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View Poll Results: Minolta Dimage 7i or Nikon CP5700
CP5700 1 2.94%
Dimage 7i 33 97.06%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 10, 2002, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Dimage 7i or CP5700

I'm finally taking a real step up from my Fuji 2400. I'm now debating between the CP5700 and the Dimage 7i. I finally got to play with the CP5700 for a few hours and it seems like a truely terrific camera.

My problem with the 5700 lies in that there isn't a manual focus. With the low light focusing "problems" of the camera I'm worried that the AF system won't beable to get a lock. With the 7i, I can obviously focus it myself. I really enjoy shooting city scapes, fireworks, etc. Probably my favorite outing was Epcot and the Magic Kingdom at Disney at night.

I also have some other concerns. I really like the fact that the 7i has the different scene modes. I'm not super photographer by any means, which is another reason I'm upgrading. The fact that the 7i has the scene modes makes me feel that I'll beable to get terrific images no matter what the situation. I'm still not well learned on DOF, shutter, ISO settings, etc. Of course my 2400 doesn't have any of these manual features, which is why I want to upgrade. I'm sure some good quality time with the camera will help me get past the scence modes, however.

I really like the fold out LCD on the 5700 and being able to shoot in NEF file format also has it's merrits. Also, the CP5700 seems more compact and it fits better in my hand. Quite a few friends and family shoot Nikons and are pushing me the way of the 5700 because of the Nikkor optics. The 28mm wide angle on the 7i is a nice benefit though.

There is also the power issue. I know the Dimage really sucks the batteries down. (Although, to be fair the 5700 doesn't have a lite appettite either) I do have 2 sets of NiMH's but I don't think that will be enough for a full day of shooting. Also, I have 2 DigiPower 9000 LiIon pack's for my current Fuji which is terrific. I tested it last night on a 5700 and it works great. The 5700 unfortunately doesn't use AA's 2CR5's or the proprietary EN-EL1 rechargeable. So I'll take the DP9k's and probably a single EN-EL1 in my camera bag. Unfortunately for me, the DP9k doesn't seem to work on the Dimage 7's. So, more AA's to carry around with my in my bag and a big loss on the DP9k's. Pros and cons.. Pros and cons..

So what do you guys think? As I said earlier, I really like shooting night scenes. I also like shooting portrait photos as well. I'm not big into Macro so that's not going to play much of a part.

I just can't make up my mind. :? Anyone else have any opinions?

(I'm also crossposting this in the Nikon forum)

Thanks - Brandon
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 1:26 PM   #2
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You mean like theses:

http://www.pbase.com/nhl/daynight_comparison

With the WYSIWYG in manual, you don't even need a meter!
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 1:27 PM   #3
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Default DPS-9000 and Dimage 7i

The Digipower DPS-9000 packs do work on the Minolta Dimage 7 series and one user reports using one for a 2 hour shoot with flash use and only using 1/2 of the battery - which would indicate that 2 should be more than enough for an entire day's shooting.
see: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=3923346
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 2:02 PM   #4
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NHL; Thanks for the quick reply. Those are the shots that I long to do. The night castle pic is great! I'm a complete disney whore I'm impressed with the nighshot of the Minolta. Now if I can find a similar shot from a 5700 to get a good comparison.

abredon; Thank you also for the info on the DP9k working with the D7. I'm not sure if the 7\7i have a different power requirement than the 7Hi however. The link that you posted has the guy using a 7Hi, whereas the Imaging Resource review uses a D7. Interesting. Here's the quote from the IR review;

Quote:
"High Power" Cameras - Semi Compatible?

I know from past experience that some high power-drain cameras are problematic when used with external battery packs, even when the voltage rating of the pack and the camera's input spec seem to be compatible. A case in point is the Minolta Dimage 7/7i. That camera shows a voltage spec on its external power jack of 6.5 volts, but I've found in the past that it required a LiIon pack with an 8.4 volt output to power it properly. I happened to have a Dimage 7 on hand, waiting for me to take a look at the latest firmware upgrade from Minolta. I've used this camera successfully with Maha's LiIon "PowerBank" external battery pack with good results, but when I plugged the D7 into the DPS-9000, it wouldn't power up properly. - The camera turned on, but the rear panel LCD wouldn't light up. Switching to the D7's electronic viewfinder (which has a lower power drain), the camera worked normally. I could even snap photos with the rear panel LCD enabled, I just couldn't see what I was doing.

The Dimage 7 and 7i are particularly demanding cameras from a power standpoint, so my experience with the D7 may very well be unique to that model. (It doesn't even seem to be a matter of the pack's ability to handle high power drains, but may possibly be an issue with noise voltages appearing in response to large, short spikes in current demand when the LCD backlight tries to start up.) Still, it does appear that you should actually test the DPS-9000 with a camera, if you suspect it has a very high power drain.



I'm still torn. Thankfully I have 3 months before our vacation to Disney again. Hopefully I'll have my new cam within a month so that I have plenty of time to learn the in's and out's of the cam.

