Konica Minolta Dimage X50
Konica Minolta's ever-fashionable X series climbs the resolution ladder with the addition of the 5-megapixel Dimage X50 to its stable of small and swift ultracompacts. And like its siblings, the X50 is a great take-everywhere companion.
Less than an inch thick and weighing only five ounces with its tiny, Tootsie Roll of a battery and an SD card, the X50 maintains the hallmark slim profile. A sliding lens cover--a first for the X models--covers the internal zoom lens and powers on the camera. It glides easily and adds to the X50's attractive design.
Control buttons are nicely integrated and well spaced so you won't feel cramped when you change flash modes, access the clear and concise menu, change the display information settings, review images, or utilize the 2.8X-optical-zoom lever. A bright, clear 2-inch LCD sits to the left of the controls, just under the minuscule optical viewfinder.
Designed for simplicity, the X50's features are on target for snapshooters. It has five scene modes plus text and Super Macro options, as well as user-selectable ISO sensitivity, resolution, and compression. Multi- and spot metering, EV compensation, white-balance presets, and a choice of black-and-white or sepia effects round out the capture feature set. Shooting modes are limited to Auto and Automatic Digital Subject Program Selection, although the latter gives you the option of manually choosing one of the scene modes or letting the camera do it for you. A low resolution movie function is also available, along with 15-second voice annotation and audio-only recording.
While the resulting movie clips aren't anything to write home about, the X50 lets you edit the footage in-camera and can turn a single frame into a JPEG still image. You can also crop stills in-camera or resize them for e-mailing. A paste-a-picture-within-a-picture feature is fun, and slide shows can be spiffed up with dissolve effects. There's even an underwater housing for the X50 that's good down to 130 feet.