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4 33201 8/5/2008
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  • 6.1-megapixel CCD delivers uninterpolated images as large as 3,008 x 2,000 pixels
  • Interchangeable lens mount hosts a wide range of Konica Minolta lenses
  • Advanced Konica Minolta Body-Based Anti-Shake Technology
  • Full manual exposure control, with Scene settings, and refined control of image adjustment

The earlier Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D was easily one of the most eagerly-awaited digital cameras in the last year or so. The only issues with the 7D were its size and price. With the Maxxum 5D, Konica Minolta addressed both issues without hobbling the 5D by removing features likely to be important to the advanced amateur. In fact, they added five scene modes. The Maxxum 5D handles very well, looks good, and feels solid. Images at up to ISO 800 are very usable even at 8x10 inch print sizes, which is a good benchmark. It offers a useful focal length range in the kit lens, with very high optical quality, but its big attraction is its in-camera image stabilization, extending low light shooting to nearly any lens you can mount on it. Considering that this system effectively turns all your lenses into anti-shake models, the higher cost of the 5D's body relative to competing models seems very well justified. Negative points were relatively minor (depending, of course, on the type of shooting you're looking to do) - A slight tendency to underexpose, particularly when confronted with scenes having strong highlights, an occasionally hesitant AF system, and a tendency to lose subtle subject detail at high ISOs. All in all, the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D is a very solid choice for anyone looking at the current field of digital SLRs, and an easy Dave's Pick. If you don't already own a lens collection by one of the other major manufacturers--and even if you do--the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D deserves serious consideration.

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Keywords: Konica Minolta SLR CF APS-C 6MP Anti-Shake


Registered: July 2007
Posts: 36
Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 5D review by touristguy87
Review Date: 8/5/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: nice size, good responsiveness, body IS
Cons: just too noisy

...this is a nice little camera, the shutter sounds a little loud but overall it's very responsive, nice and light. Showing its age badly though, 6MP and a lot of noise.

Its main problem is that it is just too noisy to be worth shooting given the current crop of ccd cameras. I would just put this aside and get an a200.

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 10
Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 5D review by Nikola_Konsulov
Review Date: 1/31/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $820.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Low ISO noise, nice features, Can do everything the Maxxum 7D can do with some extras
Cons: Lacks some external switches/features the Maxxum 7D has (but has these features through an easy to get to menu or add-ons), No dedicated battery grip

I like this camera a lot! I originally wanted to get a Maxxum 7D. However, when this camera was announced I had to wait to see it's test results and then decide on what to buy. I am not sorry that I bought this camera. It is great. It has so many features that most of its compeitors didn't have. When compared to the 7D, sure, it lacked some things. But, it also gains some things as well. It lacks a metal body, a PC-sync connection, an AF/MF button for fast change over, 207 pixel screen, and a dedicated battery grip. However, it picks up a flash that covers 18mm (the 7D covers 24mm), it has a black & white setting, it has green/magenta adjustments, I can use a PC-sync adapter if I should need that kind of connectivity and picture wise it can do anything the 7D can do, but in a smaller lighter package which was $500 less. It is really the same camera, but cost reduced intellegently.

It is a camera worth getting when it was new and just released. However, now that the Sony A700 and A200 are out there you might as well get one of them instead of a used (or new) Maxxum 5D. They are newer and improved upon this model.

My opinion is based on the camera for what it is for the time as well as the present. It is a good camera.
Look at my web page and see for yourself the quality one can get from this camera and some good lenses:
Joe Bloggs

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 1
Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 5D review by Joe Bloggs
Review Date: 1/11/2007 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $770.00| Rating: 2 

Pros: Anti shake, good ergonomics
Cons: Unreliable AF and flash exposure (and not just my copy)

Note: marks are for the camera, not the lens.

I bought the 5D in January 2006. I chose it over the competing entry level models from Pentax, Olympus, and even Canon and Nikon because:

1. It was the only camera brand feauturing body-based anti-shake
2. It had the second best viewfinder (1st Pentax 2nd KM 5D 3rd Nikon 4th Canon last: Olympus)
3. It felt right in my hand.
4. It was the cheapest bundle, too.

