Minolta DiMAGE Viewer 2.20 (contd.)

RAW vs. JPEG (Scene)

All crops shown below are from a 120 x 90 area of the image magnified 200%.

RAW (.MRW) (click below for re-saved JPEG) JPEG Extra Fine (.JPG)

It's clear that the Bayer interpolation method used in the RAW converter differs slightly from that used in-camera. We can see interpolation 'dot' errors around the minutes ring of the watch face in both the RAW and JPEG crops, however they are definitely more visible in the RAW image. In addition it appears as though the camera is doing more noise reduction than the RAW converter, as can be seen in the last crop.

RAW vs. JPEG (Resolution)

All crops shown below are from a 240 x 180 area of the image shown at 100%.

RAW (.MRW) (click below for re-saved JPEG) JPEG Extra Fine (.JPG)

Here things get very interesting, the DiMAGE A1's in-camera Bayer interpolation / image processing / sharpening algorithms appear to have an odd problem which leads to strange artifacts all over the resolution chart, this is indeed affecting available resolution in JPEG mode and this is something we will explore in a little more detail in the Photographic tests section of this review.

Resolution comparison:

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Minolta DiMAGE A1
Horizontal LPH * 1300  * 1450 
Vertical LPH * 1150  * 1450 
5° Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Minolta DiMAGE A1
Horizontal LPH 1400  * 1600 
Vertical LPH 1300  * 1500 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 

* Moiré is visible, + Chart maximum, # Jagged diagonals

Minolta DiMAGE Capture (optional)

Minolta now have a new DiMAGE option available in DiMAGE Capture. This software allows you to control the DiMAGE A1 remotely from a PC in a 'tethered' operation, all camera controls are available from the computer and images are captured directly back to the computer's hard disk.

Main Window

Below you can see an example of the DiMAGE Capture window just before capture, the image at the top left is a live view feed from the camera, it reacts immediately to changes in capture settings. Below this is a summary data display including a live histogram. To the right are the capture settings split into three categories, and directly below this the focus mode selector. The large round button with the green surround is the shutter release, simply hover your mouse over this button to initiate auto focus, once an AF lock is achieved the selected AF point is indicated on the live view.

The capture settings are split over three pages, they provide access to all camera settings and functions (apart from zoom which is of course mechanically linked). As noted above setting changes are applied to the camera immediately and the live view changes to reflect the adjustment.