Articles tagged "konica-minolta"

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17 years after releasing its last camera, Konica Minolta kills off its customer service repair center

It's been nearly two decades since a camera with the Konica Minolta branding was released, but its customer service and repair center has still been up and running. Or, it was, until yesterday, when it was announced it would be shutting down.

Film Fridays: Konica Hexar RF review

Is the Konica Hexar RF a suitable replacement for the Leica M7, especially for those craving an automated M-mount rangefinder? 35mmc's Hamish Gill has the answers.

Throwback Thursday: Minolta DiMAGE X

There were many 'races' in the compact camera market back when they were selling like hotcakes. One of them was just how small a camera could be. One of those mini-cameras was the Minolta DiMAGE X, the subject of this week's Throwback Thursday. Read more

Konica Minolta withdraw from camera business
This has to be the biggest and most shocking news before the upcoming PMA show, Konica Minolta has today announced that it is withdrawing from the camera and photo business. They will be transferring assets related to their camera business to Sony who will continue to develop digital SLR's based around the Konica Minolta lens mount. Konica Minolta it appears will continue to work with Sony (a relationship announced last year) in the development of digital SLR's and lenses but they will not be branded as or be sold by Konica Minolta. Full announcement and details of the Sony asset transfer inside.
Konica Minolta updates for A1 and A2

Konica Minolta has announced firmware updates for the five megapixel Dimage A1 and the eight megapixel A2. Version 1.1.3 (A1) and 1.1.4 increases the writing speed of the memory card and USB transfer speed. The A1 was first announced in August 2003, making it over two years old and its predecessor, the A2, was launched in February the year after. Both cameras feature an Anti-Shake CCD, whereby the CCD is stabilized, rather than the lens element, which is designed to counteract camera shake.

