Modern Classic SLR Series
Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF SLR camera - Part II


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The Minolta 7000's Autofocus System

Although it may not be a standard equation that every picture MUST be in pin sharp focus but generally most great pictures do have main subject in focus. Thus, it is the dream of most 35mm SLR photographer to have every photograph comes out in precise focus. This is especially true when relates to action based photography where most of the time, even seasoned photographers have to rely on pre focus to accertain such possibilities and good pictures have to depend on a little luck to hike along. Autofocus technologies have simplified with more assuring results because the toughest task has been taken care of and photographer can actually possess that little luxury of ensuring other essential elements to produce a better photography. The Minolta 7000's may not be comparable to current range of sophistication, precise and fast snap in autofocus but that was the first generation of autofocus and it serves is purpose in most general photographic situations so that you won't miss that once-in-a-lifetime shutter chance because you were adjusting focus.

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In many ways, the autofocus mechanism in the Minolta 7000 automatically and accurately focuses faster than even the most seasoned professional can manually focus. No matter the camera-to-subject distance, no matter the movement of the subject towards or away from the photographer, no matter the photographic conditions encountered ... the pictures the Minolta 7000 takes are in precise focus!

The Minolta Maxxum 7000's autofocusing was the world's first SLR autofocus system that uses its dedicated flash's near-infrared AF-assist feature to provide you with instant focus readings in lighting conditions where manual focusing with a conventional SLR would be difficult at best or impossible.

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The AF Technologies employed in the design of Minolta Maximum 7000. Click to view from a | NEW Browser Window |

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This innovative system lets you shoot under virtually many lighting conditions, regardless near in candlelight, in dim indoor scenes or outdoors and even in total darkness ! It can help the photographer to concentrate wholly upon the creative moment at hand. There is also a Xtra large-scale LCD panel on top of the control panel to let user has immediate access to relevant information pertaining to picture data.

With an electronic mount that permitting remittance with the flow of data stream between camera and the lens. The exposure control system in the Minolta Maxxum 7000 was considered quite complete in its various options in aiding photographer to handle virtually all picture taking possibilities. The program AE itself was separated into a few sub-options.

Simple Operational Sequences in Setting Up the Maxxum 7000 for immediate use.

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The Minolta Maxxum 7000's Automatic Multi-Program Selection

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Ideal for "Point and shoot" type of photography and usually being regarded as amateuristic during the early seventies, but has realized its In its potential and accepted as the medium of sheer convenience among serious amateurs and professional alike over the last 1-1/2 decade. In the Program Mode of the Maxxum 7000 was still in its raw form without sophistication of exposure control in taking distance info for computation for metering provides by the current series of AF SLRs, the camera just automatically selects the program best suited to the lens in use.

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When you use any Minolta AF lens from 35mm to 105mm in focal length, Standard Program is automatically selected by the Minolta Maxxum 7000. This program uses aperture and shutter speed combinations that are ideal for "point and-shoot" photography. The type of "candid" shots that comprise such a great portion of most people's photography. All you have to do is aim and shoot. Other than some extreme cases in tackling difficult lighting conditions, the results usually can be very consistent with this mode.

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Perfect for dramatic perspective.

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Early auto exposure SLR camera that provide with an Program AE usually has one standard program mode, as time went by, there are a few variations that evolved from the original form. The first generation was splitted into wide program that based on focal length of the lenses in use. When the focal length of the lens in use is shorter than 35mm, the Minolta 7000 automatically selects Wide Program.

This Wide Program mode was tailored for wideangle lenses as it uses the smallest practical apertures to maximize the areas of sharp focus in front of and behind the main subject.

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Keeping the foreground and background sharp while getting more horizontal sweep in your photograph adds drama. A generous depth of field also adds a dramatic effect, as the Minolta 7000's Wide Program automatically solves the problem of what aperture and shutter speed to use in order to seize the moment effortlessly. Well, the early days of the Maxxum 7000 has not provided with too many options in its AF lens family under 24mm focal length and thus, the usage was not particularly significant as to the Tele Program mode.

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Reduces camera or subject blur

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A more practical program mode than the Wide Program as there were more Minolta AF lenses that are above 105mm. Especially with the popularity of zoom lenses which have a drawback in their slow maximum aperture and demands for slower shutter speed to compensate for the loss of light for ideal exposure.

With any Minolta AF lens above 105mm, the program that is automatically selected chooses faster shutter speeds to reduce the chances of blur caused by either camera or subject movement.
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This Tele Program's maximum/optimum aperture selection soften the background in order to emphasize the subject. The Minolta 7000's Tele Program gives you the best of all worlds: isolated action from a distance ... crystal clear focus... deleted background emphasis... and fast action-freezing shutter speed.



But just when you thought that was all Minolta can think of for the Maxxum AF SLR, those genius think tank at the design room has sprung some surprises that can really excite the photographic community by introducing an innovative Auto Multi-Program selection mode.

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It chooses the appropriate exposure program.

