Minolta DiMAGE X Review

Steve's Digicams

First Look posted 01/08/02
Full review posted 02/06/02

Click on the DiMAGE X to take a QuickTime VR tour

Minolta's DiMAGE X is the world's thinnest and lightest digital camera with a full, 3X optical zoom lens (as of Jan 1, 2002.) Thanks to a newly designed and revolutionary "folded" 3X optical zoom lens, the DiMAGE X is only 3/4 of an inch thick. The 37-111mm (35mm equivalent) lens doesn't extend out from the body, it moves vertically within the camera body. With dimensions of 3.3" (W) x 2.8" (H) x 0.8" (D) and weighing only 4.8 ounces, it fits easily into your pocket. The diminutive DiMAGE X features a dual-metal exterior body which makes it extremely rugged as well as stylish.

The DiMAGE X employs a high-resolution 2-megapixel imager and Minolta's proprietary CxProcess, a new image processing technology to provide clear and natural images up to 1600 x 1200 pixels. In image processing, too much emphasis on natural color produces flat color pictures. Overemphasizing the color range creates an unnatural color scheme. CxProcess balances both extremes by controlling sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to optimize results. The camera is powered by a fast new RISC CPU that enables an incredible 1.8-second startup time.

The Minolta DiMAGE X has a 12-bit A/D conversion that can provide a fine tonal gradation, with deep shadows, brilliant highlights and millions of colors, up to 4,096 levels in each RGB channel and more than 68 billion colors. Minolta's 12-bit A/D conversion provides exquisite details in portraiture: smooth complexion, rich shadows and luminous highlights, as opposed to the standard 10-bit A/D conversion with its limited 1,024 levels per RGB channel.

As well as capturing high-resolution still images, the DiMAGE X also records motion video at 15fps in 320 x 240 resolution with audio up to a maximum of 35 seconds. And 15 second audio notes can be attached to still images or you can record up to 90 seconds of audio without an image. The camera is powered by a small but powerful lithium rechargeable battery pack, a compact rapid charger brings the battery up to full power in no time. Images, movies and sound clips are stored on tiny Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia Cards (MMC), an 8MB SD card is included. Estimated street price is US$399.

DiMAGE X Major Features:

  • Incredibly compact and lightweight camera
  • Unique 3x "folded" F/2.8 optical zoom lens
  • 2-megapixel imager for images up to 1600 x 1200 pixels
  • Still images stored in JPEG compressed or uncompressed TIFF format
  • Motion video 320 x 240 with audio at 15fps up to 35 seconds
  • 15-second audio notes can be attached to images
  • 1.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor
  • Minolta's CxProcess image processing provides clear and natural images
  • 12-bit A/D conversion provides a finer tonal gradation
  • White balance options: automatic, daylight, tungsten, cloudy and fluorescent
  • built in flash with Auto, Red-eye reduction, Night portrait and Fill modes
  • Audio/Video output, NTSC or PAL selectable
  • Removable flash memory cards (SD or MMC type)
  • Epson PRINT Image Matching compliant
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included

Optional Marine Case MC-DG100

Minolta DiMAGE X

The Marine Case MC-DG100 is an extremely compact underwater housing molded to the slim profile of the DiMAGE X. From 30 meters (approximately 100 feet) under the surface of the ocean to the summit of a rugged peak, the Marine Case will protect the camera from the elements.

The Marine Case is designed for extreme sports, whether on water, snow, or rock. Although specifically designed for diving down to depths of 30 m (approximately 100 ft.), the case is perfect armor against the elements for all outdoor adventures: mountain climbing and camping, snow boarding and skiing, kayaking and white-water rafting; anywhere your heart desires to go.

