Minolta DiMAGE 7 Review
Lens barrel controls
On the left side of the camera (on the "lens barrel") are a variety of controls, these cover the majority of camera settings and features thanks to two innovative (if initially awkward) function and effect dials. These are used by turning the dial to the required setting, holding the central button and then turning the control dial (beside the shutter release) at the same time to change that setting's value.
Minolta have to be commended for providing such a wide focal length range. The ability to go from a very wide (for a digital camera) 28 mm through to a nice usable 200 mm telephoto is probably one of the DiMAGE 7's biggest assets (as well as its 5 megapixel CCD). I'm also a big fan of mechanically linked zoom rings (a ring which physically moves the lens elements), they offer the fastest and most accurate zoom control. My only gripe with the D7's zoom ring was that it seemed quite stiff, feels like plastic rubbing against plastic (this could simply require some 'breaking in').
Buttons / Switches
Focus / Manual Focus
Exposure Modes (Settings Dial in PASM position)
Program Auto Exposure (with Program Shift)
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
Wide: F2.8, F3.5, F4, F4.5, F5.6, F6.7, F8
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.7, 0.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/15, 1/20, 1/30, 1/45, 1/60, 1/90, 1/125, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000 sec
Full Manual Exposure
Here's an interesting note from the DiMAGE 7 manual about the available aperture range:
"For 35mm photographers, an aperture range of f/ 2.8 to f/ 8 does not seem impressive. However, because of the CCD size and the actual focal length of the lens, the apertures on this digital camera give significantly more depth of field at any given angle of view with any given aperture than a 35mm camera. So even with the minimum aperture of f/ 8, the depth of field will give the coverage needed to create beautiful, sharp images."
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