Minolta DiMAGE S414

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Minolta DiMAGE S414

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE S414 meets amateur photographers' needs for a digital camera that provides high-quality image processing, a dynamic zooming ...

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7 reviews from the community

Review of "Minolta DiMAGE S414"

published 30/05/2004 | chemsoc
Member since : 29/05/2004
Reviews : 1
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Excellent
Pro Image and build Quality, adjustablity
Cons battery life, lens cap
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"A dream for those that want control at a low price"

I was looking to move into the digital era, and not having a huge amount of money the Minolta S414 was recommended by a friend. All I can say now is that I will never go back to film cameras.

It is hard to know where to start with this camera, but I will start with the heart of the camera, the lens. The lens (Minolta GT) was one of the main selling points as far as I was initially concerned. Its specs and reputation preceded it. I was not disappointed when I finally got my Minolta Dimage S414, the images produced are crisp and accurate, and I have only noticed aberrations in the most difficult of situations. The end of the lens supports a thread that any 35.5mm lens or filter can be attached to, for those wishing to do so.

The camera has three main capture modes; Auto, Manual and Video. The auto mode is very much a point and click orientated mode, the camera making all necessary calculations and adjustments. There are, however, adjustments for image size and quality. There are 6 presets within the auto mode (Macro, Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Text and Macro Text) giving best auto results in these varying situations. The macro mode gives exceptional quality, close-up, images, and is the best that I have seen on the small range of cameras I have been exposed to. The video mode is pretty basic at 320 x 240 pixels but useful for capturing those little one-off moments. Now to my favourite mode, the manual mode (Multi-function). This mode allows you to adjust all the settings for the capture of that perfect image, although you don’t have to adjust everything yourself because there is the option of ‘auto’ for most settings. Adjustments include: exposure, focus, aperture priority, white balance, sensitivity, and the list goes on. This is one of the best points of the camera allowing you to have full control over the final image.

I have read a few criticisms of this camera and heard a few from other people that have borrowed mine, none of which I think are true problems that cannot be overcome, believe me they are worth overcoming for the price of this camera and the quality images it produces. Firstly people criticise the size and weight, this is personally not a problem for me because I don’t have the smallest of hands and it feels good to have something substantial in your hand. Batteries and memory are two more points regularly raised, when I was looking at buying very few cameras had rechargeable batteries or large memory cards, and you might as well go out and buy those which suit your needs. I bought 2 sets of 2100 mAh batteries and a charger, to allow continuous camera use, and I bought a couple of 128 MB cards to allow for my two separate uses of the camera. Another battery life saver is the humble card reader for your pc; this means you don’t have to use the transfer mode on the camera (this uses the batteries).

Going back to the lens and its thread, I found a company that makes 35.5mm filters and to improve image quality and to protect my camera I bought 2 filters a skylight filter and a circular polariser. The skylight is a clear piece of glass that protects the camera lens from scratches, and at £5 is cheaper to replace than the entire lens. The circular polariser eliminates some of the inherent problems of digital cameras, such as greying due to UV exposure, and allows image enhancement, deeper sky shades etc. One thing I do have a problem with this camera over is the lens cap, it is held in place by two plastic springs, which have now broken. I will have to find a replacement eventually, but am not too worried as I still have the protection given by the skylight filter.

My final word has to be on build quality, which in the case of the Minolta Dimage S414 is excellent. Although the body is lightweight aluminium it is incredibly tough (unlike some cameras with plastic cases), there are no rattles or vibrations, just smooth operation. The true build quality was demonstrated in an incident I don’t plan to repeat. Whilst on holiday I slipped down a flight (6) of concrete steps during which time the camera left my hand and bounced on most of the steps, the result of which was no more than 2 scratches on opposing corners, I hate to think what would have happened if it hadn’t been so well built.

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Comments on this review

  • Rosassnaps published 31/05/2004
    And how much was this camera? How many megapixels? You could get better ratings if you updated with some more info included. Let me know if you do.
  • iatethewholebag published 30/05/2004
    Sounds like a good buy. pete
  • MAFARRIMOND published 30/05/2004
    Welcome to Ciao. A good value robust camera. Maureen
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Product Information : Minolta DiMAGE S414

