Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Minolta 05/12/03 Press Release





Press Release - May 12, 2003




Minolta Introduces The Stylish New Dimage Scan Elite 5400 Film Scanner

New scanner features 5400dpi resolution, a new Quick Scan function, 16-bit A/D conversion, high speed data transfer, and Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE technology




Ramsey, NJ (May 12, 2003) - The new Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 offers professional quality scans even for those new to film scanning and digital image processing. Minolta's stylish new 35mm film scanner combines incredible 5400dpi resolution with advanced features such as Digital ICE image restoration technology from Applied Science Fiction, 16-bit A/D conversion, USB 2.0 connection, a new Quick Scan function and easy-to-use controls. The DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400's high resolution capability can easily make up to full-frame 24 inch photo-quality prints.

"High quality film scanners play an increasingly important role for film-based photographers seeking to convert their important photographs into the digital realm," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "Now, with the introduction of the new DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 film scanner, Minolta once again establishes the high water mark in both quality and ease of use. Not to mention the fact that the design of this unit looks so gorgeous, users will be proud to add it their workstation."

With 16-bit A/D conversion, the new Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 will reproduce the rich variations in tone and color of an original film image. 16-bit A/D conversion is able to distinguish 65,536 tonal gradations for each color channel - capturing the depth and subtly of the original film image.

Advanced Technology

The new Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 incorporates several advanced image enhancing technologies allowing users to get the best results possible from their pictures without the need for any complicated software procedures. Featured in this new scanner, Applied Science Fiction's award winning Digital ICE technology which automatically reduces the appearance of dust and scratches as well as other film surface contamination such as fingerprints.

Minolta's unique Grain Dissolver reduces the affect of film grain in the scanned image. And, Minolta's Pixel-Polish tab makes improving picture quality simple. Automatic image-processing corrections are made by clicking on the parameters which best describe the picture; the DiMAGE Scan Utility will instantly show the result. For critical control over image sharpness, the scanner can be manually focused. A large manual focus dial on the scanner unit allows fine adjustments to be made.

Versatility

The DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 is easily connected to either a PC or Macintosh computer using an IEEE1394 (FireWire) or USB 2.0 interface. Both interfaces have fast data transfer rates, which is important for handling the large image files that can be created with the DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400.

Stylish Design

The outward appearance of the scanner reflects the sophisticated technology used in the DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400. The stylized metal body is the antithesis of the usual drab featureless design of computer products. The slim, vertical design creates a small footprint to minimize clutter around the computer. And the supplied stand can be used to stabilize the scanner unit.

Based on the designs used with Minolta's top-of-the-line DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO, the DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400's film holders use a hinged cover to hold filmstrips and mounted slides. The slide mount holder allows a single slide to be changed without having to eject the holder from the scanner.

Simplified Scanning

The scanner's new Quick Scan function makes initializing the scanner and software as easy as pressing a button. Quick Scan permits the selection among the standard DiMAGE Scan Utility, the Easy Scan Utility, or the Batch Scan Utility as well as setting a short cut to a specific application. The Batch Scan Utility allows large volumes of film to be scanned without having to make individual settings for each image. By simply pressing the scan button on the front of the DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 a user can activate the utility for each batch of film.

The scanner's Easy Scan Utility simplifies the scanning procedure for users who are new to film scanning and image processing. Simply select the film type, the pictures to be scanned, and how the images are to be used; the scanner will do the rest. Automatic image processing can also be applied. The images can then be saved directly to the computer or printed out on a printer.






Minolta Announces New CompactFlash Adapter for SD Memory Cards

New Minolta SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter provides the ultimate in flexibility, compatibility and convenience




Ramsey, NJ (May 12, 2003) - Minolta Corporation announces the new Minolta SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter, enabling SD (Secure Digital) Memory Cards to be used with most CompactFlash compatible cameras, printers, PDAs or other imaging equipment. Use of an SD Memory Card with the new Minolta adapter permits transfer rates of up to 30% faster* then CompactFlash cards alone.

In addition, by combining the new Minolta SD-CF1 adapter with PCMCIA Type I CF type PC card adapters, SD Memory Cards can be used with laptop computers. With unmatched compatibility, SD Memory Cards can now be used to transfer data between three different kinds of card slots - SD Memory Card slots, CompactFlash slots, and PC card slots (PC card slot requires the Minolta CompactFlash Card Adapter CA-1C).

"Minolta is committed to making digital photography easier for everyone," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "The new Minolta SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter seamlessly integrates recording media for different model digital cameras and other devices enabling consumers to use recording media they already own. And in many instances, has the added advantage of improved performance characteristics."

