Monday, May 30, 2011

The User’s Review: Minolta Maxxum 7 (Dynax 7, α 7) 35mm Film SLR Camera, released in 2000

The Japanese version, alpha 7, was the winner of the 18th Camera Grand Prix in 2001 (and is the last film camera winning the award). As I understand, all versions are the same functionally, except the middle name (Alpha, Dynax, Maxxum; correct me if not).

This Dynax 7 got in my hands in July 18, 2011

Where was the Dynax 7 made? In Japan?
Check the bottom label of Maxxum 7, see the differences?

Technically, the 7 is one of the most advanced SLR cameras ever built. It features two LCD screens (the small one on top and big one on film door), 1/8000 s shutter speed, wireless flash control, 14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering system and depth-of-field (when paired with Minolta D-type lenses) displayed on the big LCD. If the 7 is new to you, don’t forget to get a copy of the 203-page instruction manual.

Other features I like include ‘eye stat’, AF/MF switch (no matter which focus mode is set), custom-assigned functions of two control dials, central button for quick selection of center focus point, four flash modes, Japanese-type slide doors of the contacts for remote cord control and batter and control grip, many function controls on the battery grip VC-7 (3 buttons, 2 dials and 2 switches), 35 custom functions (I set Custom 3 to 2 for film leader left out of the cartridge), memory function to store camera settings and to download via the Data Saver DS-100 for 400 – 1900 rolls of film (I have no such saver and no need for the data to keep). 

The 7 is well built (8.8 on 10-point scale), but not very solid and durable. My main concern is the film door with the big LCD and many controls. The door surface, I mean the rubber layer, is worn easily and become sticky on some bodies. There is only one latch to lock the door (carefully close the door, you do not want to break it). The film door has a sophistical lock system, which has malfunction in some bodies to block the door to open. Read the manual troubleshooting section to see how to open the door if any malfunction. The grip VC-7 is relatively rear to find and expensive, often a used one is more than USD 100 (vs. 160 – 200 for a used Maxxum 7 body).    

A wireless remote to control the camera? No, sorry.

As far as I know, there are two versions of α 7, regular and golden. What I don't know is if there are any difference except the colors. I guess it's just a matter of marketing.

Want to see more of a Dynax 7, click here.

The following are an article on Maxxum 7 from Pop Photo and Minolta ad for Maxxum 7.

1 comment:

  1. There is one very significant difference I read i.e. the limited does not have mirror up (2s delay). There is a minor difference like keeping 7/18 rolls info. in the camera which is not that important.