For Better Or Worse
Like most previous, X-series models--except the X60--the X1 has a
small On-Off button located next to the shutter release that more often than
not causes some people to accidentally turn the camera off instead of making
a picture. Adding a sliding cover like the X60's would detract from the
camera's style but replacing that button with another notch on the
four-position mode switch (isn't Off a mode?) seems like a better, cleaner
solution. Maybe next time.
The DiMAGE X1's Anti-Shake feature produces sharp images
even under low light and can compensate up to three stops. This
photo of Mary was made using just the light from a table lamp.
Exposure was 1/4 sec at f/3.5 at ISO 160. Like most pocket digicams
with physically small chips the noise is more noticeable under
these kinds of ISO speeds and lighting situations but the results
were better than expected. Camera was set in Tungsten light mode
and no color corrections were made to this image file.
Most digicams have a plastic cover over the LCD screen. Since the X1's
2.5" screen is so large, Konica Minolta decided to cover the entire back
of the camera with a thin plastic sheet. Cool idea, but it's soft and
if you put it in your pocket, like it asks of you, don't keep anything
else there. I managed to scratch the cover with a key ring that just had two
small keys on it. Konica Minolta provides a soft case in the kit, so be sure
to use it if you don't want to scratch the camera's back.
You'll be glad that the camera has Anti-Shake capability since you may
not be able to use it on your tripod. I don't know if there is a standard
for how long a tripod bolt should be but of the two tripods I tried with the
X1 one of them (Tiltall) was too long. The Manfrotto quick release attached
to the X1 with no problems. If tripod-mounted shooting is important to you make
sure your favorite tripod works with the X1.
X-series cameras let you focus close with no external aids. The
DiMAGE X1 will get as close as 5" in Standard mode and just
a little over 2" in Super Macro mode. At these distances
slow shutter speeds (1/50 sec here) are possible because the X1's
Anti-Shake technology allows you to get up close and personal
with your favorite flower.
The Right Stuff: A Suggestion For Konica Minolta
When flown by Chuck Yeager in 1947 the Bell X-1 was the first piloted plane
to fly faster than the speed of sound. That Bell X-1 was painted orange; the
DiMAGE X1 digicam is gunmetal gray. Konica Minolta's website
products/consumer/digital_camera/dimage/dimage-x1/) shows three different
colored models, including silver, gray, and red. I asked to test a red one,
but was told, "The red is not available in the US." Evidently greenbacks
won't purchase a red camera but pink euros will. The color of this digicam's
body won't affect the quality of images this wonderfully clever camera
produces, but since Konica Minolta won't offer the other colors to us,
how about an orange model just for the US. Let's call it "The Right
Like most in camera Sepia modes, the DiMAGE X1's is a bit
too yellow for my tastes, but you can always desaturate it in
Photoshop for a more subtle effect. This image was captured at
1/100 sec at f/3.5 at ISO 50.
Like I said, nothing's perfect but the X1 delivers the best digital
point-and-shoot experience currently available. When my friends who ask that
perennial "what digital camera should I buy" question, I'll
tell 'em to get a Konica Minolta DiMAGE X1.
The street price for the X1 is $399.95. For more information, contact Konica
Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc., 725 Darlington Ave., Mahwah, NJ 07430; (800)
285-6422, (201) 574-4000; http://konicaminolta.us.