Steve's Digicams

Minolta Maxxum 5

35mm SLR

Features & Controls

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The Maxxum 5 incorporates a similar lens mount to any Maxxum ever made so that any auto focus Minolta mount lens that is out there will mount. Any current Minolta "A" mount lens will function with all the latest electronics that the Maxxum 5 has to offer.

The large black button in the foreground is the lens release. Above it is the exposure compensation ("+/-") button that doubles as the "AV" (aperture value) actuator. It allows the AV to be changed while depressing it and rotating the command dial. The Lightening Bolt symboled button above activates the built-in flash.

The "AF/MF" lever below the lens release is the Auto Focus to Manual Focus momentary contact switch. When "flipped" down for a second, the camera goes into MF. Flip it again and it is back in AF. The default setting at power-up or reset is AF.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The removable rubber viewfinder hood is notched out on the left to allow the two IR sensors to detect the close proximity of the user and start the "Eye-Start" pre-focus function. This allows the fast focus system to have the lens already focused when you get the camera to your eye. This only activates if the camera is being held by the grip and activating the grip sensors.
The normal relief viewfinder has a maximum eye to viewfinder hood distance of 1/2 inch and an approximate 90% horizontal by 90% vertical field of view of the film frame.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The built-in flash can pop-up automatically or can be set to activate when the flash button along side the lens mount is depressed. It has coverage for a 28mm lens and guide number of 39.4 (in feet at ISO 100).
The Maxxum "i" Hot shoe is designed for Minolta Maxxum "i" or later flash units. It has a very positive mounting and locking system that prevents the problem of the flash unit's foot "creeping" back in the shoe and loosing communication with the camera unbeknown to the photographer. This was a very real problem with the standard ISO flash shoe design with bigger flash units.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The left image is of The Maxxum Program Flash 3600HS (D) on the Maxxum 5 with the BP-200 battery grip on it. This flash unit is the middle of the line up of flashes and has some very advanced features. It is capable of being operated remotely on the included stand (right image) via the WL (wireless) flash mode. It allows remote TTL flash control for easier professional looking images.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The Mode Dial on top of the camera allows adjustment of:

  • P, A, S, M (exposure modes):
      "P"rogram AE
      "A"perture priority AE
      "S"hutter priority AE
      "M"anual control of shutter speed and aperture

  • Flash Mode Control:
      auto, off, fill-flash, red-eye reduction, and "WL" wireless remote flash.

  • "AF" Mode Control:
      "A": Automatic AF: determines whether the subject is moving or still, and automatically selects single- shot or continuous/predictive AF
      "C": Continuous/predictive AF: tracks moving subjects right up to and during the moment of shutter-release
      "S": Single-shot AF: locks focus on stationary subjects

  • "ISO":
      Manual ISO film speed setting: ISO 6 - 6400 in 1/3 EV increments

  • "CUST":
      Custom Function Mode Utility: 14 Custom Functions so you can custom-tailor your camera to your style or preferences.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The camera top LCD Display (photo below) is capable of displaying all the info in the above illustration. It gives you all the setting and condition info. Tme image below shows the camera is set in manual exposure, 1/250th of a second shuter speed, aperture is set to f/5.6, battery condition full, flash off, and automatic subject detection Auto Focus.

The "P" button (photo below) activates a global reset to almost all default settings including manual focus to auto focus.

The top of the control dial is easily accessible next to the shutter release.

The Subject Program button accesses the Portrait / Landscape / Close-Up / Sports / Night Portrait creative modes.

The Drive Mode button allows control of the Self Timer / Continuous Advance / activates IR receiver for the optional RC-3 infra red remote.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The back of the top controls shows the "OFF / ON" switch and the ergonomic placement of the "AF" and "SPOT" buttons.

The "AF" button allows the center spot focus area to be solely selected and if held until the initial area is the focus distance and exposure value that remain until the release of the button.

The "SPOT" metering lock button, if held down while shooting. locks the exposure to the value determined from the center of the viewfinder when the SPOT button is first depressed.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The silver bars on the lens-side edge of the grip above are the "Grip Sensors" that allow the eye-sensors next to the viewfinder to activate the Eye Start pre-focus.
The black panel on the front top is the Self timer indication lamp and IR receiver for the optional RC-3 infra red Remote Control.
The Index finger wheel to the lens side of the shutter release is the Control Dial used to input value changes based on the Mode or Function the camera is in.
The Rubber "plug" type cover is the port for plugging in an optional wired remote control, either the RC-1000S (short) or RL-1000L (long).

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The Vertical traveling shutter of the Maxxum 5 has a maximum flash sync speed of 1/125th second standard flash mode and 1/4000th with HSS capable flash units. It has a shutter speed range of 1/4000th to 30 seconds.
The Red Mark to the lower right indicates the proper film leader length. The camera automatically loads the film to the proper first frame position when the back is closed.
The black square button below the red leader placement marking is the film door release button. It looks a little precarious but Minolta thought of that; The Film Chamber Lock Indicator window to the right of the latch release is red when there is film in the camera and prevents the back cover from being opened.
The Rewind override button is to the left of the door button and allows you to rewind the film mid-roll.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

The Maxxum 5 is normally powered by two CR-2 lithium 3v batteries. When the optional Battery Pack BP-200 is used, the in-camera batteries come out and the BP-200 slides into the camera's battery chamber without removing the battery door. The BP-200 is then supplying all camera power from four AA alkaline or NiMh rechargeable batteries.

Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR

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