Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2

  |   by DigitalCameraReview Staff

Konica Minolta updates it’s Dimage A1 with the 8-megapixel SLR-type Dimage A2, featuring a fast, innovative new 3D autofocusing (AF) system, anti-shake function for still images and VGA-quality videos, and a continuous advance of 7 frames per second. The Dimage A2 also offers a 7x optical zoom, high-quality, 30 fps video, high resolution electronic viewfinder, and a wide range of professional photographic features–from RAW image recording to live histogram readout and in-camera color management.

The A2's tilting LCD screen
The A2’s 1.8-inch high-contrast color LCD monitor can tilt between 20 and +90 degrees.
LCD tilt makes it easier  to get the shot you want

Optics and Resolution
Designed for maximum image quality, the Dimage A2 is built around a high-precision electro-optical system starting with an 8 megapixel, 2/3-type interlace scan CCD that can capture even individual hairs or the stitches of a suit in sharp detail. It features a maximum 3264 x 2448 pixel resolution as well as the following lower resolution modes: 2560 x 1920, 2080 x 1560, 1600 x 1200, and 640 x 480.

The f/2.8 — 3.5, 7X optical zoom is an apochromatic (APO) lens employing anomalous dispersion (AD) glass to minimize chromatic aberration at all focal lengths and produce sharp, high-contrast images. With a focal range of 7.2 — 50.8mm, it is equivalent to a 28 — 200mm zoom lens in the 35mm format.

Video and Audio
The Dimage A2 can record video with audio at 544 x 408 pixels at 30 frames per second–providing a smooth, seamless picture when viewed on your TV. A Night Movie function makes subjects highly visible even in dark settings. Additionally, the Dimage A2 comes bundled with fun-to-use video software, Video Studio 7 SE by ULEAD, for video editing from analog and digital image import, outright editing, and output to video CD.

You can record up to 15 seconds of sound with the Voice Memo feature immediately after a shot has been taken. The Audio Caption feature records simultaneously during playback and you can record up to 180 minutes of audio (depending on your memory card size).

Dimage A2's CCD-shift assembly
The Dimage A2 features a CCD-shift mechanism, outlined above in green, to stabilize images by offsetting the shaking pattern of the user’s hand. Below, a photo with Anti-Shake off (right) and the same subject with Anti-Shake on (left).
Clock tower with and without Anti-Shake

More Features
The Anti-Shake feature provides a highly effective way to deal with camera shake–a major cause of substandard images, especially with telephoto shots and when shooting in dim lighting. The Dimage A2 features a CCD-shift mechanism to stabilize images by offsetting the shaking pattern of the user’s hand, providing stability at up to 3 shutter speeds slower than on digital cameras without an Anti-Shake function.

The high-density display developed for the Dimage A2 uses four times as many pixels as the previous EVF of earlier models. The A2’s 922,000-pixel TFT LCD delivers clear images and sharp, contoured information. Additionally, it can be viewed at up to a 32-degree angle, so one glance gives you all the information you need to take the perfect picture. This new VGA EVF provides numerous benefits including subject visibility in dark places, the ability to check exposure and other settings before shooting, the ability to check various data points when composing your picture, and tilting for low-angle photography.

With continuous autofocusing, the Dimage A2 uses 3-D Predictive Focus Control to track the subject right up to the moment the exposure is made, ensuring optimum focus. This predictive focus control continuously follows the subject through three-dimensional space, regardless of direction, not only to give the sharpest images possible but also to reduce focusing time to catch the perfect moment.

The Flex Focus Point single crosshair sensor can be placed anywhere within the field-of-view. With the camera on a tripod, simply use the controller’s four-way key to position the flex focus point on the subject; the AF system will use that point for each exposure. The spot metering area can also be switched between a center spot and the flex focus point.

Other features include:

  • RAW and JPEG image capture
  • Flash modes: Fill-flash, Red-eye reduction, Rear flash sync, Wireless/Remote flash
  • Two Adobe RGB options are available for color management applications so that the image can be captured with or without the Adobe RGB profile embedded
  • Ultra-High Speed (UHS) Continuous Advance mode to set the camera to capture images at approximately 7 frames per second
  • 12-bit A/D conversion can distinguish up to 4,096 levels in each color channel
  • Real-time histogram shows the luminance distribution of the image before it is captured
  • Output photos directly to a PictBridge-compliant printer without having to go through a personal computer

CxProcess II Image Processor
Konica Minolta’s newest image processing technology, CxProcess II, is used to bring out the best in the 8 megapixel CCD. CxProcess II controls the essential image qualities of color, contrast, and sharpness while minimizing noise. Brilliant, saturated color remains vibrant without becoming unnatural. Subtle contrast is rendered to retain the richness and depth of the subject while preserving details in the highlights and shadows. Sharpness is controlled to show fine detail while minimizing hard, unnatural edges.

Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on CompactFlash cards (Type I/II), and it supports Microdrives. The Dimage A2 does not come with a memory card. It connects to Macs and Windows-based PCs via USB 2.0 connectivity.

Power and Size
The camera is powered by a proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NP-400), which has 11.1 Wh of energy and can shoot approximately 280 images on a single charge. The Dimage A2 measures 4.6 x 3.4 x 4.4 inches and weighs 19.9 ounces without battery or recording media.

What’s in the Box
This package contains the Dimage A2 digital camera, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NP-400), battery charger, neck strap, lens cap, lens hood, accessory shoe cap, USB and A/V cables, and a CD-ROM with Dimage Viewer software.

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