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Minolta A2 replaces the A1 with improved features

Minolta A2 replaces the A1 with improved features - The DiMAGE A2 incorporates a high-quality 8-megapixel CCD and Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) outperforming the previous model's resolution by 4 times.

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Category : Compact Cameras
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Minolta A2 replaces the A1 with improved featuresKonica Minolta equipped the previous DiMAGE A1 an Anti-Shake function that used an innovative CCD-shift mechanism, as well as incorporating a 5.3-megapixel CCD, a high-definition 7X optical zoom lens, and 3D Autofocus (AF). The DiMAGE A1 delivered high standards of image quality and ease of operation in all-round shooting situations like landscapes, portrait and macro shooting.

In response to user needs for higher picture quality and greater shooting comfort, Konica Minolta released the DiMAGE A2 SLR-type digital camera, a camera that will inherit the quality and performance of the DiMAGE A1. The DiMAGE A2 incorporates a high-quality 8-megapixel CCD and Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) outperforming the previous model's resolution by 4 times to achieve extremely clear images in both shooting and viewing.

The DiMAGE A2 comes equipped with an 8-megapixel 2/3-type progressive primary-color CCD with 8.0 million effective pixels for super-high-resolution, making even individual hairs or the stitches of a suit stand out in sharp detail. The Konica Minolta GT lens ensures that light gets to the CCD sensor with maximum fidelity. Plus, the CxProcess™ II image processing technology ensures that the colors come out just the way you see them.

The Super Fine EVF is sharp and clear thanks to high-density display composed of 922,000-pixels, 4 times as many as the previous model. The EVF has also evolved to make digital photography even more of a pleasure. Precise focusing is amazingly easy, allowing you to see the minutest details in the most realistic colors. Switching into Smooth Mode gives 60 fps, making it a snap to focus on moving subjects.

The DiMAGE A2 is equipped with Anti-Shake function, a major draw of the DiMAGE A1. The camera also incorporates CCD shift to minimize the effect of camera shake up to 3 shutter speeds. Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake function delivers a highly effective way to take high-quality images with low-ISO hand-held shooting under telephoto and low lighting situations, even when a relative novice is handling the DiMAGE A2.

Konica Minolta's 3D AF gives seamless tracking as it focuses moving subjects to capture sharp, high-quality images, even when they are coming right at you along the X-, Y-, and Z-axes of the picture frame. Pressing the shutter release button launches the 3D Predictive Focus Control, which predicts exactly where the subject will be and accurately focuses on this point. The AF speed outstrips anything in its class for any SLR-type digital camera with non-interchangeable lens 5 x or greater optical zoom.* The 3D AF and the focus speed combine to give hassle-free focusing.
*As of December 1st, 2003

The DiMAGE A2 also features high-quality movie recording at 544 X 408 pixels with audio at 30 fps, resolution that looks great when viewed on a TV screen. And the bundled video editing software turns you into a movie maker.

The high picture quality is not delivered simply by the addition of a high-pixel CCD or the LSI image processor. With an 8-megapixel high-image quality CCD, high-image processing LSI, Anti-Shake function and the 3D AF, the DiMAGE A2 also achieves high standards of image quality in not only still pictures but also via the viewfinder and with moving pictures too.

The DiMAGE A2 is packed with cutting edge technology that delivers high-picture quality, AF performance and ease of operation with advanced technology. The new digital camera will bring fun and ease of use to all. Discover the joy of owning the DiMAGE A2.

Product Highlights
8-megapixel interlace scan CCD captures superb-quality, detail-rich images-good enough to be enlarged and printed out up to A3-size at 200 dpi. Images can be captured in 8-, 5-, 3-, and 2-megapixel resolutions.
Super Fine EVF has the clarity of a 922,000-pixel TFT LCD monitor, variable frame rates of 30 fps or 60 fps, and 90-degree tilting for low-position shooting.
The Anti-Shake function enables the CCD to stabilize the image if the operator's hands move when photographing, offering unrivaled stability at up to 3 shutter speeds slower than on cameras without an Anti-Shake function.
A superior focusing system with 3D AF is excellent at tracking a moving subject. The DiMAGE A2 boasts the fastest focusing speed among 5 or greater mega pixel SLR type digital camera with a non-interchangable lens.
*As of December 1st, 2003
The DiMAGE A2 also features high-quality movie recording at 544 X 408 pixels with audio at 30 fps, resolution that looks great when viewed on a TV screen. And the bundled video editing software turns you into a movie maker.
New preview mode lets you check depth of field.
New 3:2 aspect ratio for 35mm film proportions.
New 1.5x teleconverter and 0.8x wide converter lenses (sold separately) give additional range.

Features
· Design Concept
While instantly recognizable as the successor to the proud design heritage of the A1, the DiMAGE A2 has added a few design features that make it look even more high-end.

