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Old Apr 17, 2007, 2:10 PM   #1
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My Minolta 7Hi is now getting on for 4 years old, and recently needed an expensive repair - a tinypiece of plasticbroke in the on/off/mode rotary switch. I would appreciate advice on what could replace this camera. Factors that convinced me that the 7Hi was right were the lens range (equivalent to 28-200 on a 35mm camera - and what I was using on my Minolta film camera prior to going digital), the size and weight (545 grams, which was less than the film camera lens) and the fact it used AA batteries not proprietary ones, although until I got higher capacity AAs than came with the camera, battery life was woefully short (it's OK with 2600 mAh batts, rubbish with 1800). Finally, the icons for the different camera modes were what I was used to!

I'm attracted to modern cameras with image stabilization and faster speeds, as I have shaky hands in 10% of my shots (age!), and because of my main interests, the wide angle is probably more important than the telephoto capabilities. 5 MPix is probably enough, but I have a hankering for more. I've learnt not to dislike proprietary batteries. If Konica Minolta were still in business, I would be looking at whatever succeeded the A2/A200 in their range - and probably no further.

I've had a look at the Sony Alpha DSLR which could use my Maxxum/Dynax lenses (unused at present) although that is a heavy solution; at various Fuji models (can't decide which ones) and the Canon S3IS. All worthy in their own right, but not sufficiently attractive to make me give up the 7Hi just yet. The 7Hi does actually meet virtually allof my needs, and I am only thinking ahead for reasons of future reliability, not for some vital capability that I think I want.

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.


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Old Apr 17, 2007, 4:42 PM   #2
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Anticipation is bad. If you are happy with the camera there will be more capable cameras at better prices when it finally craps out. Maybe by then Fuji will have combined stabilization with one of their good sensors and a decent EVF in a 28 – 300 zoom camera. Currently the S6000 has the excellent 1/1.7 6Mp sensor and a 28 – 300 zoom, but no stabilization and a sub-par EVF.

If you want to stay within your size range take a look at the Panasonic FZ8. 3 seconds shot to shot in raw compared to around 9 on your Minolta makes raw a viable option for most shooting. You also get a 3fps burst in JPG, which I find quite handy in my older FZ. I don't think any of the stabilized super zooms have a wide angle. The FZ8 upgraded the EVF to where it is quite good and they also have a decent LCD.

I would probably still be using my D7i if I hadn't stupidly blown the processor and decided repairs weren't worth it. You won't find anything on the market with the controls you now have. They even dumbed the A2 down compared to the D7i.

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Old Apr 17, 2007, 9:00 PM   #3
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My D7hi is now exhibiting signs of CCD problems, so I will have to have it repaired by Sony.

My experience with the Minolta are pretty much the same as yours. Wanting also to keep things as nearly like a manual SLR as possible, I chose the Pentax *istD. The drawbacks are lack of EVF giving WYSIWYG, weight, and no single lens with the quality and range of the Minolta. Changing lenses often is a recipe for picking up dust, which isn't hard to clean, but can be difficult to notice on the LCD. Advantage in picture quality, though. Uses same batteries and CF cards.

If shake is a real issue, the K100D or K10D are good choices. If live preview, the Olympus model DSLRs with that feature may be the way to go.

If you don't think the Sony is what you want, you can auction your lenses on the big auction site, or trade for credit at someplace like KEH.

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Old Apr 21, 2007, 2:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I obviously haven't missed anything out there (except, maybe, swapping for an A2 or A200!). The advice to save my money until I really need to spend it is good, and I think I'll try to overcome the odd shaky hand problem (worse when I'm out of breath when climbing hills) with a monopod.

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