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Old Mar 8, 2003, 1:06 PM   #1
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Default Desperate for help with Dimage 7 ???'s

Very new to digital. Currently use a Canon EOS rebel, and blow up shots to 16x20. I have taken advantage of the auto , app and shutter settings with this camera, but I am very much an amateur.

Finally have a chance to buy a Dimage 7 for ~ 400.00. I have to let my buddy know pretty quick, but I can return it within 30 days... full refund. He works at a pawn shop and just got it in.

Camera will come with no software. No usb cable. So I have ??'s. It does function - he's messed with it. Yes, I've been to the Minolta site, and did some searching there and elsewhere, but my questions are not being answered in a way this newbie can understand.

1. Should I buy it, or wait until I can afford a 7i ? I think yes.

2. Can I use any usb cable to connect the camera to my PC? Minolta q&a says no, but I'd like an independent answer.

3. Software... So many upgrades at the Minolta site. Which ones do I use ? Some of the titles that Minolta lists seem the same to me.

4. (a) Firmware... I'm lost with this. I have built PC's, and upgraded BIOS's, but this is a little different. Same problem as above. Looks like most of the upgrades are similar. Which is the newest. Which would you use? Any tutorial links would be much appreciated.

4. (b) Firmware... Noticed posts that discuss a Firmware upgrade on discs. Should I just buy those, and ignore all the firmware files at the Minolta site?

5. I can also get a good deal on a printer with a card reader on it. Canon S530D. But I noticed that I should run all pictures through the Minolta viewer utility to improve picture quality. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having the card reader as a part of the printer?

I have already downloaded the manuals from Minolta. I know I have a huge learning curve with the camera. ( You can tell, that I'm really leaning towards buying it. ) I'll be a good newbie and read all about using the camera, but if some of you folks could help me make sure that the hardware is up to snuff, it'll make evaluating the camera over the next 30 days much easier.

Basic PC Specs: Windows XP Pro, 1800+ CPU, 384 meg ddr ram, 64 meg vid card. Let me know if you need more info.

**Just found the 'newbie' forum. If there is a way, please move this post to that forum. Sorry for not looking first ops: **
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 2:44 PM   #2
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Hi Kohl,
I had a D7 before my D7i, I’ll give my opinion:

Quote:
1. Should I buy it, or wait until I can afford a 7i ? I think yes.
400 US seems high to me for a D7 without accessories and software (and without warranty), but I am not aware of current prices of D7 and D7i.
I would wait for a D7i, personally, major reason is the AF superiority of D7i, although I choosed the original D7 over the Coolpix 5000 mainly for low light focusing ability.

Quote:
2. Can I use any usb cable to connect the camera to my PC? Minolta q&a says no, but I'd like an independent answer.
Minolta is right, the camera side jack is smaller than the standard USB “square” jack.
But , this is a minor issue. You better get a card CF reader, much cheaper than buying the original USB cable which I use very rarely. Downloading with the cable is very long.

Quote:
3. Software... So many upgrades at the Minolta site. Which ones do I use ? Some of the titles that Minolta lists seem the same to me.
Download the newest, it will support backward compatibility

Quote:
4. (a) Firmware... I'm lost with this. I have built PC's, and upgraded BIOS's, but this is a little different. Same problem as above. Looks like most of the upgrades are similar. Which is the newest. Which would you use? Any tutorial links would be much appreciated.
4. (b) Firmware... Noticed posts that discuss a Firmware upgrade on discs. Should I just buy those, and ignore all the firmware files at the Minolta site?
What is your current firmware version? To check it, put the selector to “setup” and push the “digital-subject-program” button ( the round button next to the square “P” button)
You can download the newest “free” firmware upgrade ,version 1.23 from Minolta site (Please correct me if I am wrong, anyone)

There is also THE upgrade (firmware version 2.xx ) , which is not free, that upgrade the D7 substantially , improve the AF much better than original D7 ability ( but not as quick as the D7i’ AF)
And yes, if you buy this, ignore all 1.xx version firmware.


Kohl,
The D7 series camera is easier to learn than you think. I adore it because I just use it just like I use my SLR. Plus, in manual exposure, It is a real WISIWIG display, can’t miss a shot because of exposure error. If you add the 2.xx upgrade, you have also histogram , grid display …
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 3:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for advice KCan. The 7i here is about 250.00 -300.00 more. Of course it would come with warranty etc... But that's starting to get ahead of my total budget.

You have me wondering about the AF. Some people really complain, some don't. With my Rebel, I usually use manual. How cumbersome is the manual focus on the camera?

