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Minolta Dimage 7 upgrade kit announced

Minolta Dimage 7 upgrade kit announced - The Dimage 7 Upgrade software adds versatility and performance to the Dimage 7 digital camera. Both the camera upgrade software and the Dimage Viewer will be available from the Photographic Service Department of Minolta (UK) Limited from the end of August.

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The Dimage 7 Upgrade software adds versatility and performance to the Dimage 7 digital camera. Both the camera upgrade software and the Dimage Viewer will be available from the Photographic Service Department of Minolta (UK) Limited.

Major features and changes

  • AF speed increased by up to 50% depending on the subject and the focal length in use.
  • Continuos advance drive rate increases from 1.1 frames per second to 1.5 frames per second (with full-size images in manual focus and manual-exposure modes).
  • UHS continuous advanced drive mode added. 5 fps fixed image size 1280x960.
  • Direct Manual focus added.
  • Real time histogram added.

Other features and changes

  • Two new recording mode displays - grid and scale.
  • Three new movie modes - Time-lapse movie, Night movie, and UHS continuous-advance movie.
  • Letters with common European accents added to the electronic keyboard.
  • Folders can have standard and date names.
  • Manual flash control in three levels: full power, 1/4 power, and 1/16 power.
  • Able to scroll between histogram displays of recorded images.
  • Enlarged playback available in Quick View and playback modes. Images can be magnified from 2x to a maximum of 4x in 0.4x increments except 640x480.

Pricing and availability

  • Dimage 7 Upgrade and Viewer 60
  • Dimage 7 Upgrade 35
  • Dimage Viewer 35

All items will only be available from the Camera Service facility at Minolta (UK) Limited from the end of August. In order for the upgrade to be implemented, (when available), customers' will need to send their Dimage 7 to Camera Service, together with the applicable payment and details of which item is required. The prices quoted include VAT and return carriage.

Dimage 7 owners are requested to register their interest for further information and an availability by contacting Minolta (UK) at the following email address.

dimagehelp@minolta.co.uk

Press release

The Dimage 7 upgrade kit adds versatility and performance to the award winning Dimage 7 digital camera as well as providing a new image processing and editing tool for your personal computer with the new Dimage viewer. Both the camera upgrade software and Dimage viewer can be purchased separately.

The upgrade transforms the Dimage 7 into a more responsive photographic tool. The autofocus speed is increased by up to 50% depending on the subject and focal length in use. The continuous advance drive rate steps up from 1.1 frames per second to 1.5 frames per second. And for catching action, the new UHS (Ultra High Speed) continuous advance drive mode captures five 1280x960 (SXGA) frames per second; a rate comparable to high end film cameras.

For immediate manual control over the AF system, the upgrade incorporates Direct Manual Focus (DMF). DMF is found in high end film cameras like the award winning Dynax 7. After the AF system has locked on the subject, the focus can be fine tuned manually.

Three new displays aid exposure evaluation and composition: real time histogram, grid and scale. The real time histogram updates in milliseconds and shows the luminance distribution of the image before it is captured. The live view histogram allows subject brightness and contrast to be evaluated to optimise the camera's exposure and contrast controls. Usually found in large format view cameras, the grid is used to align the camera with vertical or horizontal elements within the image; confirming that the horizon or buildings are straight in landscape or architectural photography is simple. The scale can be used in close-up photography to judge the relative proportions of the subject.

The Dimage 7 upgrade provides multiple digital video formats. To complement the standard colour movies of the Dimage, the night movie mode records monochrome QVGA (320x240) movie clips under extreme low light conditions. These modes can be selected automatically depending on the ambient lighting conditions or manually. The interval drive mode is supplemented by time-lapse movies. This movie function combines the captured images of the interval series into a single movie file at any of the image size settings on the camera. The time-lapse movie is played back at four frames per second so that normally imperceptible motion springs to life: the blossoming of a flower or the setting of the sun. The UHS continuous advance function can create a VGA (640x480) movie file of an unfolding event in addition to the series of still images.

A new function and an expanded electronic keyboard support record keeping and file organisation. The folder name function allows images to be stored in standard folders or in folders designated by the date of capture. The date format creates a new folder automatically to store images recorded on a particular ray. The electronic keyboard, used for naming folders and data imprinting, contains letters with common European accents.

The sophisticated flash metering system of the Dimage is further expanded with the addition of manual flash control. The flash output can be set in three levels: full power, 1/4 power, and 1/16 power. As well as allowing creative flash techniques, the manual flash can be used to trigger standard slave units.

This upgrade improves the playback operations of the camera. Enlarged playback can be used in Quick View as well as the playback mode. Images can be enlarged between 2x to a maximum of 4.0x in 0.4x increments. In the Quick View and playback modes, it is possible to scroll between histogram displays.

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