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
The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS), was founded in 2007, making it the longest running iPhone photo competition in the world. Now in its 11th year, the winners of the IPPAWARDS have just been announced.
Our technical evaluation of the Panasonic GX9 has included a trip to the studio, where we put its 20MP Four Thirds sensor in front of our standard test scene.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI earned high marks in our recent review, and we've revisited our collection of buying guides to reflect our final conclusions. Click through for links to our updated guides covering the best pocketable and long zoom compacts as well as the best choices for travel and video.
Fujifilm has announced the XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR telephoto lens along with a matching 1.4x teleconverter. This weather-sealed lens - 'matte silver' in color with a bold green hood - has a total of 19 elements, a nine-blade aperture and five stops of shake reduction according to Fujifilm. The lens and teleconverter kit will be available in late October for $6000.
Fujifilm has updated its X-mount lens roadmap with three intriguing new models, which include 33mm F1.0 and 16mm F2.8 primes and a 16-80 F4 zoom.
Fujifilm's widest X-series zoom lens to-date, the XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR, will hit the market in late November for $2000. The weather-sealed lens features ED, Super ED and aspherical elements along with a Nano GI coating.
We've seen different flavors of 360° cameras over the past couple of years, but the Vuze XR may be the first one that's designed to shoot both 360° spherical and 180° stereoscopic video in a single unit.
Huawei has launched the world's first photography contest with both AI and human judges. The contest began on July 12 and will run for 8 weeks. During this time, photographers can submit their images via a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Fujifilm has announced the XF10, a premium compact camera with a fast 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens and 24MP APS-C sensor. This replacement for the X70 will ship in August for $500.
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment is still a depressing, eye-opening read.
Is this the end? Nikon's UK and Japanese websites now list some of its KeyMission action cameras as discontinued.
Leica Camera AG is now an investor in Light, the makers of the innovative L16 camera. According to the company, the funding will allow Light to 'expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography'
YouTuber ZY Productions has a video wherein he provides a succinct summary of how phase detection autofocus systems work, their benefits and their shortcomings.
The X-U is Leica's first ruggedized compact camera and is still the only waterproof camera on the market with a large APS-C sensor. That sensor sits behind a 35mm-equivalent, F1.7 lens, and we've taken it to the mountains and back to see just what it's capable of.
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the Sony RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.