Konica Minolta issues CCD alert
Konica Minolta has now issued a 'product alert' for several of its cameras that were manufactured between October 2002 and March 2004. The problem is the same one affecting all cameras that use Sony CCDs. A manufacturing error with the CCD affects the live and recorded image causing blurry and unnaturally-colored images. The affected models include the Dimage 7i, 7Hi (pictured), A1, Xi, Xt, X20, S414 and F300. Konica Minolta will repair all models with the defective CCD free of charge.
No Konica Minolta DCs for Canada
Konica Minolta has announced that it will stop selling digital cameras in Canada and cease operations in that market with immediate effect. The company will only continue to provide film, single use cameras and inkjet paper in Canada, which will be available from new distributor Phototrader Inc. Konica Minolta is considering selling cameras through Phototrader's website, but nothing has been confirmed. The company announced plans to liquidate a wholly-owned Canadian unit at the beginning of last month and said it would not affect its financial forecast.
Konica Minolta to liquidate Canadian unit
Konica Minolta has decided to liquidate a wholly-owned Canadian unit that sells digital cameras because of stiffer competition. The Japanese company says the closure will not affect its forecast for the financial year end in March 2006. The Canadian unit is valued at around CA$5.66m (US$4.76m). Konica Minolta said that it will seek partners who can distribute its cameras in Canada.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6
Konica Minolta has today announced its latest Z series digital camera, the new DiMAGE Z6. The Z6 follows on from the Z5, it features a six megapixel CCD sensor (on Konica Minolta's unique Anti-Shake platform), twelve times optical zoom lens and a two inch LCD monitor. Other than a slight increase to six megapixels the Z6 also features improved battery life. This expands the choice in the ever growing compact-long-zoom segment of the market, buyers can now choose from five, six or eight megapixel, twelve times optical zoom digital cameras all with image stabilization. The Z6 should be available in mid-September with a street price of around $399.
Konica Minolta AF 35 mm F1.4G (D) lens
Konica Minolta has today announced the development of a new prime lens; the AF 35 mm F1.4G (D). Despite being announced today this lens won't be released until 'Spring 2006' which we read to mean sometime after PMA. Note that this lens is the sucessor to the current AF 35 mm F1.4G. On a Maxxum 5D / 7D digital SLR this lens would produce an equivelant field of view of a 52.5 mm lens on a 35 mm film camera. Konica Minolta also note that this lens can still be used on 35 mm film SLR cameras.
Konica Minolta and Sony make D-SLR announcement
Konica Minolta and Sony have today announced an agreement to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. This agreement appears to mean that both Konica Minolta and Sony will develop D-SLR cameras with Konica Minolta lens mounts. It also covers technology sharing between the two, including Sony's CMOS sensors and Info-Lithium batteries and Konica Minolta's AF, metering and Anti-Shake system. The release doesn't state whether each company will be able to use any of these techologies in products other than DSLRs. I suppose this means Sony aren't going the Four Thirds route...
Three new Konica Minolta DT lenses
In addition to the announcement of the Maxxum 5D Konica Minolta has also announced three new DT (designed for digital SLR) lenses; the AF DT 18 - 70 mm F3.5 - F5.6 (D), the AF DT 11 - 18 mm F4.5 - F5.6 (D) and the AF DT 18 - 200 mm F3.5 - F6.3 (D).
Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
Konica Minolta has today announced the Dynax / Maxxum 5D digital SLR. This new digital SLR is Konica Minolta's answer to the Nikon D50 and Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT), a more affordable digital SLR aimed more at the beginner market. It's both smaller and lighter than the Maxxum 7D and has fewer external controls (although those which are left are the most useful; WB, ISO, etc.). The 5D of course still features Konica Minolta's unique in-camera Anti-Shake system which stabilizes the sensor rather than a lens element.
Konica Minolta AF 35 mm F1.4G D lens
