Steve's Digicams

Minolta Maxxum 7

35mm SLR

Review posted 8/22/01

Introduction & Physical Views

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR
Click on the Maxxum 7 to take a QuickTime VR tour

In 1985, Minolta introduced the Maxxum 7000 – the world’s first autofocusing 35mm SLR camera. Maxxum dramatically changed the way we took pictures. Only the human eye focused faster, and for the first time, photographers had an autofocus system they could depend on for professional-quality results.

Since then, Minolta's numerous technological advancements have resulted in several generations of Maxxum cameras, namely, the i-series, xi-series, si-series, and now, the new Maxxum 9, 7 and soon; the entry level Maxxum 5. Today's fifth-generation Maxxum AF SLR cameras offer leading-edge performance in focusing speed and precision, exposure system automation, creative power, and user-friendly control.

The Maxxum 7 was conceived as a camera that would be as familiar and easy to use (and as simple to understand) as your favorite tool, providing superb performance and functionality in a light, compact and highly portable body. The overall goal was to provide a clear and effective photographic system for enthusiasts and advanced users that would achieve excellence and balance. To achieve excellent performance and functionality, the Maxxum 7 features 9-point AF sensors with center dual cross-hair sensors for extensive framing flexibility and precise focus control. This represents an advanced total focusing system that enhances functionality in both AF and MF. For maximum ease of use, the Maxxum 7 is the world's first SLR camera to feature a dot matrixNavigation Display. It also includes groundbreaking flash photography functions, including ADI flash metering and wireless-remote camera synchronization which, when using wireless flash units, greatly expands the illuminated photographic area.

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

All these features and more are integrated into the world's most compact SLR camera in it's class, making the Maxxum 7 the precise tool for unleashing the user's full creative power. The Maxxum 7's versatility is the ideal solution for users wishing to apply their wide photographic expertise to express and stretch their creativity. It works closely with the photographer to support the creation of superior images. Whether it is automatic operation which feature cutting-edge technology or fully manual operation which relies purely on the basic camera functions, the Maxxum 7 combines a huge array of technological advances as a first in a new generation of SLRs with unimaginable potential.

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

Maxxum 7's features at a glance

  • Unique, 9-point, wide area dual crosscut autofocusing system
  • Large total information LCD "Navigation Display"
  • Easy-to-operate, conveniently located lever and dial controls
  • Most compact and lightweight body in its class
  • Versatile direct manual focus mode for focus fine tuning
  • 1/8,000 second shutter speed
  • Built-in flash with wireless remote flash control and high speed sync
  • Advanced Distance Integration flash metering
  • 35 custom settings, data memory, and film chamber lock.

Physical Views

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

Minolta Maxxum 7 SLR

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Page Two

Maxxum 7 Specifications

35mm SLR with built-in flash, autofocus (AF) and autoexposure (AE)

Lens Mount:
Minolta A-type bayonet mount

Film Type:
35mm film

Eye-Start Automation:
AF and AE automatically activated/deactivated by combination of eyepiece and grip sensors. Eye-start is turned on/off by eye-start switch.

AF System:
Minolta’s through-the-lens (TTL) phase-detection system with CCD line sensors (9-point AF System with Center Dual Cross Hair Sensors (CDC912)). Activated by Eye-start Automation, by pressing the focus-area selector, spot-AF button, AF/MF control button (in manual focus mode), or shutter-release button partway down. Multi-dimensional Predictive Focus Control for moving objects

Focus Area:
Wide focus area; any local focus area can be selected from the 9-point sensors

AF Modes:
Single-shot, Continuous, Automatic Autofocus

Focus Modes:
Auto/manual focus can be selected

DMF Mode (available with a Custom Function):
Allows manual focusing without switching from autofocus mode after focus is locked

AF Sensitivity:
EV -1 to 18 (at ISO 100)

AF Illuminator:
Built-in LED aligned with Center Dual Cross-hair Sensors. Automatically activated in low-light/low-contrast situations; range: 2.3 - 23 ft. (based on Minolta’s standard test methods with 50mm lens)

Manual Focusing:
By visually monitoring the focus on the spherical acute-matte viewfinder screen and/or by observing the focus signals in the viewfinder data panel

Metering System:

14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering, Center-weighted average metering, Spot metering

Flash Metering:
ADI, TTL 4-segment, or TTL Average can be selected (available with a Custom Function). Activated by pressing the AE-lock button, spot-AF button, focus-area selector, AF/MF control button, shutter-release button partway down, or by Eye-start Automation

Metering Cell:
14-segment honeycomb-pattern SPC (silicon photo cell), 4-segment flash-metering SPC

Metering Range:
14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering: EV 0-20; Center-weighed Average: EV 0 - 20; Spot: EV 3 - 20 (based on Minolta’s standard test method at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens)

Exposure Modes:

Programmed AE (P mode):
Programmed control of aperture and shutter speed based on lens specifications and scene characteristics; PA and PS modes are available

