Digital Replacement for the Minolta X 700?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by rachael_pearson, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. I'm looking to buy a digital camera for my dad who currently owns a
    minolta X 700. I want to get a really good quality camera but
    something that it easy to use as he's not technologically minded!
    Do I need to get an SLR?
  2. I understand that Minolta is supposed to come out with a digital SLR early
    next year. It would let him use whatever lenses he currently has. See the
    note at this site. I gave up two years ago waiting for Minolta to make a SLR
    and went Canon but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
  3. Any DSLR from Minolta will certainly be based on the modern Minolta AF lens mount which is incompatible with the older manual focus MD/MC lenses that the X-700 uses, so there's no leveraging an old Minolta lens line-up with an upcoming DSLR body.

    My own search has led me to the Minolta Dimage A1 as an intermediate step between my Minolta manual focus setup and a jump to an AF system with DSLR options. It looks like a great camera, but might be too much if your dad isn't technologicaly minded.

  4. To go from a X-700 to a non-SLR will clearly be a step downwards, but if he shoots the X-700 in P mode, then it is effectively using it as a P&S.

    You don't have an economical choice. Digital has an expensive start-up cost. Don't forget CF cards, extra battery, perhaps a digital wallet (or image tank), etc. You need better quality lenses, when means more money. Then perhaps a card reader, ink-jet printer and so on. And, don't forget a program to edit images at $100.00 up.

    You might want to consider a film scanner instead of a digital camera. A decent film scanner will cost about half of what a dSLR body will cost. Then, the film can be developed at a lab for around $3.00 and then scanned at 2900 or 4000 dpi to produce excellent images. Then, you have the best of both worlds; negatives and digital. No concerns with focus issues, blown highlights, dynamic range, color aberrations (CA), purple fringing, a less than ideal fit between camera and lenses and flash (one was not designed for the other in most digital SLR's), batteries running down, shutter lag, and so forth. There are many pot holes that one can encounter with digital cameras.

    But, if you want a camera, I would consider the Olympus E-1 ($2,300.00 for body and one zoom lens that covers 28-108), the Minolta A-1 and the Sony F-828 (a non-SLR for about $900.00) and the Olympus E-20 (produces good images, but is slow, for about $1,200.00).

    If he gets a digital camera, he may flip over it at first. But, tell him to hang on to the X-700 for at least 12 months. He may decide that a film camera is lighter, faster, and more versatile. And, with 260 kinds for color film, and 40 kinds of B/W film, you can select a film that is well matched to nearly every need.

    Digital has some distinct advantages, but I feel that a lot of the appeal is based upon emotion rather than an objective evaluation of cost/benefit. I suspect that in another 10 years, the current crop of digital cameras will find their place in history to be right along side the 8 Track tape and the BetaMax.

    Don't look for Minolta, or anyone else, to produce a dSLR that will use the MC and MD lenses of the X Series. With digital, you only choice, and the proper choice, is to start from scratch. That is what Olympus did with the E-1 and it is the camera that is currently at the top of my wish list. Buy any other dSLR and you are not buying a system that was designed from ground up to work in complete harmony.

    I have to wonder if Minolta, as well as Pentax, will ever be players in the digital camera market. Kodak has more of a presence than Minolta -- and Kodak built the company with film based products! Minolta will have to produce a digital camera that is clearly at least 20% better and 20% less expensive than the competition to even make a dent. And, the competition is getting better every month. Therefore, I hope that Minolta has been very active in R&D. IMO, a major technological breakthough will be needed. Marketing alone, will not do it.

    Jim Holloman
    Atlanta, GA

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