Konica Minolta’s DiMAGE X60; A Must-Carry Digital Point-And-Shoot Page 2

A five-point autofocus enables flexible framing to catch action and you can use Spot Focus mode to focus on a specific point within the frame. The X60's Multi-segment (256) metering system automatically measures light over the entire image area and selects the best exposure for the subject. (See "R2D2? Not Quite.") Spot Metering measures light in the center of the frame, allowing users to measure the brightness of a particular spot on their subject. Pictures can be personalized using the X60's Image Pasting feature that lets you overlay parts of an image in one of the nine frames. Silly? Yes, but fun, too.

Junkyard art? No, it's every wife's worst nightmare: an old junk car being brought home for "restoration." Since I take the DiMAGE X60 with me everywhere I made this photograph of a potential racecar to show my body shop for a 2006 project I talk about in this month's Web Profiles. Autoexposure was 1/750 sec at f/3.3 at ISO 160 and the flash was automatically turned on.

A Colorful Camera?
In addition to the silver-only model that's available in the U.S.A., the X60 is available in the rest of the world in red and gray. Canon's PowerShot SD20, another small viewfinderless 5-megapixel camera, albeit with a tiny LCD screen, is available in four different colors no matter where you live. And even though the removable media door fell off and remains held on with gaffer tape, I grew to love this little camera because all of the traits I admired in previous X-series models are here and improved, making this a must-carry digital point-and-shoot camera.

Konica Minolta's X-series of cameras has always had excellent close-up capabilities and the DiMAGE X60 will even focus as close as 2"! This photograph was made in my garden with the zoom lens at 72mm (equivalent) in Super Macro mode. Exposure was 1/250 sec at f/9 and the flash was manually turned on. Most of which is irrelevant, I just tuned the flash on, composed the shot, and made the exposure in Automatic mode.

R2D2? Not Quite
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE X60 offers Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection that automatically, hence the name, selects the best capture mode. You can also manually choose a subject program from Super Macro Mode, Portrait, Sports Action, Landscape, Sunset, Night Portrait, and Text Mode. All of them work pretty well sometimes but sometimes don't. Compare the examples below.

(Top): Where it didn't work: For this unmanipulated photograph of Mary and I celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary, the DiMAGE X60's Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection failed to turn the flash on. The camera, instead, chose an exposure of 1/45 sec at f/3.3 and an ISO of 50. It's not bad, but not good either. (Above): Where it did work: I made this portrait of Mary while she was sitting across from me at an anniversary dinner at O's (that really "is" the restaurant's name). Exposure, as determined by the camera, was 1/45 sec at f/3.7 and an ISO of 100. The built-in flash was not fired, but it would have ruined the wonderful sidelighting coming from the large window at camera right. .

Both photographs were made at almost the same time at the same place and lighting conditions but at different camera angles. In the photograph of Mary and I toasting our 23rd wedding anniversary, the X60's Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection didn't turn the flash on, which would have made this image much better. In the photograph of Mary made in exactly the same space as in the first picture, the automatic exposure could not have been more perfect. Just like her.

The street price for the X60 is $349.99. 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://konica minolta.us.