Good news re. Minolta DSLR

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by rokkor fan, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Hi all,

    Just a little text from a response to my email to Minolta questioning
    about the introduction of a DSLR:

    "Thank you for your patronage of Minolta products. With regard to
    your inquiry concerning digital camera with interchangeable lenses,
    watching carefully the movement of key elements development and
    market, as a manufacturer marketing SLR system, we are studying such
    product as carrying uniqueness only Konica Minolta can realize. We
    regret to advise that specific announcement cannot be given yet,
    however, Konica Minolta Camera Inc. is earnestly pursuing the
    development and will inform concerned parties about the results of
    our studies during the first half of the next year."

    Now I am not sure what you all think, but what I draw from this is:

    1. Konica Minolta recognise that as a SLR manufacturer, they need to
    have a DSLR option.

    2. Any camera released by Konica Minolta is going to have features
    that will set it apart from competitors (possibly in body VR?).

    3. A product is in development, and a formal announcement will be
    made early next year.

    Now, I may be "drawing a long bow" with my conclusions, but I am
    resting easy re. introduction of a Minolta DSLR - it will happen.


  2. That's only slightly less vague than some other responses but it does move glacially in what I think is a positive direction. But it's not unusual for correspondence to be prepared by non-English speakers using dictionaries (my wife works for a Japanese company and often has to "fix" correspondence) that aren't exactly what was inteneded. Although it does seem a little positive. I'm still breathing. What was the date and who was it from?
  3. The answer was received today from a web Q&A post I made at the Minolta website on 10th October 2003.

    I agree that it's not a statement "here's a new DSLR" but still, it gives me some comfort. I believe the writer was at least reasonably proficient at English, here is the balance of the email:

    " On the other hand, we greatly appreciate your question and comments and would like to transfer them to a proper section in our company so that we can reflect your precious opinions on our future products. We are always glad to hear from our customers.

    For purchase or any assistance concerning Minolta products in the future, please feel free to contact our authorized service station in Australia, shown below. We entrust all sales and after-sales service in Australia to this facility.

    Hagemeyer Brands Australia Pty Ltd - Minolta
    35 Centre Road, Scoresby
    Victoria 3179, Australia
    Phone: 61-03-87567888

    Thank you for taking time to write to us. We look forward to your
    continued support for Konica Minolta products."
  4. I was speaking to a Minolta dealer earlier this week and he thinks the big hold-up is that there will be a compatability issue with some of the current lenses and that an announcement will come when they determine how they are going to address or "spin" that.
  5. COuld it be that Minolta is joining the 4/3 system? Olympus is advertising its new body but I am not sure whether other makers can use that technology.
    Putting together the previous messages, and especially the compatibility one, I guess they will come out with something like the 4/3 system.
    Day after day I get more convinced that at the time (as an amateur), it is not convenient to buy a DSLR, look at the prices, here in Britain the A1 was £900 last week and now you can get it for £650!
    An another thing, here in GB the sales for MF cameras has increased (according to Jessops stats.) I even helped a friend that was trying to convince me to switch to digital get a MF Minolta kit.
    LEt's wait and see. The longer we wait, the better camera we'll get for our money.
  6. They said very little at great length, Antony. "Maybe" would have sufficed. They're likely watching with great interest the acceptance of Canon's "digital" Rebel, which could mark the tipping point in terms of a features/price quotient. I'd look for Minolta to roll-out a digital version of the Maxxum 5-7 model--for starters, at least.
  7. I was just reading a post inthe Nikon forum callded Nikin vs Canon: market share.
    One Nikon user is worried that if Nikon does not keep up with Canon technology than
    there will be just an older hard core group of Nikon users and world dominance by
    Canon and Nikon will cease to be a world class camera producer.

    I feel better. I thought only us Minolta guys felt this way.
  8. I agree with Miguel, Minolta (Konica) should join with Olympus for a cheaper cost in development. As we know, the cost for build the new system will take a lot of fund to spend.

    Also consider the lens mount which Minolta always change (1985 "A" mount AF SLR, 1996 "APS" size mount) and what about the new one if Minolta develop their own system ?
  9. "earnestly pursuing the development" - I read this as it is on the way. As much respect as I have for Antony, Minolta is not going to anounce their new camera through an email to him.

    It could very well be a 4/3 format. Maxxum lenses really don't have the prevelence or recognition in the marketplace to demand a backwards compatable lens system, so why limit yourself? Plus, the DSLR in the 35mm body configuration may be wind up being a footnote in camera development 10 years from now.

    This is good news. Now, they really need to get working on that adapter for my MC Rokkor 35mm f1.8!

  10. They'd be nuts to not go Maxxum. There seems little evidence at this point that the nonCanon/nonNiKon dslr "crowd" is making any headway. And I don't know about others, but my rather modest lens set still means that I'm $500 or more ahead of a competitor. That's like saying you could get a 10D for the 300D price. And I think they are dealing with loyal pro's (a few may still be there) and consumers who can't amortize or justify $2K plus systems. If you can afford that, you've probably already gone Canon or Nikon/S2. And if you can, what's the wisdom in going with a potential weak, limited orphan when the two market leaders are healthy and thriving.
  11. Surely it will happen. I talked to a Minolta representative in Germany three weeks ago. He expects the DLSR next year... He said that their digital cameras of the SLR type (non-Maxxum) sell much better than SLRs, and that the in body IS Feature does indeed work! Judging from Minolta´s efforts the last few years in the Maxxum realm which I really find very interesting and intelligent, plus the fact that they still design new professional lenses for Maxxum, I´d expect their DSLR to come ASAP and it will be a bomb because of in body IS (which will probably work with any old Maxxum lens !). Imagine having IS in a 100 Dollar 70-200/4 or in 50/1.4 or in a 2000 Dollar 400/4.5. Canon and Nikon users will go berserk.
  12. How to take this news?

    I myself work for a Japanese company as a translator, and "having seen it all", I can tell you this:

    1) The writer's English is certainly good enough that he/she knows exactly what he/she is writing. There should be no ambiguity there, but.....

    2) All the talk about "earnestly pursuing development" is generally Japanese double-speak for "we are sitting on our hands".

    However, the reason I don't dismiss the letter off-hand is that a specific time period is given: the first half of next year. Most Japanese businesspeople are incredibly loathe to get themselves pinned down to anything whatsoever, and so this admission of a first-half 2004 presentation can probably be taken as a virtual guarantee that we will see something interesting. It may not be what we are all hoping for (i.e., a full-frame sensor DSLR for less than $1000 and full compatibility with everything else we own), but it will be something, and I see no reason why it shouldn't incorporate in-body vibration reduction, since it is already mass-production technology on the A-1.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  13. I am a minolta owner for many years and have been following threads here and elsewhere about an "upcoming" minolta dslr. My view for what its worth is

    announcement before end of Feb next year ie before PMA 2004. The PMA will see a pre-production model with release within a month after.
    Will have a 7 designation. Why else introduce an A1 which breaks the 3,5,7,9 numbers used for decades but to make room for a new digital 7 camera.

    here's hoping


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