small enough to be transferred to the Compact Flash card without filling the cameras buffer, this means you can shoot at 1280 x 960 STANDARD (or smaller) until the card fills.
File Flush / Display Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the Compact Flash card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (shutter click was heard) and stopped when activity indicator LED beside the storage compartment went out. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". Supplied CF card (Lexar 8x 16 MB) was used for timings.
File size *4
on a 16 MB
Compact Flash card
|2048 x 1536||S.FINE TIFF *2||18.8||n/a||6,254 KB||1|
|2048 x 1536||RAW *2||14.3||n/a||9,273 KB||2|
|2048 x 1536||FINE||6.8||3.5||~1,580 KB||9|
|2048 x 1536||STANDARD||5.5||2.7||~810 KB||16|
|2048 x 1536||ECONOMY||4.6||2.2||~540 KB||26|
|1600 x 1200||FINE||6.1||2.6||~970 KB||15|
|1280 x 960||FINE||5.3||2.3||~700 KB||22|
|640 x 480||FINE||4.5||1.8||~250 KB||55|
|*1||Instant playback disabled. With instant playback enabled CF writing only starts once the playback image has been displayed, thus either 2 or 10 seconds after the image has been taken and processed.|
|*2||Screen is blank and camera is inoperative during writing period.|
|*3||The DiMAGE 5 displays all images almost instantly in 'browse' mode (pressing the 4-way controller left or right to view images), the only delay (actually reading the image) occurs if you press the magnify button. You can not magnify RAW or TIFF images.|
|*4||With JPEG it's difficult to predict the exact size of an image file because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (especially the amount of detail captured). For example, take a photograph of a fairly empty wall and you'll get a small JPEG, take a photograph of a bush with a lot of detail and you'll get a larger image. File sizes here are closer to the later, the larger size of file you should expect.|
We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
- Take 4 shots without flash
- Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
- Take 1 shot with flash
- Wait 1 minute
All batteries had been fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:
Prosumer / SLR-Like
|Battery||Power||Battery life||Number of shots|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 14 mins||125|
|Minolta DiMAGE 5||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 56 mins||195|
|Nikon Coolpix 5700||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 08 mins||215|
|Canon PowerShot S40||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 13 mins||225|
|Minolta DiMAGE S304||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 18 mins||235|
|Canon PowerShot S45||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 28 mins||240|
|Nikon Coolpix 4500||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 27 mins||250|
|Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z||NP-80||4.1 Wh||2 hr 29 mins||250|
|Nikon Coolpix 990||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 995||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 32 mins||260|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 33 mins||260|
|Canon PowerShot Pro1||BP-511A||10.2 Wh||2 hr 36 mins||265|
|Canon PowerShot S50||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Minolta DiMAGE S404||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Sony DSC-V1||NP-FC11||2.8 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Olympus C-7000 Zoom||LI-12B||4.5 Wh||2 hr 44 mins||280|
|Nikon Coolpix 8700||EN-EL1||5.0 Wh||2 hr 45 mins||280|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7i||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 46 mins||270|
|Olympus E-20||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 48 mins||285|
|Canon PowerShot G1||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 00 mins||300|
|Nikon Coolpix 5400||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||3 hr 06 mins||315|
|HP Photosmart 850||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 12 mins||325|
|Sony DSC-S75||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 15 mins||330|
|Nikon Coolpix 8800||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||3 hr 27 mins||350|
|Fujifilm FinePix S602Z||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 29 mins||350|
|Canon PowerShot G2||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 32 mins||355|
|Casio QV-4000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 38 mins||365|
|Olympus C-5050 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||380|
|Casio EXILIM EX-P700||NP-40||4.5 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||385|
|Sony DSC-S85||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 50 mins||400|
|Sony DSC-F717||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 02 mins||405|
|Pentax Optio 750Z||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 03 mins||415|
|Sony DSC-V3||NP-FR1||4.4 Wh||4 hr 05 mins||415|
|Nikon Coolpix 8400||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||4 hr 09 mins||420|
|Sony DSC-F707||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 20 mins||440|
|Fujifilm S7000 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||4 hr 23 mins||445|
|Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2||NP-400||11.1 Wh||4 hr 26 mins||450|
|Canon PowerShot G3||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 32 mins||455|
|Canon PowerShot G5||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 33 mins||460|
|Pentax Optio 550||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 36 mins||465|
|Minolta DiMAGE A1||NP-400||11.1 Wh||5 hr 02 mins||515|
|Leica Digilux 2||BP-DC1-E||10.1 Wh||5 hr 05 mins||515|
|Sony DSC-F828||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||5 hr 28 mins||540|
|Fujifilm FinePix S5000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||5 hr 31 mins||555|
|Canon PowerShot G6||BP-511A||10.3 Wh||5 hr 38 mins||570|
|Olympus C-8080 WZ||BLM-1||10.8 Wh||5 hr 52 mins||595|
|Other test notes:|
| LCD monitor is left on during
the battery test
The camera is powered off half of the time and left on half of the time (switch every 10 iterations)
There are now higher capacity AA NiMH batteries available, however in the interests of fair
comparison we will continue to use our 1600 mAh test set
The DiMAGE 5 did manage to last a little longer than the 7, but still short of the performance put in by similar prosumer 3 megapixel digital cameras. Just like the 7 the 5 did get noticeably warm at the rear of the camera around the Compact Flash compartment.
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