Convincing rumour suggests Dimage 7i replacement will be announced soon
Update, 4th August: Industry grapevine suggests the A1 is real and is to be launched imminently.
Update, 7th August: Minolta releases three new cameras, a software package and a flash gun:
• Minolta Dimage E323
• 2500 (D) flash unit
• Minolta Capture application software for remote DiMAGE A1 imaging
• Minolta Dimage A1
• Minolta Dimage Z1
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In a discussion on a bulletin board dedicated to Minolta digital cameras, a New Zealand poster says he has seen and held the repalcement for Minolta's 2 year old Dimage 7 and apparently it's going to be called the A1. We wonder what Canon, whose A1 35mm SLR was an icon in SLR history in the late 70s, might have to say about that!
The sneak shot of the new Minolta Dimage A1
Here at dpnow.com we are somewhat sceptical, but if the rumours are true, the details that have emerged include:
• New styling but similar basic layout.
• Further revised grip, now incorporating contacts for power up when the camera is picked up.
• Retention of the excellent 28-200mm (equivalent) lens as featured in the current Dimage 7 range.
• Image stabiliser.
• Rechargeable battery as standard, but with AA battery clip-on option.
• New improved AF system.
• Tilting LCD viewscreen.
• Still 5 megapixels.
There aren't any details about the electronic viewfinder. In our book, this is the item that Minolta should have placed on the top of its list to be replaced by something better, like maybe the new 230,000 pixel EVF in the new Fujifilm S7000.
Goodbye, Dimage 7hi?
From what we can see, this is a heavily modified Dimage 7 with a new name or a new camera based extensively on the old one. The 7 series was very much a flawed gem and with just a few changes Minolta could have a real winner on its hands.
There has been speculation that Minolta is readying to launch the A1 at the major Berlin IFA show at the end of this month, but according to our research, Minolta isn't attending that event. Others think the A1 will be launched in October.
Of course it could all be an elaborate hoax!
You can see the original discussion thread and a picture by clicking here.
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