View Full Version : NSOP: Talk me in or out of a Minolta Maxxum 5D/7D

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09-18-2008, 09:24 AM
OK, here is the short of it. A few years ago, my stepdad's SLR was stolen at a NASCAR race. It was a Minolta and he replaced it with another one, which TBH hasn't worked out that well for us and he never uses it. Instead, we use my mom's SD550 to take everything, and now sometimes my Sony A100. I want to get him a camera he can use with the existing lenses we have so that he can borrow mine (which are better).

I am debating giving him my A100 with around 6k clicks and taking this new (used) camera, the Maxxum 7D/5D. I could get a Maxxum 5D for under $250 (no battery or charger) and a 7D for under $350 (w/battery and charger). They're each 6MP and shoot at a max resolution of 3008 x 2000. They have a 1.6 MP/cm² pixel density and a sensor size of 3.68cm² vs the Sony's 3.72cm², though the Sony is 10MP. They both go to ISO3200, something I have really been looking for. The Maxxum 7D has 207,000 LCD pixels vs the 115,000 of the 5D and 230,000 of the Sony. The Maxxum 7D also uses a pentaprism with 95% coverage and .9x magnification vs the pentamirror with 95% coverage and .83x magnification of the 5D. Both cameras also have 14 segment metering vs the 40 points of the Sony.

The other big differences are size and weight. 7D is 845g (29.8oz) and 5.9 x 4.2 x 3.1 while the 5D is 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.6, actually smaller by .2 in depth vs my Sony.

I'm thinking that I could benefit from the pixel density and extra ISO stop, and could give my camera away as a gift that would still remain in my household. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on the 5D today, so I could really use some opinions. I do have NN but don't like how the autoprofile doesn't always work for my Sony, so maybe I need to customize it better?


09-18-2008, 11:49 AM
OK, I know nothing of any of these cameras, so I'm going by what's on Dpreview...

side by side:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=sony_dslra100%2Ckonicaminolta_7d%2Ckonicam inolta_5d&show=all

a100 review (noise):

7D (noise):

honestly they don't look much different at 800 or 1600. The 100 looks to have more chroma noise but more detail. I'd DL some high ISO shots from somewhere and play with them yourself in PS before you jump to any conclusions.

Yes, less pixels means in theory less noise. But as pixel counts went up, so did the technology in the processors... So typically the newer cameras with more MP also have better noise characteristics. Yes, had the capped the MP and just worked on the processing the noise would be even better, but they can improve both in little steps, or one in giant steps. But MP counts sell cameras so they almost always do both.

For example, think about the 40D -> 50D or 5D -> 5Dii upgrades. Both are giant leaps in MP, but they both have improved high ISO noise because they both go from digic 3 to digic 4 at the same time. So that new processor is clearly a better processor for noise. I'd love to see them just keep the MP level and make something amazing in terms of noise, but that won't sell as many camera. Sorry for the canon examples, but they're what I know.

As for those 2, just for noise reasons, I wouldn't see the 7D/5D as an upgrade, more of a side step. It's just that the sony is at least a year newer, so with it's increased MP came better processing technology.

09-18-2008, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the input Ben. I agree it would be a sidestep, but was hoping it would have been an upgrade in the area I was looking to improve. I think I'll take some of the example shots and run them in NN and PS myself before making a decision.

My ISO1600 right now isn't that good, and the auto profile on NN makes everything really soft, so it doesn't really work for night shots or shots with good detail. Any idea if I can create a profile for my A100 that's better than the auto one?

Oh and I think I just like to buy things, so maybe I shouldn't be so eager about something I don't need. Maybe I can just get a P+S better suited for bringing to parties and such and figure out a way to make it work (high ISO or flash that doesn't blow out faces).

09-18-2008, 12:12 PM
yeah, I hear you on the buying things.

And honestly, not to crack on sony or anyone else, but until very recently 1600 wasn't realistic. The 5D has it as usable. The D700, D3, 1DmIII and 1DsmIII have it now as well. But prior cameras that have it really don't have it as usable. It's there more for marketing that anything else. If you need to push it that far, use a fast prime.

And I'm not saying other cameras don't have/can't use 1600, I've just found that personally 800 is my typical limit with 1600 being the exception on my 5D.

09-18-2008, 03:17 PM
Gotcha. I think the problem is that I want the Sigma 20mm (30mm actual) f/1.8 but the reviews have me scared towards the 30mm (45mm actual) f/1.4, which seems is a much better lens. I'm just scared that 30mm is going to be a tad too long for indoors and such, and I can't fit my dSLR in my pocket.

TBH I need a P+S that's great indoors and really small so I can fit it in the pocket of my jeans. Find me one Benjamin!

09-18-2008, 03:22 PM
Find me one Benjamin!

they don't exist. :wave:

the few that are good inside are only good, not great by any means. They all cost $500 and none of them "fit in a pocket" really.

But look at the canon G9, G10, or panasonic LX3. Especially the LX3 as it has a f/2.0 24mm (effective) lens and is usable at 400 ISO and possibly 800 depending on how demanding you are.

09-18-2008, 03:27 PM
they don't exist. :wave:

the few that are good inside are only good, not great by any means. They all cost $500 and none of them "fit in a pocket" really.

But look at the canon G9, G10, or panasonic LX3. Especially the LX3 as it has a f/2.0 24mm (effective) lens and is usable at 400 ISO and possibly 800 depending on how demanding you are.

Yeah, I was looking at the Panasonic after using my friend's old one. It has to be a super or ultra compact or whatever they're calling them nowadays. I'd like to say a Canon A series is too big as well. Any real difference in sensor technology in different brands? Obviously I am going to go with one with a relatively large sensor (~.4cm^2) vs a smaller one (~.24-28cm^2) but don't know other than that. I'd like to go wide with a low aperture, so that LX3 is tempting.

09-18-2008, 03:33 PM
yeah, you won't get the larger (for a P&S) sensors in the smaller sizes. The LX3 is bigger than the A series by a fair bit. The biggest difference in the sensors is size. From there it's the processing and whether or not they let you play with RAWs....

But you can't have cheap, small, and quality all in one. In the case of P&Ss, you're really picking ONE of those categories and dealing with the other two. :unamused:

09-18-2008, 07:12 PM
You two should get a room.

09-19-2008, 12:12 PM
Cheap I somewhat care about...I have no problem saving up and spending $300-400. I just can't get a compact SLR-like camera such as the Canon S series and Sony H series. Sony does make a 10MP .4cm^2 camera that is pretty compact. I'll have to read more reviews on it. I think it's the W200 though. People's reviews are hit and miss, since some people expect dSLR quality and others are just naive with technology and don't know any better.