Minolta DiMAGE A1 Review
Record Display modes
The DiMAGE A1 offers a flexible range of live view display modes. The three default modes are accessed by pressing the i+ (display information) button, hold the Function button and press i+ to overlay the grid or scale displays.
Note: the live view image on the LCD monitor fills the entire monitor screen unfortunately when captured via video out the view is reduced (hence the small black border on some of the captures below).
|Standard: The standard view consists of the center AF bracket surrounded by various camera settings indicators.||Standard with histogram: In this mode the view is identical the standard view (above) with the addition of a live histogram.|
|AF frame: All of the overlaid information is removed leaving just the AF frame.||Live image only: No overlaid information and no AF frame.|
|Grid: (hold Function and press i+ to activate). This view removes any overlaid information but keeps the AF brackets and adds a 6 x 4 grid which can be useful for aligning the shot with scene elements.||Scale: (hold Function and press i+ to activate). displays two scale 'rulers' horizontally and vertically on the display. This could be useful for aligning subjects centrally within the frame.|
Below you can find examples of the live view in the different exposure modes available on the A1.
|Program AE||Program AE (aperture shifted)|
|Aperture Priority||Shutter Priority|
|Manual (animated example of the usefulness of a live histogram)||Portrait Scene mode|
|Auto exposure||Movie record mode|
Record exposure sequence
Here you can see an example of the live preview image on the LCD (or EVF) just prior to taking a shot, note the wide focus bracket in the center of the frame. Various settings information is displayed around the edges of the display (detailed earlier in this review).
Settings in this example: 2560 x 1920, FINE JPEG, Custom WB 1, ISO 100, Program AE, Segment metering, 1/30 sec, F3.5, +0.7 EV compensation, Macro focus, Single drive, 193 frames remaining.
Half-pressing the shutter release starts the cameras autofocus, once complete it locks along with metering system. In wide-AF mode (as above) the red rectangle indicates one of eleven AF points which the AF system has automatically selected as the focus point. If the camera can't focus it will show a red dot.
After fully depressing the shutter release a brief review (instant playback) is shown (this can be set to 2, 10 seconds or disabled). Press the QV/Delete button to cancel this image (do not save) or carry on shooting by quickly tapping the shutter release (half way).
|An example of spot AF mode, you can move the cross-hair to any one of thousands of possible locations. Once the cross-hair is in the required position a half-press of the shutter release will trigger AF.||An example of continuous AF, touching the grip sensor triggers AF, half-press the shutter release and the AF target will begin to track the subject focused.|
|Pressing the QV button gives a quick review playback of the last image shot, you can browse through images on the CF card by pressing the 4-way controller left or right. A half-press of the shutter release returns to shooting mode.||Once in QV mode pressing the 4-way controller up switches to this detailed exposure information and histogram. A new improvement is the ability to browse and magnify images in QV mode, Kudos.|
Manual focus / Direct Manual Focus
|This is the default manual focus view, the center frame indicates the view if you magnify (2x). Use the four way controller to move this 'region of interest' around the frame.||Press the magnify button to magnify the view by 2x. You can still use the four way controller to move the ROI.|
|Press the magnify button again to switch to an amazing (and incredible) 8x zoom view. As above, use the four way controller to move around the live view.||Here is an example of the view with DMF enabled, with the shutter release half-pressed you can adjust the focus by turning the dial|
Memory set / Memory recall
|Turn the function dial to MSET and press the function button to store the current setup in one of the five memories||Turn the mode dial to MR to recall one of the stored setups|
|Lake view night sky by purelightglow|
from Night Landscapes
|LOOKING UP IN THE CITY by tko|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture (rerun)
|Nature's Crowning Acheivment by Domenick Creaco|
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