· Superior Quality in Both Still Images and Movies

· 8-Megapixel 2/3-Type Interlace Scan CCD
The DiMAGE A2 has an 8-megapixel, 2/3-type interlace scan CCD. Imagine the clarity of 8.04 million effective pixels: even individual hairs or the stitches of a suit can be captured in sharp detail. These incredibly detailed images can then be transferred and printed onto A3-sized paper at 200 dpi.

The high pixel count means unprecedented power for digital zoom and clarity of trimmed prints. The superior color reproduction is thanks to the use of a primary color filter, just one more feature that contributes to pictures of the highest quality.

· Konica Minolta CxProcess™ II
Thanks to CxProcess™ II image processing technology, colors have never been clearer. This exclusive algorithm effortlessly balances several factors to yield vivid colors that reproduce the scene exactly as you see it with your own eyes. Moreover, in order to increase image density alongside the higher pixel count, we reviewed reproducibility in the high region and obtained a more natural sense of definition.

· Advanced LSI Gives Optimal Images
Because every scene is different and requires a different kind of image processing, the DiMAGE A2 has an advanced LSI. This circuit optimizes white balance, contrast, and color reproduction with exceptional accuracy, while effectively suppressing noise that tends to occur in the low-contrast areas of digital images. And its energy efficiency also extends the battery time and thus your shooting enjoyment.

· Konica Minolta GT Lens and Anomalous Dispersion (AD) Glass
Designed specifically for digital photography, the GT lens is an all-glass apochromatic (APO) zoom lens. The benefits for the user are obvious: pictures come out sharp, clear, and absent of any color aberration, even when using the large aperture setting. A camera has many faces. It has to capture shots of scenery, travel, sports, close-ups, and business settings. The lens is the heart of the camera and this GT lens has 16 elements in 13 groups. The anomalous dispersion (AD) glass contributes to things like suppressed distortion, reduced flare, and chromatic aberration, while aspheric glass elements work to make the lens compact. The camera's improved optical low pass filter and the logical arrangement of the lens make for higher productivity and quality-assurance in the manufacturing process and ensure that the lens is suitable for an 8-megapixel CCD.

· CCD Shift-Type Anti-Shake Function
Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake function gives you a highly effective way to deal with camera shaking-a major cause of substandard images, especially with telephoto shots and in dim lighting. Users can expect better images in low light conditions without relying on a higher ISO setting or a tripod. The DiMAGE A2 features a CCD-shift mechanism to stabilize images by offsetting the shaking pattern of the user's hand. This gives unrivalled stability at up to 3 shutter speeds slower than on digital cameras without an Anti-Shake function. The CCD-shift mechanism will rescue countless pictures and it is extremely small, which keeps the camera compact. Anti-shake technology can offset two kinds of shaking-high-frequency shaking of muscles and low-frequency shaking of the body.

· Movie Recording
The DiMAGE A2 also has a movie recording function that allows you to film in a variety of scenes and lighting conditions, and smoothly, thanks to the Anti-Shake function, which is available at all focal lengths. And with the ability to record at 544 X 408 pixels with audio at 30 fps, resolution looks natural when viewed on a TV screen. The 7x built-in optical zoom covers a focal distance of 28 to 200mm, while the Night Movie function makes subjects highly visible even in dark settings. Also the DiMAGE A2 comes bundled with fun-to-use video software. The Video Studio 7 SE by ULEAD is for video editing from analog and digital image import, outright editing, and output to video CD.

· Super Fine EVF
The high-density display developed for the DiMAGE A2 is superior to the previous 235,000-pixel EVF of earlier models because it uses 4 times as many pixels. The DiMAGE A2 EVF delivers clear images and sharp, contoured information.

Imagine the clarity of a 922,000-pixel TFT LCD. It's crystal clear and easy to focus. Moreover, it can be perfectly viewed at up to a 32o angle, so one glance gives you all the information you need to take the perfect picture. The EVF boasts numerous benefits, including subject visibility in dark places, the ability to check exposure and other settings before shooting, the ability to check various information when composing your picture, and tilting for low angle photography.

The DiMAGE A2 viewfinder has two modes for switching menus. The first is the High-Precision mode (30 fps), which allows for very precise adjustments to focusing and frame composition by utilizing the high resolving power of the 30 fps rate as seen on the 922,000-pixel viewfinder. Now, you can be incredibly precise when adjusting manual shots like macros and portraits that require very careful focusing. Focusing is simple and accurate, without the need to enlarge the image. The second mode is the Smooth mode (60 fps), which increases the frame rate to half that of the image resolution. The high frame rate makes the viewfinder extremely easy to use, especially when shooting moving targets such as school sports days, athletic competitions, and major sporting events.

· 3D AF System
Put simply, 3D AF is a revolution in digital photography. The reason is this: now you can capture sharp, high-quality images of a moving object, even if it's coming right at you. The 3D AF system became famous overnight when introduced as a function of the DiMAGE A1.

