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Minolta Dimâge EX

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In 1998 the Minolta Dimâge EX was an avantgarde product amongst Minolta's early digital cameras. This was Minolta's first digital camera since the RD-175 DSLR from 1995. It was unique with its exchangeable CCD/lens-modules. Available configurations of the system camera were the Minolta Dimâge EX Wide 1500 and the Minolta Dimâge EX Zoom 1500. The wide angle module had a 9-element f1.9 5.2mm lens while the vario module had a 5-element f3.5-5.6 7-21mm zoom lens. Both modules had a 1.45 Megapixel CCD. Minolta's thinking was that the camera could be upgraded as new CCD sensors became available and new lens options were added. This design concept was much later used in the Ricoh GXR.

The Dimâge EX also used the Flashpoint Digita camera operating system that it shared with Hewlett-Packard, Kodak and Pentax. The scripted language enabled you to add camera functions and filters. Minolta offered one major software upgrade via download or on an 8MB CF card. It doubled the burst mode rate, added digital zoom, bracketing and some manual controls. There were three unassigned buttons underneath the 2" LCD display which could be programmed with additional software scripts. No new lens/CCD upgrades were launched and it was 2001 before Minolta launched their next range of digital cameras.

The CCD sensor was a Sony Wfine (the 1/2" ICX205AK) and the camera processor was an LSI DCAM-101.

The camera had a list price of $999, with a street price of $750-800. The additional Lens/CCD sensor module was $350.

Example Digita Script

# Sample configuration file for extended time-lapse application
# Turn logging on to catch any errors during command execution
Log on
# Label statement for flow control with goto statements
Label repeat
# Wake at 1:30:00 pm
wake 13 30 00
# Zoom to 2x magnification
zoom 200
# Capture 1 image
capture 1
# Zoom out
Zoom out
# Capture 1 image
capture 1
# Repeat the sequence
goto repeat

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