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Konica Minolta Minolta Maxxum 3Xi Film Camera 35mm SLRs
Submitted by Cheryl Newman a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2010
Strengths: Never a bad picture. Maybe a bad controller. I have captured my granddaughter throwing grass in the air. This camera is probably one of the best camera I have ever owned. I even purchased a new sony digital camera with all the extras and went back to my minolta
Weaknesses: None that I have found
I purchase the Minolta 3xi in 1995 and have never has any problem with it. I absolutely love mine camera
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $799.00
Purchased At: Walmart
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Karel Van den Fonteyne a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2010
Strengths: Actual bargain price.
Solid build camera with smooth finish.
Easy to use.
Weaknesses: Autofocus needs a lot of light.
With long lenses, focussing can take a lot of time.
Viewfinder information is minnimum.
I bought this camera as my first auto-focus camera. For 39 Euro at the local shop, including a 35-80 zoom. I consider a camera as a linking device between lens and capturing element.
Since I use to take a lot of pictures (50 pictures & 1 film/week), I consider ergonomics as important. This camera has a handy size versus weight. The finish looks good and feels good. The rubber on the right hand side gives a good grip. Wish a Sony alfa-camera would feel like this.
The autofocus starts with eye contact. Looks OK but consumes a lot of energy. Sometimes focus gets lost. Maybe a more expensive camera will do a better job. Good point is that when you focus manually, the "in focus" indication keeps working. Fantastic with long lenses. In good light conditions, focus works perfect. No night camera.
The shutter gives a smooth sound, no vibrations, fast mirror return.
Film advance is ok, could be a little less noisy.
Light metering system is perfect.
The LCD display gives all the information. A back-lit would help.
The buttons for apperture and shutter speed are a weak point but they do the job. This camera was clearly designed for Program function.
If I compare this camera with more expensive actual (digial) tools, this is a perfect camera (even without considering the price level). A shame these camera's are not used and build annymore.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $39.00
Purchased At: Grobet
Similar Products Used: Minolta 600-classic, Minolta 5
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Don a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2009
Strengths: Great photo's. I used to shoot scinics in Utah with 25 ISO film from Kodak and the results were incredable.
Weaknesses: The only problem that I ever had was with auto focus at times. Some times it didn't want to stay in focus or zoomed in because of haze but that was easily corrected by changing to manual focus.
I've had my 3xi for 14 yrs. and I love it. I still use on a regular basis and have never had a problem with it.. As long as it still works I will keep it . I would like to get more lenses for it though. I have the one that came on it and an 80mm-200mm zoom for it.
I wish that I could buy them new because to many people don't take very good care of their lenses. I don't like e-bay because my experiences with them have always ended with someone else winning the bid and I've got better things to do than to sit and keep trying to olace the last bid.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by shojikitsune a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2009
Strengths: Simplicity is the strength of the 3xi .Auto loading, auto winding, and pooint and shoot convenience are matched with the flexibility to alter most of the settings manually if one prefers.
Ergonomically, it fits nicely in the hand and is fairly light, allowing for good mobility when shooting.
The 3xi is compatable with a wide host of Maxxum accessories. Any lens made with the alpha mount - from Minolta, Konika,Tamron or even the new Sony DSLR line will fit and function just fine. In addition, i and xi series lenses will auto-zoom if you need that feature. Minolta Program series flashes will work with the 3xi if you need more power than the built-in flash can supply. There are a few flash models that require an adaptor to work properly. Alpha to MD and even alpha to screw mount adapters are availibel, although of course this measn manually focusing,
Cost-wise, bodies alone go for $25 US or less on eBay, and many come with their original kit lens (the aforementioned 35-80mm). Some come with different lenses or accessories. Lenses are good to excellent quality, and can be found inexpensively. As an example of this, the relatively fast 35-105mm lens I use most often was on sale at Goodwill for $12.99 US. No kidding.
Weaknesses: Battery issues. I was shooting a photo class in winter, and the battery would go from a full charge to half charge very, very fast. warm it up and it's fine. Might be a problem with the 2cr5 battery rather than the camera.
No DX override/manual ISO settings. No double exposure mode. ISO defaults to 100 if non-dx film is used. Shutter speed and aperture not displayed in the viewfinder - all you get are up and down arrows indicating exposures. Annoying in manual mode, since you have to check the lcd screen to see what things are set at.
Passive, contrast-based AF. This is my biggest issue. If you are taking a photograph of a scene with even tone and a lack of contrast, the AF system will hunt back and forth and not allow the picture to be taken. You can always manually focus, but since the pentaprism wasn't designed for that, you don't have a split finder or any other aid to help you do so. This is common to many cameras though, so it shouldn't be a problem for most people.
A good little camera, the Minolta Maxxum 3xi was one of Minolta's "entry level" cameas when the xi line was introduced. program mode, aperture and shutter priority modes and even full manual control, as well as the ability to use all the preceeding lenses (and some compatability with newer lenses too). Mine was wearing the 35-80mm f/4-5.6 zoom when i bought it.
I have since purchased a 70-210mm f4-5.6 and a rare 35-105mm f3.5/4 lens to augment the camera's abilities.
The 3xi fits nicely in the hand, and is a versitile camera body.
I'm having a hard time justifying switching to another camera brand at this time.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $25.00
Purchased At: eBay
Similar Products Used: Mamiya 500 TTL, Rikoh XR-1
Also, the Maxxum SPxi is the fraturnal twin of the 3xi, lacking an external flash but having spot-metering capability.
Type of photography: Other
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