Eight-megapixel digital camera has some fatal flaws

It’s a good trick to find the balance of quality, size, and function when you need more from a digital camera than just family photos. The 8.0-megapixel DiMAGE A200 gives you a ton of features—so many, in fact, that it can be problematic when you just need to get the shot.

The DiMAGE A200 is a mid-sized camera that has a great feel. Battery life is good from the lithium-ion cell, and the compact charger is small enough to take anywhere. The 7.2-50.8mm (28-200mm equivalent) lens is sharp and clear with f-stops at 2.8 to 3.5, providing a huge range of possibilities with little peripheral distortion. The digital 4x zoom was seldom required, but nice to have for tripod use with the wireless remote included or with the anti-shake feature active. Color, tone, and contrast were all accurate in various conditions.

The A200 has a clear LCD that has a noticeably smooth hinge and maintains its clarity. In addition, the video mode is a surprising 640×480 at 30 fps or 800×600 at 15 fps, but be sure you have the memory card to support it with your photos. The A200 accepts CompactFlash I and II, so I selected my 1-GB SanDisk Ultra II. The output quality of images shot in JPG/Fine, JPG/Extra Fine, and RAW was very good; however, the software bundle performed so slowly and, like the camera, has every function imaginable with little use for most everyday users.

The major roadblock was shutter lag time. In some cases, the delay was 2-3 seconds before the shot would fire. In addition, the flash must be manually elevated in order to fire, although there’s a hot shoe as well. With so many features and functions, the effectiveness is impeded by the frustrations of a few important drawbacks.

PRICE: $799
FOR: 9 and X
FROM: Konica Minolta
PHONE: 800-285-6422
WEB: www.konicaminolta.us