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Old Aug 4, 2004, 3:36 PM   #1
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If you're on the mailing list for the Konica Minolta Dynax 7 Digital SLR you probably already got this info. If not here is an interview withKeiichi Ishizuka, General Manager of the Konica Minolta Development Center, he answersmost of the questions posed by registered users of the Konica Minolta Photo World website.



[align=left]Click here to read the interview in pdf format.[/align]
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 10:41 AM   #2
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It sounds like they are building a heck of a camera. Problem is, will there be users left to buy it by the time they get around to actually start selling it? Their first generation camera is going to have to be competitive with other company's 3rd or 4th generation digital SLR's. They seem to be waiting an awful long time to get in. Heck, I started reading this stuff back in April and there's still nothing out yet. I almost expect Pentax to come out with another DSLR before this one hits daylight.I thoughta fewweeks worth of speculation on the Canon 20D was a bit much- 5 months would havebeen unbearable.
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 1:39 PM   #3
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Greg Chappell wrote:
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It sounds like they are building a heck of a camera. Problem is, will there be users left to buy it by the time they get around to actually start selling it?
Well, I think that they deliberately put out the word that they were working on it a long time in advance of being ready, in order to try and keep as many Dynax/Maxxum Film users as possible from "jumping ship". They have always indicated that the target release date was this fall.

A reputable poster on another forumfrom Germany has already indicated that he has held the camera recently. He won't give any details (since he's under a Non-Disclosure Agreement). However, he has said that he likes the camera (about all he was willing to say, other than he is confident that we will see product at Photokina, which isnext month).

Personally, I think that this is the most exciting time for DSLR products that we've seen in a long time. The announcements from all of the "players" over the next 4 or 5 weeks should be very interesting.

Quote:
Their first generation camera is going to have to be competitive with other company's 3rd or 4th generation digital SLR's. They seem to be waiting an awful long time to get in.
Well, actually this is their 3rd DSLR Product (counting the RD-175 and RD-3000 models). Hopefully, the "3rd times a charm". I think they'll make darn sure to "do it right", this time around.

Canon and Nikon do own the market right now. So, KM needs to offer a lot of "bang for the buck", and anti-shake alone may not be enough to do it.

Their Dynax/Maxxum 7 film body is a better body than you'll find in the entry level DSLR models from Canon and Nikon. So, it should have a brighter viewfinder, better autofocus, etc. -- assuming that these traits will carry over from the film body (which I expect they will).

I think we'll be seeing lots of new models from a variety of manufacturers. So, if KM wants to "get in the game", and "stay in the game", they'll need to offer more in return. They did this with the A1 and A2 in the Prosumer class. So, I think they'll do it with the D7D, too. After all, it's not like they have to pay someone else for the anti-shake techonlogy -- it's theirs.

Also, a DSLR purchase is different than a Prosumer Purchase. The DSLR is a system; with more revenue from lens sales going back to the manufacturer over time.

Whena consumer gets ready to upgrade the camera body later, guess which manufacturer they'll likely want to go with? Yep, the same one they already have lenses for.

So, the stakes are higher for KM with the D7D. They'll want to get their foot in the door (so they can keep it there -- not only for lens revenue, but because buyers of the D7D today, could be buyers of the "D10000" a few years down the road ).

That's why I think they'll do whatever it takes pricewise to achieve this goal.

We are living in interesting times.
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 2:20 PM   #4
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I agree with Jim :-)

Minolta probably ranks last in marketing, but they do come 1st in a lot of way (and no one give them credit). Their 1st dSLRs are quite innovative:
o One dSLR came with two CCDs to augment the resolution
o Their other dSLR use the removable APS lenses (beating the 4/3 and the "digital" lens by dozens of years)

Their "antishake" is quite innovative, but then they've been down this path before:
o Minolta started the AF lenses craze http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/h...991_story.html
o They introduced the removeable flash media for the Custom Functions
o "Eyestart" with no need to turn on the camera...
o Not the least their wireless flash system beats Canon by 10 years and as many for the Nikon which was just introduced not too long ago with the D2h/D70 http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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Jim, you say they need to give more bang for the buck. Do you think they are thinking electronic viewfinders in SLR's?

