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Mark's Minolta Maxxum 7xi Page

Released 2001, produced only 2 years. Another "what the hell were they thinking" product. Auction had 2 Minolta cameras, 4 lenses, the remote release cable and 2 flashes for $12 plus freight. Net price was $3 and change per piece. Will add more when it arrives.
Metering: 14 segment metering, choice between average and spot. DX code ISO setting with manual override.
Shutter: Electronically controlled, 30sec. - 1/8000sec. and Bulb.
Focus: 14 segment, 4 sensors with AF assist light.
Viewfinder: Exposure and metering zones, exposure info, shake warning. Is it clearly visible in bright light?
Exposure modes: PASM. Don't know how easy these are to use yet. I've read the user interface is cryptic.
Flash: Built-in pop-up flash. Flash-sync 1/200sec. wireless flash support. Dynax style hot shoe, can use standard hot shoe flashes with adapter.
Film transport: Motorized film loading, advance and rewind. Manual rewind button.
Batteries: 2CR5 battery. Battery life generally very poor. One review suggested taping over the palm sensor.
Lenses: Any Sony A-mount lens.
Accessories:
Limitations: Where to begin. No manual focusing tools in the viewfinder. Continues the mistake of selling "feature cards" for functions that were included in all their competitor's products. Automatic functions that distract and annoy the camera's target consumer: advanced amateur photographers. Great technology with a arcane interface.
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6-13-24: Camera arrived. Was extremely well packed, and looks pretty good. Battery box clean, shutter intact, door latches. So far so good.

6-19-24: This roll was shared with the Canon AE-1. After loading the Kentmere ASA 100 film I started actually playing with this camera. It has a load of features, but almost no controls. The "function" button actually runs everything. Press once for this, twice for that. There are two wheels to spin, but what they do depends on how many times you pushed the function button. Confusing? You betcha. It took an hour with the manual to figure out how to skip ahead to exposure 20. Quick answer: Load the film, switch to manual focus (stop focus lock), cap the lens, and set to shutter priority at 1/60th or better so it doesn't take all day. Then hit the shutter release 20 times, but slowly, or it'll rewind the film. Happily it left the leader out so I could try again. The viewfinder is crowded with displays for everything, but no manual focus tools. There is no "custom programming" menu, so you can't shut off the hand grip power switch, or the eye sensor. In program mode the camera decides which program mode applies to the scene, no manual override. There is no depth of field preview, but the viewfinder shows a vague graphic showing different depths so you can guess. It is possible to turn that off and on, by powering the camera up with the "AEL" button held down. There's another tiny unmarked button by the shutter release. Then there are 5 tiny buttons behind the function card door. It doesn't like my glasses either. It selects the focus point and metering based on what I'm looking at. It does focus faster than older models. It prefers later Xi model lenses, but works with my older Minolta AF lenses.

6-18-24: Here's the first film test, shot with Kentmere 100 ASA and developed with Caffenol-C for 8 minutes. All were shot in program mode using auto-focus. I was hoping the fancy metering system would compensate for the back-lighting, but no. The auto-focus system was faster than previous Minoltas, but the eye detection system didn't recognize what I was trying to focus on. Maybe because I wear glasses. This roll was shared with the Canon AE-1 camera which came out better. Turns out this camera always rewinds the film with the header out. Great if you want to load the film into this or another camera, bad if you forget that it's already exposed. No way to modify that.

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