Steve's Digicams

Minolta Dimâge RD 3000

First Look posted 6/12/00
final review posted 7/12/00


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Minolta RD3000
Click to take a QTVR tour of the RD 3000

The Minolta Dimâge RD 3000 is a professional SLR digital camera that has all of the features of pro 35mm cameras including interchangeable lenses.   It delivers 1,984 x 1,360-pixel uncompressed TIF or finished JPEG (Exif 2.0) images from a pair of 1.5-megapixel CCD imagers using a half-mirror prism. The prism splits the image into left and right halves, each of which is projected onto its own CCD. The two images are then seamlessly rejoined by Minolta's Image Stitching technology, becoming a single 2.7-million pixel image.

Minolta RD3000

To downsize the part where the light passes through from the condenser lens to the half-mirror prism, three mirrors are included to bend the path three times. The second and third mirrors eliminate unnecessary infrared rays, without affecting the CCD's visible light sensitivity. Minolta's relay optical system allows light to pass through a low-pass filter at the optimum angle to suppress rainbow moiré artifacts to a minimum.

The RD 3000 is ideal for both handheld and tripod-mounted shooting. It looks large and bulky but in reality it's fairly lightweight at around 1kg. The camera is both sturdy and durable with a tough magnesium alloy exterior, the interior is reinforced with stainless steel. Its rather unusual design gives you a stable and secure grip of the camera and the controls are well placed and easy to operate.

Minolta RD3000

The RD 3000 is shown here with the optional Program (Maxxum) Flash 3500xi that has an auto-zoom function, 3-beam AF illumination, and bounce head. The flash shoe is dedicated for Minolta flashes but others may be used via a standard PC sync connector on the side of the camera.

Four exposure modes are available: (1) Programmed AE mode automatically selects the optimum exposure and shutter speed. (2) Aperture Priority, (3) Shutter Speed Priority [2 to 1/2000 sec], or (4) Full Manual [30 to 1/2000 sec shutter speeds]. Light conditions are measured by a 14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering system with a Spot metering option.

Jump to the complete RD3000 specifications.

Minolta RD3000

On the back is a 2-inch low-temp TFT color LCD used for image review only. It can not be used as a viewfinder during record mode. The buttons around the LCD are used to control the Playback functions.

Minolta RD3000

The RD 3000 is a SLR (single lens reflex) "through the lens" system, you see exactly what the lens sees in the finder. The viewfinder shows about 85% of the full frame as captured in the final image. To accomodate all users there is a diopter adjustment for the eyelevel finder.

Minolta RD3000

Looking down on the top we find a Minolta-dedicated flash shoe (covered), the various controls and the data LCD display.

Minolta RD3000

The bottom is totally flat and has a metal tripod socket and the battery access door.

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Page Two

RD3000 Specifications

Type   SLR Digital camera with interchangeable lens system
Lens mount   Minolta V mount
Image sensor   1/2 type progressive CCD with 1,500,000 pixels x 2
Final resolution   Approx. 2,700,000 pixels
Image size   1,984 x 1,360 pixels
Image capturing system   Hybrid Seamless Imaging System (Dual CCD)
File format   JPEG (Exif2.0), TIFF (Exif2.0)
Storage medium   CompactFlash Card Type I and II
Image compression ratio   SUPER FINE (TIFF): uncompressed, FINE (JPEG): approx. 1/5, STD. (JPEG): approx. 1/10, ECON. (JPEG): approx. 1/15
Storage capacity*   (30MB CompactFlash Card)
SUPER FINE: 3 images, FINE: 17 images, STD.: 33 images,
ECON.: 52 images
* Based on standard image-file size; the size differs depending on the subject.
LCD monitor   5.1cm (2-inch) TFT LCD monitor made of low-temperature polysilicon
AF system type   Minolta's TTL (through-the-lens) phase-detection system with one CCD line sensor; Focus mode: automatic selection between single frame and continuous drive; auto / manual focus (selectable on the lens), AF control: predictive focus control for moving subjects
Metering system   TTL type, 14-segment Honeycomb-pattern metering / spot metering selectable; Range: 14-segment Honeycomb-pattern metering: EV 3 - 20, Spot metering: EV 6 - 20
Exposure modes   Programmed AE (P mode), Aperture-priority mode (A mode), Shutter-priority (S mode), Manual exposure (M mode)
Exposure compensation   +/-3 EV (in 1/2 EV increments)
Shutter   CCD electronic control and vertical-traverse focal plane shutter; Range: P/S/A mode: 1/2000 – 2 seconds, M mode: 1/2000 – 30 seconds*; Flash sync: 1/125 seconds or slower
* To avoid possible image deterioration due to increased noise, exposure of more than two seconds for single image is not recommended.
Sensitivity   ISO 200 (In the Gain Up mode*, sensitivity becomes as high as ISO 800 equivalent.)
* This mode reveals certain noise as the brightness of the object increases. Depending on the subject, noise and color captured by the left and right CCDs may differ slightly.
White balance   User-selectable white balance settings: Auto (outer metering), Manual (outdoor, indoor, flash), Custom (one-push auto)
Flash   External flash available (optional), Wireless / remote off-camera flash control available
Viewfinder   SLR type, TTL (through-the-lens) relay-optical finder, Field of view (vertical x horizontal): approx. 94% x 95%, Magnification: 0.8X
Drive mode   Single mode, Continuous mode: approx. 1.5 frames per seconds (in 1,984 x 1,360 pixels, up to 5 frames), Remote release and Self-timer available
Interface   SCSI-2, Video output, Accessory shoe: Minolta standard shoe, PC terminal: compatible with positive and negative polarities,
IR Remote control: RC-3
Power source   AA Ni-Cd x 4 or AA Ni-MH x 4 batteries, AC adapter
( W x H x D )
  150 x 101 x 117mm (5-7/8 x 4 x 4-5/8 inch)
Weight (without batteries)   Approx. 1kg (Approx. 35.3 ounce)
Standard accessories   AC Adapter, Ni-MH batteries, Ni-MH charger, SCSI Cable, Video Cable, CD-ROM, Holding Strap

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