Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Review
The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe) was first revealed to the general public on 12th February 2004 at the PMA tradeshow, at that time we were able to produce a hands-on preview of a pre-production camera. Finally on 15th September 2004 just before the Photokina tradeshow Konica Minolta fleshed out the detail with full specifications and an official press release. A few days later we were able to get our hands on a pre-production camera and publish some exclusive samples and a full gallery. This final review is based on a full production camera.
The Maxxum 7D is Konica Minolta's first digital SLR for five years (since the RD-3000), it is based on the Maxxum 7 (Dynax 7) film SLR with a very similar body design and control layout. The main differences are obviously that the 7D has a digital 'heart', a large LCD monitor and control system and loses the 7's grip sensor. The 7D is clearly targeted at the higher end of the digital SLR market, at keen prosumer's and professionals, and that's reflected in its price at $1,599 (body only) it's up against cameras such as the Canon EOS 20D, Fujifilm S3 Pro, Olympus E-1 and Nikon D70 (which while cheaper is probably equally as capable).
* UPDATE 27/Feb/2005 - Firmware 1.10
We posted the original version of this review on 17/Jan/2005, on 14/Feb/2005 Konica Minolta issued a firmware update, named 'version 1.10'. This has resolved a couple of issues we discovered and wrote about in our original review. We wouldn't normally do updates to reviews however this update was delivered very quickly after our review was posted and does produce a very significant improvement in performance. We have now updated this review to reflect this new firmware version, the individual page updates are:
- Page 4 (Body & Design): USB 2.0 tranfser rates up to 25 Mbps (compared to 7.5 Mbps)
- Page 7 (Displays): Blinking highlights are now available in Instant Playback
- Page 9 (Menus): Transfer mode now supports Remote Storage
- Page 10 (Timings): Confirmed all timings, replaced Continuous and
File Flush Timing (both improved vastly)
- Page 26 (Conclusion): Corrected 'Cons' list
The Maxxum 7D's "unique selling point" is its Anti-Shake stabilization system, unique among digital SLR's. Minolta first introduced this feature with the DiMAGE A1, it is unique in its operation because instead of stabilizing a lens element (as in a traditional image stabilization system) the sensor is stabilized. Inside the 7D its six megapixel CCD is mounted on a movable platform controlled by two actuators (x and y axis).
The system works by analyzing input from motion detectors in the camera body and producing an inverse movement in the CCD. The system can be disabled (via switch on the rear of the camera) and can also detect a panning movement and only compensate for movement on the opposite axis. What's exciting and new about this system is that it instantly adds stabilization to the entire range of Minolta lenses. An 'Anti-Shake' indicator is visible through the viewfinder which provides feedback to the photographer as to how much the system is having to compensate for shake.
Note: If you're used to seeing the effect of optical image stabilization through the viewfinder of your SLR you have to get used to the fact that you don't get that on the 7D.
In conjunction with their announcement of the 7D Konica Minolta also announced two new lenses designed specifically for use with the 7D, according to Konica Minolta these "are designed to produce high quality digital images especially when used in combination with the new Maxxum 7D and its body-integral Anti-Shake technology" (I'm not sure exactly what this means as they do seem to be two fairly typical high quality lenses). These are the two lenses we will be using for the majority of our gallery samples (and the AF 50 mm F1.4 for comparison / test shots).
|Konica Minolta AF 17-35 mm F2.8-F4.0 (D)
(26 - 53 mm equiv. FOV, 2.0x zoom)
|Konica Minolta AF 28-75 mm F2.8 (D)
(42 - 113 mm equiv. FOV, 2.7x zoom)
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."