Minolta Launches DiMage X20

Comment: Minolta has launched a follow-up to its DiMage X range - the DiMage X20. The camera boasts to be the smallest and lightest two mega pixel digital camera in the world and by the look of things they are right. The camera is powered by two AA batteries and supports the SD picture card format:

DiMAGE X20: The epitome of form and function

Responsive performance and user-friendly operation make this tiny, stylish camera a joy to use. The DiMAGE X20 inherits the incredible non-extending zoom and fast start-up time from the Minoltas X series digital cameras. As the worlds smallest (86.5x66x23mm) and lightest (110g)(1) 2-megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom,(2) the DiMAGE X20 comes loaded with all the options to make advanced digital imaging a reality.

Built around a high-precision electro-optical system designed to maximise image quality, the DiMAGE X20 system uses a 2.1megapixel 1/3.2-type interline primary colour CCD with 2.0 million effective pixels for fine images. Activated with minimal start-up time, the DiMAGE X20s controls are adjusted by the main 3 X 3 graphic menu.

The DiMAGE X20 incorporates Minoltas proprietary, unobtrusive non-extending zoom lens. This revolutionary design uses internal folded optics that have no effect on the camera's slim profile, even when in use. The 3X optical zoom, equivalent to a 37 - 111mm lens on a 35mm camera, is assisted by a 4X digital zoom, giving a seamless zoom range of 12X. This zoom range is great for close-ups, group shots, or intimate portraits.

The high-performance five-point autofocus system simplifies the art of digital photography. Position a subject anywhere within the extra-wide focus frames, and the camera handles the rest, including focus confirmation with audio and visual signals.

For instant gratification, the press of a single button accesses all recorded images. VGA (640 X 480) jpeg files of your favourite images can be collected in one folder to be later shared with the camera or sent via email. Images can be also viewed as slide shows on the camera or a TV, complete with dissolves, wipes, and fades. To further simplify viewing, the photos can be rotated to orient them correctly for vertically framed shots.

The DiMAGE X20 makes it easy to take self-portraits with its uniquely curved mirror on the front of the camera. Other creative options include the new multi-frame drive mode that captures nine frames of a single event in one picture, and image pasting, that places one image within another.

The range of modes provides all the essential tools to capture the perfect picture. The portrait mode controls exposure, flash, and image processing to emphasise the subject's complexion. For something a little different, images can be captured in one of five monochrome modes: the traditional grays of black and white, the warmth and ageless quality of sepia, or red, green, and blue tones to add fun or feeling.

Capturing more than just static images, the DiMAGE X20s movie processing capabilities allows digital video and audio to be recorded and played back. In addition to recording mini movies, the DiMAGE X20 also acts as a remote camera for web communication. Simply use the supplied USB cable to connect the camera to a computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system and a compatible application such as Microsoft Net Meeting.

The DiMAGE X20 is powered by easy to find AA batteries, both ubiquitous alkaline and rechargeable Ni-MH.

Sales start is at the beginning of August.

(1) Without battery or recording media
(2) As of June 15th, 2003