Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Features & Controls
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the DiMAGE A200 is the big 7x Minolta GT zoom lens. It's comprised of 16 elements in 13 groups, including two AD glass elements and two aspheric surfaces. The 7.2mm - 50.8mm (28mm - 200mm in 35mm format), f/2.8-f/3.5 APO lens is stabilized with an Anti-Shake system.
Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake function gives users a highly effective way to shoot high
quality hand-held telephoto shots as well as dim light photography. Users can expect
better images in low light conditions without relying on a higher ISO setting or a tripod.
The DiMAGE A200 features a proprietary CCD-shift mechanism to stabilize images by offsetting
the shaking pattern of the user's hand. This gives unrivaled stability at up to 3 shutter
speeds slower than on digital cameras without an Anti-Shake function. This Anti-shake
technology can offset two kinds of shaking - high frequency shaking of muscles and low
frequency shaking of the body.
The DiMAGE A200 features an 11-point (user selectable or automatic) AF area 3D autofocusing system using Minolta's new 3-D Predictive Focus Control to track the subject from when the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down until the exposure is made. Subject Tracking AF uses the 3-D Predictive Focus Control system to lock on to and track a subject as it moves through the frame.
The Auto Focus mode control is on the side and has positions for Single-AF, Continuous-AF and Manual Focus. The Macro focus switch is on the lens barrel. It has an autofocus range (from the CCD) of 1.6 feet (0.5m) to infinity in normal mode. Wide angle macro range is 9.8" - 23.6" (30-60 cm) and telephoto macro range is 11.8" - 23.6" (25-60 cm).
The user can select the focus point method: Wide Area AF, individual selection of one
of the 11 focus points or Flex Focus point - spot focusing of any portion of the frame.
Just like a 35mm SLR, the zoom lens is controlled manually by turning a
rubberized ring on the barrel. This gives the user total control over the focal
length selected and also saves precious battery power.
Focus can adjusted manually via a ring near the base of the lens for those times when the
photographer wishes to be in complete control. The A200's DMF (direct manual focusing)
feature lets you manually adjust the focus without leaving auto focus mode. While manual
focusing the screen image is magnified to aid in critical focusing.
Filters and add-on lenses can be attached with the 49mm threads provided on the end
of the lens. The included "petal" lens shade attaches via a bayonet type mount.
The A200 uses a tiny 0.44" color LCD with 235,000 pixel resolution as its eyelevel viewfinder. Unlike the DiMAGE A2, the EVF (electronic viewfinder) is fixed, it does not tilt upwards and does not incorporate an automatic eyestart sensor. The refresh rate is 60fps while capturing stills and 30fps while recording movies.
The EVF has a 32° viewing angle, diopter adjustment, 22mm eye relief depth, a large
and comfortable rubber eyecup that works well even when wearing eyeglasses. Both the EVF
and LCD offer the user a 100% field of view coverage and will automatically "gain up"
(brighten) in low-light conditions unless disabled in the menu setup.
The Vari-Angle color LCD can be be rotated up to 270°
vertically and 180° horizontally. This is a 1.8-inch (46 mm) TFT color LCD with
134,000 pixel resolution. When used as a live viewfinder the refresh rate is 60fps
and offers 100% frame coverage.
The color LCD can be closed face-in against the body for protection when not needed.
The manual pop-up flash offers Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction and Rear flash sync modes, it recycles in approximately 5 seconds. The DiMAGE A200 features ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) Automatic flash exposure or you can select Manual mode.
Manual flash control fires the flash at full power, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 or 1/16 power
and can be used with slave flash units as it has no pre-flash.
Using the hot shoe you can attach the Minolta Maxxum Program Flash 5600HS(D), 3600HS(D) (shown here) which offers auto power zoom, wireless/remote off-camera flash, and test flash or the economical 2500(D) flash. The Macro Twin Flash 2400 provides flexible lighting for nature macro photography while the Macro Ring Flash 1200 offers shadowless lighting, ideal for medical and scientific use.
When using Maxxum/Program flash units, if the flash illumination is uneven at the camera's wide-angle lens position, attach the wide-angle adapter to the flash units. When the auto-zoom function is used with the 3600HS(D) and 5600HS(D) flash units, the flash's zoom setting will be wider than the lens setting.
For connection to studio flash equipment the A200 lacks a PC Sync connector but you can use an optional hot shoe-to-PC adapter if necessary.
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