The Minolta Saga

On return from my South African trip I had occasion to sent this letter by e-mail to Bernard Petticrew, the Tecnical Support Manager at Konica-Minolta…

Dear Mr Petticrew,

I have been a loyal Minolta customer using a Dynax 7 and a Dynax 9 and also a Dimage 7Hi patiently waiting for your entry into the professional digital market.

Your new Minolta Dynax D7 DSLR has certainly let me down badly

I list the current problems I have had with this camera

The battery life is very bad… The Minolta NP-400 lasts about a quarter of the time that my colleague’s Canon DSLR lasts (he accompanied me for one week of a recent three week trip to the Cape). His battery is also an NP-400. Admittedly I had the camera set on IS all the time but he has the IS on his lens on all the time as well.. But should that mean a loss of three quarters of the power? Even taking into account my larger 2.5 inch viewing panel?

In addition, If I don’t turn off the camera and it goes into snooze mode, the battery quickly drains and the right hand side of the camera becomes very very hot. Should it do this?

Further more, if I don’t turn on the camera and immediately take a photograph and then turn off the camera instantly, the camera freezes and I have to take out the battery and re-inset it. This happens about sixty to a hundred times a day!

Sometimes when the camera freezes I get a Syntax Error – Are you using Windows software here?

The focussing seems awry… The photographs I take are never 100% in focus but when I shoot with my colleagues Canon, all my photographs are perfectly in focus.

The separate hand grip enclosed also gives me problems when I use it and I am wondering whether it is making good contact with the camera contacts.

I am a journalist and photographer. My assistant and I have just returned from a three week trip to South Africa which cost £4,000 and, although not entirely wasted, has caused me much embarrassment in front of interviewees, making me seem a rank amateur, and I could have taken a further 2,000 photographs with well-functioning equipment.

I have published my problems on Cix (A private Internet Forum) and have been advised by a solicitor who has a Canon that the Konica-Minolta Dynax D7 DSLR which I have purchased is not of “merchantable quality” and I should contact my own solicitor. But I would like to hear your comments before I do. There have been many ribald comments about my stupidity in purchasing Minolta but I do take these with a pinch of salt.

Please reply with your comments as soon as possible so that I can contact my solicitor for his advice before taking further action. My business standing has been called into question because of your equipment. This makes me extremely unhappy.
Andrew Taylor – London UK – Journalist
Mobile: 0794-162 2401 – Ampers on Skype

Within the hour I received this reply from Mr Petticrew…

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your email . I am sorry to hear you have been having such a lot of trouble with your Dynax 7D camera.

It is difficult to be certain just from a description, but the array of different faults suggests a malfunction in the camera’s main circuit board. I have asked for the camera to be brought to my attention when it arrives in Milton Keynes, and will have someone carry out a full examination, to establish the exact nature of the faults.

I am sure we will be able to resolve the situation quickly and to your satisfaction.

Bernard Petticrew
Technical Support Manager
Konica Minolta Photo Imaging (UK) Ltd
Milton Keynes Office

So perhaps all the fiddley things that have been plaguing me have all stemmed by a bad circuit board. Perhaps there is a useful trigger we can retain in our memories for when we start having all those silly problems with our computers.

Andrew Taylor

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