The 7D was the first dSLR Minolta produced and was released in 2004. Also known as the Dynax 7D (Europe/Hong Kong), a-7 (Japan) and “DG-7D” was the official model name. (Ok, technically not true, the Minolta RD-175 was first but I am not going to count it.)
It has a well featured body with mechanical dials and buttons. It is of medium size and weight for a full-sized SLR. Generally it looks and handles like the true continuation of the Minolta film era camera bodies. Today many consider it to have the best ergonomics of any dSLR past of present. It also brings along the Minolta Maxxum auto-focus A-mount which made it compatible with the Maxxum lens line that started in 1985.
Its good points make it a viable camera today
- Outstanding traditional “Minolta” colors
- World-class ergonomics
- In-camera image stabilization
- Excellent vertical grip available
However, it also shows its age
- Auto-focus is a bit slow by modern standards
- 6 MP
The major short coming of this camera was a manufacturing defect that would cause the shutter to fail prematurely. The failure results in what is known as “FFB” or First Frame Black problem. It means that the first time you take a picture when the camera is first turned on, the image would be completely black (or other solid color in rare cases) and the camera will lock. The problem can generally be fixed by simply turning the camera off and back on. Eventually even this will not resolve the problem and it will need to be repaired.
If you purchase a Minolta 7D – please ensure it has has the shutter repair or has enough use that it has proven itself reliable.