Minolta DiMAGE Xt Review

Steve's Digicams

Review posted 5/13/03

Click on the DiMAGE Xt to take a QuickTime VR tour

Building on the success of the highly popular Minolta DiMAGE Xi, the DiMAGE Xt has more versatile features and is packaged in an even smaller and lighter body. The new design eliminates more than 5% from the size and nearly 8% from the weight of the DiMAGE Xi. The DiMAGE Xt can be slipped into a pocket or bag as easily as a wallet. The exclusive folded optical zoom system allowed Minolta to recreate the world's thinnest compact, planar digital camera with a 3x optical zoom. This revolutionary non-extending lens is responsible for maintaining the camera's 20mm thin profile either while recording or when stored.

The DiMAGE Xt is a fast, responsive camera. It's ready to use approximately 1.2 seconds after turning it on. This is the fastest start-up time of any digital camera with an optical zoom. The fluid playback performance only causes a slight 0.2 second delay between frames regardless of file size. The DiMAGE Xt starts with the essential elements and features for beautiful images. The camera is built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximize image quality. The system uses a primary-color CCD with 3.2 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, guaranties the image from the CCD will faithfully reproduce the scene. CxProcess controls image sharpness, color, and contrast while minimizing noise to produce vivid, natural pictures.

The metering and autofocus systems can be selected to suit the situation. Multi-segment metering and five-point AF make taking beautiful, sharp images simple; place the subject anywhere within the extra-wide focus frames and the camera will do the rest. Spot metering and spot AF allows you to meter or focus on a specific subject. This is useful to preserve the dynamic lighting of a scene or to single out a specific subject from a group. The extended shutter-speed range gives the camera more control over exposure in difficult lighting conditions. The camera can control the exposure from 4 seconds for night scenes to 1/1000th of a second for brilliant sunlit landscapes.

The XR (Extended Recording) movie processing allows digital video with audio to be captured at 15 frames per second. The length of the movie is only limited by the memory card's capacity. Two image sizes can be selected: 160 x 120 pixels and 320 x 240 pixels. Thoughts and comments can be recorded with or without a still image. The audio recording mode can record continuously for 180 minutes. Voice memo allows up to 15 seconds of audio to be attached to an image when it is captured. The audio-caption function can attach an audio track to any recorded still-image. The audio tracks can be played back in the camera.

The DiMAGE Xt can be used as a remote camera for video conferencing. Use the supplied USB cable to connect the camera to a computer with a Windows operating system and a compatible application such as Microsoft Windows Messenger. The camera can be mounted on a tripod or placed in the charger stand for hands-free operation. The charger stand can recharge the battery while still in the camera and it can also charge a single spare battery by itself.

DiMAGE Xt 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, unlimited length
  • 15-second audio notes can be attached to images
  • 180-minute 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 Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE XtMinolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

The DiMAGE Xt and DiMAGE Xi for comparison.

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

The DiMAGE Xt compared in size to a CompactDisc.

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

The DiMAGE Xt and Casio EX-Z3 for size (and thickness) comparison.

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Features & Controls

DiMAGE Xt 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 32 frames 47 frames 69 frames 150 frames
Standard 17 frames 27 frames 39 frames 100 frames
Fine 9 frames 14 frames 22 frames 69 frames
Super fine 1 frame 2 frames 3 frames 14 frames
Movie 41 seconds
Audio recording 30 minutes 51 seconds

Using 16MB SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card
Autofocus system
Video AF, Focus lock available
Wide focus area (5 point AF), Spot

Focusing range
0.15 m / 6 in. 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 - 4 seconds

Continuous advance
Approx. 1.3 frames per second

Approx. 10 seconds delay

Movie recording
320 x 240 or 160 x 120 pixels at 15fps with audio.
Recording time depends only on capacity of memory card.

Audio recording: 180 minutes, Audio caption: 15 seconds,
Voice memo: 15 seconds (monaural recording only)
Digital zoom
4X (in 0.1X 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. 120 minutes
Number of recording: approx. 130 frames
Operating time
Start-up time: approx. 1.1 seconds,
Shutter-release time-lag: approx. 0.1 seconds
Playback interval: approx. 0.2 second
External power source
4.7V DC (with specified AC)

Dimensions (WxHxD)
85.5 x 67 x 20 mm
3-1/2 x 2-5/8 x 13/16 inches

120g / 4.2 oz (without battery or recording media)

Standard accessories
Lithium-ion battery (NP-200), Battery Charger (BC-300), Hand strap
(HS-DG100), AV cable (AVC-200), USB cable (USB-500), SD Memory Card (16MB), CD-ROM for DiMAGE Xt
* Availability of accessories depends on areas.
Optional accessories
Marine Case (MC-DG200), 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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