|Konica Minolta Dimage Xg
fifth addition to Konica Minolta's ultracompact Dimage X line,
with its signature internally zooming lens, the 3-megapixel
Dimage Xg offers an amalgam of features from its forerunners and
a few new tricks of its own. Both quick and versatile, this
model makes an excellent tote-and-snap companion.
This Dimage is only 0.79 inches thick and weighs less than 5
ounces with battery and media installed, so you can dangle it
from your neck like a pendant or slip it into just about any
pocket. Its solid, elegant-looking brushed-metal body will also
go nicely with your outfit. The camera's control layout is
logical and generally convenient, although you have to be
careful not to block the lens with a finger when you're
shooting. Otherwise, we found the Dimage Xg comfortable to hold
for a camera of its size. However, if your hands are on the
large side, give it a try before buying.
You won't find many advanced photographic features on this
point-and-shoot, but the Dimage Xg gives snapshot photographers
all the essentials along with some nifty extras. The 320x240
video mode lets you shoot at 30fps, and there's a special Night
Video mode that produces a brighter but noisier picture. You can
also record up to 180 minutes of audio on 128MB of SD/MMC media.
The Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection feature
automatically chooses one of five scene modes. Granted, the
Dimage Xg selected the Portrait mode for a test shot of a
bookcase (the image came out fine), but it did a good job of
switching to Landscape mode when appropriate. If you don't like
the camera's choices, you can select the scene mode manually.
The Dimage Xg performed quite well in tests. It took less than 2
seconds from start-up to first shot, and continuous mode zipped
along at about 1.5 frames per second. At high resolution, you're
limited to six shots before the camera slows down, but at lower
resolution, our hand cramped up before continuous shooting
showed any signs of stopping. Shot-to-shot time in single-frame
mode averaged a little more than 2 seconds, with or without
flash. Even under low-light conditions, the Dimage Xg's
autofocus was fast and decisive, and the LCD gained up to
provide an adequately bright view. Midday sunlight overpowered
the Xg's LCD, as it does many cameras'. Unfortunately, the tiny
optical viewfinder isn't a very appealing alternative.
Battery life was excellent, lasting more than 700 shots in our
tests. The indicator gives you plenty of warning before power is
depleted, although once it turns red, you have time for maybe a
We were generally pleased with our test shots. From skin tones
to bright blue skies, the Dimage Xg delivered realistic colors,
although they were a little less saturated than we like. Without
a dedicated macro setting, the Dimage Xg focuses only as close
as 6 inches, and its flash tended to overpower our closest
close-up shots, but they were otherwise well focused and
detailed. Not surprisingly, image noise was most evident in
shots with large expanses of sky, but we saw relatively little
purple fringing or other aberrations.
Compact and slim design; easy to use;
fast; good battery life; cool automatic features; good
No macro mode; flash blowout for tight
close-ups; limited manual features; controls may be
uncomfortable for large hands.
What's it for:
Taking photos to print as large as 5x7;
capturing 320x240 video clips; voice recording; Webcam
Who's it for:
Snapshot photographers and business users
who want an ultracompact device.
This camera doubles as a voice recorder
and also fits nicely in a suit or a pocket. Business
users should also consider the Minolta Dimage Xt Biz.
SD/MMC storage media with a capacity of
at least 64MB.
The bottom line:
Snapshot photographers looking for
portability, ease of use, and style won't go wrong with
this sleek little camera.