Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The User’s Review: Minolta Maxxum 70 (Dynax 60) SLR Film Camera

Fig. 1. Various views of Minolta Maxxum 70 SLR camera.

Made in China and released in 2004, the all black Maxxum 70 was one of the last two film slr cameras of Konica Minolta (Fig. 1). Maxxum 70 has neither fancy look like Canon T2 and Pentax *ist with a ‘big’ LCD on their film doors nor body color options of black or black/silver on Nikon N75. However, Maxxum 70 does have its own unique designs and functions.

Fig. 2. Data imprint and AF/MF switch button on Minolta Maxxum 70.

These unique features are:

  1. Wireless/remote flash and high speed sync. Maxxum 70 can use its built-in flash to control an off-camera flash (such as Minolta 5600HS D or 3600HS D). With 5600HS D, 5400HS and 3600HS D flash, this camera can also use its full range of shutter speeds up to 1/2000 sec.
  2. New data imprint tech in every Maxxum 70, standard and not optional (although only year, month, date and time are imprinted). Unlike traditional method to stamp multiple digits onto the film from film door, Maxxum 70 prints a digit once a time right after film is removed from the exposure window (Fig. 2), working like the printer on my desk. This printing tech is also used in my Maxxum 7/Dynax 7, one of the most hi-tech film cameras.
  3. Among the 15 Custom functions, you can set whether film leader will be rewound into the cartridge or leave out (Custom 3, option 1 or 2). It’s a very useful function if you change film before used up, and reinstall it back into the camera.
  4. Mental top cover and flash cover (Fig. 3). I felt them when I used the camera in winder, these top parts felt colder than the other parts of the body.
  5. Unique outside control dial (Fig. 4). It locates by the shutter button, where the AF-assistant illuminator is on many of my Nikon and Canon cameras. I was fooled by the dial’s appearance. The built-in flash is used as the illuminator when necessary in Maxxum 70.
  6. Film door lock. It prevents the door from being opened while film is loaded. After film is rewound, the lock releases. 

    Fig. 3. Minolta Maxxum 70 top.

    Fig. 4. Control dial of Minolta Maxxum 70.

    Other features include: 9 selectable and light-up focus points in its viewfinder; 14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering (similar system used in Maxxum 7Dynax 7); mirror viewfinder; Bulb and 30 – 1/2000 sec shutter speeds; 1/90 sec for built-in flash sync; no calculation on bulb exposure; ISO 25 – 5000 DX-coded film or ISO 6 – 6400 manual-set film speed; 3 frames per sec continuous shooting; 3-image exposure bracketing, but unlimited number of multiple exposures; no delay or 2-sec delay remote (RC-3, better than Nikon N75 with such settings on camera); and depth-of-field button (Fig. 4).

    I rate the build quality at 8.5/10. The flash hook (Fig. 1) can not hold the flash firm, occasionally the flash pops up accidently. In some bodies, the focus screens turn light blue color with aging, although this will not affect their imaging. No infrared film can be used because of the film sensor in Maxxum 70. No optional battery grip is available for Maxxum 70, which means the only power source is 2 CR2 batteries.

    If you like to see the equivalent cameras from other manufactures, visit my blog page comparing them.  


    1. Is the data imprint technology on the Date model only? What information is printed?

    2. Every body has imprinting of year, month, date, time.

    3. My maxxum 70 can´t open the door of the film cartridge, set in #1 in the counter and turn off. Can you help me?

      1. Is the film rewound? As I understand, there is a lock that should be off after rewinding.