Minolta DiMAGE S304 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Features & Controls
The all-glass 4x Minolta GT lens is constructed of 11 elements in 9 groups (includes 1 AD glass element and 2 double-sided aspheric elements). The focal length is 7.15 - 28.6 mm (35-140mm in 35mm format) with a maximum aperture of f/3.0 - f/3.6. It has 35.5mm threads for filters or addon lenses.
The focusing range is 19.7 inch to infinity in wideangle, 35.4 inch to infinity in telephoto. The dedicated macro mode is fixed at 15.5mm and covers from 6.3 to 23.6 inches.
The TTL autofocus system can be wide area or the user can select one of five
focus points. The lens can be manually focused with a series of preset distances.
The user can select single or continuous AF operation.
The eyelevel optical real-image zoom viewfinder has a field of view of approx. 80%
of the captured image. It has 18.5 mm / 0.7 inch of eye-relief but no diopter adjustment.
Two LEDs are used to indicate focus and flash status.
The builtin flash has modes for Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye Reduction, Fill-flash,
Fill-flash with red-eye Reduction or Flash Cancel. The working range of the flash is
0.5 - 3.5 m in wideangle and 0.9 - 3.0 m in telephoto. With a fully charged set of
batteries the flash recycle time is approx. 7 seconds.
The large monochrome data LCD on the top lets you see all the important camera settings at a glance without the need to turn on the color LCD. Pressing the silver button lets you enable Macro mode, Portrait mode, Landscape mode, Night Scene mode or Text mode. Below the LCD are buttons for the flash mode, selftimer / drive modes and exposure compensation.
The Mode Dial has positions for Off, AUTO record, Multi Record, Play, Movie record,
SETUP and Connect to PC.
On the back is a 1.8" color TFT LCD monitor which can be used as a live viewfinder or
for image review or accessing the menu system. The 4-way selector lets you navigate
through the menus and making selections by pressing the center inward. The 4-way selector
is also used as the zoom lens control in record mode as well as changing shutter speeds,
aperture values and exposure compensation. The MENU button enables the onscreen menus.
Below that is the QuickView button to let you see the last image captured without
leaving record mode. In playback this button is used to delete images. The bottom
button controls the color LCD, the display format or the information overlayed on it.
The I/O ports are found behind the CompactFlash door and include an A/V port for the
monoraul audio and video output signal (selectable for NTSC or PAL). There's a fast
USB port for transfering images to the computer. On the bottom is a 6v DC INput
The S304 is equipped with a CompactFlash Type I card slot and comes with a 16MB CF
card, it's compatible with any brand or capacity of CF card.
Power is supplied by four AA type batteries, high-capacity NiMH type is strongly recommended, you won't get very far with alkaline batteries in this camera. Minolta claims 280 frames with the LCD off or 150 frames with the LCD on if using NiMH and no more than 50% of the pictures use the flash.
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