Minolta DiMAGE S404 Review
Minolta appear to have addressed the slight blue cast we saw on S304 flash shots, skin tones and the overall white balance of flash shots appears warmer (towards red). Flash power metering also seemed fairly good. The S404 has no flash power output control.
Images re-saved to sRGB colour space [info]
The S404 allows a maximum exposure of 4 seconds in manual exposure mode, this can be extended to up to 60 seconds in Bulb mode, but of course that means holding the shutter release button down without shaking the camera. The results from the S404 were surprisingly noisey, although we'd expect a little more noise on the move from 3 to 4 megapixels I wasn't ready for this much. To get the most out of night exposures on the S404 you really would have to shoot your own dark frames and perform dark frame subtraction later.
|ISO 100, 4 secs, F3,4|
|ISO 100, Bulb (9 secs), F3.4|
|ISO 100, Bulb (14 secs), F3.4|
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Very little barrel distortion at wide angle and no measurable distortion at telephoto, an impressive performance for a compact four times optical zoom lens. The 0.8% barrel distortion is below what we would expect (around 1 - 1.1%). Kudos Minolta.
|Barrel Distortion, 0.8% @ wide angle||Pincushion Distortion, 0% @ telephoto|
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
The S404's lens exhibited hardly any chromatic aberrations, it was possible using our test chart to produce some very mild purple fringing but this really is minimal. Even in circumstances which would produce strong fringing of cameras with lesser lenses the S404 copes well. The shot below was about the only one I could find which had a hint of a purple fringe. More obvious is the white glowing 'blooming' effect.
Images re-saved to sRGB colour space [info]
|Very little evidence of chromatic aberrations in "every day" shots|
|Our now standard chromatic aberration test shot|
Overall Image Quality / Specific Issues
Overall the S404 managed to produce very nice, well balanced images. Indeed once you have run the "out of the camera" image through Minolta's Image Viewer Utility (to convert it to sRGB) colour reproduction is excellent, indeed as good as if not better than other cameras in this class. It's just a shame that you can't select sRGB colour space in-camera. Resolution can be described as medium to good, some of the S404's images can look a little soft compared to images from other four megapixel digital cameras.
Unfortunately the S404 suffered from the same AF problem as the S304 (and DiMAGE 5 & 7 before that). This is that sometimes although the camera will claim to have a good AF lock (a solid white AF dot on the LCD monitor) it had actual focused to a very close focus point which left the subject completely out of focus. The two shots below are a perfect example of this, after I took the first shot I noticed on the small LCD screen that it appeared to be soft so I took the shot again. As you can see the first shot was very badly out of focus (despite the fact that the camera had assured me of a good AF lock).
Images re-saved to sRGB colour space [info]
|Taken at 12:25:05||Taken at 12:25:09|
TIME Magazine has named the Sony a7R III one of its top 10 gadgets of 2017. It was the only camera that made the illustrious list this year, receiving high praise from TIME, who dubbed it "one of the best mirrorless cameras ever made."
Thanks to Google Assistant integration, the Pixel 2's AI-powered 'Google Lens' camera feature will soon be easier and quicker to use.
Photographer Jenna Martin and her model friend Rachelle Kathleen set themselves a challenge: could they create beautiful portraits in an 'ugly' location? So they went to a local Lowe's hardware store and gave it a go!
The LG V30 differentiates itself from the competition with an expansive video feature set and a secondary wide angle camera, making it something of a Swiss Army knife for content creators.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Holding down the top position is none other than the Nikon D850 – by a landslide.
It's been twenty years since Jeff Keller founded the Digital Camera Resource Page, one of the first websites dedicated to digital photography. Jeff, who has been at DPReview for nearly five years, looks back at the rise and fall of consumer digital cameras and his website.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At #2 we have another staff favorite – the Sony Alpha a9.
Rotolight has released the Anova Pro 2 circular LED for stills and video, boasting a 70% increase in brightness and what the company describes as "unrivaled battery performance."
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!