Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D SLR Review

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Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Camera Features & Controls

Specifically designed to match the performance requirements of the camera's high resolution 6-megapixel CCD sensor, the MAXXUM 5D's unique, built-in exclusive CCD shift-type Anti-Shake technology makes this new camera the second digital SLR to feature a body-integral Anti-Shake function, the first being the MAXXUM 7D. This system instantly and precisely shifts the CCD to compensate for camera motion.

It's so effective photographers can shoot at shutter speeds up to three stops slower than what they could use without it. So even in low light, photographers can keep their images clean and sharp, free of the image-degrading noise that creeps in when they boost ISO sensitivity. And because the mechanism is integrated directly into the MAXXUM 5D's camera body, it works with virtually any MAXXUM AF lens - a major advantage for photographers when compared to bulky and expensive lens-based optical stabilization systems and software-based "digital correction systems" that can degrade image quality.

Konica Minolta's award-winning Anti-Shake technology provides images with reduced blur due to camera shake, even when shooting dimly lit scenes or when using telephoto lenses and shooting macro subjects without the aid of flash or a tripod.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

The MAXXUM 5D digital SLR camera is fully compatible with the existing line of MAXXUM autofocusing lenses - nearly 40 in all. The focal length multiplier is 1.5x due the smaller size of the camera's imager versus a standard 35mm film frame.

Konica Minolta Announces Three New "DT" Interchangeable Lenses Designed For The Maxxum Line Of Digital SLR Cameras

Konica Minolta AF DT ZOOM 18-70mm F3.5-5.6(D), AF DT ZOOM 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 (D), and AF DT ZOOM 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 (D)

Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc., has announced three new "DT" lenses - interchangeable Digital Technology (DT) lenses designed for the Maxxum Series digital SLR cameras, including the new Maxxum 5D and Maxxum 7D. These new zoom lenses will expand the lineup of Konica Minolta interchangeable lenses for Maxxum Series of digital cameras. The DT Lenses employ a new optical system that is specifically designed for digital SLR cameras, including the just announced Maxxum 5D, which incorporate an APS-C size CCD image sensor.

Developing interchangeable lenses for digital SLR cameras with an optical system optimized for the new Maxxum 5D and popular Maxxum 7D, meets the needs of users who would prefer to take ultra-wide-angle pictures, users who would like to take pictures with a compact standard zoom, and users who would like to easily take telephoto shots without changing the lens.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

The AF DT ZOOM 18-70mm F3.5-5.6(D) is the "kit" lens bundled with the Maxxum 5D.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

The built-in manual popup flash features ADI, Pre-flash TTL and Manual flash control. The flash's guide number is 12 (in meters at ISO 100) / 17 (in meters ISO 200). It has coverage sufficient for 24mm lenses with a recycling time of approximately 3 seconds. Available flash modes are: Fill Flash, Flash Cancel, Red-eye Reduction (pre-flash), Wireless/Remote Off-camera Flash, Rear Flash Sync. and High Speed Sync. Flash output compensation is +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments

ADI - Advanced Distance Integration is available with any MAXXUM D-Series lens. By comparing information obtained from the lens' built-in distance encoder with pre-flash metering data, ADI calculates the optimum exposure settings and flash brightness needed to obtain a beautiful image -- even if your subject is standing in front of a very dark, light, or reflective background.

Flash Range

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

The MAXXUM 5D supports full-featured flash photography with the built-in flash and external flash units such as the MAXXUM Flash 5600HS(D) and 3600HS(D), allowing you to take advantage of wireless high-speed and TTL flash, rear-curtain flash synchronization, bounce flash and advanced off-camera setups for pro-level flash shooting.

