Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200
Review Date: February 3rd 2005
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 has a 8.3 megapixel, 2/3-inch CCD that delivers 8.0 effective megapixels. It features Konica Minolta's unique CCD-shift anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras (Konica Minolta claims up to eight times longer (3 stops)). The camera's 7x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 28-200 mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 has a manual zooming ring that acts in the same way as the zooming mechanism on a 35mm SLR camera lens. There are 5 image quality modes available (Standard, Fine, Extra Fine, RAW, RAW+JPEG) and 6 image sizes (3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176 (3:2 aspect ratio), 2560 x 1920, 2080 x 1560, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480) which are recorded as JPEGs. There is also a RAW format available. The camera supports Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards, Microdrives, SD Memory Cards and MultiMedia Cards.
This camera offers several advanced exposure modes, including Auto, P (Program) with program shift, A (Aperture priority), S (Shutter priority), and M (Manual). AE lock is also available. There are also 4 scene modes - Portrait, Sports action, Sunset and Night portrait. The aperture range is f2.8– f3.5 and the shutter speed range is 30 secs. – 1/1600 sec (plus a Bulb option in the Manual exposure mode). There are 5 ISO speeds ranging from 50 to 800 and an Auto option. There are 7 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Flash), plus Auto and Manual settings.
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV stops, and there are several autobracketing options (0.3 EV, 0.5EV and 2 white balance options). The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - multi-segment, centre-weighted and spot. There are 3 different autofocus areas to choose from (Wide focus area, 11 spot focus areas, Spot focus point). Flex Focus Point is also available when the spot focus point area is selected.
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 has a normal shooting mode (Single), self-timer (2 seconds), a remote option and 3 continuous shooting modes (normal, high-speed and ultra high-speed). There are 3 different colour modes on offer - Vivid, Natural, Portrait (all sRGB modes), AdobeRGB and Black and White - and a range of settings (-5 to +5) for saturation, contrast and filter. The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 8.3 inches at the wide-angle lens setting and 5.1 inches at the telephoto position.
The built-in flash offers a range of different modes; Flash Off, Fill-Flash, Red-eye, Slow Sync and Rear Sync. There is also an external hot shoe that allows you to fit any of the following Konica Minolta flash units: Maxxum/Program Flash 5600HS(D), Maxxum/Program Flash 3600HS(D), Maxxum/Program Flash 2500(D), Macro Twin Flash 2400 and Macro Ring Flash 1200.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the electronic viewfinder. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 has a 1.8-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT color monitor which has 134,000 pixels. It is a Vari-angle LCD monitor that rotates 270° vertically and 180° horizontally and it displays images at 60 fps. There is also an electronic viewfinder which is 0.44 inches in size and has an equivalent visual resolution of 235,000 pixels. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 can record movies with sound at 3 different sizes - 800 x 600, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 - and 2 frame rates - 30 fps, 15 fps. Note that 30fps not available with 800 x 600 movies. Movies are recorded in the Motion JPEG (MOV) format with monaural audio.
The camera's dimensions are 114mm (W) x 80mm (H) x 115mm (D), and it weighs 505g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a dedicated lithium-ion battery that allows you to take up to 260 frames before needing to be recharged. There is a metal tripod mount in the centre of the bottom of the camera. The PC interface is USB 2.0, NTSC / PAL AV outputs are available, and there is an optional AC Adapter AC-11 external power source. Printouts can be made without going through a computer by directly connecting the Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 to a PictBridge-compliant printer. The camera is also compatible with Epson's Print Image Matching technology for optimizing print quality.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a wireless remote control (RC-D1), rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (NP-800), Lithium-Ion battery charger (BC-900), neck strap, accessory shoe cap, lens cap, lens shade, AV cable, USB cable, DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM and Ulead Video Studio 8 SE CD-ROM. There is no memory card supplied, and with the 8 megapixel files being 6.1MB in size at the Extra Fine JPEG setting, you should definitely budget for at least 2 x 512MB compact flash cards or equivalent.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.