I have spent a lot of time working within the Photography Trade and had the benifits of using a vast array of Digital cameras. I had previously owned a 2mp Nikon coolpix 950, which gave excellent results. I now own the Minolta Dimage 7i, when the camera was first released as the 7 version, The focusing was painfully slow and the software required some tweeking. This new version answered all the failings of the older model, with added features. I will list the five best and the five worst features, which I feel either sell the camera or possibly not.
1. 28-200mm optical APO lens (fantasic quality esp. at 28mm), 2. 5 Million pixels (amazing detail captured), 3. CF card use (anything upto 1GB), 4. AA battery use, (now comes with 1850mh + fast charger) 5. Histograms, (for checking image range).
Now the negatives...1. Electronic viewfinder, (which makes it hard to tell if your picture is in focus), 2. err. I think thats it, Its my only gripe, the camera is superb and the vast array of features is outstanding.
I would reccomend an extra set of NI-MH batteries, look for the 2000mh versions, a compact flash card reader for fast downloading and at least a 128MB card, I have a 256MB which hold about 90 images at very best Jpeg setting. The Viking cards are highly rated, by the dpreview wedsite, this has a full and honest report of this camera.
If you want my opinion then buy one it's great, a friend who also bought one said to me, "It's amazing you can see detail, that you don't even see with the naked eye."