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
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.