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View Poll Results: Minolta Dimage 7i or Nikon CP5700
CP5700 1 2.94%
Dimage 7i 33 97.06%
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 5:47 PM   #11
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Ahhh. Yes the original D7 was VERY slow to focus and it did hunt a lot. The V2 firmware upgrade fixed (sort of) all that, but not quite up to the level of the D7i.

Don't let all the buttons intimidate you, it really is not as bad as it looks. You will get used to it all very quickly, plus most are set once and forget.

The pluses are a terrific lens, the manual zoom and full manual control over everything.

I have the Cullman Magic II and I love it. Be aware it come in two flavors. It comes with a video head, or with a ball head. Make sure you get the right one for your needs.

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Old Dec 15, 2002, 4:30 AM   #12
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I apologize in advance for the long winded passage...

I purchased the 7Hi over the 5700 for a few reasons even though there was much discussion of a "noise" issue with the 7 series. I was a little nervous when I layed out the $$. But, I'm very satisfied because all the other pluses (IMO) out weighed the sometimes "noisy" images. I purchased purely based on internet research and I did not try the 5700 until after I had owned the 7Hi for two months. What's below are just the things I have picked up on and do not attempt to go as in depth as the pro reviews.

I found several major character differences between the two cameras...

1. Zoom and Focus (assuming other settings are ready) - the 7Hi (any 7) allows one to twist with the hand both zoom and focus (even though focus is not 100% mechanical). This is more reminisent of the old days on a film SLR. I happen to like this ability to twist and shoot a lot--especially the zoom. The 5700 only allows electronic zoom (4 seconds from W to T) and focus via buttons. This tends to make it feel more like a point and shoot camera. The zoom buttons are dedicated, but you have to push and hold an additional button to manually focus. Then, you can see/feel every focus step (very discrete) the camera peforms as you focus. Even though the discrete steps are there on the 7, you don't notice or sense them as you manually focus. The focus ring has a nice smooth feel as it is turned. With the 7x you can catch a bird or plane that goes by due to this quick manual zoom ability. The images I have captured of flying planes and birds are not the greatest, but at least I was able to get them. Maybe with practice...

2. Film Emulation - this is probably a plus for the 5700 for most people. I characterize one difference between the two as what I call "film emulation." The 5700 (IMO) appears to have algorithms that manipulate the image data in a way that tries to emulate how a traditional film images would look. I think the results are very nice. I believe this to be the case in all of Nikon's digital cameras based on experience with my first, a CoolPix 775 and review of 5700 and other CoolPix images. The 7x on the other hand would lean (IMO) toward what one might call a "digital" camera. I'm not a photographer nor do I have a lot of film camera experience, so what I say may be off from what the "pros" may think. I'd like to hear back from others on this--I just came to this conclusion in the last couple of days.

3. Night and NO Flash Image Capture - yes, if there is enough light on a relavent spot in your composition you can focus the 5700. However, with the signal boost (when low light is sensed) the 7x pushes the low light focus capability much farther and allows both auto and manual focus to happen. This was an important factor for me--I avoid using flash probably 99.9% of the time. I'd rather have some blur with the scene provided light than have the flash look.

4. Other Miscelaneous Items

- The feel of the 7Hi is more SLR like (buttons/switches/zoom/manual focus, etc).
- The lens has threads to allow filters and traditional lens covers.
- Both cameras have plastic compact flash cover doors. In fact the 5700 door feels less robust than the 7Hi.
- Standard AA batteries/chargers available for cheap
- EVF tilts up 90 degrees (I use it all the time, especially when on a tripod with camera pointed upward).
- More external manual control of camera
- Auto on/off switching of LCD to EVF and back. Or, auto on (when held to eye) of EVF only. 5700 is manually switched between the two and does not do both at the same time.
- I like the LCD display better.
- 28 mm wider angle
- Larger LCD
- Faster camera
- Live histogram
- Distance indicator for manual focus

PRO 5700 (IMO)
- 8x zoom
- Higher res EVF
- Swivel LCD
- Macro (I still tend to use my CoolPix 775 for macro if in a hurry, 7Hi really needs a tripod)
- Image quality/character

When camparing the list of pros/cons at the end of the DPReview reviews for the two cameras (7Hi vs 5700), it (IMO) makes me feel like he is brand loyal to Nikon. I am too, it was a struggle to make the decision to buy a Minolta. Nikon is all I have ever owned (two FE2s, N2020 and CoolPix 775).

Bottom Line - in my heart I like the overall image character of the 5700 better, but everything else (IMO) out weighs that difference.

Good Luck. Try before you buy if possible or understand the return policy before laying out the cash. You can probably find a 5700 in a store, so at least try it. That way if you do order a 7x you'll be able to make a better judgement after it arrives.

I have images at the link in my signature below, but be warned that a lot of those are from my CoolPix 775. Be sure to look and see which camera was used.
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Old Dec 15, 2002, 4:34 AM   #13
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my signature with link...
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 9:18 AM   #14
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Few more input to the previous post for the more advanced users:

The power zoom in the external flash units will track the manual zoom ring of the D7's, so noone will have a surprise here. There is no need for a sync cord either since the camera can trigger multiple dedicated flash units wirelessly as well (Somehow the Nikon SU-4 wireless receiver doesn't work with any of their digital cameras...).
The D7's built-in flash does not pre-flash in manual, and can be lowered to different ratio to trigger slaves for studio shoot without contributing to the lighting of the subject, or be turned off altogether.
Also there's a complete overide of the EVF in manual so one can work as WYSIWYG or automatic brightness adjustment with the D7's in a darkened studio.