Unfortunately, over time I have found this camera to be very unreliable in two of its basic functions: AF and flash exposure.

The AF points are out of alignment: each AF point is somewhat further down the image than the point indicated on the viewfinder. This should be correctable by Sony service. What may be incurable is a tendency to back focus, but only with the 5 sensors near the centre, and only in dimmer lighting (but not all that dim). The latter I have proved, by focusing on the same target, with and without a torch shining on it, in normal room lighting. With the normal room lighting, it consistently back focuses; with the torch shining on the target, it doesn't.

This occurs with both my kit lens and a Sigma 30mm f1.4.

At this point, having discussed this problem on numerous forums, I am quite sure that this is a problem with the camera. Perhaps it may be only a problem with lenses wider than 50mm. But it still means that I may never be able to mount a normal (30mm) or wider lens on the camera and take people pictures effectively in low light. The BF can blur subjects significantly even at f3.5 on the kit lens, never mind f1.4 on the Sigma. The people on forums are also less than sure that this problem can be fixed. At any rate, it will be an expensive repair, and the outcome is uncertain.

The same goes for the flash exposures--take two flash pictures of the same thing, one could be blown out while the other is not. Or they could both be blown out--in that case you can take comfort that at least the camera is being consistent this time. I set the flash EV to -2/3 by default, but on average I have to retake one of every 2 or 3 flash shots.

End verdict: a camera that would have been very nice if it actually worked. As it is it is responsible for single handedly turning my photographic experience to hell and just about killing off photography as a hobby for me altogether.

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1
Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 5D review by bobjanesse2
Review Date: 1/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Anti-shake, wide ISO range, handling, range of adjustments
Cons: Prop. hot shoe

NB. markings are for whole camera, not just lens.

The Konica Minolta 5D is a digital SLR camera with an APS-C sized sensor. It supports lenses with Minolta’s MAF mount as used on the Dynax/Maxxum range of 35mm cameras together with three zooms with the same mount designed purely for the APS-C sized sensor. The camera offers a range of exposure options (including scene modes), a wide ISO range and incorporates an in-body system designed to counteract camera-shake at slow shutter speeds. Parameters are available to adjust the levels of sharpening applied, the amount of colour saturation and contrast (amongst others). Images can be recorded to CompactFlash cards as JPGs of various levels of quality, as RAW files, or as a RAW-and-JPG pair.

The built-in anti-shake (or AS as KM style it) actually works! There has been some debate about how effective in-camera stabilization is in comparison with the more common lens element stabilization, but the fact remains that you can hand-hold very slow exposures with a remarkably high instance of shake-free shots using the AS feature of the 5D. Ultimately AS by any method is not as versatile as a fast lens or a high ISO (both of which can freeze movement in the subject, as well as that generated by the photographer), but it is still very much worth having all the same. A small scale in the viewfinder tells you how hard the AS is having to work, while a flashing camera icon warns that shutter speeds have dropped below 1/60 of a second.

ISO options range from 80 to 3200 with an auto option. The automatically selected ISO values (100-800) are remarkably free from image noise. ISO 1600 is still good, and while ISO 3200 can be grainy (strangely sometimes worse than at others), it is still useful in avoiding having to resort to flash. The 5D has a dedicated ISO button on its top-plate which, when depressed, shows you the value currently selected both in the viewfinder and on the 2.5 inch status display, and allows you to change it using the four-way controller or the control dial. Two other ISO settings are available to cope with high and low key subjects.

There is a very nice range of exposure options, including automatic, program (with shift), Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual and scene modes including sport, portrait and landscape. The Program shift mode is my favourite, allowing exposure to be shifted towards fast or slow shutter speeds by use of the control wheel (by default the control wheel steps between shutter speeds, but an option in the menu allows you to switch it to select apertures – this might seem a moot point but switching to apertures does allow you to select lens wide open). Exposure compensation can either be set by pressing the exposure compensation button and turning the control dial, or by using the AE lock button; the degree of difference between the set and that currently being metered is shown in the viewfinder and on the LCD.

White balance has its own dial and button, the pressing of which allows selection of white balance by light source, light temperature or by reading off a grey card, as well as an auto setting. Values are displayed on the LCD and in the viewfinder while selecting.

