Minolta DiMAGE A1 Review
Lens barrel controls
On the left side of the camera behind and on the lens barrel are a variety of controls, these cover a range of camera settings and features thanks to two innovative (if initially awkward) function and effect dials. These are operated by turning the dial to the required setting, holding the central button and then turning the control dial (beside the shutter release) to change that setting's value.
The DiMAGE A1 has a very usable and wide zoom range. The lens goes from a wide 28 mm equiv. (perfect for architecture / real estate / landscapes / group shots) all the way up to an impressive 200 mm equiv. telephoto. The other nice thing about this particular lens is that the zoom ring is mechanically linked to the zoom mechanism, this means you can change focal length quickly and more precisely. It also has the added effect of making the camera feel more 'SLR like', the speed and accuracy advantages of this kind of mechanically linked zoom shouldn't be underestimated.
Buttons / Switches
|MACRO|| Macro focus mode
This lever enables the cameras macro focus mode. The DiMAGE A1 has two different macro focus positions, one at full wide angle and one at telephoto. You can only engage the macro lever when the arrow on the barrel is aligned with the arrow on the zoom ring. Note that at the telephoto end there is a small amount of movement available.
|Custom white balance
Press this button and a calibration square appears on the LCD monitor, keep it held for a second or so longer and the camera takes a custom white balance reading from a white subject within that square. This measurement can then be saved into one of the three custom white balance presets, it is then made immediately active. Kudos to Minolta, this is easy to use, quick and very effective.
|DRIVE|| Drive mode
Turn the front dial to select drive mode, turn the rear dial to select a sub setting.
Sensitivity (ISO equiv.)
Function button shortcuts
Hold the Function button and press one of the four buttons below for a shortcut to certain camera features.
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