Back in 1985 Minolta introduced the first Auto-Focusing 35mm SLR camera the Maxxum 7000. I ended up in 1988 buying the Maxxum 9000 model, which at the time was their professional model, I still use the 9000 today and love the quality and reliability that it has given me.
Now after several years and generation changes in the camera they have the Maxxum 7. The Maxxum 7 looks more similar to my Maxxum 9000 than the original Maxxum 7000. The new Maxxum 7 can use all of the auto-focus lenses made for the first Maxxum camera to the present, this is great if you are a Minolta fan like me and own several of the Auto-focus lenses.
Minolta is still the leader in the auto-focus SLR cameras!
The Maxxum 7
More breaking grounds with the Maxxum 7, this is the first SLR camera to use a dot Matrix Navigation Display and some flash photography functions.
The Maxxum 7 can be a point and shoot camera fully automatic or you can make all the manual settings you wish including manual focus. It is a Programmed AE (Auto Exposure) and AF (Auto Focus) System!
In the P Mode on the dial on top of the camera the camera will automatically select the proper Aperture and Shutter speed for you.
In the A Mode you select the Aperture in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments and the camera will automatically picks the correct shutter speed.
In the S Mode you select the Shutter Speed in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments and the camera will automatically picks the correct Aperture size for you.
In the M Mode you make all of the adjustments manually.
The Maxxum uses a 9-point AF System with Center Dual Cross Hair Sensors for their TTL (Through The Lens) phase-detection system with CCD line sensors.
You can use the AF (Auto Focus) or you can easily go to Manual Focus.
The Navigation Display
This is a nice looking LCD display in a green color that can be viewed vertical or horizontal and does it by just turning the camera.
The display shows you all the information about the camera with detailed information and icons. This is very handy because now you can make all of your settings through the display instead of having to look through your viewfinder.
The display is backlit for low light operations.
The display will also show you the details of your past shots, this is very handy when you want to look back and see what settings were used in previously taken pictures.
ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) gives you the picture from your flash regardless of the light conditions. You can use the built-in flash and two models on the market for best performance, Maxxum Flash 5600HS and Maxxum Flash 3600HS. You should also use the newer lenses because they incorporate distance encoders.
The built-in flash is hidden under normal use but it can pop up from the top when needed. It will cover a 24mm field at 39 feet at an ISO 100 setting. Recycle time is between 2 to 3.5 seconds depending on you settings.
There are four flash settings, standard flash, Red-Eye reduction, Rear Curtain Synchronization and Wireless Off Camera Thru-the-lens flash control.
Wireless Off-Camera Synchronization
This is made for the Maxxum Flash 5600HS and Flash 3600HS to multi-flash with the camera's built-in flash.
Rear Curtain Flash Synchronization
This is used for shooting a moving object and synchronizing with the flash and shutter speed.
There is an Ambient Exposure Control Dial on top of the camera and under the dial is another dial to make 1/2-stop increments on your Flash Compensations. This is very handy if you wish to have a darker or lighter picture.
The Maxxum 7 can take one frame at a time or you can take up to 4 frames per second.
Multiple Exposures can be made
A Self-Timer is built-in with a 10 second delay
The Maxxum 7 has an ISO setting in Manual at 6-6400 in 1/3 EV increments.
In the Automatic the ISO is 25-1000 for Non DX-Coded Film and 25-5000 for DX-Coded Film.
A built-in motor drive gives you automatic film threading, auto advance to first frame, auto rewind and manual start of rewind.
With this feature you can store aperture, shutter speed, exposure mode, exposure compensation & exposure bracketing increments, flash compensation & flash bracketing increments, lens focal length, lens minimum aperture, metering mode and date/time.
You can store data from 7 rolls of 36 exposure films.
Diopter adjustable from -2.5 to +0.5
Audios during self-timer count down or when focus is locked
Two 3-volt CR123A/DL 123A lithium batteries power the Maxxum 7.
Depth of Field (DOF) preview button
1/8,000 second shutter speed to 30 seconds
9-point, wide area dual crosscut Auto Focusing system
My Final Words
The Minolta Maxxum 7 body can be found in the price range from $519 to $699, so shop around. Some places will offer you a lens at a discount with the body.
This camera is made for the amateur to the professional with a lot of options for the professional in mind. It handles great and for me it was easy to use and understand. For those who are not familiar with a camera like this, there will be some learning, but it is easy to understand.
I have 4 older Minolta AF lenses that seem to work just fine with the camera in the auto focus and manual mode. Now I have an AF Sigma 400mm lens that only works manually with the camera.
Picture quality in the AE and AF modes always produces a perfect picture.
Quality from the Mind of Minolta!
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Minolta Dimage E-201 Digital Camera
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