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First and for all let's be clear about one thing : this Minolta Dîmage 2300 2-megapixel camera is phased out and no longer for sale. It was first introduced in early 2000 and was, at that time, no entry-level product as it would be considered now. There is however still the Minolta Dîmage E233, which while still being a 2-megapixel camera, retains the overall looks and size but has been upgraded with an optical zoom. The package At the time the Dîmage 2300 was sold in a carton box containing : - the camera - a wriststrap - a Compactflash memory card of 8 megabytes capacity - 4 alkaline AA-size batteries - a cushioned transportation bag which you can fix to your belt - 2 CDs containing the Windows 95/98 Drivers and a basic picture editing programme. - USB cable (camera to PC) - AV-cable (camera to TV) The story behind the machine In October 2001 I bought this complete package secondhand via Ebay from a fellow that got it for his birthday but "somehow never could get used to it". The price we agreed upon was some 40% of the shopprice. The low price was quickly explained when it turned out that the fellow sold it off because the camera had problems as I soon discovered. Pictures taken in the afternoon had vanished when I switched it back on in the evening. The solution was fortunately very simple : replacing the compact flash card that had become corrupted and incapable of storing images for longer durations. In a way this suited me fine as I quickly found out that the storage capacity of the original CompactFlash card was simply ridiculous. With the camera on its superfine setting I can store 1 (one !) photo on such a card, in its fine mode maybe a dozen. Even today some entry level or budget digital cameras are still sold with 8mb cards, so don't say I didn't warn you ! Also while using a fresh set of alkaline batteries to my horror I noticed I
could only take a dozen or so pictures before the little battery icon depicted in the top LCD screen started blinking alarmingly indicating low power. Here we can draw two lessons : First, don't ever use non-rechargeables in a digital camera unless it's to get you out of a fix. Do as I did and go for some high-capacity (1600/1800/2000 mAh)NiMh rechargeables, in the end I even bought two complete sets. You can now buy complete packs of 4 high capacity AA-size Nimh batteries with their charger for very reasonable prices. It's a worthwhile investment. Second lesson chuck out the low capacity memorycard and hop to the shops for a card that has 64 megabytes (or more). Prices for these have also come down considerably over the last two years, so the people that hopped on the digital photobandwagon late can count their blessings. What is the Dîmage 2300 like in real life ? Here I won't burry you in all the technical details, there are professional reviewer sites (e.g. http://www.steves-digicams.com/minolta2300.html) that do this much better than I ever could., especially since I'm no expert in photography, be it digital or not. So it is a 2,3 megapixel digicam that proposes you to take your images in four different qualities: economy, standard, fine and superfine, which is an uncompressed TIFF format. This TIFF format - actually quite rare on digital cameras - is often required by professional printers/publishers. I normally use the fine setting, which is enough for the 4"x6" pictures I produce on my Canon i850 bubblejetprinter. Controls are easily accessible as is the battery and memorycard compartment or the ports to plug in USB or videocable. The camera has a burst mode in which it can take a continuous series of snapshots (2-4 per second). I have to confess to never ever having tried this option. I LIKE - The finish, the metal housing is sturdy,
buttons are easy to operate and there is an optical viewfinder so to save batterylife you're not always obliged to switch on the powerguzzling LCD screen. - picture quality, especially when taken outdoors on a sunny day - its size, it's no pocketcamera but with the provided bag it can be tucked nicely onto your belt - the fact that is has no trouble accepting both big memorycards (I use one of 128mb capacity) and large capacity NiMh rechargeable batteries, I tested both with 1600 mAh and 1800 mAh Nimh rechargeable batteries. - the possible settings for image quality - the fact that you can run a slideshow from your camera on the TV I DON'T LIKE - the lack of an optical zoom - the fact that it sometimes does weird things with big red objects : it gives them a completely different shade of red - the flash is only functional at close range - the as standard provided 8 mb memorycard is ridiculously small ! - the fact that the picture counter only goes up to 99 pictures while with my current memorycard I can go up to several hundreds especially in the "standard"(quality) position - the provided software : a really no frills photo editing package vastly inferior to both Paintshop pro and Adobe Photoshop - no support for the image transfer software outside Windows 95/98 CONCLUSION In view of the purchase price I can't complain too much about this camera, except for maybe its lack of an optical zoom, the fact that it sometimes messes up big red objects and its feeble flash. Otherwise the perfect companion on your outings. As for many cameras of its generation and capacity you need to invest into some additional stuff : bigger memorycard, quality batteries with recharger and maybe a power adapter (was an option at the time ) or, alternatively, a USB-memorycardreader you can hook up to your PC which has the advantage that you no longer need any
software to transfer your pictures and allows you to save on battery usage. So would I buy this camera again today? Well, maybe. Because today 3megapixel seems to have become the norm for entry or midrange cameras and optical zooms are more readily available. Alhough what I would be lusting for now would still cost double of what I paid for the Minolta back in October 2001 and then I still would have to go out and buy superior storage and batteries. Cheers, Vik
A very nice small, simple to use compact digital. No optical zoom, but excellent picture quality. Digital zoom cropped photo, no zoom, just less pixels? One other minor problem, removing compact flash, normally results in batteries falling out, as they are housed in the same compartment. Biggest problem. No support for Windows ME - so unable to download from camera to my home PC, had to use friends Windows 98 machine. Minolta UK gave the only solution as the purchase of an additional Compact flash Card Reader. Around £35. Dealer kindly exchanged it with a full refund for a Fuji 2400. £50 more, but 3x optical zoom, and ME compliant.
hi to all well its true, it sucks to have no zoom but compared to other cameras of this price level i am really convinced about the quality of the pix. the colors are great and the resolution is high enough to get good quality prints, as a webdesigner i need the camera mostly to make pictures for the net and therefor the resolution is more then enough. the flash is not the best and pictures with flash often look somehow flat. the camera has a macro option that is useful for interesting fotos. so finaly i think that the dimage is not a state of the art super camera but for the price u pay u get a good quality camera that is useful for most puroses.
This camera loks really good on paper.But it is a bit behind the times. There are many others on the market with zoom that are better value. The Minolta 2300 has a 2 million pixel resolution with no zoom and uses CompactFlash storage. Its a compact digital with pretty much standard features. It uses USB to download or serial so is compatible with just about any operating system. If you were looking for a value digital camera then i would look else where as there is better on the market. All in all not fantastic perhaps sugest the Kodak 3400 or Fuji FinePix 2400 instead.