Minolta has enjoyed a hatful of new launches in the last few months and all of
the products involved will be featured at Focus. Cameras first - the Dimage 7Hi
takes the best from the top of the range Dimage 7i and adds features to make it
a really versatile tool in the studio and on location. It's an SLR design with
5MP resolution and a 7x zoom lens which, as Minolta puts it, makes it a "digital
imaging centre that can control all the essential elements for high quality photography,
sharpness, exposure, contrast, colour and saturation". It's fast, too - the
shutter speed tops out as high as 1/4000th of a second on the right settings and
a new high speed continuous advance drive gives up to three frames a second, though
up to seven frames a second is achievable with the Ultra High Speed setting. That,
Minolta points out, competes with most professional film cameras.
Its smaller, tiny indeed, brother, the Dimage Xi, is claimed to be the smallest
and lightest digital camera with a 3x optical lens. This little chap has Minolta's
exclusive folded optical lens system which means that while the camera has a
35mm equivalent focus spread of 37 to 111mm, the camera retains its anorexic
Moving away from cameras, there's the new Dimage Scan Dual III, which produces
high quality scans that rival or surpass those created on more expensive scanners
- and at a price that's really affordable.
There are two meters, Auto Meter VF, successor to the highly popular Auto Meter
IVF, and the high performance Flash Meter VI, while last but no means least,
is the Marine Case MC-DG100, an extremely compact underwater housing for the
Dimage X/Xi camera.