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Camera with Voice Recording - Minolta Dimage X

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KD247

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Anybody using the Minolta Dimage X?

The small size caught my attention, but after learning about the "voice memo" feature, I'm pretty excited about this camera. The description says "Voice memo allows recording up to 15 sec audio track with a still image immediately after taken". Sounds like it could save a lot of writing during subject and comp inspections. I could take a picture of a comp and talk into the camera as I drive away.

The other appealing feature is that it boots up in less than 2 seconds and can take pictures about 1 second apart. My Kodak DC210 takes about 12 seconds in between pictures.

Thanks in advance for any comments regarding this camera.

Koert
 

Dale Smalley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
The first digital I had was an Epson 650 that had the 12 seconds of audio. This was absolutly the greatest feature. After taking the pic you could desscibe the condition, features and best of all the address while making a quick get away. No having to write a log of pics. This made it real easy sorting out all the similar comp photos back at the office. The 850 model was a big dissapointment with no audio and slow like the kodak. I have a Nikon now but probally overkill for appraisal work.
Do you have any pricing for the minotla. I will try pricegrabbers.com
 

KD247

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Dale,

Well, I liked the idea so much that I used (wasted) half the day reading about the camera and then picking one up at Costco. Luckily, my wife took it to a retirement dinner, so I can't play with it anymore.

Costco's price was $390 something, but included an extra battery worth about $40. There are lots of "brand new" ones on eBay for closer to $300. I'll need to spend another $70 for a 128k SD card just to make sure that I never run out of memory.

After playing with the camera for an hour, I really like it. It's super small and light, fires up instantly, takes pictures almost as fast as you can snap them, has an automatic built-in lens cover, and connects instantly to Windows XP as an external drive via a USB cable.

Unlike my fixed-focus Kodak, this camera has real focusing and there is a 3X telephoto lens that is inside of the camera. The lens doesn't stick out! The pictures are grouped into folders labelled with the exposure date and are numbered sequentially in the folder. If you use the voice memo feature, the folder contains a .jpg file and a .wav file for each picture.

The only thing I don't like is that it doesn't have a cradle. You need to plug the USB cable into the camera and put the battery into a separate charger. However, the batteries are supposed to last a couple of hundred pictures between charges, so this might not be a problem.

A couple of reviews said that the image quality is inferior to full-sized cameras in the same price range, but that doesn't worry me. I took one high resolution uncompressed picture and it created a 5.5 mb image! I'll only use that kind of resolution for very special photos. To my eye, the images are as good as I've seen with any digital camera (but I'm not a camera buff).

The camera has one of the simplest menu systems I've seen on a contemporary camera and includes video clip and sound recording features. Unlike many new cameras, this one is pretty close to point-and-shoot.

The ideal setup would be to have this camera as a go-everywhere camera along with another higher quality camera for more artistic photography.

And, like everything else in life, I can pay for it by just doing one more appraisal.

If you happen to check one out, let me know what you think.

Koert
 
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