Konica Minolta has today announced the development of a new lens. The AF 35 mm F1.4G D is designed for the Dynax/Maxxum series of SLRs and features distance encoding which enables the more advanced ADI flash metering, it is also claimed to have a rounder aperture for an improved bokeh (defocused area) appearance. This lens is due to be launched in 'Spring 2006' (read PMA).
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X1
Konica Minolta has today announced the ultra-slim DiMAGE X1, an eight megapixel three times optical zoom ultra-compact digital camera with Anti-Shake and a large 2.5-inch LCD monitor. From a design point of view the X1 is much more rounded in appearance compared to its siblings, indeed it looks more like a rounded-off Sony DSC-T3. At the time of publication the X1 appears to be the ultra-compact that pack the most: eight megapixels, Anti Shake as well as an internal zoom lens.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X60
Konica Minolta has today announced a upgrade to the X50 in the shape of the five megapixel DiMAGE X60. The newest addition to the X range appears more sturdy in comparison to the X50 and the reflective and brushed metal sliding lens lends it a more sophisticated look. This entry-level camera does away with a viewfinder in favor of a 2.5-inch LCD, which dominates the rear. It also boasts a 5 cm macro mode, 0.5-second start-up time and Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection. It wil be available at the end of May priced US$349.99 (approx €269).
Just posted! Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 review
Just posted! Our review of the big hitting 12x zoom Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5. It is the latest in the range to feature Konica Minolta's unique CCD-shifting Anti-Shake system seen in the A2/A200 and Maxxum 7D digital SLR. The five megapixel has a love-it-or-hate-it design like the rest of the Z series. Find out if we think you should pack the DiMAGE Z5 in your suitcase for your summer vacation.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 Review
Announced in January 2005 just before the PMA exhibition in Orlando, the Dimage Z5 is the latest addition to the big-zoom DiMAGE Z range to feature the CCD-shifting Anti-Shake system seen on the A2/A200 and Maxxum 7D Digital SLR. Aside from a 5MP sensor and a couple of minor specification tweaks, the DiMAGE Z5 is almost identical to the Z3 (launched July 2004), and the new model goes head-to-head with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, a very similarly-specified camera launched within a few days of the Konica Minolta.
Konica Minolta cuts financial year forecast
Konica Minolta lowered its forecast for the financial year ending March 2005 due to strong price competition in the digital camera market and delays in introducing new products in its information equipment business. Konica Minolta, which announced its merger in January 2003, foresees a 72% drop in net income from ¥25 bn ($240 m) to ¥7 bn ($67 m) on net sales of ¥1.06 trillion ($10.1 bn), down 3.6% from the previously forecast ¥1.1tr ($10.5 bn). The camera manufacturer will also accept an extraordinary write-off of ¥5.4 bn ($51.2 m). Konica Minolta stocks are currently trading below their issuing price, with total stock capital ¥30 bn ($287.5 m) below full value.
Konica Minolta announces digital lenses
CeBit 2005: Konica Minolta has announced three digital lenses designed specifically for use with digital cameras that use an APS-C size sensor such as its Maxxum series of digital SLRs, the first of which is the Maxxum 7D. All three Digital Technology (DT) lenses are wideangle optics and will be available in the summer/fall. The first is the AF DT Zoom 18-70mm f3.5 - 5.6(D) (which on the 7D would provide an equivalent field of view as a 27 - 105 mm lens), secondly there's the AF DT Zoom 11-18mm f4.5 - 5.6(D) (16.5 - 27 mm equiv) and lastly the AF DT Zoom 18-200mm f3.5 -6.3(D) (27 - 300 mm equiv).
Konica Minolta 7D review updated
Just before PMA Konica Minolta announced a firmware update for the Maxxum 7D digital SLR. This firmware update was of special interest to us because (a) it appeared not long after we had posted our review and (b) it addresses several performance issues raised in our review. Hence we have now updated our 7D review with results from our 7D with the new firmware. The main highlights are improved USB 2.0 transfer (3.4x faster) and much faster CF throughput (between 3.2x and 6.8x faster).
Konica Minolta 7D firmware 1.10