Multiple colorspaces and 1/2.5 compression
Not that everyone need it, but AdobeRGB (on top of sRGB and Vivid sRGB) and the 1/2.5 jpeg compression, as well as embedded icc profile, are surely appreciated by the more savvy Photoshop users.
Real-Time histogram: what does anyone do 1st in photoshop? It got to help here as well, right...
Also one can do black & white in Photoshop, but would it be better if one can tweak around with the 11 different filter settings? :lol:

When camparing the list of pros/cons at the end of the DPReview reviews for the two cameras (7Hi vs 5700), it (IMO) makes me feel like he is brand loyal to Nikon.
It was like that all along including the original D7/CP5000... and where all the urban legends got started!
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 10:29 AM   #15
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I have just bought the 7i and I am amazed over the night-shot-capability, both with and without tripod.

But I have also tried using the camera in very cold weather, 20 degrees centigrades below zero(Norway you know). And it seems like the camera is using power even when it's turned off, at this low temperature. I was dissappointed when the camera turned off too early.

I will keep the batteries in a pocket near to the body when I'm transporting the camera in cold weather.

Another thing I have noticed is that the battery power indicator shows half battery before it is really half emptied.

Another con is that the lens is so big that it is difficult to hide the camera under a jacket f.ex. in rain or cold weather.

But otherwise it is a great camera! The pictures I get out of it is much better than any analog or digital pictures I have made before. Exposure is perfect almost every time!

Sometimes I have judged a picture on the LCD to be over or underexposed and have taken steps to correct this before shooting a new picture. When I viewed the pictures on the computer later , I realized that the camera's choice was the best to work along with, for using "curves" and other tools. ops:

I chose the 7i before the 5700 mostly because of the wide angle, and have not regretted. I don't miss the tilt screen at all.
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 11:27 AM   #16
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if i am right, Li-ion battery will be a better choice for cold weather becuase there is no liquid inside the battery.

i built a battery pack myself for my d7i shared batteries my canon camcorder (7.2 v, 3700 mah). check the previous messeges for how diy battery.

enjoy ur d7i
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 5:17 PM   #17
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To all UK members, I was presently surprised to find the price of the D7I has dropped (GBP450.00), nearly half price compared to some retailers original selling prices. Maybe there is a revised model due out soon. If anyone wants to know the name of the store let me know.

The camera looks great but complicated, steep learning curve I suppose, as my last camera was a Fujifilm MX1200. Does anybody know where I can find turorials online?
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 5:55 PM   #18
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The manuals that come with the 7x cameras are good. You can download them as two PDF files (for each camera) from the Minolta web page. Check them out.

User Manuals for 7i

User Manuals for 7Hi

Other web pages that I have found useful are...

DC Experiments
This is a home grown page with lots of useful information on the DiMage 7 series cameras.

Imaging Resource
The reviews on this page are great and provide a lot of insight on how this camera works and what tweaks are useful.

A page dedicated to Minolta DiMAGE cameras. Sometimes is out of date and clumsy to use.

There are other sights with relavent information, but these are the ones I find most useful right now.

Good luck.

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Old Feb 11, 2003, 4:22 PM   #19
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Lord Athens
You have probably made your decision by now, but I thought I would put in my 2cens anyway. Perhaps it will help someone else.
I've owned Nikon camera for 35 years-all SLR's and the cameras and lens are great. However, digital is a different matter and the good digital cameras are in no way at a disadvantage over traditional camera makers like Nikon. I don't really like the Nikon digital camera, I purchased a Minolta 7i. I liked the 7, but it had a few problems according to people on the forums and that was all cleared up with the 7i. Luckly I was saving for the 7 when the 7i was announced, so I waited for the 7i.
Your other concern was the batteries. The charger than comes with the 7i isn't too good in my experience. I was getting about 50 shots with the batteries that came with the camera. I now use a charger and 1800mAh batteries by AccuPower. They give me 100 + shots that more than fills my 256M card. The charger and 4 batteries are $19 from CyberGuys. The charges charges at a higher voltage than the Sanyo that Minolta sends with the camera. In Europe they have 2000mAh batteries, but I didn't want to pay the shipping cost on 24 batteries which was the minimun I could order. I also heard that 2200 mAh batteries are or will soon be available. In short with batteries so cheap (the ones I mentioned were $7.20 for 4 batteries). And batteries getting better all the time, this shouldn't weight too heavily on your decision, especially since AA batteries are so common and readily available--not like expensive propriteriary batteries.
So I vote for the 7i hands down!! I too debated with the Nikon 5700. The deciding factors in my case was the 28mm lens as opposed to the 35mm, especially for travel, interiors and group shots. The AA batteries was a plus. And finally just everything I had read about the 7i including: auto focus OK and improved over the 7. Manual focus is good and easy to use. Manual zoom vs a motor zoom.
The biggest surprise was the ergonomics of the Minolta camera. Digital camera take soo getting used to, but everything just felt comfortable and every control fell exactly where my finger went to find them! Yes I had to read the book to understand everything and appreciate the many features, but everything just FEELS RIGHT
and you can't say that about all digital cameras.
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Old Feb 19, 2003, 7:47 PM   #20
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If your still looking, I agree with DigitalDan. I find no big compelling reason to spend the x-tra $400 - $500 for the 7Hi. But I don't need the sync flash and the 7i is PLENTY fast for my type of shooting. I'd spend the $ of a microdive (or a very fast CF card), a Maha charger (401) and a BUNCH of 2000 or 2100 mAH NiMH's. And if you had a few $ left over a Canon i850 printer!
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