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Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
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Manufactured from 2005 to 2006 by Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan. A compact digital SLR with body-integral anti-shake technology, built-in flash and interchangeable lenses. This camera represents the last “Minolta” SLR offered through Konica Minolta before the ceased camera operations (under their name) in early 2006. (But if you put this next to the Sony Alpha “DSLR” A100 next to this camera, you’ll see an obvious family resemblance…) It was modeled after the “pro” 7D but was made just a little cheaper (as in inexpensively) to meet the price point of the “prosumer”—specifically, they change the body from magnesium to polycarbonate and removed the ability to take some of the accessories that mainly pros would want, like the Vertical Control Grip. But, the win for the consumer market was that it had the exact same imager and processor as the 7D! It had the unique image stabilization system that actually moves the CCD sensor to adjust for camera movement. This gives the user image stabilization with any lens attached. It used a 6 mega pixel (3008 x 2000) “APC-C” sized (23.5×15.7mm) CCD sensor and simulates ISO film speeds of 100 to 3200. It’s electronics provide operation modes of full Program, Aperture preferred automatic, Shutter preferred automatic and fully manual. It also had special program “Scene” modes: Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Sunset and Night. The camera’s electronically controlled shutter offers shutter speeds for 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second. It has built-in pop-up flash, but also accepts accessory flash units including the ability to fire the 3600D and 5400D units wirelessly. It writes to compact flash media and is capable of writing a RAW file and a JPG of the same image at the same time. It’s autofocus system uses TTL phase-detection and illuminates a mark in the viewfinder on the focusing screen to show which of 9 sensor areas have been detected as the focus point. It can shoot approximately 3 fps and do this until the camera processor memory is full waiting to write to CF. It actually shows you how many more you can shoot as one of the indications in the viewfinder! A very nice touch. Also, note the knobs similar to the very popular Maxxum 600si. It was powered by a NP-400 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.4V 1500mAh).

As they say, timing is everything. Already having a major investment in Minolta “A” lenses and accessories, I’d been waiting for an affordable digital SLR from Minolta. Finally I found the extra funds in the budget to purchase the 5D. I placed my online order on January 17, 2006. The next day, I received my confirmation that it had been shipped. The following day, January 19, 2006, Konica Minolta announced they were getting out of the camera business (see: konicaminolta.com/releases/2006/0119_03_01.html). As you can guess, I was worried at first, but it seems that Sony has embraced the technology and also sees the economic “potential” in a pre-seeded market of 16 million Minolta A mount lenses. If you look, you will also see that this is the camera I took most of the collection pictures with…

See also: www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Konica_Minolta/konicaminol…

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