Konica Minolta DiMAGE Xg Review

By Movable Type Admin

Steve's Digicams




Review posted 3/09/04

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the DiMAGE Xg
Click on the DiMAGE Xg to take a QuickTime VR tour


Building on the success of the highly popular Minolta DiMAGE Xt, Minolta introduces the DiMAGE Xg. The DiMAGE Xg is an ultra-thin, compact and lightweight camera. In addition, the DiMAGE Xg features automatic digital subject program modes, a larger LCD monitor (1.6-inches), and continuous advance of 2 frames per second. It features the same exclusive folded optical zoom lens that allowed Minolta to create the world's thinnest compact digital camera with a 3x optical zoom. This non-extending lens is responsible for maintaining the camera's 20mm thin profile either while recording or when stored.

But differing from the DiMAGE Xt, the Xg features an even faster start-up time of approx. 0.8 seconds. This is the fastest start-up time of any digital camera with an optical zoom. The fluid playback performance only causes a slight 0.2 second delay between frames regardless of file size. The camera is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. Konica Minolta's CxProcess II image processing technology incorporates characteristics like smooth gradations, natural skin tones, and brilliantly clear colors for images that are more natural and lifelike. The DiMAGE Xg's 3.2 megapixel imager captures fine lines and intricate details in images and the unique folded optics maximize the capability of the CCD.

The DiMAGE Xg's metering and wide 5-Point AF area allows for flexible, accurate focusing. The wide AF area is composed of 5 local focus areas, and you to switch between wide focus area and spot focus point, which allows you to focus on a central area. Macro lets you get up close and personal with your subject. You can get as close as 5.9 inches at all focal lengths, without changing shooting mode. Multi-segment metering and the five-point AF make taking beautiful, sharp images simple; place the subject anywhere within the extra-wide focus frames and the camera will do the rest. Spot metering and spot AF allows you to meter or focus on a specific subject. This is useful to preserve the dynamic lighting of a scene or to single out a specific subject from a group. The extended shutter-speed range gives the camera more control over exposure in difficult lighting conditions. The camera can control the exposure from 4 seconds for night scenes to 1/1000th of a second for brilliant sunlit landscapes.

When the DiMAGE Xg is in movie mode you can record longer movie clips, at resolutions of 160x120 or 320x240, with a frame-rate of 15 frames per second or 30 frames per second for smoother moving images. The XR (Extended Recording) movie processing allows you to capture digital video with audio. The Night Movie function allows you to video even in dimly lit locations. The DiMAGE Xg boasts a Movie Editing function, meaning you can both shoot and edit the movie on the camera. You can also cut out unwanted parts of a video clip, as well as extract still images. The length of the movie is only limited by the memory card's capacity. The audio recording mode can record continuously for 180 minutes. Voice memo allows up to 15 seconds of audio to be attached to an image when it is captured. Thoughts and comments can be recorded with or without a still image. The audio-caption function can attach an audio track to any recorded still-image. The audio tracks can be played back in the camera.

With the remote camera function, you can use standard Windows programs like Microsoft Windows Messenger to video conference with users by simply connecting the DiMAGE Xg to your PC with the supplied USB cable. The camera can be mounted on a table-top tripod for hands-free operation.


DiMAGE Xg Major Features:

  • Incredibly compact and lightweight camera
  • Rugged and durable aluminum body with a stainless steel front panel
  • Unique "folded" 3x f/2.8 optical zoom lens
  • 3-megapixel imager for images up to 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Still images stored in JPEG compressed
  • Motion video 320 x 240 with audio at 30fps, unlimited length
  • 15-second audio notes can be attached to images
  • 180-minute audio-only files can be recorded
  • Low reflective 1.6-inch TFT color LCD monitor
  • Minolta's CxProcess image processing provides clear and natural images
  • 12-bit A/D conversion provides a finer tonal gradation
  • White balance options: automatic, daylight, tungsten, cloudy and fluorescent
  • Built in flash with Auto, Red-eye reduction, Night portrait and Fill modes
  • Removable flash memory cards (SD or MMC type)
  • PictBridge and Epson PIM II compliant
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • USB 1.1 Mass Storage Compliant device




Physical Views



Minolta DiMAGE Xg

Minolta DiMAGE Xg

Minolta DiMAGE Xg Minolta DiMAGE Xg

Minolta DiMAGE Xg

Minolta DiMAGE Xg





Minolta DiMAGE Xg

Minolta DiMAGE Xg

The DiMAGE Xg and DiMAGE X20 for comparison.





