Published June 28th 2006

Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 7D

My first digital SLR -- and a great camera too

[Dynax 7D, Sigma 90mm, f2.8 macro]

I guess I thought that the 7D was a film 7 -- just digital.
Not so!

The 7D was different in many ways even though it superficially looked like the film 7 and by many was considered a film 7 gone digital.

I personally liked the film 7 a lot more than I have ever gotten to like the 7D. Don't misunderstand me. Minoltas first digital SLR is a fantastic camera -- a photographer's camera -- with lots of extremely nice features, a fantastic set of controls and great performance. Mine has taken around 16,000 images and is still clicking away.

But the film 7 was just much more than the 7D will ever be in my eyes. The shape is not quite as perfect. It's a bit more cluncky than the film 7 and not as perfectly balanced. It also has a more rugged feel to it, and I'm not quite sure whether the film 7 is not just a tiny bit more robust than its digital counterpart.

Well, anyways... I have shot so many pictures with the 7D now, and it has grown on me. I surely love it and it has produced some stunning images in my humble hands. It has also taken quite a bit of abuse including tropical rain, saltwater and sand plus the odd drop on hard stones.

The Konica-Minolta Dynax/Maxxum/Alfa 7D -- a photographer's camera if I ever saw one. Equipped here with a vertical grip and a Sigma EX D 24-70mm f2.8 lens.

Thoughts on AS

I have found the Anti-Shake (AS) function on the 7D to be a nice feature to have in a tight spot, but never the killer-feature that many -- including Minolta -- have touted it to be.

AS has saved me a few pics, but good glass and a sturdy tripod has done sooo much more. And any camera can be equipped with good glass and a tripod.

I have shot a ton of pictures with my telephoto-lenses, and honestly: I have never been able to see the big difference between the ones with AS compared to the ones without. A 300mm tele-lens will blur most images when shot hand-held almost no matter what. A tripod or a monopod saves that -- not Minolta's AS, VR, IS or any other smart technology in my experience. I have come to the same conclusion with my Nikon 18-200 VR.

Plants and water
[Dynax 7D, Sigma 90mm f2.8 macro]
Gear mentioned: