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Konica Minolta Dimage X50 review: Konica Minolta Dimage X50

A slim, stylish ultracompact that's as easy on the eyes as it is easy to use.

Theano Nikitas
3 min read
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.


Konica Minolta Dimage X50

The Good

Easy to use; speedy; in-camera editing and resizing features.

The Bad

SD slot cover stiff to open and close; visible image noise at ISO 50; limited movie options.

The Bottom Line

A slim, stylish ultracompact that's as easy on the eyes as it is to use.

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.

You won't miss many shots, thanks to the X50's generally peppy performance. It took less than 2 seconds from start-up to first shot, with probably half of that time taken up by sliding the lens cover open. Those with quick-draw talent may experience faster first shots. Shot-to-shot times were quite respectable at about 2 seconds without flash.

Outfitted with two continuous-shooting modes, the X50 can crank out four shots at as many as 2.7 frames per second. We almost quadrupled that with the UHS (ultra high speed) mode, but the images were 1,280x960 instead of full resolution.

Its tiny, 1,660mAh battery managed to shoot 385 photos on a single charge, 50 percent with flash, which exceeds Konica Minolta's estimated 220 frames. And the battery indicator gave us sufficient warning as the power drained. Our only real performance complaint is the camera's slow focus in the Super Macro mode.

The X50 is fun to shoot, and we were generally pleased with our test photos compared to competitive models'. Its colors were rendered accurately and appropriately saturated, and most photos looked well exposed with decent dynamic range. The lens delivered consistent edge-to-edge sharpness, though the nonflash photos looked a bit soft overall. We noticed purple fringing in more spots than normal, but the fringing itself wasn't terribly intense. Furthermore, the camera's red-eye reduction just about alleviated any problems with devil-eyed portraits.

We were, however, disappointed in the level of noise in some shots. Although automatic noise reduction kicks in at exposures of longer than a second, the X50 could stand some improvement with shorter exposures. While we expected to see noise in our night shots and in shadow areas, we had hoped that switching from Auto ISO to ISO 50 would help more than it did.

Though the Konica Minolta Dimage X50's 5-megapixel sensor unsurprisingly produces noisier photos than its lower-resolution siblings, the camera matches its predecessors' quality in all other ways. It's a capable little snapshot camera.


Konica Minolta Dimage X50

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 8Image quality 6