Aperture Priority (A mode):
Aperture selectable in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments; shutter speed from 1/8,000 to 30 sec. set by autoexposure program

Shutter Priority (S mode):
Shutter speed from 1/8,000 to 30 sec. manually selectable in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments; aperture set by autoexposure program

Manual Exposure (M mode):
Any available shutter speed/aperture selectable in 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV increments; correct, over-/under-exposure indicated in viewfinder and Navigation Display. BULB can be selected

Full-auto [P] Mode:
Operation is reset to registered settings in full-auto mode

1, 2, 3 Memory Zones:
Operation is set to settings programmed to each memory zone

Exposure Compensation Dial Control:
+/- 3 EV in 1/2 EV increments; +/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV increments (+/-3 EV with a Custom Function)

Flash Compensation:
+/- 2 EV in 1/2 EV increments

AE Lock:
Exposure locked automatically with AE-lock button (Can also be locked with Focus Lock)

Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type; range: 1/8,000 - 30 sec. plus BULB (Time count up function available, approximately 7 hours with fresh battery); Flash sync: 1/200 sec. or slower. Syncs at all speeds in HSS mode (only available with Program Flash 5400HS, 5600HS(D) and 3600HS(D).

Built-in Flash:

Guide Number:
39 (in feet at ISO 100); flash coverage for 24mm lens

Recycling Time:
Approx. 2 seconds (approx. 3.5 sec. with red-eye reduction or wireless/remote off-camera flash. Based on Minolta’s standard test method)

Manual switchover; lift-up for fill flash, push down for flash cancel. When lifted up in Full-auto mode, autoflash is available.

Flash Modes:
Fill flash, fill flash with red-eye reduction (pre flash), flash cancel, wireless/remote off-camera flash (with or without 2:1 ratio), rear-flash sync, High-speed sync (HSS) flash available with Program Flash 5400HS, 5600HS(D) and 3600HS(D).

ISO Setting:
Automatic setting for DX-coded films, ISO 25-5000 (in 1/3 EV increments)

DX-coded ISO Range with Flash:
ISO 25 - 1000; non DX-coded film is set to the previous ISO

Manual ISO Setting:
ISO 6-6400 (in 1/3 EV increments)

Film Transport:
Automatic with built-in motor drive; auto threading, auto advance to first frame, auto rewind, manual start of rewind

Mid Reload (Select Frame Film Transport):
Available in Custom Function

Rewind Time:
(24 exposures): High-speed rewind: approx. 5.5 sec.; low-speed (silent) rewind: approx. 12 sec., available in Custom Function, (36 exposures): High-speed rewind: approx.7 sec.; low-speed (silent) rewind: approx. 15.5 sec., available in Custom Function

Drive Modes:
Single-frame advance; continuous advance selectable from 4.0 frames/sec., (3.7 frames/sec., in continuous AF mode), or 2 frames/sec.; single-frame advance exposure bracketing: selectable from 3, 5, or 7-exposure series in either 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1.0 EV increments; continuous advance exposure bracketing selectable from 3-, 5-, or 7-exposure series in either 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1.0 EV increments

Electronic with approx. 10-sec. delay, cancelable, or 2-sec delay with delayed shutter mirror lock-up function

Multiple Exposure:
2 or more exposures


Eye-level fixed pentaprism

Focusing Screen:
Spherical acute matte

Field of View:
Approx. 92% x 94% of film frame

0.8X (with 50mm lens at infinity)

-1; eyepiece diopter adjustable from -2.5 to +0.5

Eye Relief:
High-eyepoint (22.5 mm from the eyepiece, 18.5 mm from the eyepiece frame); eyepiece cup removable

Data Memory:
Stores photographic data of up to 7 rolls of 36 exposures; Every roll of film: data number, ISO value. Every frame: aperture, lens focal length, lens minimum aperture, exposure compensation/exposure bracketing increments, shutter speed, flash compensation/flash bracketing increments (including flash on/off status), exposure mode, metering mode, and date/time (year/month/date/hour/minute)

Special Features:
Remote control terminal (with sliding lid), 35 Custom Functions, depth-of-field preview, screw-type PC terminal (available to both center-positive and center-negative polarities)

Available during self-timer count down or when focus is locked

Power Source:
Two 3-volt CR123A/DL 123A lithium batteries, 4-stage indicator appears when camera is turned on

Battery Performance (with new batteries):

  24 exposure rolls 36 exposure rolls

Flash use

+20° C
(+68° F)

-20° C
(-4° F)

+20° C
(+68° F)

-20° C
(-4° F)

0 %
50 %
45 rolls
21 rolls
13 rolls
13 rolls
6 rolls
4 rolls
30 rolls
14 rolls
9 rolls
9 rolls
4 rolls
2 rolls

5.6 x 3.8 x 2.6 inches

20.3 oz.

Specifications are based on the latest information available at the time of posting and are subject to change without notice.


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