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Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D

Quickly on the heels of its first dSLR, Konica Minolta shrinks the form factor and the price without losing in-camera image stabilization.

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Page 4:Viewfinder

Review First Posted: 10/31/2005

Viewfinder

The 5D features a digital SLR design, so the optical viewfinder offers a true, through-the-lens (TTL) display. A dioptric adjustment dial accommodates eyeglass wearers, letting them adjust the viewfinder optics across a range of -2.5 to +1.0 diopters, a little short of the 7D's -3.0. The viewfinder eyepiece has a reasonably high eyepoint, but I still ended up with the rubber eyecup touching my eyeglasses if I wanted to see the whole frame. (Overall, a passing grade in eyeglass-friendliness, but not the best I've seen.)

Its extensive information display features a series of focus and exposure target marks in the center of the view that highlight briefly when the AF system is activated. Camera information appears beneath the image area in a small strip, and reports all of the major camera settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, flash mode, EV compensation, etc. At the far right side of the strip is the Anti-Shake scale, indicating the degree of stabilization whenever Anti-Shake mode is activated. The information readout in the viewfinder activates whenever you half-press the Shutter button, and remains active for a few seconds afterward.

A pair of horizontal infrared sensors just below the viewfinder detects your eye as it approaches the viewfinder, and deactivates the LCD information display if you have the auto-display option enabled. A Diopter Control dial adjusts the viewfinder to accommodate eyeglass wearers.

 

The rear-panel, 2.5-inch, TFT color LCD monitor is for image review, status display, and menu display (which rotates to match the orientation of the camera).

In any capture mode, pressing the Display button on the rear panel reports camera settings in the LCD display. You can choose between full or basic display modes, which essentially control how detailed the camera information is. A third press of the Display button disables the information readout entirely. By default the LCD reports the full status information screen whenever the camera is powered on or a control is activated. As mentioned above, the Auto Display option of the Custom menu disables the LCD display whenever your eye is detected by the sensors beneath the optical viewfinder. If this function is set to Manual, you must press the Display button to disable the display.

In Playback mode, the LCD monitor's default mode shows the most recently captured image, with a limited information overlay reporting the resolution and quality, date and time, folder, file number, frame number, and the total number of images. Pressing the up arrow key on the Multi-controller enables a histogram display, which also shows expanded exposure information for the image. Just above the histogram is what Konica Minolta calls the Luminance Limit display, which alternately flashes any under and over-exposed areas in the frame. (This function can sometimes be more helpful than the histogram, in that you can directly see what parts of the image are too dark or light.) Pressing the down arrow in this mode also rotates the display, first counter-clockwise, then clockwise, then back to normal.

You can zoom in on captured images in Playback mode, by pressing the button with the magnifying-glass icon adjacent to the right side of the optical viewfinder. When zoomed in, the rear control dial changes the zoom amount, and pressing the center button of the multi-controller toggles between the magnified view and a full-frame view with the current magnified area outlined in red.

Playback mode also supports, with the press of the Display button, Image Only display and Index Playback. Index Playback relies on the controller to highlight an image from a set of four, nine or sixteen whose basic data is displayed on the bottom line of the LCD monitor. A press of the Display button displays that image full screen.

 

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