Konica Minolta's innovative subject tracking algorithm continues focusing on your subject as it moves along the X, Y, and Z-axes of the picture frame. When you press the shutter release button, the 3D AF launches the 3D Predictive Focus Control, which activates the built-in algorithm that compensates for the time lag between shutter release and image capture to ensure that the final result is captured in crisp focus. Konica Minolta have included 8-megapixel reading at a higher frame rate, and better sequencing in the software, delivering the fastest AF speed in its class.*
*As of December 1st, 2003

· Real-Time Histogram Display
The live viewfinder is equipped with a helpful live histogram function that will help the user examine the overall brightness of the scene, when it is not always easy to determine the exposure compensation within your image. The histogram supplies you with the information to adjust exposure more accurately.

· Tele/Wide Macro Imaging
With an approximate maximum zoom of 0.7x (in telephoto mode), users can shoot a 4 X 3cm object and completely fill the screen. This gives an optimal working distance of 13cm and it means you can shoot close-ups of insects without scaring them away.

· Direct Manual Focus (DMF)
Even when AF is locked, sometimes you need to control the focus on a particular shot. DMF allows you to frame your shot by turning the focusing ring on the lens barrel while the shutter is half-pressed. Try using DMF during macro imaging when you want to be sure that a specific part of your subject stays in focus.

· Flex Digital Magnifier (FDM)
Enlarge any part of the LCD monitor image with the FDM function to precisely check the manual focus adjustments or direct manual focus. The magnification level is 3.3x, and while the monitor image is magnified the user can scroll in any direction to check any part of the frame. It's advantages for macro-shots are clear and the added accuracy meshes well with the manual focusing option and DMF functionality.

· Flex Focus Point (FFP)
FFP expands the versatility of the AF system. When the camera is fixed to a tripod or when the position of the focal plane is critical as with close-up photography, the use of AF systems is limited as the camera must be moved to focus and then repositioned to compose the image. FFP, a single crosshair sensor, can be placed anywhere within the field of view. With the camera on a tripod, the four-way key of the controller can be used to fix the FFP on the subject, using the AF system for each exposure. With the subject selected with the FFP, you can carry out spot metering.

· Ultra High-Speed Continuous Shooting
When you really need to fire off as many shots as possible in a limited amount of time, turn the dial to UHS (Ultra High Speed) mode to set the camera to capture images at a rate of approximately 7 frames per second. For convenience, these images can be captured in JPEG, VGA format.

· Convenient Operations and Functions

· Aspect Ratio of 35mm Film
The DiMAGE A2 uses the same aspect ratio as 35mm film, so when you see the images you have taken with a 3:2 aspect (horizontal and vertical) ratio, pictures appear as if taken on 35mm film. This allows traditional film users to compose and take pictures the way they are used to.
*Available only in the 3,264 X 2,176-pixel mode.

· Raw + JPEG Function Allows Editing on a PC
A RAW image for best picture quality and a JPEG image for viewing can be recorded at the same time, making for better handling of large images on a PC or LCD monitor. Because RAW images containing large amounts of data cannot be enlarged and displayed on a PC or LCD monitor, the JPEG image recorded at the same time is used to display the enlarged image. This function is convenient for applications such as checking focus.

· Digital Effects Control (DEC)
The DEC is an image-processing center incorporated in the camera. You can adjust contrast, color, and saturation before the image is captured to maximize image data at the scene. Contrast can expand or contract the tonal range to match the subject contrast. Saturation is used to accentuate or subdue colors. The Filter effect controls the image's overall color. For color images, the filter has eleven levels from cooler to warmer to change the mood of the picture. For black and white images, the filter creates a warm or cool tone that is similar to sepia or gold toners with photographic prints as well as magenta and green (Ten tones are available).

To ensure the correct level of adjustment with the DEC, you can make a Digital Enhanced Bracket, which is a series of images with a slight increase and decrease in the quality selected, by selecting the Bracketing Drive mode and the image quality to be bracketed. The camera automatically makes a three-image bracket of the selected quality.

· Digital Subject Program Selection (DSPS)
Digital Subject Programs optimize exposure and image-processing controls for specific shooting conditions and subjects. Firstly select from among 5 scene types (Portrait, Sports, Sunset, Night Portrait, and Night View) and leave the exposure settings to the camera. Before the camera captures the image, the effects of a particular setting are displayed on the LCD monitor or viewfinder for easy checking. Once you become more familiar with the DiMAGE A2, you may wish to customize camera operation by assigning other functions to the DSPS dial.

Portrait: optimized to reproduce warm, soft skin tones and a slight defocusing of the background
Sports action: to make clear, sharp images of fast-moving subjects
Sunset: optimized to reproduce rich, warm sunsets
Night portrait: for deep, subtle night scenes. When used with the built-in flash, the subject and background exposures are balanced.

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