Minolta’s unique nine-point AF system with center dual cross-hair sensors covers a
wide focus area providing more flexibility and greater focusing precision. The new AF
module incorporates eight line sensors and Minolta’s unique Center Dual Cross-hair
Sensors. The x type sensors overlapping the + type sensors in the center boasts
pinpoint AF precision, taking full advantage of large-diameter lenses with the
maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster. The 9-point sensors cover the central area of the
viewfinder frame divided by imaginary lines into thirds, horizontally and vertically,
forming the "rule of thirds." Placing the main subject near the intersections of the lines
produces a balanced composition. By efficiently covering the super-wide focus area,
all the 9-point sensors assure great flexibility when composing pictures and precisely
capture moving subjects. The focus-area selector allows easy and direct access to the
desired local focus area. Pressing the eight-way ring key on the back of the grip
activates one of the eight local focus areas, quickly shifts it, vertically, horizontally, or
even diagonally within the super-wide focus area.
The Lens Mount has stayed the same since 1985 and the first Maxxum came into the market. Even the first A/F Maxxum lens is compatible with the Maxxum 7. The addition of the ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) Flash control does require the Built-in Distance Encoder in the lens to take full use of this feature. At the time of this writing, there are 4 lenses presently available. They are the 24-105 f/3.5-4.5D, 85mm f/1.4G(D), 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 APO(D) and the 100mm f/2.8 Macro(D). The "D" denotes compatibility with the Flash Distance system(ADI).By far the most popular is the 24-105 for those that need the edge on adverse flash situations. Otherwise, any current production Maxxum A/F lens is compatible. Some third party lens manufacturers do not license the lens' micro-chip they use from Minolta and have always had trouble with compatibility with every new series of Minolta cameras. All current production 3rd party lenses are without issue by the time of this review. DO test a USED lens on your Maxxum 7 before you buy it.
The proprietary Maxxum flash shoe takes any flash made for Maxxum "I" series or later. The two dark windows below the viewfinder are the sensors that start the "Eye-Start" A/F activation system, i.e. the camera is in focus as you bring it to your eye.
To the right of the viewfinder is the eyepiece diopter which allows custom adjustment for less than a 20 - 20 eye.
The Built-in flash has a guide number of 38 3/8 in feet at ISO 100, with flash coverage for 24mm field of view. The recycling time is about 2.0 seconds (approximately 3.5 seconds with Red-eye Reduction or Wireless (WL) off camera flash mode). The built-in flash is used to aid in the Off Camera Flash mode by controlling the remote flash and acting as a fill flash (2:1 ratio fill).
The Built-in flash can be controlled by lift-up for fill flash, push down for flash canceling and is auto-flash (flashes if needed) if lifted while in full program exposure mode.
The Flash-Mode Switch located on the right side (hand grip side) is four position: Red-Eye reduction, standard flash, Rear curtain synchronization and WL, wireless off camera Thru-the-lens flash control.
When used with Minolta’s new AF lenses incorporating distance encoders, Advanced
Distance Integration (ADI) flash metering provides greater accuracy of the Maxxum 7’s
flash exposure. Guide number control and 4-segment Pre-flash metering work together
to virtually eliminate any influence of background or subject reflectance. In
combination with the 5600HS(D) or 3600HS(D), pre-flash data is interpreted by the
14-segment Honeycomb-pattern cell and factored into the final exposure.
Exposure Mode Dial positions:
Film advance mode selector:
- P - Basic program mode. Camera sets aperture and shutter for you.You also can Program Shift the aperture or shutter speed while in "P" mode.
- S - Shutter priority mode you set shutter speed and camera selects the aperture.
- A - Aperture priority mode you select the aperture and the camera sets the shutter
- M - Manual you control all settings including aperture and shutter speeds.
- 1/2/3 - Separate programmable memory positions to store operational preferences for different photographic shooting situations.
Other Right Thumb Controls:
- Single frame advance.
- Continuous frame advance, adjustable up to 4 frames per second.
- Self-Timer. 10 second delay firing or 2 second delayed shutter mirror lock-up function.
- Multiple Exposure. 2 or more same frame exposures.
- Continuous Advance Exposure-Braketing. 3, 5, 0r 7 exposure series can be selected in either 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1.0 EV (exposure value) increments.
- Single-frame Advance Exposure-Braketing with the same options as above.
- AF/MF - Temporary switching between Auto Focus and Manual Focus or to focus lock in AF (see Custom Function #9).
- AEL - Auto Exposure Lock
- 14 Segment Honeycomb-Pattern Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering, or Spot Metering Switch.
- Rear Control Dial - usually the Aperture Control Dial.
The Ambient exposure control dial shows it's increments and the center dial lock release button. Beneath it is the Flash Exposure Compensation ring showing it's 1/2 stop increments plus or minus.
The shutter release button is located just behind the Front Control Dial. The red lens displayed above is the AF illuminator/ Self Timer lamp.
The Top Data Display is shown displaying shutter speed and aperture. It also can display, when film is loaded, a pictorial of the film cartridge and film transport signals.
The Maxxum 7's outstanding feature: The Navigation Dot Matrix Display shown with night illumination activated. As well as letting you view the camera settings at a glance, it reminds you how to use various camera functions and displays the details of past shots. The large dot-matrix LCD panel provides a wealth of information options not available on any other camera. It lets you check virtually all the information you need to shoot consistent images. The display knows which direction you are holding the camera and orients the display to vertical or horizontal.
...a wealth of information options not available on any other camera.
The Maxxum 7 (without Grip) is powered by two Cr-123, 3 volt lithium batteries. battery life: About 21 rolls of film with 50% of the exposures with built-in flash.
With the addition of the Vertical Control Grip VC-7, the camera takes on great comfort and additional comfort and control. The ergonomically located vertical shutter release of the VC-7 is ideal as is the Auto Exposure Lock and other relocated controls.It takes over powering the camera using a choice of power cells: 2 cr-123 lithium cells or 4 AA alkaline or NiMh AA batteries.
The VC-7 allows switching between camera batteries or grip batteries with the flip of a lever at least doubling the camera's number of rolls it can shoot with two switchable power supplies.