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Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A2 Camera review | Adjustments
Beside the common settings like aperture and shutter priority the DiMAGE A2 guarantees a heap of possibilities. They seem rather unlimited and I wonder how Konica Minolta will place her first digital SLR camera in the market. In fact the DiMAGE A2 is a true competitor for an entry level SLR. The only possibility I see now is a price position over the DiMAGE A2. The upcoming Photokina 2004 will make things clear about the new price positions of the digital SLR camera from Konica Minolta and the hybrid models like the DiMAGE A2.
Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A2 | Digital Camera Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A2 | Digital Camera
The DiMAGE A2 focuses quickly and without hesitation. The usually 'difficult' objects like, vertical, non-contrast objects cause a failure now and again, however not really worth mentioning. It is possible to choose manual focus or automatic focus just as a camera like the DiMAGE A2 should offer. The AF system is described by Konica Minolta as Video AF focal system. This technique uses a so-called phased detection system. The DiMAGE A2's way of focussing is very successful, focussing is very fast and without hesitation. In combination with the fast reaction time of the shutter release button the DiMAGE A2 belongs to one of the fastest reacting prosumer digital cameras. The auto focus has a Single-AF and a Continuous-AF. Single shot speaks for itself: the images are made one by one after pushing the release button time after time. The Continuous AF focuses without intervals. Beside that the auto focus has some three settings: Flex Focus Point, Wide AF and Spot AF. The default setting is Wide AF and in practice the most frequently used setting. Spot AF is a very handy option to focus extremely precise on a certain part of the composition. And last but not least: the Flex Focus Point. This type of focus comes in handy when the camera is placed on a fixed spot and when for example product shots have to be taken. During the taking of this type of images it is very inconvenient having to move the camera every time when the focal point has to be changed. Using the arrows on the back of the camera (4-way controller) the focal point can be detected and set on the whole image. But for those who'd rather keep the controls in their own hands can do so through the manual setting. This brings the ring of the optical zoom lens in sight. Through this ring, manual focus is set. The monitor and the electronic viewfinder will show the distance in meters.

An important feature of the DiMAGE A2 is the Anti-Shake system. During the past few years many anti-shake systems have appeared on the market, however these were almost all found in the video cameras. Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake technology is an exception and also unique because the technique influences the image sensor in stead of the optical zoom lens. The tremendous advantage of such a system gives the DiMAGE A2 a head-start compared with his opponents. In practice the system is very noticeable. Various images, especially those made when using large optical range, are pinpoint-sharp in stead of the expected blurred pictures. A small disadvantage is the extra use of energy but that counts for little. The Anti-Shake system is simply said: effective!

Standard, in Auto mode, the DiMAGE A2 takes care of everything, the only thing the user has to do is push the release button and operate the zoom. Of course the camera offers a bigger challenge than just that. The user can go one step ahead by selecting the pre-set scenes.
These digital object programmes optimise the exposure, the white balance and the image processing systems of the camera in certain specific circumstances and certain objects. Portrait, for a warm soft skin tone, and the emphasis on the portrait by blurring the background, Sport/Action for freezing the quick moments by putting emphasis on the quickest shutter speed, Night Portrait for detailed night images at which the exposure of the foreground and the background are put in balance, (tripod needed) and Sunset at which the emphasis is put on a warm colour reproduction of the sunset. The amount of pre-set scenes is limited to 5, which makes one wish for more. On the other hand, the largest challenges lie in the other settings of the camera. For example the Memory Recall function enables you to store your own 5 priority settings, so another 5 pre-set scenes are created.

The DiMAGE A2 will get the very best out of the user. Beside that the user is able to grow with the experiences learned from using the camera in practice. A large amount of settings is available.

Test images show an excellent colour rendering in the default setting of the camera. The colours are deep and natural and don't need to be edited, in my opinion. Auto white balance does it utmost and it succeeds in this. A few indoor images taken by the light used in living rooms show some colour cast and one has to switch over from auto to another white balance setting. The ease of a good working auto balance doesn't need a plea. The DiMAGE A2 works very well as for auto white balance.

The optical zoom lens together with the Anti-shake system enables getting a far distant object close-by and still be sharp and clear. The camera also performs greatly when capturing close-ups and macro images. The images have high detail and the complete captured image is sharp from the centre onto a minor unclearness in the corner. Somewhat surprising is the use of the built-in flash of the camera. Most digital cameras equipped with an internal flash, suffer from the effect that the internal flash flashes against the lens which influences the macro images. The DiMAGE A2's flash doesn't deliver an excellent performance, but it shows it is possible to make these images with an internal flash. The zoom lens has a screw thread form 49mm which enables equipping the lens with various filters or ancillary lens attachments.

The Konica Minolta is a camera that doesn't easily give in. Every challenge can be attacked by one of the settings. The DiMAGE A2 is ideal for those photographers who want to practice demanding photography, the camera lets itself being operated easily through the auto settings and built-in scenes. Beside that the camera feels like a fish in water in the hands of a more advanced user.
Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A2 Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A2
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