Product Type: Minolta cameras
Newest Review: ... logical and well thought out. There is an infrared remote (transmitter) for the Dynax 5, but only some versions of the camera have the ... more
One of the best non-pro film SLRs out there
Minolta Dynax 5
Member Name: colinbmw
Minolta Dynax 5
Advantages: Small for a SLR, Lots of settings
Disadvantages: Lens selection not as great as Nikon or Cannon
As the context is relevant, I recently bought my Dynax 5 used in order to replace a Minolta QTsi which had a faulty film rewind motor (given how often it was used that is not a sign of poor quality). I now have a Nikon D7000 but I wanted to continue to shoot film and use my Minota lenses. I use this camera with either a 50mm f1.7 lens, or a 70-200 f4, the latter is reasonably heavy but the camera is comfortable to hold with either.
If you are looking to shoot film for its 'retro' appeal, or want to learn photography on a film camera, or want great pictures without paying the up-front costs of a good digital camera, this is probably an excellent choice.
The Dynax 5 is much slimmer than any other automatic SLR I have handled. I find it helps me hold the camera more steadily, and I suspect the advantage would be even greater for those with relatively small hands.
The camera offers fully automatic (program) mode, as well as aperture or shutter priority and fully manual. There are number of options for automatic, for landscape, macro, action and night time photography, and in my experience most of these modes do the job pretty well, but I prefer the manual or aperture priority mode myself.
The shutter speed goes down to 1/4000th of a second and up to 30 seconds. The bracketing mode is easy to set but you probably need to read the manual before using it the first time.
The display on the top of the camera provides basic information such as film speed, programme settings, aperture and shutter speed and is quick to read. Looking through the viewfinder you are not presented with a frosted surface, so it is like looking through the lens directly rather than having a projection onto a two dimensional surface. I prefer the latter, but that doesn't really detract from using this camera.
The controls will be _almost_ intuitive to anyone used to handling SLRs, you will need to check the manual a few times but the layout is very logical and well thought out.
There is an infrared remote (transmitter) for the Dynax 5, but only some versions of the camera have the receiver. The manual does not make this particularly clear so it is important to check this before you make a purchase if you consider it to be an important feature.
The range of lenses for Minota was never as extensive as for Nikon or Cannon cameras, but there was a sufficient choice for anyone looking to go into the artistic side of photography as well as the more standard product or travel photos.
Sony bought Minolta's camera division in 2006, so there has been a continuation of the product line and my research so far indicates that Sony lenses are compatible with Minolta bodies and vice versa.
While the Dynax isn't a 'pro' level camera, that doesn't mean you will be short changed in terms of the quality of photos you can take with it, if you use decent lenses this camera has the flexibility to accommodate your needs. From the price I paid, and the others I have seen online, I consider this SLR a bargain.
Summary: Great non-pro Film SLR camera, a bargain if you get it used
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