If you’re a bit more serious about your digital photography, you probably want something that puts all of your camera’s manual controls right at your fingertips, like the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. This impressively large, traditional-looking digital SLR lays it all out, with a profusion of dials, knobs, and buttons for controlling shooting modes, white balance, flash and exposure compensation, and more. Learning to wrangle these controls takes time, but the payoff is that you can make quick adjustments to your shots without having to go through a bunch of onscreen menus.
The Maxxum 7D has a 2-inch LCD, which is a blessing for reviewing shots. It also displays current settings in a big, bright font, and automatically rotates this display when you turn the camera sideways.
The camera body works with any Konica Minolta AF lens; we tested it with a very-wide-angle, 17mm-35mm, f2.8-4.0 zoom lens that gave us terrific outdoor shots. The Maxxum 7D is extremely fast and takes excellent photos, but its clarity score of 2.5 is disappointing for such a high-end camera. Also, its controls are needlessly difficult, even after you learn how to work them. For that reason, we hesitate to recommend the Maxxum 7D to beginners — it’s definitely a camera that expects, and rewards, an experienced hand. -Dylan Tweney
Best Feature: Extremely speedy shooting
Worst Feature: Controls are too complicated
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Price: $1,537 [body only]; $2,059 as tested
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Size: 6.1 x 5.7 x 4.2 inches
Specs: 6.1 megapixels; 2x optical zoom (as tested); 2.4-inch LCD; CF slot; USB connection; pop-up flash
* * * 1/2
Link: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
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