Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 Review

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DiMAGE Viewer Software

The DiMAGE Viewer software is included with the camera and allows you to maintain your image collections with a visual browser interface. It is compatible with Windows XP, Me, 2000 Professional, 98 or 98 SE with a built-in USB port as standard interface. And Apple Macintosh computers with Mac OS 9.0-9.2.2 or Mac OS X v.10.1.3-10.1.5, v.10.2.1-10.2.8 and v.10.3-10.3.5 with a built-in USB port as standard interface.

DiMAGE Viewer can be used on individual JPEG, TIFF or RAW images or multiple images can be processed and saved at one time. Highlight the images to be processed in the thumbnail browser display and then select the batch-processing option from the tools menu. The batch-processing dialog box will open.

Movie clips, Voice memos, audio captions, and audio recordings made with the camera can also be played back with the DiMAGE Viewer.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

The contents of a folder can be displayed as thumbnail images, icons, or in a list with file data. To change the display format, simply press the appropriate button located on the tool bar. Shown here is the thumbnail browser interface. The thumbnail format can be changed. Four formats are available: large, medium, small, and medium with data. To edit an image just double-click it to bring it up the image-correction window.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

The image-correction window displays the image processing tools. Adjustments to color, contrast, brightness, and saturation can be made. You can also rotate, flip vertically or horizontally, resize or imprint image information. Your corrections can be saved and recalled for future use on other images.

The view menu can turn the tool bars, snapshot display area, status bar, image information display, and color histograms on and off.

You can display the image's embedded Exif 2.1 information recorded at the time of capture (shutter speed, aperture, focal length, flash, white balance and etc). This Exif information can be saved to a text file or you can append a comment to it.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

Click the brightness, contrast, color-balance button or select Brightness, Contrast, Color Balance from the image-correction option on the correction menu to display the palette. Drag the brightness, contrast, or color sliders, or enter specific values in the corresponding text box to make corrections. Dragging each slider to the right or inputting a positive number in the text box increases the brightness, contrast, and color.

Changes will be reflected in the displayed image and in the graph at the top of the palette. The horizontal axis of the chart indicates the original image values and the vertical axis the new values. Click the reset button to cancel all changes. Clicking the auto-setting button corrects the brightness and contrast automatically without affecting the color balance. Click the reset button to cancel the changes.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

The variation palette allows an image to be corrected by comparing it to other slightly corrected images surrounding it. This is an easy method to correct images for individuals who are inexperienced in image processing or photofinishing.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

Click the tone-curve/histogram button to display the palette. Click the arrow next to the channel box to select the channel from the drop-down menu. To make adjustments to the color balance of the image, select the appropriate color channel. To adjust the contrast or brightness of the image without affecting the color, select the RGB channel.

The tone curve is a graphic representation of the brightness and color levels of the image. The bottom axis is the 256 levels of the original image (input data) from black to white. The vertical axis is the corrected image (output data) with the same scale from top to bottom. The bottom left portion of the graph represents the dark colors and shadow areas of the image. The middle section represents the mid-tones: skin, grass, blue sky. The top right section is the highlights: clouds, lights. Changing the tone curve can affect the brightness, contrast, and color of the image.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

This palette adjusts the image in reference to the HSB color model. These controls can be used to manipulate the color image rather than producing a realistic representation. The HSB color model defines color based upon human perception rather than photographic processes. Hue refers to each separate color in the model. Saturation is how vivid each color is. Lightness describes how bright or dark a color is in the color space. The hue control is not a color balancing tool. It is a creative tool. When changing hue in the palette, each color is assigned a new hue depending on the degree of rotation through the color space.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

The apparent sharpness of the image can be increased. Sharpness is a very subtle, but can have a powerful affect on overall image quality. Click the sharpness button or select Sharpness from the image-correction option in the correction menu to open the palette.

Frequency slider - affects the sharpness of image details. The high frequency setting maximizes resolution, and the low-frequency setting maximizes acutance. The optimal frequency setting will vary from image to image. It is recommended to view the image at various magnifications to judge the results.

Contrast slider - controls the contrast of the set frequency. The degree of sharpness can be set between 0 and 2 in 0.1 increments. The higher the value, the greater the contrast. The degree of sharpness can also be entered in the text box next to the slider. Like frequency, the optimal contrast setting will vary from image to image.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

Clicking the comparison display button divides the image display area in two. The original image is on the left and the corrected image is on the right. Changes made with the magnifying tool, grab tool, or scroll bars on one image will be applied to the other. Using the fit-to-window button automatically resizes both images to fit the display area.

Edit / Convert RAW Images

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

Certain digital cameras, such as the DiMAGE 7Hi, A1, A2 and A200, use a special file format called RAW. This file can only be read and processed by the DiMAGE Viewer software. To open a RAW file, simply double click on it in the thumbnail browser window.

The open dialog box is used to define the parameters for the image. First the color mode of the image should be selected; if black and white is chosen, the white-balance and filter controls are not available.

White balance controls the overall color of the image. The drop-down menu automatically applies the camera setting used when the image was captured or balances it to a specific light source. The preset white-balance settings vary between camera model.

If the camera's filter, saturation, contrast, or sharpness controls were used when the picture was taken, the settings will be displayed in the dialog box. Changes to these settings are reflected in the preview image.

The image brightness can be adjust by ±2.0Ev with the exposure-compensation slider. And the image sharpness can be set to Normal (default), Soft or Hard.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

Edited images can be saved as uncompressed BMP, TIFF (24 or 48-bit) or compressed JPEG with the quality setting user-selected.

Edit or Enhance Movie Files

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

The Movie Enhancer can minimize flicker in 640 X 480 (VGA) or smaller movie files. General flicker effects the overall image area evenly. Localized flicker is isolated to only a portion of the image area; a scene with natural light and fluorescent lighting may only show flicker in the area illuminated by the fluorescent lights.

The Movie Enhancer can join movie clips together, cut sections from a clip, or copy sections from one clip to another with the edit menu. The image quality of a 640 X 480 (VGA) or smaller movie clip can be adjusted. If both flicker correction and image correction is applied to the same movie clip, the flicker correction processing should be done first.

Also included in the software bundle in Ulead's VideoStudio 8 SE. VideoStudio lets you transfer movie clips to your PC and edit them together with ease. You can add filters and transition effects, titles, music and narration. Once completed, save your movie in a Video CD or Web-ready format to share with family and friends. (VideoStudio is compatible only with Windows PCs.)

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