Konica Minolta has today posted firmware version 1.10 for the 7D digital SLR. This update addresses several issues, some of which we raised in our recent review of the camera. Primary improvements appear to be Compact Flash interface speed improvements (up to 3x faster) and USB transfer rates. In addition the new firmware also enables blinking highlights in instant playback mode. This update is now available for download from Konica Minolta USA.
Just posted! Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 review
Just posted! our review of the latest Konica Minolta 'prosumer' digital camera, the DiMAGE A200. Based on the DiMAGE A2, the A200 features a new, smaller and more rounded body design, simplified control layout and a new flip-out and twist LCD monitor. Looking a little more closely the specifications reveal a slightly cut-back unit which loses some A2 features but improves on others, a mechanically operated 28-200mm equivalent zoom lens and Konica Minolta's proprietary Anti-Shake technology that employs a unique CCD-shift mechanism (also seen in the recent Maxxum 7D digital SLR). Check out our concise review to find out how it fared, and how it compares with the DiMAGE A2.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 Review
In September 2004 Konica Minolta revealed a slightly surprising new DiMAGE A series digital camera, the DiMAGE A200. Based on the DiMAGE A2 (and predecessor, the A1), the A200 features a new, smaller and more rounded body design, simplified control layout and a flip-out and twist LCD monitor (compared to the A2's tilt-only unit). Otherwise the specifications reveal a slightly cut-back unit which loses some A2 features but improves on others.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
Pre-PMA 2005: The second addition to Konica Minolta's Z series of digital cameras is the five megapixel, twelve times zoom DiMAGE Z5. Just like the Z3 this camera also features Konica Minolta's unique Anti-Shake stabilization system and has a flash hot-shoe. The Z5 features a larger LCD monitor and a few other subtle specification changes but otherwise appears to be fairly similar to the Z3.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20
Pre-PMA 2005: The first of two new Z cameras announced today by Konica Minolta is the Z20, a follow-on to the Z10 this five megapixel, eight times optical zoom digital camera is aimed at a lower price point than its bigger brother the new Z5. The main differences to the more expensive Z5 are the zoom range, a fixed rather than pop-up flash, no flash hot-shoe, hybrid AF, a smaller LCD, the 'switch finder' viewfinder, built-in storage and no Anti-Shake.
Sigma announces Konica Minolta DC lenses
Pre-PMA 2005: Sigma has today announced that four of its DC ('designed for digital') lenses will soon be available with a Konica Minolta lens mount. The four lenses; the 18-50 mm F2.8 EX DC, 18-50 mm F3.5 - F5.6 DC, 18-125 mm F3.5-F5.6 DC and 55-200 mm F4.0 - F5.6 DC are all designed to be smaller and lighter than equivelant 35 mm lenses as they only need to produce an image circle large enough for a digital SLR sensor.
Just posted! Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D review
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D) digital SLR. This Konica Minolta's first digital SLR for five years, it is based around the Maxxum 7 (Dynax 7) film SLR with a six megapixel CCD and Konica Minolta's unique Anti-Shake technology (which stabilizes the CCD rather than the lens). See how the 7D works, how it performed and how it compares to the competition.
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Review
The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe) was first revealed to the general public on 12th February 2004 at the PMA tradeshow, at that time we were able to produce a hands-on preview of a pre-production camera. Finally on 15th September 2004 just before the Photokina tradeshow Konica Minolta fleshed out the detail with full specifications and an official press release. A few days later we were able to get our hands on a pre-production camera and publish some exclusive samples and a full gallery. This final review is based on a full production camera.
Konica Minolta Dimage E50
Konica Minolta has announced a new series of cameras today with the launch of the Dimage E50. The slim 5 million pixel model has a large 2.5-inch LCD and is a simple point and shoot device aimed at the beginner. It boasts a 640 x 480-pixel movie mode, limited only by the capacity of the card, a 3x optical zoom and macro down to 6cm. The Dimage E50 is available now for £199 in Europe only.
Konica Minolta DG-5W

