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Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D Digital SLR Camera

    TechHive Rating

    Its body looks a little plasticky, but it has several useful advanced controls and did well in our image-quality tests.

Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
Photograph: Rick Rizner

At $899 including an 18mm-to-70mm lens, the Maxxum 5D competes with other consumer digital single-lens reflex models such as Nikon's D50, Canon's EOS Digital Rebel XT, and Olympus's EVolt E-300. The 6.1-megapixel Maxxum 5D has the requisite manual exposure modes, but it also has five scene modes located on a top-mounted dial. Advanced users will appreciate that the camera has a dedicated ISO button located prominently just beside the mode dial, and that it has a dedicated white-balance dial on the top just to the left of the flash--an unusual but welcome feature. You can set a custom white balance, or you can use a notch on the dial to change the color temperature in 100-degree increments. The camera has white-balance bracketing, too.

As with all SLRs, the Maxxum 5D won't let you frame your shots with its LCD, but at least the display is a big one--2.5 inches, one of the largest on an SLR. The information on the display rotates automatically if you rotate the camera, and you can magnify the information with the press of a button. But images look grainy on the LCD; sometimes it made me think that I had botched shots when I actually hadn't.

An antishake mechanism is built into the camera body rather than the lens (as with other cameras offering antishake mechanisms), so optional lenses should be less expensive. The mechanism won't compensate for shaky hands in all settings, but it can give you a little more leeway--for example, if you're forced to use a 1/30-second shutter speed rather than the 1/60 or 1/125 second you're usually confident in.

In our image-quality tests, the Maxxum 5D earned an overall score of Very Good, thanks to above-average scores in tests for exposure and color quality. However, its score for image sharpness was below the group average, beating only the mark of the Pentax *ist DS. Its battery fared well, as did those of all the SLRs we've tested, reaching our 500-shot testing cutoff.

The Maxxum 5D can shoot at 3 frames per second when capturing JPEG images at its best setting, for up to 30 frames--that's fast, and pretty lengthy for a consumer model. (You can shoot a maximum of only 5 frames when capturing RAW files.)

However, firing away at that clip can get pretty noisy, as the camera clacks loudly when taking a shot. The lens is fairly loud when focusing, too. That and the camera's blocky plastic body contribute to an impression that the Maxxum 5D is a bit less polished than some other models. It looks and feels better than the original Canon Digital Rebel, but it doesn't compare quite as well to the best consumer SLRs.

Its uncommon antishake mechanism, large LCD panel, and well-arranged controls make the Maxxum 5D a good choice for someone seeking a consumer-friendly SLR.

Alan Stafford

This story, "Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Its body looks a little plasticky, but it has several useful advanced controls and did well in our image-quality tests.

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