I'll admit, being a 20+ year SLR user and huge supporter of the traditional SLR optical path I find it really hard to believe EVF technology can realistically be developed to a stage it can be implemented and be viable competition vs. current SLR design, at least in the near term. It's not just a manual focusing issue, but a real-time viewing issue. I've been in the store and played with an A2. It would track a toddler crawling on the floor very well & is great for static subjects, but I wouldn't want to try and focus track a race car or even an NHL player going down the ice with one and try shooting multiple image bursts. This is without even considering the power it would take just to run such a viewfinder if one were developed. I've read on other sites where people have looked at the posted interview and are predicting an EVF in SLR's soon. I found very little to suggest it myself in what was said.

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Old Aug 25, 2004, 10:36 PM   #6
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Maybe when he says "live view" he's talking about a live histogram in the viewfinder to replace the exposure compensation graph? Now, THAT would be way cool.
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 10:53 PM   #7
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Greg Chappell wrote:
Quote:
Jim, you say they need to give more bang for the buck. Do you think they are thinking electronic viewfinders in SLR's?
No, I don't think so. In the interview with the KM Development Center Manager, the topic was brought up. But, I don't think it's practical at this point (and I wouldn't want one unless EVF Technology improved a lot).

The Dynax/Maxxum 7 series film bodies do have a reputation for a bright viewfinder (with a decent focus screen). So, I think that's what we'll see in the new D7D.

The Autofocus should also be very fast, and able to work down to - 1EV if it's carried over from the film body (and I think it will be). Even the new "improved" autofocus in the EOS-20D only has a working range down to -0.5 EV (improved from the EOS-10D's working range down to +.5 EV).

Keep in mind that the Dynax/Maxxum 7 is not an entry level body in thefilm world. So, it should be much nicer than the competitor's offerings within the same price range in it's digital form.

We'll just have to wait and see what KM decides to put into it. So far, they've been playing their cards close to the vest.


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Old Aug 26, 2004, 7:46 AM   #8
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Greg has a point; however the live-histogram does not have to be in the viewfinder. Hasselblad did it outside on the camera's grip: http://www.imacon.dk/sw5057.asp

... and the current Maxxum 7 film SLR has it on the rear LCD panel as "brightness distribution": http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...etail=Features
The used F5 that I bought last year use a CCD for exposure metering so it's entirely possible to "compute" a histogram prior to any shot taken... The real question is how to display it without an EVF?


With respect to the EVF not being able to follow action shots, there's many modes on the A2: "As mentioned above, the DiMAGE A2's viewfinder is a pretty dramatic update over that in the DiMAGE A1. Where the previous camera offered a resolution of approximately 320 x 240 pixels (230,000 total dots in red, green and blue), the DiMAGE A2 bumps this up significantly to 640 x 480 pixels (922,000 RGB dots). As an added bonus, you can opt to sacrifice half of this resolution in order to double the refresh rate of the viewfinder, removing another bugaboo of EVF-based cameras - problems in tracking fast-moving objects through the viewfinder because of the low refresh rates ... Certainly, in my own use of the camera, I had no trouble following fast action with it". Even at 1/2 the resolution on the A2, this is better than some of the top prosumer's EVF display out there: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A2/A2A4.HTM

As to the power consumption we've seen the advance over the past year in self-illuminating OLED without the need for backplane lighting on the Kodak's where 2 AA's can last you a whole day of shooting: I can't wait to see what next year will bring! :-)
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Old Aug 26, 2004, 11:22 AM   #9
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KMdid mention that the camera would have a larger LCD than the mockup photos show in one of the newsletters.

Also, the recently leaked photos of the D7D (if they were in fact leaked photos), do not show a view of the camera's back (you can't see the viewfinder, LCD, rear controls, etc.). I suspect that the photos are genuine, though. This is because a reputable poster from Germany on another forum indicates that he recentlyheld the camera; and he's quick to point out the numerous "fake" photos on the net. But, he did not say anything about the most recent ones being faked.

That these photos did not show the back of the camera only increases my curiosity more. So, I'm thinking that they must have some surprises in store for us about the camera's design.


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