Minolta DiMAGE Xi Review

Steve's Digicams

Review posted 12/08/02

Click on the DiMAGE Xi to take a QuickTime VR tour

Building on the success of the highly popular two-megapixel Minolta DiMAGE X, the DiMAGE Xi is equipped with a 3.3 megapixel CCD (3.2 million effective pixels) as well as a host of new functions and enhancements such as improved 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).

The DiMAGE Xi like the DiMAGE X, is only 3/4 of an inch thick and exploys a unique and revolutionary folded 3x optical zoom lens. Making a camera this thin would be impossible with conventional lens technology so Minolta designed a "folded" zoom lens that moves vertically within the camera body. That means that when the lens goes from wide angle to telephoto it remains inside the camera body. The 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 37mm - 111mm on a 35mm camera, and can be further extended with the the new 4x digital zoom feature.

In addition to the increased image 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 Minolta's top-of-the-line DiMAGE 7Hi SLR-type digital camera.

You can also records motion video at 15fps in 320 x 240 resolution with audio up to a maximum of 35 seconds. 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 battery pack and is recharged with the included compact rapid charger. Images, movies and sound clips are stored on tiny Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia Cards (MMC), a 16MB SD card is included.

DiMAGE Xi Major Features:

  • Incredibly compact and lightweight camera
  • Rugged and durable aluminum body with a stainless steel front panel
  • Unique "folded" 3x f/2.8 optical zoom lens
  • 3-megapixel imager for images up to 2048 x 1536 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
  • 90-second audio-only files can be recorded
  • Low reflective 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 II compliant
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • USB 1.1 Mass Storage Compliant device

Physical Views

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

Minolta DiMAGE XiMinolta DiMAGE Xi

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

Minolta DiMAGE Xi

The DiMAGE Xi compared in size to an ordinary credit card

Minolta DiMAGE XiMinolta DiMAGE Xi

The Olympus C-5050 and DiMAGE Xi for size (and thickness) comparison.

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Features & Controls

DiMAGE Xi Specifications

No. of effective pixels
Approx. 3.2 million

1/2.7-type interline primary-color CCD with a total of approx.
3.3-million pixels
Lens construction
9 elements in 8 groups (includes 1 one-sided aspherical element and 2 double-sided aspheric elements)
Focal length
5.7 - 17.1 mm (35 mm equivalent: 37 - 111 mm)

Maximum aperture
f/2.8 - f/3.6

Recording media
SD Memory Cards / MultiMediaCard

File format

No. of recorded pixels
2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480

Storage capacity (approx.)

2048x1536 1600x1200 1280x960 640x480
Economy 36 frames 56 frames 82 frames 226 frames
Standard 18 frames 29 frames 45 frames 150 frames
Fine 9 frames 15 frames 23 frames 82 frames
Super fine 1 frame 2 frames 3 frames 15 frames
Movie 41 seconds
Audio recording 30 minutes 51 seconds

Using 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card
Autofocus system
Video AF, Focus lock available

Focusing range
0.25 m / 0.8 feet to infinity (from the front of the camera)

Exposure control
Programmed AE, AE lock available

Exposure compensation
+/-2Ev in 1/3 increments

Multi-segment (256 segments)

Camera sensitivity
Auto (between ISO 50-160 equivalent), ISO 50 / 100 / 200 / 400

Shutter speeds
1/1000 - 2 seconds

Continuous advance
Approx. 1.6 frames per second

Approx. 10 seconds delay

Movie recording
Max. 35 seconds, with monaural audio

Audio recording: 31 minutes, Audio caption: 15 seconds,
Voice memo: 15 seconds (monaural recording only)
Digital zoom
2X, 4X (in 0.2X increments)

White-balance control
Automatic, Preset (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy)

Flash mode
Autoflash, Autoflash with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Flash cancel,
Night portrait (with red-eye reduction)
A/D conversion
12 bits

LCD monitor
3.8 cm (1.5-type) TFT color, with total 110,000 pixels equivalent

Printing output control
PRINT Image Matching II

PC interface
USB ver. 1.1, Video output NTSC / PAL (selectable)

NP-200 3.7V 750mAh lithium-ion
Charged out of camera with supplied BC-200 charger

Battery performance
(Minolta measurement)
Continuous playback time: approx. 110 minutes
Number of recording: approx. 120 frames
Operating time
Start-up time: approx. 1.2 seconds,
Shutter-release time-lag: approx. 0.3 seconds
Playback interval: approx. 1 second
External power source
4.7V DC (with specified AC)

Dimensions (WxHxD)
84.5 x 72 x 20 mm
3-5/16 x 2-13/16 x 13/16 inches

130g / 4.6 oz (without battery or recording media)

Standard accessories
Lithium-ion battery (NP-200), Battery Charger (BC-200), Hand strap
(HS-DG100), AV cable (AVC-200), USB cable (USB-500), SD Memory Card (16MB), CD-ROM for DiMAGE Xi
* Availability of accessories depends on areas.
Optional accessories
Marine Case (MC-DG100), AC adapter (North America, Taiwan: AC-4, Others areas: AC-5), Camera case (CS-DG100), Metal Chain Neck Strap (NS-DG100)
* Availability of accessories depends on areas.

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer

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Features & Controls

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