Minolta Maxxum / Dynax 7000 AF
Last fall, I took a few cameras to the park to shoot some rolls. The weather was perfect, with sun and shade as if ordered, so I composed an image and pressed the button. Nothing had happened.
Pressed again. Nothing.
Then it dawned on me. It is not a phone. Shooting with a phone became so straightforward. You aim and press. It even simulates a click. Not so with a camera, let alone a fifty-year-old piece of heavy metal. So I turned the camera, cocked the shutter, dialed here and there, focused, and it came alive.
I thought about it today.
On my bench, two Minolta lenses came with an unrelated camera. They are autofocus, ‘A’ mount. Need to get rid of them, so they have to be tested. The one camera on my shelf that can use these lenses is a Minolta Maxxum 7000. I looked at the camera and regrated the entire idea. While old-fashioned cameras do have dials and levers, they are self-explanatory. Here the top looks like a flight deck of an aircraft carrier, vast and complex. I need a manual, not a good omen. So I downloaded the manual. 50 pages long.
Good news. The bark is worse than the bite. Minolta did here a sterling job. A 1985 camera that contains all features one could ask for, and once you get into the designer set of mind, very easy to use.
This camera has four shooting modes, program for auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual. Buit in winder and countiniued drive. A generous -4 / +4 exposure compensation, autofocus, an excellent information LCD, backlit when needed, a depth of field preview, and exposure lock. All this goodness goes for a whistle in the used market. There are good articles on this camera; see the links below, where all praise it. The only handicap I can see is the logo on top. Would it be a Nikon or Canon, it would have gone for tenfold on eBay.
I sketched the top and side controls to save reading the manual and added a simple guide; see below. Using it is a pleasure, and with the wide lens selection and lens mount used on current Sony models, this camera should get more respect than it has. This model and its successors could have had a pleasant run in the amateur and semipro market, only that the film era was disrupted less than a decade after its introduction. Minolta merged with Konica and was then taken over by Sony. Such an irony, a groundbreaking camera maker met its demise and is now running ahead of the pack under Sony, a brand that had nothing to do with photography.
As seen below, press the appropriate key to control most settings and toggle with the speed selector that falls under your index finger. The aperture selector is on the left side, on the lens mount. That’s about it. A battery cartridge powers the lot, set in a convenient grip, just the right side. Two power options, either 4 x AAA or 4 x AA batteries, with a matching cartridge. As with all modern devices, a backup coin battery keeps settings when the main power is interrupted.
The body is significant and, with a zoom lens, will be heavy, but it feels pleasantly balanced while holding it with both hands. An information display at the viewer’s bottom shows the current settings live. The electronics come alive with just touching the trigger key.
If looking for a shooter, look no further; an able and reliable with any lens you may dream about. All that is plenty available, at a dirt cheap price.
TL;DR user guide version
1. Exposure compensation, toggle with 11
2. ISO setting, toggle with 10, the setting will show on 5, flashing while setting
3. Mode, toggle with 11 between:
Selected settings will show on 6
4. Drive selection, toggle with 11 between:
– S.T. – self-timer
A dot above the selected letter shows in 9
5. Information LCD, will light at low light.
6. Shooting modem set with 3
7. Shutter and aperture settings.
8. Exposures counter
9. Shutting mode indicator, set with 4
10. Trigger, toch to activate LCD 5
11. Shutter speed selector
12. Program reset
13. On / off switch, all right selection will beep with underexposure.
14. Aperture toggle. Shows on 7
15. Lens release catch
16. Auro focus off/on
17. Remote control port (covered)
At the back, there are two controls, the exposure lock marked AEL, and the rewind release.
In a nutshell, the speed selector 11 controls most functions while pressing the appropriate key.
|AKA||Minolta 7000, Dynax 7000|
|Mode||Program, AP, SP, manual|
|Weight||620 gr, Body only|
|Class average weight||610 gr, Body only|
|ASA range||25-6400, DX|
|Mount size||Minolta A mount|
|shutter||Focal plane vertical metal|
|Light meter||TTL, trigger touch activated|
|Winder||Built in self winder.|
|Speeds||B, 30 -1 seconds, / 2-2000 B only on manual|
|Timer||Yes, electronic, LED display|
|Battery||4x AA or 4 x AA|
Casual Photo file
|Service / Repair||Camerlog.com|