Maximum Depth (underwater) 30m / 98.4 ft.
Weight 250 g / 8.8 oz.
Dimensions (W x H x D) 125.5 x 99 x 50.5 mm / 4.94 x 3.9 x 1.99 in.
(excluding protrusions)
Standard Accessories Hand Strap; O-Ring; O-Ring Grease; Desiccant
Optional Accessories O-Ring Set

Minolta DiMAGE X

DiMAGE X is one of the 2002 DIMA Innovative Digital Products

Physical Views

Minolta DiMAGE X

Minolta DiMAGE X

Minolta DiMAGE XMinolta DiMAGE X

Minolta DiMAGE X

Minolta DiMAGE X

Minolta DiMAGE X

The DiMAGE X compared to an ordinary credit card

Minolta DiMAGE XMinolta DiMAGE X

The DiMAGE X and the DiMAGE S404 for size (and thickness) comparison.

Continue on to
Page Two

DiMAGE X Specifications

CCD Imager 1/2.7 inch-type interline complimentary-color CCD with a total of 2.11 million pixels
Number of effective pixels 1.96 million pixels
Image Sizes Still images: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, Movie: 320x240
Image compression mode Super Fine (TIFF uncompressed)
Fine, Standard or Economy JPEG
Storage capacity (8 MB) Super Fine: 1, Fine: 6, Standard: 13, Economy: 25, Movie: 19 seconds, Audio: 842 seconds
File format Exif 2.1(JPEG), TIFF, Motion JPEG (MOV) and WAV
DCF 1.0-compliant, DPOF-compliant (Supported by printing functions in version 1.1)
Recording medium SD (Secure Digital), MMC (MultiMedia Card)
A/D conversion 12 bits per color RGB
Sensitivity Auto (between ISO 100-200)
Aspect ratio 4:3
Lens focal length 5.7mm - 17.1mm (37mm - 111mm in 35mm format)
Lens construction All glass: 9 elements in 8 groups (including three aspheric surfaces)
Maximum aperture f/2.8 - f/3.6
Focusing range 9.8 inches from the CCD to infinity
Maximum magnification 0.06x
Viewfinder Optical real-image zoom viewfinder
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) 3.8cm (1.5-inch) TFT color LCD monitor with total 110,000 pixels
Shutter CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter
Shutter speed 2 seconds - 1/1000 second (automatic)
Metering 256 multi-segment
Exposure modes Programmed AE
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV (in 1/3 EV increments)
Built-in flash range Wide: approximately 0.8 - 9.5 feet (0.25-2.9m), Telephoto: approximately 0.8 - 7.5 feet (0.25-2.3m) (Camera sensitivity: ISO 200)
Flash mode Auto, Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction, Night Portrait
Electronic Self-timer Approximately 10-second delayed release
Movie recording Maximum 35 seconds @ 15fps
White balance Auto, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Cloudy)
Printing output control PRINT Image Matching
PC interface USB version 1.1
Video output NTSC, PAL (can be selected by user)
Power Rechargeable lithium ion NP-200
Battery performance playback Continuous playback time: approximately 120 minutes
(Based on Minolta's standard test method: NP-200)
Battery performance recording Number of recorded images: approximately 120 frames
(Based on Minolta's standard test method: NP-200 battery, LCD on, full-size 1600x1200 images, standard quality, no instant playback, no voice memo, flash used with 50% of the frames, no instant playback)
External power source 4.7V DC with specified AC adapter (sold separately)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.3 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches (84.5 x 72 x 20 mm)
Weight Approximately 4.8 ounces (135g) (without battery and SD card)
Accessories Standard: Hand Strap HS-DG100, AV Cable AVC-200, USB Cable USB-500, SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card - 8 MB, Lithium-ion Battery NP-200, Lithium-ion Battery Charger BC-200, DiMAGE Software CD-ROM for DiMAGE X (includes DiMAGE Image Viewer Utility) Optional: AC Adapter AC-4
System Requirements IBM PC/AT compatible computer with Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows 98, or Windows 98 SE and a built-in USB port.

Apple Macintosh with Mac OS 8.6 - 9.2.1 or Mac OS X v10.1 and a built-in USB port

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