Okay, I admit it: I am a little bit scared by SLRs. All those settings, all those possibilities... But well, the interchangeable lenses, the “what you see is what you get” principle, I still found it very interesting. So what do you do, as a scared SLR virgin?
For all photographers who, like me, are a bit intimidated by all the settings of SLRs, Minolta introduced in 1988 the Dynax 3000i: the first point-and-shoot SLR. A clumsy, black device with a surprisingly few bells and whistles. A power button, a switch to choose between automatic or manual focus, and of course, the shutter. Advancing the film is completely automatic, and the clever DX system of the Dynax 3000i recognizes the ISO value of your film, so you don’t have to set it yourself.
I got the camera a week on loan from Louke of Foto de Zavel. So I could play with it and see if it works for me. On a free afternoon I took the black monster to the park to shoot a roll of film.
Because the Minolta had a basic zoom lens, and I had never before experienced the pleasure of zooming with my simple compact cameras, I went all the way. Pigeons, chickens, leaves – I zoomed in on everything like a lunatic.
The camera fits comfortably in your hand, it is just heavy enough and using it is really just a matter of point and shoot. Press the shutter halfway, and the camera will focus automatically.
Even when you are not zooming like crazy, the camera makes great shots:
The only downside of the Dynax 3000i is that the camera flash connector has its own system where only Minolta flash units can be connected. So that prohibits some nice shooting with your Fritz the Blitz or Colorsplash.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the Minolta Dynax 3000i. Okay, he does not have a nice retro look or high cult value, but it is a solid, reliable thing that shoots particularly fine, sharp images. Additional advantage: you can buy it for a small amount. My copy (because yes, after I had seen the first results I had to have it) cost only 12 euros!
Are you a little bit afraid of SLRs, or just a lazy photographer who does not want to worry about all kinds of settings, then the Minolta Dynax 3000i is a very fine unit to add to your collection!