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22nd November 2004
Up close and personal: Konica Minolta Dynax 7D hands-on first looks
by Ian Burley
1241: Up close and personal: Konica Minolta Dynax 7D hands-on first looks

Initial report on production 7D sample


UPDATE: Here are our initial results, including sample images, from our production Konica Minolta Dynax 7D

The arrival of our production review 7D did not co-incide with good weather here in autumnal Hemel Hempstead. However, I was able to grab a few shots in slightly hazy lunchtime sun, plus some night time shots in Piccadilly Circus in the West End of London.

My full review of the 7D, including a comprehensive DXO Analyzer report, will appear in a few days time, but in the meantime here are some observations and samples to start with.

• The new review camera has the same 1.00e firmware number as the pre-production camera used last month. 'e' stands for Europe and I understand that US models will be designated 1.00u and Japanese models 1.00j.

• The easily knocked meter mode switch, which kept on finding its way back to spot mode, has behaved itself in the new camera.

• As with the pre production sample, the production model's shutter and mirror return action noise is quite metallic. It's not loud, but you notice it, but there is no excessive vibration felt as you hold the camera.

• I was supplied a 17-35mm f/2.8-4 AF D lens. This has an equivalent focal length of 25.5-52.5mm. With such a short focal length lens, testing the camera's anti-shake performance hasn't been easy, but I can report that I have been able to hand hold some shots down to 1/6th second with good results.

• Most of the pictures I have taken so far have been using the Extra Fine JPEG mode, though this produces comparatively large files averaging 6MB.

Image Noise
km-7d-noisetest1-scene

Noise seems to be controlled well at high ISOs. The following, all shot using auto exposure, are all 1:1 crops, 340 pixels-wide, reproduced without additional compression in PNG format:

km-7d-noise1-100iso
ISO 100, 1/100th sec, f/10

km-7d-noise1-200iso
ISO 200, 1/300th sec, f/7.1

km-7d-noise1-400iso
ISO 400, 1/400th sec, f/10

km-7d-noise1-800iso
ISO 800, 1/1000th sec, f/9

km-7d-noise1-1600iso
ISO 1600, 1/1250th sec, f/10

Anti-shake
km-7d-shaketest1-scene

With the lens zoomed to full tele (35mm or 52.5mm equiv.) and kneeling one knee on the ground, but otherwise unsupported, I took a series of hand-held shots at 1/30th, 1/15th and 1/8th second with ISO set to 100.

The following are representative of the typical results I was getting. They are selective, unsharpened, 500 pixel-wide crops of a badge on the back of a car parked in a shaded situation and each picture is reproduced 1:1 (1 image pixel to 1 screen pixel).

km-7d-shaketest1-30th
1/30th, f/8

km-7d-shaketest1-15th
1/15th, f/13

km-7d-shaketest1-8th
1/8th, f/18

Up to 1/15th sec. I was able to get consistently steady shots. From 1/8th onwards, I was getting softer results and the occasional obviously blurred frame. It could be that the softness has something to do with the very small aperture (f/18) necessitated to force the shutter speed down, but certainly with the lens I had, 1/15th sec. was probably the practical limit for dependable anti-shake performance. That said, the 1/8th second image could be sharpened with some care and be printed with acceptable quality. The full review will explore this feature in a lot more detail.

Original sample images
Below are thumbnails linked to original sample images. Please read and accept the terms of use before clicking on the thumbnails.

Terms of use
Please note that the largest of these is 6MB and will take around a minute and a half to display even if you have a 512 megabit broadband connection. If you are connecting via dial-up, expect to wait 20-25 minutes per image. The copyright of these images is the property of dpnow.com. Dpnow.com permits you to view and download these images for personal and private evaluation only. Permission is not granted for use of these images for any other purpose. Please do not deep link these images from a page on another Web site.

Rather than view these images in your browser, which will leave copies on your hard drive in your browser's cache, you should download them to your computer. Use the download target image option in your Web browser or use the linked description of each picture to download the image in a Zip archive.

PICT0005thumb PICT0020thumb
Canal scene, winter sun, 1/250th sec. f/9, ISO 100, sRGB, 3008 x 2000 (6.0 MP), Matrix metering, auto exposure, f=26mm (29mm equiv), auto white balance.
Flash portrait (built in flash) 1/60th sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, sRGB, 3008 x 2000 (6.0 MP), Matrix metering, auto exposure, f=35mm (52.5mm equiv), auto white balance.
PICT0017thumbPICT0018thumb
Night time scene, 1/6th sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, Adobe RGB, 3008 x 2000 (6.0 MP), Matrix metering, auto exposure, -0.5EV bias, f=22mm (33mm equiv) , auto white balance. Canal cottage, 1/400th sec, f/7.1, ISO 100, sRGB, 3008 x 2000 (6.0 MP), Matrix metering, auto exposure, f=22mm (33mm equiv), auto white balance.

We'll have more for you in a few days.

We're always keen to hear your comments , drop us a line with your thoughts and we might even publish them (unless you indicate otherwise of course).

Pre-order your Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D from Adorama in the US or from Amazon:

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