• Price: 978

  • Company: Konica-Minolta

  • Pros: No additional lenses are required to benefit from the 7D’s built-in anti-shake technology. Impressive 2.5-inch screen and manual controls.

  • Cons: Pricey when compared to rivals, and the 7D is not as responsive as you’d expect.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 7 out of 10 We rate this 7 out of 10

After a long abstention, Konica Minolta’s re-entry into the digital SLR market is aimed squarely at the enthusiast and semi-pro territory dominated by Canon’s 8mp EOS 20D. The new Dynax 7D needs some distinctive features if it’s to have an impact on the market.

 border=0 />A 6mp CCD handles imaging, but it’s the way it has been deployed that makes the 7D unique among the current crop of digital SLRs. The new Dynax is the first SLR with interchangeable lenses to offer optical image stabilization technology built into the body rather than a lens. Although the technology has been seen before in the company’s 8mp Dimage A2 and others, the larger APS-C sized (23.5-x-15.7mm) CCD is mounted on a fast-reacting adjustable platform that compensates for a wide range of camera movement.
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The 7D maintains lens mount compatibility with the extensive range of 35mm Dynax AF lenses. Now, any Dynax AF lens, with the exception of the AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x, can utilize the anti-shake mechanism. Generally, it works well, allowing you to use shutter speeds closer to 1-2 stop. However, performance varies with different lenses. We compared the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and the 100-400mm f/4-6.7, as camera shake is more likely to have a detrimental effect with telephoto lenses. Not surprisingly, the 7D doesn’t compensate quite as well with the telephoto lens. Nevertheless, the anti-shake feature is a useful addition.
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Handling of the camera’s various dials and buttons is surprisingly good and particularly rewarding. The standard of build quality is high, and the camera’s buttons aren’t as minimalist as some recent models. To the front is a rigid magnesium body and chassis, while the rear is made from high-grade plastic. While the layout is not immediately intuitive, most Minolta SLR users will feel immediately at home.
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