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Minolta Co., Ltd.
April 24, 2003

Minolta wins prestigious iF Design Award for DiMAGE X

Each year during CeBIT, the design institution, iF (International Forum Design GmbH), recognises selected companies and designers for their outstanding design work through the allocation of an esteemed set of awards. Minolta was this year's recipient of the iF Gold Award in the Product Design Discipline for its innovative DiMAGE X. The DiMAGE X is an exceptionally stylish, 2-megapixel camera distinguished by its exclusive, ultra-compact design and ease of use. Developed without a protruding lens, this remarkable camera is truly a marvel of design. Easy slipped into any pocket or handbag, the DiMAGE X is the ideally convenient camera for instant imaging at essential moments - any time, any place.

The DiMAGE X, a compact digital camera by Minolta, created quite an impression among the jurors with its near weightlessness and conveniently condensed user interface. Unlike seemingly comparable cameras, the DiMAGE X requires no mechanical apparatus that protrudes from the smooth, sleek casing. Already ranked within the Top 10 of the awarded products, the DiMAGE X's superiorly original design secured Minolta's first Golden Award. As the DiMAGE X's creator, designer Masakazu Nagano accepted the iF Gold Award in the Leisure category on behalf of Minolta. Masakazu Nagano is positioned in the Minolta Industrial Design Division located in Osaka, Japan.

Experienced in being recognized for innovation, Minolta has received previous iF awards for Business Equipment products and cameras. Continuing to revise current standards, the DiMAGE X triumphantly strolls away with its third award this year after recently receiving the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) Award 2002-2003 for "Best Design in Europe", as well as the European Digital Compact Camera of the Year 2002-2003 from the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association).

In September 2002, the DiMAGE X successor, DiMAGE Xi, was introduced during Photokina. This year's CeBIT 2003 was the launch pad for further developments, and the DiMAGE Xt made its first public appearance at the event in Europe.

Since 1953, the design institution, iF, has been a prominent feature at the Hannover Exhibition Centre, hosting the "Industrie Forum Design Hannover" exhibit. This year alone, a total of 358 entries in the disciplines of Product Design, Packaging Design, Public Design and Transportation Design received the iF Seal of Excellence. Of these recognized products, 19 were further commended with an iF Gold Award, and 40 celebrated with an iF Silver Award for remarkably outstanding design.

The jury panel for the iF design awards 2003 was focused mainly on form and function, and unanimously concluded that design and innovation are inextricably connected.

On March 12, 2003 in Hannover, the "outstanding winners" of the iF Design Award 2003 were honoured at a special ceremony commemorating their design achievements. Each winner received a "Design Oscar", handed over personally by a renowned jury member.

The outstanding workmanship and design of the products truly made the jury's work even more difficult. One juror comments, "The consistent, extraordinarily high quality of the submitted products made awarding the prizes even more challenging for the jury. We needed more time for each decision, as virtually all of the contestants manufacture flawless products and technologies. "

The iF Design Award is one of the most recognized and prestigious design competitions in the world. Participating in this contest is an excellent strategy for enabling distinctive product and design quality to truly stand out from the crowd. Only the very best entries receive an award for their exemplary design, all only in the presence of some very stiff competition.

About Minolta

In its 75th year, Minolta Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of image information and optical products with operative bases in 33 countries around the world. The Minolta Group consists of 95 companies with a total of 22,000 employees. Group sales for the period ended March 2002 totalled € 3.9 billion, 80% from sales outside Japan. Minolta places major emphasis on the business of photocopiers and printers, especially in the field of colour output, and is strategically promoting alliances with other industries. Building on its strong core of optical technologies developed over many years as a camera manufacturer, Minolta aims to be a corporation offering products and services that are essential to all areas of digital imaging. In August 2003 Minolta will join the Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.

Website: http://www.minoltaeurope.com/

About iF

iF provides a broad range of design-related services. It is internationally known thanks to the iF design award, which has been staged since 1954. Today, this award is regarded as one of the most important design competitions world-wide, attracting over 1,800 entries from 30 different countries every year. The jury, composed of top international designers, not only critically examines and selects the award-winning entries, but also guarantees iF's special status and the high-quality reputation of the iF label. iF also markets its core expertise - its know-how in the area of organising competitions, tenders or pitches - to companies, institution and political parties.

Website: http://www.ifdesign.de

Terms and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are hereby acknowledged.

Product images are available under http://www.minolta-image-database.com

For corporate information please contact:
Lydia Kirchel
Communication Group
Phone: +49-511-7404-401

Minolta Europe GmbH, International Press Service,
Minoltaring 11, 30855 Langenhagen, Germany

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