Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Minolta 07/17/03 Press Release

Press Release - July 17, 2003

Minolta Introduces the New DiMAGE X20 Digital Camera

World's smallest and lightest 2 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens* makes creative digital photography fun and easy

See our DiMAGE X20 First Look

Ramsey, NJ (July 17, 2003) - Minolta Corporation introduces the world's smallest and lightest 2-megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom* - the DiMAGE X20. This tiny new fun and easy to use digital camera incorporates numerous creative features such as slide show playback, self-portrait mode, multi-frame drive mode, Image Pasting, movie mode, noise reduction function and web communications capability. The new Minolta DiMAGE X20 combines responsive performance and a user-friendly design with the incredible non- extending zoom lens and fast startup time inherited from Minolta's DiMAGE X series of digital cameras. A user simply turns the camera on, and in one second the camera is ready to take pictures.

"The DiMAGE X20 is a high quality little camera with a big appetite for action," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "This digital camera fits easily into your pocket - and fits easily into your life. Small, speedy and stylish, you will want to have this camera with you at all times."

Creative Control

Unique to the Minolta DiMAGE X20 is a self-portrait mode. While holding the camera at arm's length, the use of the specially curved mirror on the front of the DiMAGE X20 allows users to correctly compose a picture of themselves and a friend without having to hand the camera off to a stranger.

Minolta's new multi-frame drive mode, captures nine sequential frames of a single event in one picture like the reaction of a friend as they walk in on a surprise party. The nine images are laid out in a 3 x 3 grid in a single frame.

The portrait mode controls exposure, flash, and image processing to emphasize the subject's natural skin tone. And for something a little different, images can be captured in one of five monochrome modes; the traditional grays of black and white, the warmth and ageless quality of sepia, or red, green, and blue tones to add fun or feeling.

Image Pasting allows one image to be placed within another for a creative touch. After choosing the background image, a user simply selects the frame shape and size and positions it over the chosen background image. The live image is displayed inside the selected frame. After composing the subject in the frame the user presses the shutter button to embed and save the image.

But the Minolta DiMAGE X20 will do more than just take photographs. XR (Extended Recording) movie processing allows digital video with audio to be captured and played back. The length of the XR movie is only limited by the memory card capacity and image size. Two image sizes can be selected: 160 x 120 pixels and 320 x 240 pixels.

For the more serious photographer, the DiMAGE X20 features a 3 x 3 graphic menu that provides easy and quick access to the camera's controls. Camera settings are changed with a simple five-way controller on the back of the camera.

The DiMAGE X20 makes face-to-face conversations possible with friends or family that have moved away when it is used as a remote camera for web communication. Using the supplied USB cable a photographer can connect the camera to a computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system and a compatible application such as Microsoft Net Meeting.

Camera Features

The DiMAGE X20 is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system uses a 2.1 megapixel 1/3.2-type interline primary-color CCD with 2.0 million effective pixels for fine images. This pixel resolution can produce letter size 150dpi prints or postcard size photo-quality prints.

The DiMAGE X20 uses Minolta's unobtrusive non-extending zoom lens. This revolutionary design uses internal folded optics, which does not change the slim profile of the camera even while recording. The 3x optical zoom, equivalent to a 37 - 111mm lens on a 35mm camera, is assisted by a 4x digital zoom giving a seamless zoom range of 12x.

Dark noise, a persistent problem in digital photography, manifests itself by giving a grainy or sandy appearance to images taken with long exposures. The DiMAGE X20 combats this with a noise-reduction function that automatically activates for exposures of one second or longer.

The camera's high-performance five-point autofocus system makes taking beautiful, sharp images simple. Place the subject anywhere within the extra-wide focus frames and the camera will do the rest. The camera uses visual and audio signals to confirm focus.

Close-up pictures can be made with the DiMAGE X20. The lens focuses down to 3.9 inches at all focal lengths without the need of a separate function. This covers an area of about 1.6 x 1.2 inches.

One of the most popular features of digital photography is being able to see pictures immediately. The DiMAGE X20 makes viewing digital pictures easier than ever. With the press of a single button, users can access their recorded images. VGA (640 x 480) jpeg files of the user's images can be collected in one folder so they can be shared by using either the camera as an electronic photo album or by sending them via e-mail. Images can also be played back like a slide show complete with dissolves, wipes, and fades either on the camera's LCD panel or on a TV or computer screen. Vertical images can also be rotated for horizontal viewing from within the camera - an added benefit for slide show viewing.

* As of June 15th, 2003.

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 or access Minolta's PHOTOFAX at 800-528-4767.

All brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

DiMAGE X20 Specifications

No. of effective pixelsApprox. 2.0 million
CCD1/3.2-type interline primary-color CCD with a total of approx. 2.1-million pixels
Lens4.8 14.4mm (35mm equivalent: 37 - 111mm), f/ 2.8 - f/ 3.7; 10 elements in 9 groups
(includes 2 double-sided aspheric elements)
Recording mediaSD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard
File formatJPEG, Motion JPEG (MOV): WAVE, DCF 1.0, DPOF, and Exif 2.2 compliant
No. of recorded pixels1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480, Movie: 320 x 240, 160 x 120
Storage capacity*
(using 8 MB card)
(1600 x 1200) Economy: approx. 22, Standard: approx. 12, Fine: approx. 6,
Movie: (320 x 240) 19 seconds, (160 x 120) 74 seconds
* Numbers above are approx., and may vary depending on the subject and the media used.
Autofocus systemVideo AF, Focus lock available
Autofocus areasWide focus area (5 point AF)
Focusing range0.10m / 5/16 feet to infinity (from the front of the camera)
Exposure controlProgramed AE, AE lock available
Exposure compensation+/-2 Ev in 1/3 increments
MeteringMulti-segment (256 segments)
Camera sensitivityAuto (between ISO 64-200 equivalent), ISO 64, 100, 200, 400 equivalents
Shutter speeds4 1/1000 seconds
Continuous advanceApprox. 1.5 frames per second
Self-timerApprox. 10 second delay
Movie recordingRecording time depends on memory card capacity.
Digital zoom4X (Max.) in 0.1X increments
White-balance controlAutomatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy)
Flash modeAutoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Flash cancel, Night portrait (with red-eye reduction)
LCD monitor4.0cm digital interface TFT color monitor with anti-reflection coating
Printing output controlExif Print, PRINT Image Matching II
PC interfaceUSB*, Video output NTSC / PAL (selectable)
* The data will be transferred at full-speed (12 Mb/s) when connected to USB 2.0 compatible computers.
BatteryTwo AA batteries (alkaline, Ni-MH)
Battery performance*
* Minolta measurements
Continuous playback time: approx. 260 minutes (when using alkaline batteries)
Number of recordings: approx. 110 frames
Operating time (approx.)Start-up time: 1.0 seconds, Shutter-release time-lag: 0.1 second,
Playback interval: approx. 0.2 second
External power source3V DC (with specified AC)
Additional functionsSelf portrait, Multi frame, Image pasting, Direct print, E-mail copy, Date imprinting, Remote camera
Dimensions (WxHxD)86 x 67 x 23.5mm / 3-3/8 x 2-5/8 x 15/16 inches
WeightApprox. 115g / 4-1/16 ounces (without batteries and recording media)
Standard accessoriesTwo AA alkaline batteries, Neck Strap NS-DG 500, AV Cable (AVC-200),USB Cable (USB-500),
SD Memory Card (8MB), DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM
Optional accessoriesAC adapter (North America, Taiwan: AC-6L, Other areas: AC-6LE)

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