The Minolta DiMAGE 7i succeeds the DiMAGE 7 and offers several key improvements. The DiMAGE 7i ratchets up the speed, with a 1/4,000 top exposure and ultra-high-speed (UHS) continuous drive bursts up to seven frames per second at 1.280 x 960 pixels. It also features new controls for brightness, contrast, and saturation, as well as improved audio and video recording capabilities.
Optics and Resolution
The Minolta DiMAGE 7i is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system contains a 5.24-megapixel, 2/3-type interline primary color CCD with 4.95 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. The pixel resolution of the CCD will produce 13-by-17-inch, 150 dpi prints on an inkjet printer.
The Minolta GT Lens featured in the DiMAGE 7i is an optical jewel cut in glass. With enough resolution to produce a fine image on a 7-million pixel CCD, this lens employs AD glass and aspheric elements to ensure sharp, contrasting images with no chromatic aberration at any focal length. In addition, the Minolta DiMAGE 7i's optical zoom lens accepts standard 49mm filters.
With a focal range of 7.2-50.8mm, the DiMAGE 7i's fast 7x zoom apochromatic (APO) lens is equivalent to a 28-200mm 35mm zoom lens. Your shooting options range from wide angle for expansive landscapes and confined interiors to telephoto for intimate portraits. The fast f2.8 to f3.5 aperture easily permits natural light shooting without a flash.
The DiMAGE 7i is the first Minolta digital camera to incorporate direct manual focus (DMF). DMF is found in professional-level film cameras like the award-winning Minolta Maxxum 7. It allows the focus to be fine-tuned manually, after the AF system has focused and locked on the subject.
The DiMAGE 7i has two displays for critical composition: grid and scale. Usually found in large-format view cameras, the grid makes aligning the camera with vertical or horizontal elements within the image simple. The grid confirms that the horizon or buildings are straight. The scale can be used in close-up photography to judge the relative proportions of the subject. The DiMAGE 7i is fitted with a new 1.8-inch low-temperature high-contrast color LCD monitor, which has an extended color gamut, contrast, and dynamic range.
For low-light situations, you can use the DiMAGE 7i's built-in flash, or use compatible external Minolta flashes. A wireless-remote flash function gives even more control over flash photography by allowing multiple off-camera Minolta flash units to be fired simultaneously by the camera, without cables.
You can record audio along with still images with the voice memo feature, allowing a 16-bit audio track of up to 15 seconds to be attached to an image after it has been captured.
In movie mode, the DiMAGE 7i produces digital videos in multiple creative formats, including standard QVGA (320 x 240) color movies and monochrome night movies up to 60 seconds with 16-bit audio. The night-movie mode can record movie clips under extreme low-light conditions, while the interval function can produce a series of still images taken at regular intervals, or it can combine the images into a time-lapsed movie at any image size.
The limited resolution of your movies guarantees that this feature won't replace your camcorder, but it's perfect for when you just want to capture a quick movie and e-mail it to a friend or relative.
Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on CompactFlash memory cards, and the memory slot is compatible with CompactFlash Type II cards as well as Microdrives. The included 16 MB card holds approximately eight images at 2,560 x 1,920 pixel resolution (standard mode, high). CompactFlash cards are reusable, but you will definitely want a bigger card. A 128 MB card is a good starting point, but we recommend a 256 MB card to get the full benefit of the DiMAGE 7i.
To transfer images to your computer, simply attach the included USB cable between your PC and your camera--your computer should automatically recognize the camera and let you move the pictures to your hard drive.
The camera is powered by four NiMH rechargeable batteries, which are included along with a battery charger.
At 4.6 by 3.6 by 4.4 inches and 18.5 ounces, the DiMAGE 7i is definitely not an easily pocketable point-and-shoot camera.
Contents and Recommended Accessories
The package includes the DiMAGE 7i camera, 16 MB CompactFlash card, four NiMH rechargeable batteries, battery charger, neck strap, lens hood, lens cap with strap, USB and video cables, CD-ROM with DiMAGE Image View Utility software and drivers, and printed camera manual.
Everything you need to get started is included in the box, but we recommend additional NiMH batteries and a higher-capacity CompactFlash card.
- 5.24 megapixel (4.95 effective megapixels) sensor creates 2560 x 1950 images for prints at 13 by 17 inches and beyond
- 7x optical plus 2x digital (14x total) zoom lens with autofocus
- Included 16 MB CompactFlash card holds 5 images at default resolution
- Movie mode captures up to 60 seconds of video with audio
- Powered by 4 AA NiMH rechargeable batteries (charger included); connects with Macs and PCs via USB connector