The new Minolta SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter was developed because currently available CompactFlash adapters interfere with the closing of digital camera card chambers. The innovative functionality of the Minolta SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter was achieved through a 15% miniaturization of all circuit dimensions. This allows SD Memory Cards to completely fit in type I CompactFlash compatible cameras without sacrificing operability.

The SD-CF1 adapter also allows SD Memory Cards used with the Minolta DiMAGE X and F series cameras to be used in the Minolta DiMAGE 7 and S series cameras (which use CompactFlash type I). For example, the same SD Memory Card can be used for both the Minolta DiMAGE Xi and Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi, enabling Minolta digital camera users to unify their recording media. By allowing users to take advantage of both CompactFlash type I and type II slots, the Minolta SD-CF1 adapter provides the ultimate in flexibility.

The Minolta SD-CF1 adapter also maximizes performance by taking advantage of the SD Memory Card's fast reading and writing speed. By combining the adapter with the Panasonic 256MB or 512MB SD Memory Cards for example, an ultimate read/write rate of 3.3MB/s can be achieved.

As a further benefit, images recorded by SD Memory Card compatible digital cameras can be downloaded into CompactFlash compatible PDAs. Likewise, images shot on SD Memory Card compatible digital cameras can be printed directly from CompactFlash compatible printers without being attached to a computer.

*Results are based on Minolta's standard testing methods.






Minolta Announces Retail Version Of Dimage Messenger Software

Boxed CD-ROM version now available at retailers nationwide

Ramsey, NJ (May 12, 2003) - Minolta Corporation announces the retail availability of a boxed CD-ROM version of Minolta DiMAGE Messenger digital imaging software. This new digital imaging software allows users to connect written text to specific portions of digital images, share the combination with others via e-mail or printed copy, and invite related comments to be added from the receiver - all in just a few, simple steps.

"Consumers can enjoy a free trial version of Minolta's DiMAGE Messenger by downloading the software from our Web site, and if they like it, they can purchase the full version from their local retailer," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing for Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "This new software is ideal for consumers interested in conveniently sharing their favorite images as well as business users that benefit from clear communications based on digital images."

The GUI (Graphical User Interface) of the DiMAGE Messenger software program opens into three panes. An image is loaded at top, left. Text is entered in the pane below the image. When the user draws a box to isolate the specific image portion that corresponds to the text and clicks "add, the text automatically reappears in the right-hand pane. By dragging the mouse cursor over the text, the box that was drawn onto the image reappears. By placing a check mark in front of the text, the image inside the drawn box is enlarged to fill the image pane, showing details clearly.

The DiMAGE Messenger files can be printed to show the original image with the detailed image sections arranged in up to three columns and the corresponding text beneath each. The boxes drawn by the user to identify the image sections are color- coded. Color matching is available for accurate monitor and printer reproduction.

These annotated images can be sent to others via e-mail from within the application by selecting the "mail" button from the command program's menu. A trial version of DiMAGE Messenger can be attached to the e-mail automatically, if desired. The recipient can enjoy all functions of the software during the 14-day trial period and obtain a software license key to register a fully active version. After 14 days the trial version reverts to become a reader if it has not been validated. The reader will allow the user to open and read images and comments, but it does not allow additional comments to be added or edited.

Minolta DiMAGE Messenger software is an ideal communication tool. Home users will enjoy adding linked text to family albums, documenting personal possessions and organizing many details of their daily lives such as creating their own digital recipe files. The application is ideal for all persons who need to communicate by looking at and working with images and exchanging written words about the elemental contents of those images - and is especially useful when significant distances separate two or more people. Other examples of highly suitable applications include identifying individuals in group photos, communicating with designers and consultants, and documentation for technical devices or real estate and insurance appraisals.

The Minolta DiMAGE Messenger CD-ROM retail version is available for less than .

Minolta Corporation

Minolta Corporation, headquartered in Ramsey, New Jersey, is the largest subsidiary of Minolta Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, a leading manufacturer of cameras, business equipment, radiometric instruments and planetariums. Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group (CPG) markets 35mm film and Advanced Photo System cameras, digital cameras, binoculars, accessory lenses, photographic light meters, 35mm and Advanced Photo System film scanners and other consumer products.

The corporation's Business Products Group (BPG) markets digital and analog office equipment. Products include black-and-white copiers, digital black and white printer/copiers, plain-paper laser facsimile machines, digital color printer/copiers, micrographic systems, document management software, and related office equipment.

For more information, visit Minolta's Web site located at www.minoltausa.com or access Minolta's PHOTOFAX at 800-528-4767.





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