Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Review
What a difference a colour can make. The DiMAGE 7Hi looks far better in black, gone is the slightly 70's silver body replaced with a matt black finish with a mottled effect paint. Other than the colour and an improved rubber grip there is only one other external difference and that is the addition of the PC Sync flash terminal on the left side of the camera above the AF/MF button. Overall the 7Hi feels much more like a professional tool, the black metal body, rubber grip and manual zoom ring adding to the overall feeling of much improved quality.
Side by side
Here we can see three five megapixel digital cameras which mark the top of each manufacturers prosumer range. The DiMAGE 7Hi (7x wide angle optical zoom, $1300) beside the Sony DSC-F717 (5x optical zoom, $1000) and Nikon Coolpix 5700 (8x optical zoom, $1200). Stiff competition but there's no doubting the 7Hi has a much richer feature set and can now at least keep up with these cameras from a looks and ergonomics point of view.
Minolta picked up on my comment about the 7i's hollow plastic hand grip, the 7Hi now has a soft rubber hand grip which not only helps to provide better stability but also makes the camera feel more professional.
Top status LCD 'data panel'
The status LCD on the top of the camera is a good size and provides plenty of detail about current camera settings, available storage space and exposure information.
The LCD has a backlight which automatically comes on if you half-press the shutter release in a dark environment, the camera appears to use the metered light value to determine whether or not to use the backlight.
A diagram indicating all possible status LCD settings is shown below.
Diagram reproduced from the DiMAGE 7Hi manual.
Rear LCD Monitor
The DiMAGE 7Hi's 1.8" LCD has a good matte anti-reflective coating, it's also set back from its surround which saves it from 'nose smear'. Unlike the original DiMAGE 7 the 7Hi's display is sharp clear and easy to see.
The DiMAGE 7Hi's LCD monitor provides a 100% frame view.
One thing the DiMAGE 5/7 series do very well is maintain an image on either the LCD monitor or EVF in low light situations. They automatically increase CCD sensitivity (for video display purposes) to continue to provide a bright image, in extremely low light it will push sensitivity one more step and switch to a black and white view to provide an image in almost completely dark situations.
A diagram indicating all possible LCD monitor (or EVF) information overlay is shown below.
|a. Flash mode indicators||o. Camera sensitivity (ISO) display|
|b. Flash signals||p. Manual focus indicator|
|c. Mode indicator||q. Focus signals|
|d. Flash compensation display||r. Frame counter|
|e. Sharpness display||s. Drive mode indicators|
|f. Contrast compensation display||t. Macro mode indicator|
|g. Color saturation compensation display||u. Battery condition indicator|
|h. Exposure compensation display||v. Image quality indicator|
|i. White balance indicators||w. Image size indicator|
|j. Exposure mode/ Digital subject program indicators||x. Digital zoom (Electronic magnification) indicator|
|k. Metering mode indicators||1. Focus frame|
|l. Shutter speed display||2. Spot metering area|
|m. Aperture display||3. AF sensors|
|n. Camera shake warning||4. Flex Focus Point|
Diagram reproduced from the DiMAGE 7Hi manual.
Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
The DiMAGE 7Hi uses the same 'Ferroelectric LCD' used on the DiMAGE 7 and 7i. This type of display is capable of producing full 24-bit colour at each pixel location. However, as the EVF only has 71,000 pixels of resolution it means that the image can look more blocky than other electronic viewfinders (notably the excellent unit used on the Sony DSC-F717, Fujifilm S602 Zoom and Nikon Coolpix 5700).
Another annoyance I found with this viewfinder is softness of the corners of the frame, with the center pin sharp the corners are blurred. On a positive note however Minolta appear to have addressed the hue difference between the LCD and EVF which I identified in the 7 and 7i reviews, the only noticable difference now is that the EVF produces more saturated colour than the LCD.
The EVF also has two other unique features, firstly it can be tilted through 90 degrees, and so can be used easily from above. Secondly it has a proximity sensor which allows the camera to automatically switch from the LCD to the EVF (or just switch the EVF on or off) when your eye meets the viewfinder eyepiece. There is also some dioptre adjustment.
The battery compartment is mounted horizontally on the left side of the camera directly below the CCD imager and LCD. The compartment is held closed by a latch, flip it up and the door pops open to reveal four AA battery slots. The compartment door and latch are made of plastic. Minolta includes a Sanyo branded AA battery charger and four 1850 mAh batteries.
|Montréal Dépaneur Out of Business DP by MarioSS|
from Your City - Out of Business
|Wish You Were Here by Dutch Newchurch|
from Street musician playing
|Flight of a Puffin by cjf2|
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.
Photographer Josselin Cornou tells the breathtaking story behind two beautiful photos captured while snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga.
The Sony RX10 IV is a fixed lens camera with a 1"-type sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens that can shoot 4K video or stills at 24 fps, but that's not what we think is interesting about it. The addition of phase detection autofocus is pivotal to all those features.
The announcement date is set! Google will reveal their next generation Pixel phones—their response to Apple's shiny new iPhone X—on October 4th. Let the smartphone camera wars begin.
Sony just debuted three palm-style 4K camcorders that steal a bit of speedy phase detect autofocus technology from the company's RX10 IV. In fact, they kind of improve on it.
Earlier today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn's atmosphere, ending a 20 year long mission. Here are 21 of our favorite photographs captured by this incredible machine and its makers.
Fans of film photography should keep an eye out for the widespread theatrical release of Kodachrome, a movie staring Jason Sudeikis about the final days of the iconic film stock.
Photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down the pros and cons of shooting natural light vs off-camera flash, and explains why he chooses to shoot one, the other, or both in any given situation.
A leaked product page and a bunch of leaked photos shows Profoto is preparing to release its first ever speedlight: the Profoto A1 Air TTL
The Yashica camera brand disappeared in 2003, but a new teaser video and website hint at a comeback. Excited?
Western Digital just debuted a new, higher capacity WD Gold internal hard drive. The new drive offers 12TB of storage and class-leading reliability to the tune of a 550TB/year workload rating.