Minolta DiMAGE Xg

The DiMAGE Xg compared in size to a CompactDisc.




Minolta DiMAGE Xg

The DiMAGE Xg and Casio EX-Z3 for size (and thickness) comparison.






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Features & Controls












DiMAGE Xg Specifications

No. of effective pixels
Approx. 3.2 million

CCD
1/2.7-type interline primary-color CCD with a total of approx.
3.3-million pixels
Lens construction
9 elements in 8 groups (includes 1 one-sided aspherical element and 2 double-sided aspheric elements)
Focal length
5.7 - 17.1 mm (35 mm equivalent: 37 - 111 mm)

Maximum aperture
f/2.8 - f/3.6

Recording media
SD Memory Cards / MultiMediaCard

File format
JPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV), WAVE, DCF, DPOF

No. of recorded pixels
2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480

Storage capacity (approx.)

  2048x1536 1600x1200 1280x960 640x480
 Economy 32 frames 47 frames 69 frames 150 frames
 Standard 17 frames 27 frames 39 frames 100 frames
 Fine 9 frames 14 frames 22 frames 69 frames
 Movie 41 seconds
 Audio  recording 30 minutes 51 seconds

Using 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card
Autofocus system
Video AF, Focus lock available
Wide focus area (5 point AF), Spot

Focusing range
0.15 m / 6 in. to infinity (from the front of the camera)

Exposure control
Programmed AE, AE lock available

Exposure compensation
+/-2Ev in 1/3 increments

Metering
Multi-segment (256 segments)

Camera sensitivity
Auto (between ISO 50-160 equivalent), ISO 50 / 100 / 200 / 400

Shutter speeds
1/1000 - 4 seconds

Continuous advance
Approx. 1.3 frames per second

Self-timer
Approx. 10 seconds delay

Movie recording
320 x 240 or 160 x 120 pixels at 15 or 30fps with audio.
Recording time depends only on capacity of memory card.

Audio
Audio recording: 180 minutes, Audio caption: 15 seconds,
Voice memo: 15 seconds (monaural recording only)
Digital zoom
4X (in 0.1X increments)

White-balance control
Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy)

Flash mode
Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Flash cancel,
Night portrait (with red-eye reduction)
A/D conversion
12 bits

LCD monitor
4.0 cm (1.6-type) TFT color, with total 110,000 pixels equivalent

Printing output control
PRINT Image Matching II

PC interface
USB ver. 1.1, no video output

Battery
NP-200 3.7V 750mAh lithium-ion
Charged out of camera with supplied BC-200 charger

Battery performance
(Minolta measurement)
Continuous playback time: approx. 240 minutes: LCD on, no audio.
Number of recording: approx. 220 frames: based on CIPA's standard: NP-200 lithium-ion battery, SD memory card included in the product package, LCD monitor on, 2048x1536 image size, standard image quality, no instant playback, no voice memo, flash used 50% of the time. Approximately 500 frames with the LCD off and all other specifications the same.
Operating time
Start-up time: approx. 1.1 seconds,
Shutter-release time-lag: approx. 0.1 seconds
Playback interval: approx. 0.2 second
External power source
4.7V DC (with specified AC)

Dimensions (WxHxD)
85.5 x 67 x 20 mm
3-1/2 x 2-5/8 x 13/16 inches

Weight
120g / 4.2 oz (without battery or recording media)

Standard accessories
Lithium-ion battery (NP-200), Battery Charger (BC-300), Hand strap
(HS-DG100), USB cable (USB-500), SD Memory Card (16MB), CD-ROM for DiMAGE Xg
* Availability of accessories depends on areas.
Optional accessories
Marine Case (MC-DG200), AC adapter (North America, Taiwan: AC-4, Others areas: AC-5), Camera case (CS-DG100), Metal Chain Neck Strap (NS-DG100)
* Availability of accessories depends on areas.

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer





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Features & Controls





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