Manufacturer's product description

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE S414 meets amateur photographers' needs for a digital camera that provides high-quality image processing, a dynamic zooming range, advanced autofocus and autoexposure performance and fast, easy operation. The DiMAGE S414's high-precision electro-optical system is built around a 4.1 megapixel 1/1.8-type interline primary-color CCD with 4.0 million effective pixels for fine high-resolution images. This pixel resolution will produce B4 size 150dpi prints or A5 size photo-quality prints. The Konica Minolta DiMAGE S414 features a Konica Minolta GT LENS, a high performance lens class for digital cameras. It is a high-resolution, all-glass apochromat lens featuring both an AD (anomalous dispersion) element and two double-sided aspheric elements to ensure clear, sharp, and detailed images with minimum chromatic aberration at all focal lengths. The DiMAGE S414 features Konica Minolta's proprietary CxProcess, a new image processing technology that provides clear and natural images. In image processing, too much emphasis on natural color produces flat color pictures. Overemphasizing the color range creates an unnatural color scheme. CxProcess balances both extremes by controlling sharpness, color reproduction, tonal gradation and noise to produce pleasing photographs. The digital camera has a 12-bit A/D conversion that can provide a fine tonal gradation with deep shadows, brilliant highlights and millions of colors, up to 4,096 levels in each RGB channel, with more than 68 billion colors. Konica Minolta's 12-bit A/D conversion provides exquisite details in portraiture: smooth complexion, rich shadows and luminous highlights, as opposed to the standard 10-bit A/D conversion with its limited 1,024 levels per RGB channel. The DiMAGE S414 has a high power 4x optical zoom lens - a range equivalent to a 35mm-140mm zoom lens on a 35mm camera - that has the flexibility to capture pictures ranging from wide-angle landscapes to intimate portraits. The One-Touch 2.2x digital zoom gives the Konica Minolta DiMAGE S414 a zoom ratio of up to a 308mm focal length on a 35mm camera. The macro setting on the camera produces sharp close-up images of subjects as near 3.9 inches from the lens. A higher pixel count generally means slower operation. However, the DiMAGE S414's high speed LSI with a 32-bit RISC CPU and the 32 MB SDRAM buffer memory ensures responsive and effortless operation. The DiMAGE S414 is fast. The image capturing interval time of 0.8 second and brisk continuous advance speed of 1.3 frames per second with up to 7 frames (with full-size - 2272x1704 pixels - images in the fine image-quality mode) can transform a passing moment into a priceless memory. With a playback loading time of 0.2 second, images are previewed quickly. Using a wide focus area, the cross-hair main autofocus control accurately and quickly determines subject distance, regardless of the horizontal or vertical subject contrast. Focus Area Selection is a flexible tool that singles out a specific subject in the image area by selecting from five spot focus areas. With Konica Minolta's Focus Area Selection, photographers can move the focusing point to single out a specific subject from a number of objects at varying distances. The S414 can also be manually focused for users that wish to take creative control. The controls over exposure are amazing. The DiMAGE S414 has multi-segment and spot metering. Multi-segment metering uses 270 segments to determine exposure. Three exposure modes are available: program, aperture priority, and manual. 15-second bulb exposures can be made in manual exposure. Camera sensitivity can be set to auto or to one of four ISO equivalent levels: 64, 100, 200, or 400. And to ensure the best exposure possible, an automatic three-frame bracket can be made with 0.3, 0.5, of 1.0 EV steps. The camera's controls are positioned and designed with a four-way controller and easy-to-read menu for ease of use. The mode dial allows the user to switch instantly between fully automatic recording and multi-function recording for more creative control. A shutter sound effect indicates the shutter has been released. The DiMAGE S414's compact design features a lightweight aluminum body, and is designed to feel comfortable in the hands, making it the perfect choice for people on the go. The sharpness, contrast, and filter digital effects controls are image-processing tools built into the DiMAGE S414. These functions allow image data to be maximized at the scene. Sharpness accentuates or softens details. Contrast controls the difference between brightness levels; increasing the contrast makes the highlights brighter and the shadows darker. And the new Filter effects make a color image warmer or cooler. Unique to digital imaging, the DiMAGE S414's real-time histogram shows the luminance distribution of the image before it is captured. Displayed with the live image, the histogram allows the subject brightness and contrast to be evaluated to optimize the camera's exposure and contrast controls. White balance controls how the camera interprets the color of the ambient lighting. Auto white balance compensates for changes in lighting automatically. Four preset white-balance settings, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, and fluorescent, can be selected for specific light sources. And for critical control over color, the custom setting allows the camera to be calibrated to the lighting conditions at the scene. The camera's color mode has five options: Natural Color, Vivid Color, black and white, Sepia, and solarization. Natural Color preserves the actual colors of the scene and Vivid Color accentuates them. Black and white creates a neutral monochrome image whereas the new Sepia mode gives the classic appearance of toning in old photographs. Solarization creates a partial reversal of tones and colors in the highlights for creative effects. The DiMAGE S414 can continuously record still images at a rate of approximately 1.6 frames per second. A ten-second self-timer is available for self-portraits. The optional remote control RC-3 can used to record still images and movie clips from up to 16 feet away. The DiMAGE S414 is not limited to recording still images. Sixty seconds of digital video with audio can be captured. Voice memo allows up to 15 seconds of audio to be attached to an image when it is captured. The movie clips and audio tracks can be played back in the camera. The LCD monitor displays active camera settings, exposure information, and warnings. This information can be turned off so that the entire image can be viewed. The DiMAGE S414 has two additional displays for critical composition: grid and scale. Usually found in large-format view cameras, the grid makes aligning the camera with vertical or horizontal elements within the image simple; confirming that the horizon or buildings are straight in landscape or architectural photography is easy. The scale can be used in close-up photography to judge the relative proportions of the subject.

