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Old Feb 4, 2004, 8:34 AM   #1
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Default A1 or 7Hi? 7Hi or A1?

We're on the verge of upgrading our digital camera. Right at the top of our list are the Minolta A1 and the 7Hi. I'm having a real hard time deciding between the two!

I like the idea of the anti-shake feature on the A1; I like being able to use regular AA batteries with the 7Hi.

We've already got a ton of good AA rechargeables, so when you add in the cost of a spare battery for the A1, the price difference is probably approaching $100. Longer battery life (with the A1) would be nice, but not vital, since I don't foresee many times that I will be using the camera continuously for hours. Main use will likely be for photos of trains and photos of people.

Can owners of one or both of these cameras tell me what factors helped you to make your decision?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 9:49 AM   #2
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Get the A1! It's significantly improved over the 7Hi, and with the battery grip option you can use regular AA sized rechargeable NiMh...

BTW you may want to wait for the A2...
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 11:09 AM   #3
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I agree with NHL.

I have a D7i. The Hi basically had a better buffer. It is a battery hog and the AAs are a good deal. This is what Dave says about the A1: ”Overall, these are excellent battery life numbers, some of the best in the prosumer digicam marketplace. This constitutes dramatic progress relative to the previous 7-series DiMAGE models, which earned a well-deserved reputation for being rather power-hungry. I still highly recommend purchasing a second NP-400 battery pack, but the DiMAGE A1 has much better than average battery life.” My little pocket C50 and FZ10 both use proprietary batteries and I get on fine with no spare. I guess if I owned only one camera there might come a time when I drained or nearly drained the battery and wanted to dump the pictures and start shooting again right away – but that has never happened. You might try it with just the one battery. http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A1/A1A11.HTM

Stabilization is a great feature. It gives you a lot more versatility without a tripod. The A1 also has a much more efficient raw mode. A1 full sized raw files are 5Mb where the D7 series raw files were 9.5Mb – I think that was still true of the Hi. There is a big difference in utility. That 5Mb raw file will decode to a 28.8Mb 16 bit TIF. Raw is a great mode to be able to shoot in, and with that small file size and large buffer I probably would never use anything else.

The A1 has a better processor and I would personally like the Adobe RGB color space as that is what I use in Photoshop. I would also like the tilt out LCD, which allows you to shoot over your head or from waist level – even near the ground. It would also contribute to getting candid shots. It doesn’t fully articulate like the G5 but a little is better than being welded to the back of the camera.

The A1 is just so much better a camera it is silly to consider a Hi because you want to use your old batteries IMO. You might find you don’t need a spare.
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Old Feb 4, 2004, 11:51 AM   #4
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I forgot to mention that you might want to wait a month. There is good indication that Minolta is about to announce the A2. Nobody is saying what it is but it might reduce the price of the A1 a little.

My best guess is that it will use the 8Mp sensor which is the same size as the current 5Mp, or they might possibly give up the 28mm wide and compete in the long stabilized zoom arena – in which case the A2 wouldn’t be a replacement for the A1 but just offer an option.

Either way the A1 might still be a good option. The 8Mp might be very noisy in a Minolta – known for avoiding high levels of noise filtration in the processing. And the 28mm wide would be better for a lot of users if they were to give that up for a longer focal length.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 5:12 PM   #5
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FYI

The pictures show 8Mp:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=7537324
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