Conclusion - Pros

  • Good colour, good white balance under natural light
  • Ultra-compact size, light weight, "looks cool"
  • Metal body, solid feel, excellent build quality
  • Easy to use
  • Low noise in most images
  • Very fast performer, extremely fast startup, shot-to-shot and write times
  • Controls are easy to understand, record / play switch
  • Unique voice annotation feature (ability to take voice notes without an image)
  • Automatic lens cover
  • Supplied battery & charger / AC adapter
  • Average to good battery performance considering size and capacity
  • Good price point

Conclusion - Cons

  • Folded optics produces artifacts, soft images and reduced resolution
  • Vignetting of images shot between wide and mid-zoom focal lengths
  • Location of lens opening could lead to accidental blockage
  • Images have a 'video camera' look
  • No control over internal processing algorithms (colour, tone, sharpening)
  • Less than average white balance performance under artificial lights
  • Average low light auto focus
  • Flash white balance a little warm, uneven flash illumination
  • Doesn't memorize flash mode after power off
  • Difference between MMC and SD cards should be made clear in documentation

Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Minolta DiMAGE X: (2 megapixel ultra-compact)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8.5
Features 6
Image quality 7
Lens / CCD combination 6
Ease of use 8
Value for money 7

What a neat little camera, and it's got a 3x zoom to boot! The 'X' may well be one of the most innovative digital cameras to date, it's super-slim proportions, great looks and excellent startup times are just what we'd expect from a modern digital camera. It's so easy to use you can pick it up for the first time and start shooting. And look at the price, just $400 is really very good for this segment of the market. This ultra-compact was almost the best on the market.

Unfortunately you know what a stickler I am for image quality. Because at the end of the day that is what it's going to come down to, how the images look. Nobody is going to look at your latest photo of the kids and say "and what a cool looking camera you took it with!".

The X's images just don't live up to a modern compact / ultra-compact 2 megapixel, they're soft and have visible ghosting artifacts (probably from the prism mirror). Add to this my recent discovery of the quite visible vignetting and overall it's a bit of a disappointment.

Below Average

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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