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
|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."