Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Minolta 09/22/02 Press Release

Press Release - September 22, 2002

Minolta Introduces The World's Smallest And Lightest 3.2 Megapixel Dimage Xi Digital Camera

New digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens also features the world's fastest start up time* and increased image quality, further enhancing Minolta's popular DiMAGE camera line

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

Cologne, Germany, Hall 1.2, Stand G 2-18 (September 25, 2002) - Minolta Corporation announces today at Photokina the new Minolta DiMAGE Xi digital camera. Building on the success of the highly popular and award winning Minolta DiMAGE X, the new DiMAGE Xi is equipped with a 3.3 megapixel CCD (3.2 million effective pixels) as well as a host of new functions and features.

The elegant new Minolta DiMAGE Xi features enhancements such as increased image quality, the world's fastest start-up time (1.2 seconds), and a seamless zoom range of 12x (combining both optical and digital zoom). Its camera body is made of aluminum with a brushed stainless-steel faceplate.

"The DiMAGE Xi builds on Minolta's renowned strength in optics and expertise in miniaturization," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president of marketing, Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "What sets this sister model to the DiMAGE X apart from the crowd is its enhanced image quality, remarkable optical and digital zoom range, and the world's fastest start up time in such a small and compact camera body."

The new Minolta DiMAGE Xi is approximately of an inch thick and shares the same revolutionary folded 3x optical zoom lens as the DiMAGE X. Making a camera this thin would be impossible with conventional zoom lens technology. However, the unique design of the 3x optical zoom lens allows it to move, or "zoom," vertically within the camera body. That means that when the lens moves from wide angle to telephoto, it always remains inside the camera body. The 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 37mm - 111mm on a 35mm camera, and with the incorporation of the DiMAGE Xi's 4x digital zoom, the camera has up to a 12x seamless zooming capability.

This lens employs five aspheric elements (including two double-sided) to ensure sharp, contrasty images at all focal lengths. In spite of its compact dimensions, the optical zoom has a fast, maximum aperture of f/2.8 - f/3.6 (wide - telephoto), which allows images to be captured in low light with little noise.

Besides increased resolution, the DiMAGE Xi has several other enhancements when compared to its sibling the DiMAGE X, including user-selectable ISO settings, optional date imprinting, spot autofocus (AF), an improved anti-reflection LCD and automatic e-mail file copy creation.

Images captured with the high-quality lens of the DiMAGE Xi are enhanced by Minolta's CxProcess image processing technology, which helps control sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise. This same technology is used in the top-of-the-line Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi SLR-type digital camera.

The Minolta DiMAGE Xi is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system starts with a 3.3 megapixel 1/2.7-type interline primary-color CCD with 3.2 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. The pixel resolution of the CCD will produce 10 x 14 inch (B4-size) 150dpi photo-quality prints.

* World's fastest start up time of any digital camera with an optical zoom*.

A versatile multimedia tool, users can also make movie clips and add audio to their still images with the DiMAGE Xi

A 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card is included for image storage. About the size of a postage stamp, it is the smallest, high-capacity memory card currently on the market. These tiny cards are inexpensive and widely available. The camera also accepts MultiMediaCards.

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 35 mm 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.

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