Minolta Dimage 7
Review The Minolta Dimage 7 is a high-end camera with a price and specification to match. At just over £850 it won't appeal to all, but if you need a good quality single lens reflex device then this Recommended Buy is worth investigating.
You'd be hard pushed to find a 4Mp (megapixel) camera below £1000. However, Minolta has given the competition something to think about by putting a huge 5.2Mp CCD into the Dimage 7. That's a true resolution of 2560x1920, yet it's still possible to squeeze out 20 shots in economy mode with the 16MB CompactFlash card.
It can also capture images in Tiff or Raw format, although at 14MB a photo, it takes 30 to 40 seconds to process on the camera. Shots were brilliantly detailed and colourful - you can blow them up to A4 without image degradation. The heavy magnesium alloy chassis is bulky but accommodates a stunning variety of manual settings that should appease all photography professionals. The majority of options can be automated and the user has manual control over all aspects of photography - from the 7x optical zoom to colour saturation and focus. Despite the host of configurations it's remarkably easy to use.
Though peerless, it's not perfect. The digital hyper-viewfinder means always relying on the LCD and there's no lithium-ion battery. The bundled NiMH batteries don't come with a charger and there's no mains adapter. It lacks decent software by only including a basic Minolta graphics utility package and QuickTime.
The high price means the Dimage 7 won't be to everyone's tastes, but as a digital camera in its own right it's simply the best we've seen. No other manufacturer currently comes anywhere near this high-end consumer camera. ®
Contact: 01908 200 400
Max resolution: 2560x1920
Min resolution: 640x480
Storage: 16MB CompactFlash card
Min photos on 16MB: 6
Max photos on 16MB: 118
Batteries: 4xAA NiMH rechargeables
Build quality: 9
All details correct at time of publication
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