Konica Minolta has today announced a four megapixel camera that is waterproof to a depth of 1.5 meters. The black and silver DG-5W is also dust proof and shock proof. It boasts a 28 - 78mm wideangle lens, a 2-inch LCD for viewing captured images (there is no optical viewfinder) and large buttons for easy operation under water. Other features include a 320 x 240-pixel movie mode at 30 fps. It is thought to be a Japan-only product and will cost ¥80,000 when it is launched in March.

Konica Minolta 7D on sale November 19
Konica Minolta Japan has today announced that the Maxxum / Dynax / Alpha 7D digital SLR will go on sale there on November 19th. On the same day Konica Minolta will also put up the two new lenses; 17 - 35 mm F2.8 - F4 (D) and 28 - 75 F2.8 (D) and the DiMAGE A200. Although Konica Minolta has put a price on the other items they have not explicity set an RRP on the 7D itself, industry experts in Japan expect it to sell for 200,000 YEN (US$ 1,888) or less. Sources elsewhere put the 7D at US$ 1,599 body only in the US.
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D gallery
As promised we have today been out shooting with our pre-production Maxxum 7D and have put together a samples gallery of twenty one images including daylight low ISO and indoor high ISO shots. So far the results are impressive, especially low noise at high sensitivities and the very capable Anti-Shake system which allowed us to shoot as slow as 1/2 or 1/4 sec without a tripod (slower speeds do also seem possible but we can't be 100% confident without proper testing). Otherwise the images have good tonal balance, color response and a conservative approach to image sharpening (perhaps considered soft in appearance).
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Samples
Konica Minolta has today posted two sample images from their upcoming Dynax / Maxxum 7D Digital SLR. The images carry the EXIF tag 'Konica Minolta Alpha-7 Digital v1.00'. The portrait shot (shown right) was taken with the Minolta AF 85 mm F1.4 (D) lens stopped down to F5.6. Only two samples at this stage but we hope Konica Minolta will soon add some more or even better give us the opportunity to bring you a gallery of our own!
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta today put the final 'meat on the bones' and officially announced the specifications for the Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D) digital SLR. Much of it is as we had guessed, a Minolta A-type bayonet lens mount, a 1.5x FOV crop 6.1 million pixel CCD, Anti-Shake, Pentaprism viewfinder, 2.5" LCD monitor, RAW, RAW+JPEG, sRGB/Adobe RGB, ISO 100 - 3200, CF Type I/II storage and a Lithium-Ion battery.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Master
Another item as part of the official announcement of the Maxxum 7D is Konica Minolta's new image organization and editing application; DiMAGE Master. This optional purchase provides image management, examination, editing and enhancment and includes a wide range of RAW conversion options. Indeed Konica Minolta are clearly stating that RAW images converted through this new application will be better than JPEG's out of the camera thanks to advanced white balance correction and 3D Lookup Table color conversion.
To coincide with their official announcement of the Maxxum 7D Konica Minolta has also today announced two new lenses designed specifically for it. These are the AF 17 - 35 mm F2.8 - F4.0 (D) and the 28 - 75 F2.8 (D). Because of the 7D's 1.5x FOV crop these lenses will provide an approximate field of view of 26 - 53 mm and 42 - 113 mm respectively. No prices or availability for these lenses has yet been released.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200
Konica Minolta has today revealed a new DiMAGE A series digital camera, the DiMAGE A200. This model appears to be based on the DiMAGE A2 but features a new smaller and more rounded body design, control layout and a flip-out and twist LCD monitor (compared to the A2's tilt-only unit). Otherwise the specifications reveal a slightly cut-back unit which loses some A2 features but improves on others. No pricing information at this point but we can make an educated guess that this camera will be cheaper than the A2.
Just posted! Konica Minolta Z2 review
Just posted! Our review of the four megapixel, ten times optical zoom Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2. The unusually styled Z2 offers a full range of manual controls, a big zoom lens and respectable resolution in a package which sits comfortably under the US$500 price point. The only thing the Z2 appears to be missing is image stabilization (something the recently announced Z3 adds). See how it shaped up in our concise review.
Konica Minolta Dimage Z2 Review
Announced in February 2004 at the PMA exhibition in Las Vegas, the Dimage Z2 is a direct replacement for the popular Z1, and retains that camera's 'interesting' looks and basic features, adding an all-new APO GT lens, upping the pixel count from 3 to 4 million pixels and improving focus and movie performance. The Dimage Z2 currently sits in the middle of Konica Minolta's 'super zoom' range, above the entry-level Dimage Z10 and below the image-stabilized, 12x zoom Dimage Z3. In an increasingly crowded big-zoom compact market the Z2 takes on similarly specified models from Canon, Olympus and Panasonic, and though it has bags of features and is keenly-priced, it does lack the must-have feature du jour; image stabilization. Here's just a few of the key features:
Konica Minolta Dynax 7 Digital interview
Konica Minolta Europe today distributed an interview carried out between the Marketing Manager for Konica Minolta Europe, Clemens Helberg and the General Manager of the Konica Minolta Development Center, Keiichi Ishizuka. The subject of the interview was the upcoming Dynax / Maxxum 7 digital SLR and the questions posed were from registered users of the Konica Minolta Photo World website. UPDATE: New 'Maxxum 7 Digital' website launched.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3
Konica Minolta today announced a new Z series digital camera, the new DiMAGE Z3 which has an all new twelve times optical zoom lens and a stabilized four megapixel CCD sensor. This places the DiMAGE Z3 as a direct competitor to Panasonic's impressive DMC-FZ10 (which fans will be glad to hear we have in-house and is in our review queue!). It's also interesting to see Konica Minolta implementing their CCD-shift Anti-Shake system into mid-range cameras, not just the flagship 'A' series prosumer models. The DiMAGE Z3 also supports VGA size movie recording and a silent zoom mode which allows the camera's zoom to be used in movie record mode with minimal noise. Unlike other Z series digital cameras the Z3 does not employ the quirky flip-mirror LCD/Viewfinder display instead it has separate LCD and EVF displays.
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10

