Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi Review

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Features & Controls

Perhaps the most impressive and noticeable feature of the DiMAGE 7Hi 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 has an autofocus range of 1.6 feet to infinity in normal mode. It can be set for wide angle macro with a range of 1.0 - 2.0 feet or telephoto macro which has a range of 0.8 - 2.0 feet.

The DiMAGE 7Hi features a wide-area AF system with Flex Focus Point which changes the extra-wide focus to a cross-hair spot focus point that can be moved to anywhere desired within the image frame. The autofocus is on the DiMAGE 7Hi is twice as fast as that of the original DiMAGE 7.

Minolta DiMAGE 7HiMinolta DiMAGE 7Hi

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 DiMAGE 7i and 7Hi offer DMF (direct manual focusing) so you can manually adjust focus without leaving auto focus mode.

Filters and add-on lenses can be attached with the 49mm threads provided on the end of the lens. The included lens shade attaches via a bayonet type mount.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

The Digital Hyper Viewfinder provides a true through-the-lens view of exactly what the lens is seeing. The shielded EVF gives you a clear view even under bright light using a reflective color LCD with a resolution equivalent to 220,000 pixels. The variable position viewfinder can be tilted upwards to a maximum of 90 degrees.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

In low-light situations the EVF amplifies the video signal so you can properly frame the shot. The display goes black & white but the image is captured in full color. The above screenshot was taken in the semi-darkness underneath of my computer desk. As you can see, there is no problem framing the shot even in these low-light conditions.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

Whatever you see on the color 1.8" LCD can also be viewed on the EVF by simply flipping the display control switch. The Auto-EVF setting will automatically switch the signal from the LCD to the EVF when you put it up to your eye. To save power the EVF only comes on when your eye is up to the viewfinder. It has a diopter adjustment (-5.0 to +0.5) and a large rubber eyecup that works even when wearing eyeglasses.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

The builtin pop-up flash offers Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction and Rear flash sync, it recycles in approximately 7 seconds. The DiMAGE 7Hi features ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) flash exposure or you can select the Pre-flash TTL mode. The flash range in Wideangle is approximately 1.6 - 12.5 feet (0.5-3.8m), in Telephoto it's approximately 1.6 - 9.8 feet (0.5-3m) with camera sensitivity set to auto.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

Using the dedicated hot shoe flash connector you can attach the powerful Minolta Program Flash 5600 HS or Program Flash 3600 HS which offer versatile functions such as auto power zoom, wireless/remote off-camera flash, and test 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.

The D7Hi now features Wireless/Remote flash when used with the 5600HS(D) or 3600HS(D) external flash units. The camera can fire these flash units without the need of a cable as long as they are in "line of sight" to the camera. Single or multiple flash units can be placed around the subject to create different lighting effects. The camera can be set to a specific wireless trigger channel (1-4) in the menu.

Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi

Last but not least, the DiMAGE 7Hi now has a standard PC flash sync port for connecting to any type of external flash equipment including studio strobes.

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