With conventional multi-program SLRs, you must manually select the appropriate program according to the lens in use. This is often confusing. And you must know what you are doing, as you can easily make a mistake. The Minolta 7000's Auto Multi-program Selection-the first of its kind ever in a 35mm SLR-makes these decisions for you, letting you concentrate totally upon the creative moment at hand.

A sophisticated ROM IC (Read Only Memory Integrated Circuit) in each Minolta AF lens supplies data to the camera which then selects the appropriate program in order to take best advantage of the special characteristics of the lens in use. Naturally, when using a Minolta AF zoom lens, the program selected automatically changes according to the focal length in actual use.

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It allows you to shift programmed exposure variables.

Program was shifted two stops from f/5.6 to f/11. Here, the intent was to achieve greater depth of field by using a smaller aperture
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Depending upon the photographic situation in Program mode, you may wish to change the camera's program setting to control depth of field or to match your shutter speed to the movement of the subject. The Minolta 7000's exclusive Program Shift feature allows you to manually select alternative programmed aperture/shutter speed combinations; thus, while maintaining the same relative exposure value, you can adjust camera settings to ones more appropriate to the subject.

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Program was shifted two stops from 1/250 sec. to 1/1000 sec.

The photographer wished to freeze a fast-moving subject by using a faster shutter speed
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Programs can be shifted in half stop increments by simply pressing the aperture or shutter speed keys. During the shift, exposure mode LCDs blink on the data panel and in the viewfinder. The Minolta 7000's Program Shift cancels itself approximately ten seconds after removing your finger from the operating button.


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Shutter speeds from 1/2000 sec. to 30 sec. handle action effectively

During the seventies, Canon popularized the use of Shutter Priority AE in their immensely successful 1976's
Canon AE-1 and in fact, the Minolta and Canon were the two main 35mm camera manufacturers from Japan that have such provision in their lenses to couple such AE mode in their SLR cameras.

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Generally, most people would like to regard using fast | Shutter Speeds | to freeze action while slow shutter speeds are often used to produce an illusion of speed by intentionally blurring the subject. Deciding which shutter speed to use is often necessitated in situation where the subject is in movement. And how you,use shutter speed influences your results to a very great degree.

The Minolta 7000 gives you a truly wide range of shutter speeds: from 1/2000 second to 30 seconds can be selected in Shutter-priority AE mode. And the correct aperture is automatically set for balanced exposure. When combined with the advantages of the Minolta 7000's autofocus, this Shutter-priority AE mode lets you "freeze" the fastest action solidly in time. Instantaneously. Accurately. On the other hand, camera control timing at slower speeds will yield different creative results, provided you know what you are doing.

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Vary depth of field for greater Creativity, emphasis, memorability

Often called the mode of | Depth of Field |. An especially poetic scene was captured against a blurred-out background by opening up the aperture in combination with using "Focus Hold" . There will be many times when you'll want to after the depth of field: the area of sharp focus in front of and/or behind your main subject.

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There may be a few other factors, but most would understand one of the most easy way to understand with depth of field is, it controls by the aperture in use. In the Minolta 7000's Aperture-priority AE mode, any available lens aperture may be selected and the camera will automatically set its shutter speed for correct exposure. Aperture selections change in 1/2-stop increments so that you can "fine tune" depth-of-field with great precision.

Unlike manual which you can control the exposure by deliberately over or underexposure. When operating in any AE mode, if you wish to override the camera selected combination on exposure or felt background of the picture taking scene may affect the camera TTL metering (such as backlighting, standing in front of a white or dark wall backdrop etc..), other than using an artificial illumination such a fill-in flash, you can either choose to use Exposure Compensation adjustment, altering the ASA/DIN film speed setting(s) to fool the camera metering circuit or make use a feature called "Auto Exposure Lock" (AE Lock) to lock the metered reading.


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Instruction Manual for Maxxum 7000 (6 Parts)

First Generation Minolta AF Lenses

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Credit: Mr Aaron Oh, for lending his old Maxxum 7000 brochure to prepare certain content appeared in this site; LEONID.SL<leonid.sl@prodigy.net> for his great image of the Maxxum 9000; Johannes Huntjens <yawngie@msn.com>, LT Jack B. Nunley <jnunley@insightbb.com> and "Jarret LaMark" <jlamark@wbhunt.com> huntsphotoandvideo.com for their generosity for granting permission to use some of the Maxxum 7000 images appeared in this site; Lapapl@aol.com for his image of the Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF Body / Program Back 70;"Camera Works" <cameraworks@qwest.net> for some superb view of the camera; Dan Dorsey <Fotowv123@cs.com> for his shots of the 7000 Body w/ Org. Box & Manual; "Rehmat Iqbal" <mimifour@hotmail.com><srafiq@houston.rr.com> for being so considerate and helpful. Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, Instruction Manual(s) & brochures published by Minolta and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Minolta", "Rokkor", "X-700", "Dynax" & "Maxxum" are registered trade names of Minolta Optical Inc., Japan. A site dedicated to all Minolta fans worldwide. Site made with an Apple IMac.