The Minolta X-370 is an amazing SLR easy for beginners (and probably pros, but I wouldn’t know.)
Canon’s AE-1 is every beginning photography student’s SLR. Mine, however, is the Minolta X-370.
This particular model began production c. 1981 and is now out of production. I inherited my 1987 model from my father. It was used as his main camera so cosmetically there are a few bumps and scratches but surprisingly less than you would expect – she’s pretty hardy. All the mechanisms (winding, shutter) are in top condition and I didn’t even take it in for cleaning or repairs!
The camera has both manual settings for focus, shutter speed and aperture, or you can use the aperture-priority auto-exposure mode, where the camera uses the in-camera light meter and automatically sets shutter speed according to the aperture you selected. An auto-exposure lock can be used to hold a meter reading and then change the frame before releasing the shutter, eliminating those times when over/underexposure occurs because an area of the frame is brighter than the rest.
Shutter speeds range from 0.0010 to 4 seconds, and there is also a bulb mode. She can handle ISOs ranging from 12 to 3200. She has a self-timer function of 10 seconds, and a cable release option. She uses a standard hotshoe flash.
I am brand new to photography – it hasn’t even been half a year since I first got my hand on a Diana Mini and fell in love with film. This camera is my go-to for anything. Indoors, outdoors, out walking or having a photoshoot, it’s up to the challenge! The AE mode makes quick shooting a breeze. It’s not delicate so I can throw it (in a case) in my bag without worry, and the standard lens (Minolta 50mm) always delivers great results. It’s the perfect beginner’s SLR!