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Sony a6300-First Impressions

When Sony's invitation to spend a couple of days shooting with the new a6300 in Miami arrived via email, I didn't have to think twice before sending my RSVP. Announced in February and shipping this...

Minolta XGM

Paul Blackbourn , Mar 28, 2008; 08:30 a.m.

New boy here Just wondered if someone can tell me in simple terms if the a XGM is a good/rare/crap or ??? camera. My background is that I was a steady eddy 35mm man with a fare bit of stuff that put it all away with the onset of digi only to find that to sell it was a waste of time so I decided to start using it again. I'm just having my leses cleaned and de bugging everything and while 35mm stuff is cheap I thought I'd buy another body to mach my XGM but wanted to know if the XGM is OK and therefore is worth buying another or get an upgraded model that will accept my lenses.

Any info greatly appreciated.



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Richard Harris , Mar 28, 2008; 10:06 a.m.

Hi Paul!

While the XGM is not widely regarded as an 'excellent' body, neither is it close to being 'rare', if its still working properly (accurate shutter timings, light sealed, accurate meter) it will serve its perpose.

It was not the best made body at the time, was somewhat of a budget series as far as i can remember. Look at rokkorfiles.com if you dare... I warn you though, its an excellent site and it can become addictive searching for the more exotic lenses/bodies!

Unless you're into macro/landscape there is no reason not to still with your body. If you want to do more critical stuff like macro and landscape (or want to make massive englarments) you will need mirror lock up. Some of the SRT bodies have this feature. They are excellent quality, fully mechanical beasts that seem to last forever! Im cleaning up a lovely SRT-303 in black finish at the moment in fact. They are very high quality contructed bodies, but do way a bit more :-). But if your XGM does 'go', you can always pick another one up for pennies anyway. Best thing is to just get out there and continue enjoying the ways of 35mm!

All the best,


Ray Cheng , Mar 28, 2008; 12:00 p.m.

I have a XGM body purchased more than 20 years ago, fastest 1/1000 sec shutter speed and support Av. All-in-all a simple, solid and easy to use electronic camera. In that period, the spec of XGM was just below X-700, a program camera.

Ben Ballard , Mar 28, 2008; 09:46 p.m.

The closest thing to an XG-M is the X-700, although I think the XG-M was introduced a bit earlier. The X-700 is built about the same and is "better" in that it has Program mode, which works with MD lenses only. The XG-M is the best of the XG series. The rest are lower in quality / more plasticky.

The SRT series is great. You might also consider an XE-7 or XD-11.

Paul Blackbourn , Mar 31, 2008; 10:03 a.m.

Thanks for time fellas. I'm a snapper idiot compared you lot. As questions are answered it creats more Qs. Within the XGM/srt/XE-7 period ish? for me to upgrade what would be say, the top bodies to go for??concidering the following. 1 My lenses must fit it. 2 I would like TTL metering. 3 Must be able to fire my flash gun.

Thanks again Paul

Ray Cheng , Mar 31, 2008; 11:11 a.m.

Paul, if you have manual focus lenses then X700 is a good choice. It has program function and supports TTL metering.

Peter Blaise , Apr 01, 2008; 06:55 a.m.

Earlier: "The X-700 ... has Program mode, which works with MD lenses only. "

Ooops, Ben, the Minolta X-700 Program mode works with any lens, or no lens at all (pinhole, T-mount, telescope, microscope, or what have you). The MD tab "merely" sends a signal to the viewfinder that an MD-tab equipped lens is set to fully offer it's entire range of apertures to the auto exposure system. But, even with mirror lenses which have only one aperture and no MD tab, Program mode works just fine. Also, Program mode works just fine with an MD lens that is NOT set with the MD tab engaged, it just offers a limited range of apertures to the auto exposure system, and can be intentionally selected by the photographer that way to limit the auto selected aperture range for the purpose of controlling the depth of field while still allowing some flexibility in auto exposure resources (ignore the blinking warning in the viewfinder!).

Ray, ALL Minolta SLRs since the SR T (including all in the X-range) support TTL metering.

John Wright , Apr 01, 2008; 09:49 a.m.

I think Ray must have meant TTL flash metering. I believe only the X-700 and X-570 (US designations) have that feature.

The XG-M is a good body, but not rare. I prefer the X-570, XD-11, XE-7, and SRT-102. And the XK!

Ray Cheng , Apr 01, 2008; 12:32 p.m.

Yep, the program mode + TTL flash metering made X-700 become one of the most advanced cameras in that age. Well, I have been away from these stuff for too long that have forgotten some of the technical terms...

Peter Blaise , Apr 01, 2008; 05:09 p.m.

Minolta X-700 MPS TTL OTF AEF ... what's so hard to remember? ;-)

MPS = Minolta Program System, where the chosen shutter speed ramped up to avoid hand shake, and was not merely a linear ramp, an early anti shake (there were anti shake inroads even earlier in other Minolta cameras - trivia, wanna guess the earlier, and later, FILM cameras with anti shake features?).

TTL = Through The lens metering

OTF = Off The Film metering, here used by Minolta SLRs only for flash, but in the Olympus OM used for total exposure, even without flash, throughout exposure. A Minolta patent, first implemented in a Minolta camera in the ... trivia, anyone want to guess? Go ahead.

AEF = Auto Electro Flash, the splendid Minolta accessory flashes, such as the 360 PX Program Electronic (X = electronic, don't ask).

So, I like MY X-700 MPS TTL OTF 360PX AEF with EH7 and MD1 and MFB (with Date/Data Imprint and Intervalometer)! ;-)

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