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★★★★☆

“I've had a Minolta X-300 since about 1987 and although...”

Written on: 03/09/2008

Good Points
Robust build quality. Very good photos from the Auto setting. Accurate and easy to use viewfinder info. Very well laid out and simplicity itself to use in full manual. Produces good photos!

Bad Points
You'll need to carry spare "button-type "batteries.

General Comments
I've had a Minolta X-300 since about 1987 and although I'm now almost exclusively Nikon digital, I still carry the X-300 if I'm going somewhere rough.

Why? Because I know that when I really need a versatile but simple camera that will give me excellent quality 35mm prints the X-300 simply won't let me down.

It's manual focus, so no drive motors or gears to go wrong; produces excellent quality in its Auto setting; and is built like a proverbial brick-out-house.

The small down-side: although battery life is good (after all, it's only metering and showing you the results in the viewfinder) it isn't using AAAs or anything similar, so you'll need to make sure that you pack a few spares. Not too difficult as they're button-type batteries and (on mine at least) there's a holder on the strap that's as robust as the camera!!

You'll be able to get newer and more complicated 35mm SLRs, but you'll be hard pressed to find better.