One of Minolta's claims to fame is that they introduced to the world, back in 1985, the very first autofocusing (AF) 35mm SLR ever produced: the Maxxum 7000. The Maxxum 7 is the fifth-generation version of that original Minolta AF SLR, combining recent advances in lens design, light metering, exposure systems, and focusing automation with an ease of operation that offers photographers tremendous precision and versatility in the field.
The Maxxum 7 is the first SLR body to adopt a dot matrix navigation display, giving you the camera's overall status at a glance. The large 1.5-by-1-inch LCD panel is positioned on the camera's back cover and provides a variety of information to meet users' specific preferences or skills. This information includes camera settings, custom functions, exposure history, meter index, brightness distribution, depth of field, and data memory (selectable in five different languages). And for easy readability, the LCD display automatically shifts from horizontal to vertical orientation depending on the camera's position. This feature saves photographers the trouble of changing their holding position each time they check the data panel--which is typically placed on the top of the camera.
The central processing unit in the Maxxum 7 has a data processing speed five times faster than earlier AF SLR models. This camera provides the world's fastest autofocus speed, in spite of the greater volume of data received from the wide focus area, due to its powerful lens driving motor that promises quick accelerations and decelerations of lens movement. The Maxxum 7 is able to track abrupt changes in speed or direction perfectly. In fact, the second you bring this camera to your eye, the lens snaps into focus and is ready for use, even if you, or the object you are shooting, happens to be in motion. For example, with a 300mm lens attached, the Maxxum 7 can accurately follow an object moving as fast as 31 miles per hour to within 26 feet.
The new AF module incorporates eight line sensors, as well as Minolta's unique center dual cross-hair sensors. Its nine-point sensors cover the central area of the viewfinder frame and divide it horizontally and vertically into thirds. By efficiently covering a wide focus area, the nine-point sensors assure great flexibility when composing pictures and allow the photographer to precisely capture moving subjects. The Advanced Distance Integration (ADI) flash metering system provides greater accuracy when used with Minolta's new AF lenses, which incorporate distance encoders. The guide number control and the four-segment preflash metering work together to virtually eliminate the influence of background or subject reflectance in your photographs.
The Maxxum 7 also features 35 customizable functions that allow photographers to take instant control of virtually all camera functions. Its ergonomically redesigned AF/MF control button permits the switch between autofocus (AF) and manual focus (MF) modes via a button located on the back of the camera. This button is easily operated without losing sight of the subject in the camera's viewfinder.
Relatively small (5.6 by 3.8 by 2.6 inches) and lightweight (20.3 ounces), this camera's compact body, with the ultracompact AF 24-105mm f3.5 to f4.5 standard lens, assures greater handling and carrying comfort. With power performance features such as a top shutter speed of 1/8,000 second and a maximum drive speed of four frames per second--and all of this in a body smaller than any other 35mm AF SLR with comparable features--the Maxxum 7 sets a new standard for performance and compactness.