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Autofocusing performance is quick and accurate in good light when the camera is set for release-priority operation. The 5D defaults to Focus-Priority, in which the shutter can’t be fired until the camera has confirmed focus—handy for keeping snapshooters from accidentally taking out of focus images of stationary subjects, but less appropriate for serious photographers who want the camera to record what they see in the viewfinder at the moment they fully depress the shutter button. Activating Release-Priority (in which the shutter fires when you fully depress the shutter button whether or not the AF system has confirmed focus) does speed things up.

In the recording mode, the camera’s large 2.5” LCD monitor displays detailed shooting data in large, easy-to-read type.

Metering performance was excellent, and the 5D did a great job with bright, high-contrast subjects like white birds in direct sun. Dynamic range and color reproduction are excellent, but highest-quality JPEG images were a bit noisier at all ISO settings than with the 7D (I couldn’t test RAW image quality because the necessary software was not yet available when we received our test sample). All in all, though, image quality is very good. Besides ISO settings from 100 to 3200, the 5D offers an Auto ISO mode, in which the camera sets an appropriate ISO for the shooting conditions—very handy in rapidly changing lighting situations.

The Bottom Line
The Maxxum 5D is a little slower than its “big brother” Maxxum 7D, but it’s a very good camera, capable of turning out very good images at a very good price—I wouldn’t have shot nearly 5000 photos with our test camera if it hadn’t delivered the goods.

Stretching the limits: ISO 3200, 300mm (450mm equivalent), 1/20 at f/5.6, hand-held with Anti-Shake on.

Like all Maxxum cameras, the Maxxum 5D accepts the full range of Maxxum lenses, which currently number 35, with focal lengths from 16mm fisheye to 600mm supertelephoto. In addition, the 5D will also accept the three new DT series lenses designed especially for the digital SLRs: the AF DT Zoom 11–18mm f/4.5–5.6(D), 18–70mm f/3.5–5.6(D) and 18–200mm f/3.5–6.3(D). This gives the Maxxum 5D user access to focal length equivalents from 16.5mm (the wide end of the 11–18mm DT zoom) to 900mm (the 600mm supertelephoto).

LENS MOUNT: Minolta A bayonet
RECORDING MEDIA: CF cards or Microdrives (SD/MMC cards with optional adapter)
FOCUSING: TTL phase-detection single-shot AF, continuous AF, auto switching from single-shot to continuous when subject motion detected; 9 AF points selectable by user or automatically by camera; AF down to EV –1; manual focusing via ring on lens
METERING: 14-segment honeycomb, center-weighted average, spot
EXPOSURE MODES: Shiftable program AE, shutter- and aperture-priority AE, metered manual, 5 Digital Subject Programs
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 30 sec. to 1/4000 plus bulb for longer exposures
DRIVE MODES: Single-shot, or continuous 3 fps (for up to 5 RAW images)
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level pentaprism type shows 95% of actual image area; 20mm eyepoint; built-in adjustable eyepiece correction from –2.5 to + 1.0 diopter
LCD MONITOR: 2.5”. color TFT, 115,000 pixels
FLASH: ADI TTL autoflash with pop-up unit (ISO 100 GN 12/39 in meters/feet) and dedicated shoe-mount Maxxum flash units; wireless off-camera flash capability; max. flash-sync shutter speed 1/160
POWER SOURCE: One rechargeable NP-400 lithium-ion battery pack; AC via optional adapter
DIMENSIONS: 5.1x3.6x2.6 in.
WEIGHT: 20.8 oz.
STREET PRICE: $799.99; $899.99 with 18–70mm DT zoom lens
DISTRIBUTOR: Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc.; wwww.kmpi.konicaminolta.us

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