Konica Minolta today announced the eight times zoom three megapixel DiMAGE Z10, styled in a similar fashion to the DiMAGE Z1/Z2 the Z10 has slightly less zoom, a fixed (not pop-up) flash unit and is aimed at a lower price point. According to Konica Minolta the DiMAGE Z10 also has a 'fastest in class startup time of 0.5 seconds'. The Z10 has a combined passive and video AF system, stores images on SD/MMC card and is powered by four AA batteries. The only thing Konica Minolta has not yet revealed about this camera is its price, although we expect it to be well below the DiMAGE Z2's current $450 street price.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 and X31

Konica Minolta today announced the two new ultra-compact 'X'-series digital cameras, the three megapixel three times zoom DiMAGE X31 and the five megapixel two-point-eight times zoom X50. The DiMAGE X31 was revealed a couple of weeks ago by Konica Minolta Europe. As with previous 'X'-series digital cameras both of these new models utilize a 'folded optics' zoom lens mounted within the camera body. The X50 looks quite different to previous 'X'-series, its folded optics lens mounted horizontally providing 2.8x zoom with a sliding lens cover on the front which doubles as a power switch.

Konica Minolta announce X31

Konica Minolta Europe today announced the DiMAGE X31, a three megapixel version of the two megapixel X21 announced back in February. Just like that camera and other DiMAGE X models the X31 features a 'folded optics' lens system which fits vertically in the camera body, a prism mirror then 'folds' the optical path through 90 degrees. This allows the camera to have a slim profile, have no extending lens and maintain a very fast startup time.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 firmware 1.12

Konica Minolta has released new firmware for its DiMAGE A2 digital camera. Version 1.12 applies several improvements including LCD brightness while using Flex Digital Magnifier, focusing at a specific zoom range and with Flex Focus Point, improved flash metering, EVF timing functionality, improved support for add-on lenses. This firmware can be downloaded and installed by users of the camera by simply placing the firmware update file on a Compact Flash card or transfering it via USB directly to the camera.

Just posted! Konica Minolta A2 review

Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the eight megapixel Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2. The A2 shares its body design, lens and control layout with the five megapixel DiMAGE A1 but pushes the megapixel count up to eight and includes several 'under the hood' improvements. See how the DiMAGE A2 performed in our tests and how it compares to the other four eight megapixel digital cameras currently on the market.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Review
Back in January 2003 Konica and Minolta announced that they would merge and form the single company 'Konica Minolta'. Just over a year since that announcement, at PMA 2004 the new Konica Minolta announce four new cameras which carry the new Konica Minolta branding and logo. The DiMAGE A2 is a follow-on to the DiMAGE A1. Essentially this camera is identical to the A1 apart from its sensor, the DiMAGE A1 had a 5 megapixel 2/3" type CCD, the new DiMAGE A2 has an 8 megapixel 2/3" type CCD.
Konica Minolta G600

CeBIT 2004: The latest camera on the compact six megapixel band wagon is Konica Minolta's G600, a resolution upgrade from from the G500 (which itself was based on the Konica KD-510 Zoom before the K-M merger). That out of the way the G600 does appear to have a new Signal Processing Engine and algorithm coined 'A*IPS'. "The new compact and fully-featured DiMAGE G600 is a value-packed, high performance digital camera at an affordable price," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Konica Minolta's Camera Division. "This new compact camera is ideal for every day snapshots as well as a second camera for serious amateur or professional photographers."

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital

PMA 2004: Konica Minolota today made a development announcement about a new digital version of their Maxxum 7 / Dynax 7 SLR. The Maxxum 7 Digital will have a six megapixel APS sized CCD, will have body integrated anti-shake (just like the DiMAGE A1/A2) which will work with all lenses and will be fully system compatible. This camera should be available in 'Fall 2004'. We, along with a few others had an opportunity to take a few pictures of an early pre-production camera.

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