Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good resolution, as good as the best six megapixel digital SLR's
- Vibrant color response, fairly contrasty images (although not over the top)
- Low noise at higher sensitivities, although at the expense of detail and sharpness
- Unique Anti-Shake system built into camera
- All your lenses become 'Anti-Shake' at no extra cost
- Excellent manual control, usable and comprehensive external control layout
- Excellent build quality, feels very robust, quite 'hefty'
- Bright viewfinder with a larger-than-average (for a D-SLR) frame view
- Very large 2.5" LCD monitor, clever recording information display (battery drain?)
- Kelvin white balance option, all white balance presets fine tunable
- Wide range of image parameter adjustment (color, tone, sharpness)
- Selectable color space (sRGB / Adobe RGB)
- RAW mode provides the 'digital negative'
- Indication of setting adjustments on viewfinder display (ISO etc.)
- Wide range of custom functions provide good camera control
- Customizable 'MSET' button
- High pop-up flash (should help to avoid flash lens shading, red-eye)
- Powerful, lightweight Lithium-Ion battery
- Orientation sensor
- Smart implementation of mirror lock-up, automatic with two second self-timer
Conclusion - Cons
- Some color clipping with the sRGB Natural+ color mode
- Slower-than-the-competition startup time (2.6 sec before you can take a shot)
- No automatic rotation of images in play mode (despite recording of orientation)
- Long exposure NR limited to 30 seconds, some black pitting
- Tendency for metering system to under-expose, needs a little positive compensation
- Poor automatic white balance in artificial light
- Flash must be raised for AF assist
- Supplied DiMAGE Viewer produces below-par quality images from RAW (very soft)
- Price, competition
In use the 7D proved to be an excellent 'photographic tool', it feels good to hold, it's easy to change settings (thanks to the fact that almost all the major settings have external buttons / levers) and the camera feels responsive in use. The 7D is one of those cameras which I enjoyed using and encourages you to shoot more and experiment more (the availability and access to manual controls achieves this).
There's definitely been a lot of clever thinking implemented into this camera; the automatically orientating recording information display, the eye-piece sensor which blanks out the LCD, the design of the white balance lever, the locking of certain settings, the display of adjustments made in the viewfinder, the mirror lock-up implementation. It's satisfying sometimes to at least believe that the designers responsible for SLR's are also photographers.
The 7D's key feature, it's CCD Anti-Shake system appears to work, although I don't believe it's as good as lens based optical stabilization at longer focal lengths. Remember that because of the way it's implemented the 7D's Anti-Shake should give you a stop or two's advantage with any lens, without adding bulk, weight or cost. In our experience it worked better at shorter focal lengths.
Image quality was on the whole very good, it's as good as the best six megapixel digital SLR's and it's clear that Konica Minolta has worked hard on in-camera processing, detail levels are high at low sensitivities and noise is low higher up the ISO range (although images get softer). 7D images from the camera have a nice "look" which doesn't appear over processed or affected by artifacting or over-sharpening. We got the best results shooting RAW and converting with Adobe Camera RAW and were disappointed with the supplied DiMAGE Viewer and the optional DiMAGE Master.
So that brings us to the rating, and to be honest it wasn't an easy one to finalize. The 7D's two biggest problems are its price and the competition, at $1,599 it's $100 more than Canon's excellent eight megapixel EOS 20D and $600 more than the equally capable (if less 'Pro') Nikon D70. So if you're budget conscious there are other options, however that shouldn't detract from what is an excellent digital SLR which is an excellent 'photographic tool' and isn't just another 'me too' product, it offers a genuine alternative to the Canon / Nikon influence on the market. I'm sure it will please existing Minolta Dynax/Maxxum owners and new entrants to the D-SLR market equally.
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
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.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.