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January 12, 2005 – Konica-Minolta released the waterproof and dustproof 4-megapixel Konica-Minolta DG-5W in Japan today. The camera is fairly small, considering its function. It is not meant to be a card-sized compact camera; it measures 2.7 x 4.9 x 1.8 inches. It is heavier than its dimensions indicate at 13.7 ounces. The camera sounds similar to the Pentax OptioWP, which will be released in the United States in March or April 2005. Both cameras match or exceed the Class 7 underwater rating, so they can go safely in 3-5 feet of water. The Konica-Minolta DG-5W will be available in March 2005.
The 2.8x optical zoom lens does not extend from the camera body, maintaining its fairly slim profile. The black and silver digital camera is durable for all weather. Besides the waterproof and dustproof features, the DG-5W can operate at temperatures as cold as -10 degrees Celsius. The body is also shock resistant, so a few bumps and drops shouldn’t harm anything.
The durable digital DG-5W has a 2-inch hybrid LCD screen with 210,000 pixels. There isn’t a viewfinder, which is fine for an underwater camera. Pushing snorkeling gear against a camera’s optical viewfinder would be impractical. The camera has a 28-78mm lens with an additional 4x digital zoom. The DG-5W’s apertures range from f/2.0-f/5.0; its shutter speeds range from 4 seconds to 1/1000th of a second. The camera also has a movie mode that can record 320 x 240 resolution clips at 30 frames per second. The digital camera will rely on SD memory cards for its memory. The Konica-Minolta DG-5W will hit shelves in March for an estimated $781 or 80,000 Yen.