DoF preview is available via a little button by the side of the lens (nb you have to decide whether to use this button for depth of field or as a focus lock).

Auto-focus has a raft of different modes ranging from continuous to manual and including one which focuses then frees the focusing ring to allow manual fine-tuning. There are also choices for wide area, spot or one of the 9 focus points.

Selecting a 2 second self timer locks the mirror up on pressing the shutter release.

There is a small manual flip-up flash on top of the pentaprism. The built-in flash meters automatically based on exposure and focus information from the lens. If you have the flash up, the camera may use it as a focus assist lamp. The flash has options to reduce redeye (not a problem I noticed), fill-in-flash and curtain synch.

The proprietary flash shoe may put off those who are keen flash photographers and who already have kit with standard shoes. There is an adapter available, but if it is anything like the remote cable switches, it is likely to be expensive.

The viewfinder has a +/- 2 dioptre adjustment and a wide soft rubber border to protect eyeglasses. Sensors under the viewfinder can switch off the LCD automatically when you put the camera up to your eye. Full exposure/status information is displayed in the viewfinder, including the active focus point.

The 5D is a robust camera. While you don’t get the urge to knock nails into wood with it, you will have no fear of it falling apart in your hands. The rear LCD has a hard plastic screen to resist scratches while the body is built out of a very solid plastic with a rubberised grip on the bits where you hold it. The only noticeable feature that appears in any way flimsy is the four-way controller, which is placed out of harm’s way, just off-centre on the camera back.

The “kit” lens offers a very useful range of 18-70 mm, although it quickly loses f3.5 (at 20mm) and hits f5.6 as a maximum aperture quire early on (35mm). There is a lot of plastic used in the body of this lens, including for the bayonet (which surprised me). It is light however, and the optical quality seems very good for the price.

The MAF (Minolta Auto Focus) mount offers a fair range of lenses, ranging from cheap, relatively slow zooms of reasonable quality for those starting out to more advanced glass for the enthusiast and seriously expensive stuff for the specialist/pro/semi-pro. There is a reasonably vigorous second-hand market in lenses. The main independent lens manufacturers are Sigma and Tamron, who offer a fair amount of their lens range (but not all) in the mount. Note that neither older Minolta MD, nor Konica AR lenses fit the MAF mount (at least, not without complications!)

Apart from the odd nostalgia trip of using my old film SLRs, I have been shooting with digital compacts for a good few years now. It wasn’t until I compared a film camera with the 5D that I noticed why DSLRs in general (not just the 5D) seemed so big to me – as they are very deep. The 5D body continues backwards for about a centimetre behind the film plane and the base-plate of the camera covers a remarkably large area. Having said that, the camera cradles quite nicely in your hands and the controls fall easily beneath your fingers. The function menu allows quick access to frequently used image options that are not covered by their own buttons or dials. My 10 year old son seems quite confident in handling the 5D despite his relatively small hands.

My own preference is for continuous shooting (take lots of pictures and then choose the best), which the camera provides, but it does seem to slip back to single frame on occasions (not often and it may be something I'm doing, but when it happens it is annoying).

Shooting RAW will give you 5 continuous shots at about 2.75 frames per second before things slow down while the buffer clears to the CF card. As a rough indication, I was able to shoot 26 RAW images in 30 seconds with the 5D writing to a standard (not fast) SanDisk 512 card. Fine JPG images are cleared out of the buffer almost as quickly as they are taken and the 5D will give well over 40 continuous images before the buffer fills and you start having to wait for that card.

I’ve tended to use the standard windows camera wizard to transfer shots from the camera, but have used the Dimage Master software that came free as part of a time-limited offer in the UK. As a viewer it is quite nice, allowing sifting of images during a slideshow, but it can be a little slow when faced with a directory packed with over 300 images on a PC that is short on memory.

Overall, the pictures from the 5D remind me of what I’ve been missing all these years that I’ve been away from SLRs; here are sharp, high quality images with real punch. I find that Fine JPGs give me a balance of quality and image size that suits my everyday shots, but it is nice to know that the extra quality JPG and RAW settings are there for the critical stuff.


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