Minolta Dimage 7

Digital imaging at over 5 megapixels, for really big prints

WHAT'S HOT: Topping this camera's long list of high-end features are 5.2-megapixel imaging and a 7X optical zoom. You also get over a dozen dials and buttons, for quickly accessing functions. You can zoom from 28mm to 200mm (35mm film camera equivalent) by twisting the large rubber grip on the lens barrel. Besides being far faster than the rocker-button zoom you find on most digital cameras, this approach is more precise. An efficient, tag-team combination of settings and selector dials handles many camera operations and exposure controls that are typically buried in menus on other cameras. For instance, when you set the selector dial to "PASM," you can switch from shutter priority to aperture priority by pressing a button and turning the selection dial. Release the button, and the selector dial lets you spin through aperture values. The camera displays all the information for these changes in the LED status panel on top of the camera, in the color LCD viewfinder, and in the electronic viewfinder (which replaces the optical viewfinder found in most digital cameras). Other dedicated buttons include an automatic/manual focus button, a macro switch, and a big square button that switches you instantly into Program mode.

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