Product Details

Product Description: Minolta DiMAGE S414 - digital camera, Konica Minolta DiMAGE S414 - digital camera

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Sensor Resolution: 4.0 Megapixel

Lens System: 4 x zoom lens - 7.15 - 28.6 mm - f/3.0-3.6

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Digital Zoom: 2.2 x

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Viewfinder: Optical - real-image zoom

Display: LCD display - 1.8"

Supported Battery: 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included )

AV Interfaces: Component video, Composite video

Dimensions (WxDxH): 11.4 cm x 5.9 cm x 6.5 cm

Weight: 0.3 kg

Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

Colour: Silver

General

MPN: V2799101A, Dimage S414, 2799101, 2799-301

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Sensor Resolution: 4.0 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Total Pixels: 4,100,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 4,000,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 1/1.8"

Optical Zoom: 4 x

Digital Zoom: 2.2 x

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 3

Digital Video Format: MJPEG

Image Recording Format: JPEG, TIFF

AV Interfaces: Component video, Composite video

Enclosure Colour: Silver

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 64

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, spot

Exposure Metering Zones: 270

Exposure Modes: Programme, bulb, automatic, manual

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, macro, text, night portrait

Special Effects: Solarisation, Black & White, Sepia, Neutral, Vivid

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Fluorescent, cloudy, tungsten light, daylight

Max Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 15 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps

Lens System

Type: 4 x zoom lens - 7.15 - 28.6 mm - f/3.0-3.6

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 35 - 140mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Macro Focus Range: 16-60cm

Zoom Adjustment: Motorised drive

Lens Construction: 9 groups / 11 elements

Filter Size: 35.5 mm

Features: Aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 1.6 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec

LCD Display Information: Shutter speed, aperture, red-eye reduction, self-timer mode, film speed, photo quality, photos remaining, memory card status, white balance indicators, picture resolution, exposure compensation, Metering Mode, battery condition, flash mode

Additional Features: Audio recording, built-in speaker, RGB primary colour filter, date/time stamp, DPOF support, AE/FE lock, PRINT Image Matching

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Optical - real-image zoom

Viewfinder Frames: Autofocus frame

LED Information: Flash ready, autofocus ready

Display

Type: 1.8" LCD display

Resolution: 122,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Microphone

Microphone Operation Mode: Mono

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x DC power input

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME

Peripheral Devices: USB port

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Lens cap, neck strap, USB cable, audio / video cable

Body Material: Aluminium

Battery

Battery Type: AA

Details: 4 x AA alkaline battery ( included )

Memory / Storage

RAM Installed: 32 MB

Memory Card Slot: CompactFlash Card

Supported Memory Cards: CompactFlash

Included Memory Card: 16 MB CompactFlash

Image Storage: Super-fine TIFF 2272 x 1704 : 1 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2272 x 1704 : 6 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 2272 x 1704 : 11 - with 16MB card ¦ Economy JPEG 2272 x 1704 : 17 - with 16MB card ¦ Super-fine TIFF 1600 x 1200 : 2 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 12 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 19 - with 16MB card ¦ Economy JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 27 - with 16MB card ¦ Super-fine TIFF 1280 x 960 : 3 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 17 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1280 x 960 : 26 - with 16MB card ¦ Economy JPEG 1280 x 960 : 33 - with 16MB card ¦ Super-fine TIFF 640 x 480 : 13 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 34 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 640 x 480 : 42 - with 16MB card ¦ Economy JPEG 640 x 480 : 48 - with 16MB card

Video Capture: MPEG - 320 x 240 - 51 sec - with 16MB card ¦ MPEG - 320 x 240 - 60 sec - max clip duration

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 1 year warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - 1 year

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 11.4 cm

Depth: 5.9 cm

Height: 6.5 cm

Weight: 0.3 kg

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Listed on Ciao since: 14/05/2003