Editors Choice 2004: Digital SLRs

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital

Editors-Choice-2004-Digital-SLRs
Editors-Choice-2004-Digital-SLRs

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital

Shake It Up. Until you turn it on, Minolta's 35mm Maxxum 7 SLR-now four years old-could be mistaken for a digital camera. That's because its back-mounted LCD data panel is big enough to pass for a D-SLR's color LCD screen. In addition to showing an amazing array of camera-status information, the LCD can chart the scene's brightness range.

The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital will have a true histogram, but the display should have more practical value on this soon-to-bereleased digital SLR. We saw a prototype earlier this year, and it looks and feels very much like a 35mm Maxxum. Specs are still sketchy, but our sources tell us they include a six-megapixel, APS-C-size CCD sensor; a relatively large two-inch LCD monitor; the canny nine-point autofocus array of the Maxxum 7; Minolta's famous 14-segment Honeycomb metering; a TTL flash system with Advanced Distance Integration and wireless remote capability.

The best part, though, is that the new camera will feature the unique image-stabilizing system already hard at work in the Konica Minolta Dimage A2. (See Digital EVF Cameras, page 62.) Unlike Canon's IS, Nikon's VR, or Sigma's OS, which are all incorporated into a few lenses, Konica Minolta's system works by instantly shifting the image sensor itself to compensate for shake. Like existing systems, it gives you sharp results at shutter speeds up to three times slower than you'd otherwise have to set-except that it will work with any Minolta lens.

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