What I really need to do is find a camera store that has a 7i in stock and play with it. Ritz doesn't have them. Best Buy has a D7 Classic, but I'd like to play with the 7i as I know the AF system has changed. I'm not impressed at all with the 7. Unfortunately, here in my area we don't have a ton of camera stores that stock slightly higher end digital stuff.
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 2:21 PM   #5
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Here some more from Universal Studios:
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/d7_nigh_sho.../d7_nigh_shots
No meter required, put the camera in manual and just dial the shutter/aperture until the pictures look just right (on a tripod of course) in the EVF.

Actually I always brought 2 sets of 1600/1700mAh NiMh battery for our day trip to the parks and never have used more than that per day. I also use the microdrive, so I never reviewed the pictures (that will also be robbing the power away from the pictures taking part) or deleted pictures during the day, and offloaded everything at night back @ the condo.

You can also get 2100mAh now. I wouldn't carry a DPS-9000 around, since that would defeat the purpose of traveling light, and negate the convenience of the microdrive (by swapping flash cards). This way you only have to worry about 1 extra set of battery in you pocket (the other is in the camera)!
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 2:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips and the links.

I think i'll be taking the pack either way. I really like the extra weight that it adds to the cam, especially for handheld shots. During the day, I'll probably keep the tripod in a locker and only pull it out at night. I can toss a set of AA's in the cam as well as have the battery pack on. With my microdrive in there, I shouldn't have to worry about anything all day long.

The shot you have of the "100 years of magic" hat is great. I was there last year and attempted the same shot with very poor results. In all honesty, I think my 2400 is capable of producing a good night shot like you have there, but I didn't take the tripod along for that shot. I was actually laying on my back at one point with the cam resting on my chest to no avail. I'm going to be in the market for a small tripod for this trip. I currently have an el-cheapo Quantaray that is to big to take anywhere with me so I always leave it at home.
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 5:32 PM   #7
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My 'tripod' were top of trashcans or railings for those shots with souvenir T-shirts lending extra support! :lol: :lol: :lol:

BTW in the January/February 2003 edition of American Photo, this is what they have to say in the Digital Shootout: Five-Megapixels Wonders Go Head to Head.
Quote:
Unlike its competitors, the 7Hi offers the equivalent of a 28mm wide-angle setting without the need for supplementary lens attachments. This is terrific for shooting indoors or on the street, where a 35mm focal lenght doesn't take enough of the scene... The Dimage 7Hi has a very good 1.8-inch LCD monitor, and it's EVF is the biggest and brightest of this group...
It actually costs more ($1300) than the 5700 ($1200) or the F717 ($1000) based on that article. Bummer, I always assumed that you can get it for less...
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 7:34 PM   #8
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For a tripod that is small and light look at the Cullman Magic II. It folds down into a very small and light package, but opens up to decent size for shooting, and it is quite sturdy too, which makes it the ideal travel tripod. Alternatively, look for a bean bag to support your camera while shooting those night shots. Adorama, among others offer them for photography.

You say that Best Buy has the D7 classic, but you are not at all impressed with it. Why? The D7i is very similar, as is the D7Hi. The D7Hi has the PC sync socket and a larger internal buffer that would actually allow you to shoot in RAW mode, if you so desired. But the basic features of all the cameras are the same.

The D7 can be upgraded, almost, to a 7i with the version 2 firmware.

Declan
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 11:58 PM   #9
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After a quick online look at Cullman Magic II, that looks like it's just the ticket for me! Heck, it's hardly bigger than the cam's that I'm looking at. It should fit in my day pack quite nicely.

As for my beef with the 7 Classic.. Compared to the other cameras that I was looking at (CP5700, Fuji S602, Canon G2) the auto focus was dreadfully slow. I was in Best Buy testing it out and as most of us know Best Buy isn't exactly poorly lit. It just felt like the camera kept hunting for focus over and over again while being hand held. Over half of my composition will be hand held, so I wasn't thrilled with the AF system on the original D7. If the D7i is truley 2x faster like all of the reviews claim, I should be a happy camper.

Also, the camera operation was very intimidating. Press this turn that hold here. I picked up the 602 and the 5700 and felt that I had full control of the cam in moments. Granted, once I get more aqquainted with the camera this won't be an issue, but first impressions do last with me.

Another reason for not liking the Classic is the fact that it dosen't have the movie mode on it. While I won't be using it a bunch (I'm guessing one or 2 clips per day at a theme park) it's a feature that I DO want on my camera. The fact that you can OPTICALLY zoom while doing a video clip on the D7i is a big plus in my book.

Oh, and lastly the whole thing about Epson's Print Image Matching (PIM).. I've read the FAQ's on it, but I'm still not sold on it. Most of my prints that I do are produced on a Fuji Frontier color lab at my local Ritz (i'm in there daily as I work next door). Does PIM have any effect on what my prints come out to? For the most part, I plan on post processing the files through the Minolta software as well as using the Fuji Frontier PS plug-in's. Of course, that's saying I go with the Minolta. I'm still perplexed on which model to go with. Unfortunately, I'm in a situtation where I can't try one for a week and then return it for a different model if I so desire. I'm getting either cam 25-40% below MSRP through a friend..

Decisions decisions.
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 3:16 PM   #10
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Buy the camera online you will save lots.
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