Dennis Hissink : February 12th 2004 - 17:00 CET
|8 Megapixel league: Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
Plenty of rumours floating around the Internet but today during the PMA show Konica Minolta brings the official specifications in the open. The New DiMAGE A2 is the second SLR-type camera that features the innovative CCD-shift mechanism we first saw with the DiMAGE A1 camera. In response to user needs for higher picture quality and greater shooting comfort, Konica Minolta is proud to release the DiMAGE A2 SLR-type digital camera, a camera that will inherit the quality and performance of the DiMAGE A1. The DiMAGE A2 comes equipped with an 8-megapixel 2/3-type progressive primary-colour CCD with 8.0 million effective pixels for super-high-resolution, making even individual hairs or the stitches of a suit stand out in sharp detail.|
While instantly recognizable as the successor to the proud design heritage of the A1, the DiMAGE A2 has added a few design features that make it look even more high-end. The DiMAGE A2 has an 8 Megapixel, 2/3-type interlace scan CCD. Thanks to CxProcess II image processing technology, colours have never been clearer. This exclusive algorithm effortlessly balances several factors to yield vivid colours that reproduce the scene exactly as you see it with your own eyes. Because every scene is different and requires a different kind of image processing, the DiMAGE A2 has an advanced LSI. This circuit optimizes white balance, contrast, and colour reproduction with exceptional accuracy, while effectively suppressing noise that tends to occur in the low-contrast areas of digital images. And its energy efficiency also extends the battery time and thus your shooting enjoyment. |
Konica Minolta GT Lens and Anomalous Dispersion (AD) Glass
Designed specifically for digital photography, the GT lens is an all-glass apochromatic (APO) zoom lens. The benefits for the user are obvious: pictures come out sharp, clear, and absent of any colour aberration, even when using the large aperture setting. A camera has many faces. It has to capture shots of scenery, travel, sports, close-ups, and business settings. The lens is the heart of the camera and this GT lens has 16 elements in 13 groups. The anomalous dispersion (AD) glass contributes to things like suppressed distortion, reduced flare, and chromatic aberration, while aspheric glass elements work to make the lens compact. The camera's improved optical low pass filter and the logical arrangement of the lens make for higher productivity and quality-assurance in the manufacturing process and ensure that the lens is suitable for an 8 Megapixel CCD.
CCD Shift-Type Anti-Shake Function
Konica Minolta's Anti-Shake function gives you a highly effective way to deal with camera shaking, a major cause of substandard images, especially with telephoto shots and in dim lighting. Users can expect better images in low light conditions without relying on a higher ISO setting or a tripod. The DiMAGE A2 features a CCD-shift mechanism to stabilize images by offsetting the shaking pattern of the user's hand. This gives unrivalled stability at up to 3 shutter speeds slower than on digital cameras without an Anti-Shake function. The CCD-shift mechanism will rescue countless pictures and it is extremely small, which keeps the camera compact. Anti-shake technology can offset two kinds of shaking, high-frequency shaking of muscles and low-frequency shaking of the body.
The DiMAGE A2 also has a movie recording function that allows you to film in a variety of scenes and lighting conditions, and smoothly, thanks to the Anti-Shake function, which is available at all focal lengths. And with the ability to record at 544 X 408 pixels with audio at 30 fps, resolution looks natural when viewed on a TV screen. The 7x built-in optical zoom covers a focal distance of 28 to 200mm, while the Night Movie function makes subjects highly visible even in dark settings.
Super Fine EVF
The high-density display developed for the DiMAGE A2 is superior to the previous 235,000-pixel EVF of earlier models because it uses 4 times as many pixels. The DiMAGE A2 EVF delivers clear images and sharp, contoured information. Imagine the clarity of a 922,000-pixel TFT LCD. It’s crystal clear and easy to focus. Moreover, it can be perfectly viewed up to a 32o angle, so one glance gives you all the information you need to take the perfect picture. The EVF boasts numerous benefits, including subject visibility in dark places, the ability to check exposure and other settings before shooting, the ability to check various information when composing your picture, and tilting for low angle photography.
The DiMAGE A2 viewfinder has two modes for switching menus. The first is the High-Precision mode (30 fps), which allows for very precise adjustments to focusing and frame composition by utilizing the high resolving power of the 30 fps rate as seen on the 922,000-pixel viewfinder. Now, you can be incredibly precise when adjusting manual shots like macros and portraits that require very careful focusing. Focusing is simple and accurate, without the need to enlarge the image. The second mode is the Smooth mode (60 fps), which increases the frame rate to half that of the image resolution. The high frame rate makes the viewfinder extremely easy to use, especially when shooting moving targets such as school sports days, athletic competitions, and major sporting events.
3D AF System
Put simply, 3D AF is a revolution in digital photography. The reason is this: now you can capture sharp, high-quality images of a moving object, even if it’s coming right at you. The 3D AF system became famous overnight when introduced as a function of the DiMAGE A1.
Konica Minolta's innovative subject tracking algorithm continues focusing on your subject as it moves along the X, Y, and Z-axes of the picture frame. When you press the shutter release button, the 3D AF launches the 3D Predictive Focus Control, which activates the built-in algorithm that compensates for the time lag between shutter release and image capture to ensure that the final result is captured in crisp focus. Konica Minolta has included 8-megapixel reading at a higher frame rate, and better sequencing in the software, delivering the fastest AF speed in its class (as of December 1st, 2003).
Flex Focus Point (FFP)
FFP expands the versatility of the AF system. When the camera is fixed to a tripod or when the position of the focal plane is critical as with close-up photography, the use of AF systems is limited as the camera must be moved to focus and then repositioned to compose the image. FFP, a single crosshair sensor, can be placed anywhere within the field of view. With the camera on a tripod, the four-way key of the controller can be used to fix the FFP on the subject, using the AF system for each exposure. With the subject selected with the FFP, you can carry out spot metering.
Tele/Wide Macro Imaging
With an approximate maximum zoom of 0.7x (in telephoto mode), users can shoot a 4 X 3cm object and completely fill the screen. This gives an optimal working distance of 13cm and it means you can shoot close-ups of insects without scaring them away.
Optional Converter Lenses for Additional Range
New accessories, the 1.5x Tele Converter and the 0.8x Wide Converter, give an optical zoom range of 24.4 to 400mm. Anti-Shake function covers all focal lengths to ensure ease of use.
Other features are: Real-Time Histogram Display, Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Flex Digital Magnifier (FDM), Ultra High-Speed Continuous Shooting of 7 frames per second, RAW + JPEG function, Digital Effects Control (DEC), Digital Subject Program Selection (DSPS), Six Color Modes, Adjustable ISO Settings up to 800 ISO, Rapid Data Transfer with USB 2.0 and PictBridge support.