Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Review
Compact Flash Compartment
The Compact Flash compartment is located in the side of the hand grip, the door is magnetically latched and made of a lightweight plastic (with a slightly stiffer hinge). Inside you'll find a CF Type II slot which is compatible with Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards (including the IBM Microdrive). Also in here is the USB terminal for direction to your PC / Mac.
Minolta has still done nothing to solve the problem of the strap eyelet ring getting caught in the CF compartment door. It's best to either leave the strap on the camera all the time or remove the eyelet ring altogether. Sony have a similarly located eyelet on the DSC-F717, however their ring is damped and doesn't drop down into the door.
The DiMAGE 7Hi's connectors are found in three locations. On the back of the camera behind a couple of rubber flange covers are the DC-IN (6V DC), Video Out (cable supplied) and the Remote Control terminal which is compatible with Minolta remote cable RC-1000L/S. Behind the Compact Flash compartment door is the USB terminal to be used with the supplied USB cable. On the left side of the camera just above the AF/MF button is the new PC Sync flash terminal which can be connected to studio, location or simply off-camera flash equipment.
The DiMAGE 7Hi uses the same 7x optical zoom "GT lens" we first saw on the DiMAGE 5/7. The lens provides a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 28 to 200 mm. It is constructed from 16 glass elements in 13 groups, 2 AD elements and 2 aspherical elements. Maximum aperture is F2.8 - F3.5. The pictures below show the lens without and then with the supplied DLS-7 hood and also a 'transparency diagram' of the length of the lens at full telephoto. This lens is unique among five megapixel digital cameras and provides an extremely useful 28 mm equiv. wide angle. Kudos.
Base / Tripod Mount
The DiMAGE 7Hi has a manual pop-up flash which is opened by flipping it out from its spring loaded closed position. This automatically enables flash mode and starts to charge the flash capacitor. The flash itself is rated as having a range of wide: 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft) and tele: 0.5 - 3 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft) (ISO 100). Flash modes available are Fill-in, Red-eye, Rear sync and Wireless. There are three selectable flash metering options: ADI metering uses subject distance and aperture to calculate flash power, pre-flash TTL uses a short pre-flash just before the main exposure to meter the scene, finally there is manual mode.
The built-in flash can sync up to 1/2000 sec.
Flash range at different sensitivities (from the DiMAGE 7Hi manual):
|Sensitivity||Flash range (wide angle)||Flash range (telephoto)|
|AUTO||0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft)||0.5 - 3.0 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft)|
|ISO 100||0.5 - 2.7 m (1.6 - 8.8 ft)||0.5 - 2.1 m (1.6 - 6.9 ft)|
|ISO 200||0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft)||0.5 - 3.0 m (1.6 - 9.8 ft)|
|ISO 400||0.5 - 5.4 m (1.6 - 17.6 ft)||0.5 - 4.2 m (1.6 - 13.8 ft)|
|ISO 800||0.5 - 7.6 m (1.6 - 25.0 ft)||0.5 - 6.0 m (1.6 - 19.6 ft)|
The flash hotshoe is compatible with Minolta Dynax / Maxxum system flashes and most probably third-party flash systems. Primarily it is fully compatible with the Program Flash 3600HS(D) and 5600HS(D) as well as the Macro Twin Flash 2400 and Macro Ring Flash 1200.
Just like the DiMAGE 7i the 7Hi supports wireless flash using the 5600 HS(D) or 3600 HS(D) flash units. Simply slide the flash onto the camera, set the camera to wireless flash mode and it will communicate with the flash unit, program itself to the correct wireless channel and configure the flash unit. The flash may then be removed and positioned up to 5 m (16.4 ft) from the camera and will be remotely trigged at the time of exposure.
Supplied in the box
|Macro Ring Flash
|Macro Twin Flash
Set II (flash not included)
|External Battery Pack
EP-1, EP-2 (for flash unit)
|PC Flash Adapter
Other accessories (no pictures)
- 49mm Circular Polarizing Filter I & II *
- AC Adapter AC-1L
- External battery pack
- Li-Ion battery NP-100
- Battery Pack Case BH-100
- Li-Ion battery charger BC-100
- Compact Flash Modem (!)
- Compact Flash Cellular Adapter (!)
* At wide angles may vignette
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