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Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Digital SLR Camera In Review

Jun 26, 2008
If you're tired of cameras from Canon and Nikon, you may want to look into the Konica Minolta Maxxum series of cameras. In particular, in this article, we discuss the features of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D.

The Maxxum 7D is a midrange digital SLR that can apply optical image stabilization with any lens. It has an interesting and unique Anti-Shake system which works with all lenses and also has an efficient control layout. Let's find out more.

The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D is finished in a professional matte black comparable to most standard DSLRs. Although conservative in its angular design, it still looks good. The body consists of a hybrid of magnesium-alloy and plastic and is well-built and crafted. It includes a nicely contoured grip and feels sound. Without a lens, the camera weighs in at about 30 ounces, which is an ounce or two heavier than average for this camera class.

The Maxxum 7D omits the separate status LCD and instead relies on the camera's main LCD to display shooting settings, which is an appealing design convention. On this particular Maxxum, the large 2.5-inch LCD has room to show more settings than the usual status LCD. These settings include ISO, color mode, and image parameters, to name a few.

The optical system of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D has obviously been carefully thought out to enable one to take great photos. The digital camera comes with a 6.1 megapixel resolution and an Anti-Shake mechanism.

The Anti-Shake mechanism prevents image blur created by camera motion. This mechanism is built in the Maxxum 7D's body and works by shifting the CCD. This enables it to function with all Konica Minolta autofocus (AF) lenses.

In addition, the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D's sophisticated AF system incorporates nine focus points. You can designate the active point yourself or leave all of them active and let the camera decide which to use from shot to shot. You can also set the camera to automatically switch to continuous or tracking AF operation if it detects subject movement.

Many exposure features are to be had on the Maxxum 7D. These include all four customary exposure modes; three light-metering modes (14-segment honeycomb, center-weighted, and spot); ambient exposure compensation either in half-EV increments to plus or minus 3EV or in one-third-EV increments to plus or minus 2EV. The sensor's sensitivity can be set to auto or from ISO 100 to ISO 3,200 in 1EV increments.

Ok, now let's look at the user controls for the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. As should be the case with a serious shooter's camera, most important features are controlled via dedicated external buttons, rather than being buried in the menu system.

Exposure adjustments and some other shooting settings are controlled with thumb and forefinger command wheels. The white-balance control, a rotating switch surrounding a button that cleverly accesses numerous menu choices, is the quickest and most flexible I've seen.

Flash setting or ambient exposure compensation can be controlled with a dial on the camera's top left side, but can also be made using the forefinger wheel, which I found to be more proficient. Overall, control placement and operating efficiency on this camera are among the best I've seen on any DSLR.

The Konica Minolta 7D's noted battery life is more or less adequate for a full day's shooting. If you are reliant on a long battery life, you can always take along some extras that can be purchased at your neighborhood camera store.

The Minolta 7D stores your photos in CompactFlash Type I/II memory cards. You can also use a MicroDrive should you choose. Pictures are transferred easily from the camera to the PC with the USB 2.0 interface.

There are some quirks I noticed in the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. What are these quirks? Well, for one thing, the camera is slow to start-up. You are also limited to one JPEG compression ratio in raw-plus-JPEG, and there is no way to avoid noise reduction processing in high ISO images.

I hope this review of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D has been helpful in your decisions on cameras. If you're looking for a respectable professional SLR camera to take shots with, then the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D should be at or near the top of the list. Make sure before you open your pocketbook to do your homework first. With that in mind, see you at the store!
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