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Digital Camera Product Review

The Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, priced at $1,599 (body only), is Konica Minoltaís bet for the high-end digital SLR market, competing against the likes of Canonís Digital Rebel and EOS-20D, Fujifilmís S3 Pro, Olympus E-1 and EVOLT-E-300, and Nikon D70. What sets it apart from the competition is its Anti-shake system, which is designed to reduce the blurring effects caused by unsteady grip of the camera. The system detects outside movements and produces an inverse motion from the CCD, which is set on a movable plane. The 6.1-megapixel SLR uses Li-Ion battery and comes with a battery charger, LCD protection panel, wireless remote control and neck strap. However, you will need to purchase a memory card since this is not included in the package.

The Maxxum 7D supports both RAW and RAW+JPEG modes and comes with a 25-inch LCD display with 207,000 pixels. The camera is sturdy and firm to grip with its rubberized grip. Minolta is introducing two new lenses specifically to complement Maxxum 7Dís Anti-shake feature, which does not work well with some macro lenses. Other optional accessories available for this SLR are flashes, AC adapter, remote cable releases, focusing screens and angled viewfinder. It has loads of features that enthusiasts would ask for in a D-SLR. Photographers would be excited by the numerous mechanical controls this gadget offers.

This new model, which comes with manual controls, produces excellent, noise-free photos even at high ISO. The D-SLR also offers time-lapse shooting and white balance by color temperature options The cameraís LCD shows useful camera settings, including shutter speed, aperture, exposure, and flash, basically everything you need to know when shooting photos. The Maxxum 7Dís LCD also rotates when you take pictures upright.

The Maxxum 7D will surely be a tough competition in the D-SLR market with its innovative features, excellent photo quality, and slick design, but a major drawback would have to be its high cost. Compared with other 6-megapixel D-SLRs, this camera is too pricey, more or less at the same price level as the 8-megapixel Canon D-SLR. One should carefully consider if the Anti-shake technology is worth the extra bucks.


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Jem