Minolta Digital SLR


Finally got the replacement camera, after sending the earlier one back because the flash wouldn’t synchronise. Guess what? I took the new camera out of the box, charged up the battery, set the time and date, put a CF card in the slot, and took a flash picture.

Yup! The flash didn’t work. I phoned up and caused a flurry of calls between the shop and Minolta and they couldn’t understand it as they hadn’t any returns other than mine.

So I thought I had better go through the setup and the custom setup, to see if I could find a solution.

I had purchased a body only and Minolta had set the damn thing up to work with D-Lenses (Digital Lenses). These are brand new lenses and are only just appearing on the market. You would have thought Minolta would have set it up for the majority of users! Or at least had a sticker on the manual cover warning of this.

Even the Minolta rep seemed surprised!

Anyway it is now working well and I am spending this week in testing all aspects of it.

Once I have tested the famous Minolta Anti-Shake system I will report back to the blog.

Anti-shake is useful in two areas. One, it enables you to hold the camera with large telephoto lenses and fire at a slower speed than you would normally have to if you wanted sharp pictures. Three stops down in fact – which is an enormous help to the sports or news photographer. For example, if you have a 600mm Telephoto lens, you may have to fire at a 500th of a second normally. Now, with anti-shake, you can reduce that to a 60th of a second.

The second area is, if you are an old codger like me, who likes his brandy and Jack Daniels, you will find you probably shake a little more than most. Using a standard lens I would have to hold the camera at 125th of a second. Now I can hold at a 30th and get a sharp picture , and that is only two stops!

I will get back to you when I have tested it thoroughly.

Andrew

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  1. #1 by Andrew on Tuesday, 14 December 2004 - 11:15 am

    OK, I have used it for one “battery charge” and so far I am quite impressed. Everything is where you want it. A steepish learning curve for the first day but, by then, you should know your way around. Within a month you should feel as if you have had it for a year.Body about the same size as an ordinery Dynax/Maxim camera. Not too heavy. The anti-shake seems to be living up to its hype and I love it.Minolta have taken users comments to heart and everything is where you’d expect it to be. There are more than one way of doing some of the things and on the P.A.S.M. dial they have added three user definitions so you can set the camera up for regular shooting types. I have 1 for normal – this saves resetting and losing stuff. 3. for indoors at exhibitions, shopping mall etc and 2 I keep for a shoot I may be going to so I can set up in advance.As far as I can tell, once you have focussed by pushing the shutter button half way down, taking the picture is instantaneous! But more on this when I have played further. There is an internal flash, ISO goes up to 3200 and Auto ISO is between 100 and 400. With all the problems from this company, I am glad I haven’t taken all the advice from my friends which boiled down to “Dump Minolta”. It seems to have been worth waiting for.Andrew

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