Dimage F300 7/10.
Date Posted 31/08/2003.
Minolta has a good reputation in the field of photography, not quite
in the Canon or Nikon league, but very much one of the top 3 or
4. With their Dimage range of cameras, Minolta have tried to cover
the digital camera market right from the 2 megapixel entry levels
to the prosumer 5 megapixel cameras.
Dimage F300 model sits somewhere in the top half of their range.
Looking at it from all angles its a very well designed camera. The
build quality is excellent, with a solid metal body. Inspite of
this it only weighs around 200g, making it one of the lightest 5
megapixel cameras you can buy. The batteries are two ordinary AAA
and it takes SD cards, further minimizing the weight. I prefer CompactFlash
cards though, as they are often a lot cheaper! However, the rectangular
shape makes it not as nicely pocket sized as Canon's Ixus Digital
terms of ease of use the Minolta caters well for photographers who
prefer fully automatic usage. Although you can get fully manual
control by switching the top dial to M mode, it can get a bit fiddly
changing settings like Aperture through the menu. It would have
been nicer to include both aperture and shutter priority modes on
the dial! Other settings like ISO can also be changed, which go
as low as ISO64 for virtually noise free pictures.
which I did not expect was the speed that this camera operates.
Although not quite instant the shutter lag compares very well with
other cameras at this price range. The lag once the subject has
been autofocused in virtually unnoticable. However, if the subject
has not been autofocused, the lag is still quite long. The autofocus
itself has a special tracking feature, so you it follow moving subjects.
One feature I really liked was the way the Minolta buffers photos
when viewing them back. This meant I could scroll through my saved
picture quality is very good, not quite as detailed as some of the
more expensive and bulkier "prosumer" 5 megapixels around,
but nevertheless very good, with more than enough detail to produce
a great A4 print.
Minolta makes a very good buy for those people who want 5 megapixel
quality but do not want to lug around a heavier and more expensive
"prosumer" camera and can sacifice a few features.