If/when I finally save up $$ for THE firmware. It does say that it's 50% faster. How much slower than the 7i is that? Is it still the pain that other's have made it out to be?
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 3:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohl
You have me wondering about the AF. Some people really complain, some don't. With my Rebel, I usually use manual. How cumbersome is the manual focus on the camera?
Personally, I was very satisfied with the D7 AF ability , especially in low light, my number one priority. I was trying D7 and CP5k before buying, and just can’t consider the 5k , although I had Nikon SLR and CP950. I did not try the 5700 though.
Myself, I rarely use manual focus, but many people here prefer manual focus.
There is also the DMF (direct manual focus override) (DMF included with the v2 upgrade)
What I find is the manual focus feeling is just like SLR, but the display is rather difficult to judge for me. But you have also the electronic magnification which is great for manual focus ( manual focus at 4x , then just half press the shutter, it will return to full frame display, very efficient way to use MF)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohl
If/when I finally save up $$ for THE firmware. It does say that it's 50% faster. How much slower than the 7i is that? Is it still the pain that other's have made it out to be?
Difficult to say , but you know, it’s a matter of get used to the camera. The contrast based AF is still a lot inferior to SLR AF system . I saw that some complains also about the 5700 AF versus the D7i/D7Hi. I would say that in the actual context ( your budget, your taste) , go for a camera you like and enjoy shooting. The ideal camera ( very cheap and very good) never exist.
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 4:44 PM   #5
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I suppose that i will try the camera, and make a decision after about a week of use. I can get my $$ back if it doesn't work out.

I finally stumbled accross a link that discusses the AF diff between the 7, 7 with upgrade, and the 7i. 7i is almost twice as fast as with THE upgrade.

Any suggestions on where I could find a better price on a legit copy of this firmware?

I miss Montreal. Schwartz's, Dunn's, Lafleur's, Molson...and the Habs. Thank you so much for your input.
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 9:21 PM   #6
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Are you looking for an excuse to get a D7? Here's a feature that'll be missed with the 7i: :lol: :lol: :lol: http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7167

Believe me the upgrade for the D7 is worth every pennies!
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2001_...e7_firmup.html
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Old Mar 9, 2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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The 7i has come down in price to ~ $650 US at rebutable dealers on the net. And that's brand new with a US warranty. Quite frankly it's a steal at that price! I think you would be MUCH happier
with the 7i vs. the much older 7.
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Old Mar 19, 2003, 4:30 PM   #8
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I ended up buying it. So much to learn!! :lol: It's been fun. I noticed the AF has some issues, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be after reading all the posts. I still prefer MF.

Observations:

I have a solid black cat. In the past, all the pics from my Canon Rebel come back from the various photo stores with hardly any definition/contrast on his body. With the dimage, I was amazed that the AF can lock in on him ( spot ), and that I can make out the fur texture on his body. I'm keeping this camera!!

I don't think this camera is any less a point and shoot than my EOS Rebel was. What makes the shutter and apeture settings perfect for me is that I can see exactly what impact the adjustments are making on the lcd. What a help for a newbie like me. Couldn't do that with the Rebel!

Still don't know if I'm going to buy the upgrade kit. Only thing I hate, is the LCD screen. Not enough clarity. Can't find the 4x magnification on MF yet.

I've got the bug. I want to take pictures all the time. Anyone want to sell me their B300 for cheap? lol.
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Old Mar 19, 2003, 8:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
What makes the shutter and apeture settings perfect for me is that I can see exactly what impact the adjustments are making on the lcd. What a help for a newbie like me. Couldn't do that with the Rebel!
Exactly! This is a perfect camera for manual exposure because it's WYSIWYG, and one ends up shooting it on manual more than most since it behave just like an SLR 8) 8) 8)


Quote:
Can't find the 4x magnification on MF yet.
You have to enable it first (the default is digital zoom):
Menu > Custom1 > Mag. button > Elec. Mag > Select

BTW this feature only works when the EVF is in color. When the EVF turns to black and white in the dark, the 4x button is disabled! The upgrade will get you the real-time histogram that by itself is worth all the upgrade cost...
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Old Mar 19, 2003, 11:04 PM   #10
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In some of the many posts that I've read, I'm starting to get a clue as to the importance of the histogram. I'll do a search on it and see if I can find a complete explanation that I can understand. If anyone wants to give me an easy link, I would be grateful.

What do y'all think about this info on lenses?

http://raynox.co.jp/english/digital/egdimage7hi.htm
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