Written on: 03/03/2003 by Stanley Wong.
Easy to use.
Extremely sharp lenses.
Only up to 1/1000 s shutter speed.
Relies on battery.
I bought my Minolta X-300 (the older one with metal body) sometime in 1995. I sold it for SGD$250 and bought a X-700 (big mistake!). Several cameras and many years later, I bought back the same X-300 for SGD$125. The difference is that this time, I recognize the quality of the lens and camera body.
The Minolta X-300 is a metal body, manual focus camera with Aperature Priority (AUTO) mode. It does not have DOF preview and does rely on batteries (no battery-no click). It has a shutter speed range of B, 1 s to 1/1000s. Full information (full range of shutter speed with LED indication) is displayed in the viewfinder. I feel this is superior to the +/- exposure readings that can be found in some Nikon bodies. The X-370 is current production camera with a plastic body. I have not used it but the features are the same.
My camera comes with the standard 35-70mm zoom. And for a zoom lens, it is very sharp. I hear that original Minolta lenses are mostly really sharp. Metering is spot on. The controls are simple and intuitive. It feels as solid as my FM3a (and more so than my 500N). I have not seen the need to send it for repairs as yet.
It loses out somewhat due to the (slow) top shutter speed of 1/1000 s, no DOF preview and it depends on battery. But on the battery point, I must add that it has the same battery now as when I bought it in 1995.
If you are looking of a learning camera that doubles as a quick point and shoot, the Minolta is a great choice. The second hand lenses can be had for a song and the quailty is fantastic.
Did I mention I got mine for SGD$125 (or USD$70)?