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Minolta Intros 2 New DigiCams

Ramsey, N.J. – Minolta added two new digital cameras to its lineup last week, with the announcement of the DiMAGE Xt and the E223.

Building off the DiMAGE Xi, the 3.2-megapixel Xt features the industry’s fastest start-up time of any digital camera with an optical zoom lens, Minolta’s image-processing technology, CxProcess, a 3x optical/4x digital zoom lens and a smaller, thinner body than its predecessor.

Minolta also announced a waterproof Marine Case for use with the new DiMAGE Xt.

The new vertically oriented design of the DiMAGE Xt eliminates more than 5 percent from the size, nearly 8 percent from the weight and produces nearly a half-second reduction in start-up time compared to the Xi.

The DiMAGE Xt’s controls have been redesigned, with the addition of a mode dial for selecting the camera’s recording, playback, and setup modes. A new Quick View button allows images on the memory card to be accessed from the recording modes after they have been captured.

The accessory waterproof Marine Case allows the camera to be submerged under up to 100 feet of water. Both the camera and its separate accessory casing ship this month. Pricing was not available.

Minolta also introduced the entry-level, 2-megapixel DiMAGE E223. The camera sports a 3x optical/3x digital zoom along with a macro mode that can focus down to 3.1 inches.

The E223, which ships this month, offers fully automatic features for focusing, exposure metering, flash, and white balance. Flash modes include autoflash, autoflash with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, and flash cancel. The E223 takes SD memory and features 8MB of internal memory. The camera can record movie clips up to 60 seconds in length with audio at 320 by 240 (QVGA) resolution. Pricing was not available.

Finally, Minolta announced its SD-CF1 CompactFlash Adapter, enabling SD memory cards to be used with most CompactFlash compatible cameras, printers, PDAs or other imaging equipment. According to Minolta, use of an SD card with the new adapter permits transfer rates of up to 30 percent faster then with CompactFlash cards alone.

According to Minolta, the adapter was developed because currently available CompactFlash adapters interfere with the closing of digital camera card chambers. Minolta’s adapter features a 15 percent miniaturization of all circuit dimensions, which allows SD Memory Cards to completely fit in type I CompactFlash compatible cameras without sacrificing operability.