The following flash units are compatible with the MAXXUM 5D:

    Maxxum/Program Flash 2500(D)
    Maxxum/Program Flash 3600(D)
    Maxxum/Program Flash 5600(D)
    Macro Ring Flash 1200 with Macro Flash Controller
    Macro Ring Flash 2400 with Macro Flash Controller
The PC Flash Adapter PCT-100 allows a studio or location flash system to be connected to the camera with a standard PC cord. The adapter is compatible with both center positive (normal polarity) and center negative (positive polarity) flash units with a voltage of 400V or lower. The software upgrade included with the PT-100 should not be used.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Minolta Program Flash 5600HS is a high-powered and functional external flash unit designed for Minolta's AF SLRs. This flash provides Guide Number 184 (@ ISO 100) flash output performance in a compact body, highly reliable exposure precision, versatile remote flash photography, and superior operation that supports creative flash photography.

Flash coverage is available from 24mm to 85mm focal lengths, and further extends to the 17mm focal length with a built-in wide-angle adapter. The 5600HS assures highly reliable metering accuracy with the ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) flash metering in combination with Minolta's AF-D lenses with distance encoder. It also supports versatile remote flash photography with wireless/remote high-speed sync when the 5600HS is used as an off-camera flash. The AF illuminator covers the Maxuum/Dynax 5D's 9-point sensors in the wide focus area. Furthermore, the flash head tilts 10 degrees downward for close-up photography.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

The eye-level viewfinder (roof mirror pentaprism) has a field of view of approximately 95%, with 20mm of eye-relief from the eyepiece, the eyepiece cup is removable. The camera comes with a Spherical Acute Matte (G-type as standard) focusing screen. Interchangeable focusing screens (type M, L, ML) are available.

The viewfinder magnification is 0.83x (with 50mm lens focused on infinity) and has a -2.5 to + 1.0 m-1 dioptric adjustment.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Inside the viewfinder is a partial metering circle (spot), nine focusing points and the wide area focus frame marks. The active focus point(s) are illuminated so you know exactly which AF zone(s) has been selected.

Along the bottom is a digital status line that displays flash compensation, flash ready, manual focus, auto exposure lock, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation / metered manual exposure indicator, continuous frames available and anti shake indicator. To the right of the anti shake indicator is a five step bar graph that shows the amount of action being taken by the Anti Shake system to counteract camera movement.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

The MAXXUM 5D's high-performance AF system offers exceptional accuracy, with 9 separate AF sensors for wide-area coverage that gives you great flexibility in how you frame your subject. To exercise even more control, you can use the focus area selector switch on the back of the camera to choose any of the nine sensors as a spot-focusing target -- the selected focus point will be indicated by a red mark superimposed on the image in the viewfinder.

High-speed AF data processing and lens drive systems assure instantaneous focus response, so you can more consistently capture the "magic moments" that SLR photography is all about. In addition, the AF system offers multi-dimensional predictive autofocus with auto-tracking focus-point display. It uses powerful processing algorithms to calculate the speed and direction of moving subjects in four directions, and significantly improves focusing accuracy during high-speed action photography.

Three focusing modes assure optimum performance in a wide range of situations. There's AF-S mode for single-shot AF, an AF-C mode for continuous AF with predictive focus control, and an AF-A mode that automatically switches from single-shot to continuous AF when it detects that your subject is moving.

Another focusing option that is particularly useful for macro and portrait photography is Direct Manual Focus. When the shutter release is pressed halfway in this mode, the focusing mechanism's internal clutch is released as soon as the AF system locks onto the subject, allowing you to manually rotate the focusing ring to fine- tune the image. Combining the convenience of AF with the enhanced creative control of MF, it lets you enjoy the benefits of both without switching focus modes.

Konica Minolta MAXXUM 5D, image (c) 2005 Steve's Digicams

A high precision 14-segment honeycomb pattern metering system provides optimum exposure control for various lighting conditions. User selectable metering modes: Honeycomb-pattern, Center-weighted averaging or Spot metering. Metering range: EV 1 - 20 (EV 4 - 20 in spot metering) at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens.

The MAXXUM 5D's exclusive Zone Matching system ensures the best possible exposure control in even the most extreme of lighting situations. When ordinary dSLRs would produce a "white-out," the 5D emphasizes highlights while retaining subtle tones. And it captures noise-free images in dimly-lit indoor conditions.

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