The Minolta XD-7 (XD-11) - Multimode SLR
Basic Camera Operations - Part I

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" .. It's "GREEN for GO" with YOUR MINOLTA XD's Automatic Shutter-speed Compensation system (ASC) ! " -

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That was how Minolta label and marketed the XD-7 during its era with the projection of an image that the 'new' body is an easy to use with the convenience of foolproof automation in camera operation.

Besides computer-correcting for most setting and range problems, the "ASC" system of your Minolta XD incorporates a unique "targeted programming" capability. This can control both aperture and shutter speed automatically and makes taking perfectly exposed pictures easier and more carefree than ever.

To use the "targeted programming" on your XD, just follow the simple three-step "GREEN for GO" method shown.

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1. Move the mode-selector switch to the GREEN" position.
2. Turn the lens' aperture ring so that the GREEN F-NUMBER is opposite the white index on the lens barrel.
3. Turn the shutter-speed selector so that the GREEN "125" is aligned with the white index mark, as shown above.

That's all !
Now just aim, focus, and shoot, and leave the rest to your XD camera. This very handy, still considered as an up-to-the-minute capability is of course only one of your XD's many features for easy operation and creativity.

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Note: Your XD's ASC system can of course be targeted for speeds other than "125." This setting has been colored green simply as a reminder that "125" gives the best overall results with the widest range of lenses, the most popular film speeds, and lighting.

LEDs Indications inside the Viewfinder




The Minolta XD 7 / XD-11 camera may well be remembered as the first 35mm single-lens reflex on the market that lets you set either shutter speed or lens aperture according to your photographic purpose, the camera's computer then automatically and steplessly controlling the other value for proper exposure. That is what generally referred as the first Aperture and Shutter Priority capable SLR camera ! Well, the Canon AE-1 in 1976 - a shutter priority AE only camera may well be the first SLR that embodied with microchip to time and monitor all camera functions, and even a more popular model that followed, similar as the XD-7 with multimodes AE exposure control, the Canon A-1of 1978. But it was the Minolta which has the distinction being the first SLR to incorporate both automatic exposure control within a same body shell.

You can also set exposure manually, with or without reference to the camera's calculation. If you wish, you can leave exposure control entirely to the camera's program for perfect results over a wide range. Which ever you choose, complete solid-state information in the finder is automatically adjusted to show only that applicable, and an improved developed focusing screen makes viewing brighter and focusing easier and more accurate. Safe Load Signal and electromagnetic shutter release head a host of other features. Not being outshone by the winder ready AE-1 or the Nikkormat winder capable
EL-W (1976), the XD-7 can attach and work with an accessory Auto Winder D which enables the equivalent performance of single-frame/continuous motor film advance up to 2 frames/sec.

Minolta's special Auto Electroflash signals flash-ready in the finder when charged and electronically sets the XD-7's shutter for strobe exposures when it is released; it also enables continuous-sequence flash with the winder. The Minolta MD lenses, made for the new series of high performance bodies will fit in the XD-7 perfectly with all the exposure mode and metering functions. It also uses virtually all interchangeable Minolta lenses made prior to the arrival of the MD lenses and shares all applicable Minolta SLR system accessories.

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The hugely successful Minolta X-700 - was easily regarded as the longest serving programmed AE SLR camera in the world (With Manual, Aperture Priority AE and TTL Flash AE modes as well).

It was a big hit when it was introduced. It was also the first camera that won the prestigious "European Camera of the Year" in 1980/81. Although the Minolta MD lenses are fully capable of providing shutter priority AE but strangely the X-700 has omitted that automated feature. In the late '80, the camera production has shifted to my country, Malaysia after the great Maxxum's AF debut in 1985 (I was told it is produced in China now). It remains in production until 1997 - stretching almost a twenty years life span.

Many still wondering why was the X-700 so popular in its time - perhaps simplicity works...

Main Technical Features of the XD-7

> For the first time available on the market - a user selectable shutter- or aperture-priority auto exposure control (AE) is made available along with manual exposure control.
> Electronically controlled. stepless shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 1 sec. for aperture priority mode plus metered and full manual for manual mode.
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> Completely electronic automatic aperture control in shutter priority mode.
> Shutter speed compensation system in shutter-priority automatic mode makes possible a far greater automatic exposure range than with conventional shutter-priority systems.
> Final check metering system incorporates silicon photo cell for precise exposure reading.

Note: the "Minolta" name inscribed on the viewfinder prism - Satosh Oka's XD-7 was called "XD-S" and use the more modernized "Minolta" logo - compared this with the X-700 !

Solid-state information viewfinder with a bright acute-matte focusing screen.

Electronic shutter with electromagnetic release

Compared with the similar class Canon models which are mainly silk based cloth shutter, the XD-7 has a metal blade vertical-run focal plane shutter yields quiet operation and very smooth release and film advance. Both automatic and manual speeds are electronically controlled, while mechanical "B" ("bulb") and "O" (1/100 sec. with X sync.) settings operate even without batteries. Electromagnetic shutter-release system and accessory electric remote cords make remote operation easy and positive.

Compact lightweight body

The lightweight, compact XD-11 fits the user's hands for smooth handling and operation:

Quick Attach Auto Winder

To take on the AE-1's launched earlier by Canon in 1975, the XD's accessory auto winder can attaches quickly, without access caps to remove or store, freeing the user from advancing film in single frame or continuous operation up to two frames per second. Its strong efficient coreless micro motor winds as many as 150 or more cartridges per set or charge of batteries. At the end of each film cartridge the motor automatically shuts off.

Special dedicated flash units

When attached to the XD-11 and ready to fire, the X -series Auto Electro f lashes start a flash-ready signal blinking in the viewfinder and automatically set the shutter for X-synchronization (1/100 sec.) when the shutter is released.

Other individual features include thyristor

Circuitry for winder/motor synchronization and maximum battery life, tiltable head for bounce flash, filters for special effects, multiple aperture settings and full manual operation. From the compact and economical 118X to the 320X with its exclusive Variable Guide-Number/ Power Control, there is an X-series flash to meet any need.

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Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Eric Noirtin ® <enoirtin@msn.com> Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
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leofoo® MIR Web Development Team

Credit: Satosh Oka for some of the very high quality images for the Minolta CD-7 and XK Motor used in this site. Oleg Volk, who has offered some help during the initial stage of development of this site; Stephen Schwartz on the few new images of XK; Mark Wasmer for the original Brouche of the few Minolta cameras; Dick Sullivan whom I used some of his info as reference in this site; Mr Poon who has helped me eith some of the images used in this site. Minolta, XD-7, XK, XM, X1, Rokkor, MC lenses are either registered tradenames or trade mark of Milnolta Optical Co. Ltd, Japan. Asite dedicted to all Minolta fans worldwide.