Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 7DAt long last, Minolta SLR owners have a *very* worthy body to use with their lens collections!
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Maxxum 7D Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 11/27/2004, Updated: 02/01/2005
Digital Cameras - Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Test Images
|I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with all that detail, we're posting the thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digital cameras, which is precisely why I set it up this way, and why I shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D handled the challenge fairly well.
The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment (a fairly typical amount of adjustment), as the default exposure was quite dark. The highlights are quite bright on the white shirt, and lose some detail, but midtones look pretty good and the shadows show a lot of detail as well. I chose the Maxxum 7D's 4,900 Kelvin white balance setting , as it produced the most neutral overall color and white value. (No surprise really, the lights in this shot are right at 4900K.) The Auto, Daylight, and Manual settings each produced warmer color balances.
Marti's skin tones look pretty good, but the blue flowers in the bouquet are a little darker than in real life, but the hue is pretty accurate. (Many digital cameras have trouble with the blue flowers, which are really a light navy blue with hints of purple.) The yellow flower is a bit more green in it than the actual subject does, but the strong greens and reds look about right, if slightly muted. Resolution is very high, and detail is strong throughout the frame, with good definition in the fabric details of the flowers as well as in the creases on the backdrop. Shadow detail is very good, and image noise is low. All in all, a very nice job.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files D7OUT49KP0.HTM
through D7OUT49KP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Outstanding resolution and detail.
Overall exposure looks pretty good here, though contrast is just slightly high. Still, midtone detail is strong and shadow detail is quite good as well. The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, a bit more than the average required for this shot. Resolution and detail are even stronger in this close-up shot, with excellent definition in Marti's face and hair, as well as in the fabric leaves and the gold necklace.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files D7OUTFACP0.HTM
through D7OUTFACP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Great performance with both flash modes, though the warmer color of the Slow-Sync flash mode and more even coverage is slightly more appealing.
The Maxxum 7D's built-in flash illuminated the subject very well with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, though the default exposure was also bright. Color looks very good, just slightly warm from the room lighting, with good skin tones on Marti's face. The flower bouquet also looks pretty good, though the blue flowers are dark and a bit purplish. The camera's Slow-Sync flash setting produced similar results, though with more even coverage from the longer shutter speed. A slight orange cast is present on Marti's hair and in a few other places from the background incandescent lighting, but the warmer color actually appears more natural than that of the standard flash shot. I found the best results in this mode with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. Very good results overall.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the normal flash mode, see files D7INFP0.HTM through D7INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files
D7INFSP0.HTM through D7INFSP4.HTM on the thumbnail
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Excellent color with the 2,700 Kelvin and Incandescent white balance settings, and a good exposure as well.
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. I found the best results with the Maxxum 7D's 2,700 Kelvin and Incandescent white balance settings, and eventually settled on the 2,700 Kelvin option as the most pleasing to my eye. The 2,500 Kelvin and Manual settings produced nearly accurate results, but with slightly cool color casts, while the camera's Auto white balance resulted in a yellow image. (Very nice that the 7D's Kelvin scale reaches this low - Most d-SLRs stop at considerably higher levels, and are therefore unable to handle household incandescent lighting.) Marti's skin tone looks natural, and the flower bouquet looks good as well, but the blue flowers are dark and purplish (a common problem under this difficult light source). The main shot was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is about average.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files D7INK27P0.HTM
through D7INK27P4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Good color with excellent resolution and detail.
The Maxxum 7D's Manual white balance setting
proved the most accurate here, based on the white value of the house trim
and the overall color balance. The Daylight
and Auto settings resulted in slightly warmer
casts (with the Daylight setting producing the strongest of the two).
Resolution is very high, and a lot of fine detail is present in the tree
limbs above the roof, as well as in the front shrubbery and house front.
Details are well-defined throughout the frame, with particularly good
definition in the shadows and highlights of the brick pattern.
Excellent detail and resolution, though color balance is slightly warm with the Auto setting. Midtones look a little dark as well, and contrast a bit high.
This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.
This is my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this, and the Maxxum 7D captures good detail for its 6-megapixel resolution. The leaf patterns in the front shrubbery and in the tree limbs above the roof show a lot of fine detail, with great definition even in the tree bark. The bright sunlight causes the camera to lose detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, though some is still visible. Detail is also good in the shadow area above the front door. The overall exposure is a little dark, and color balance is warm from the Auto white balance setting. Still, good results overall. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, saturation, contrast, and hue series.
Lens Zoom Range
Because the Maxxum 7D hosts a range of Konica Minolta lenses, performance here will vary with the lens.
Good color with all three white balances, though the best results at Auto. Excellent detail and resolution.
This shot is often a tough test for digital cameras, as the abundance
of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into
producing a warm color balance. The Maxxum 7D's Auto
setting actually handled this challenge very well, and I chose it for
the main shot. The Daylight setting also produced
good results, though a bit warm for my taste, and the Manual
setting resulted in a slight magenta cast (but still nearly accurate results).
The blue background and robe do have purplish tints that aren't in the
original image, but overall color still looks good. Resolution is excellent,
with a lot of visible fine detail in the embroidery on the blue robe and
vest, as well as in the instruments and accessories. (The original data
file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the Maxxum
7D are capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)
This is another area where the lens in use will determine
results, since the Maxxum 7D accommodates a wide range of Konica Minolta
"Davebox" Test Target
Good overall exposure and color.
The Maxxum 7D's Manual white balance setting produced the best results here, as both the Auto and Daylight settings resulted in warm casts. Exposure is just a little bright, but the Maxxum 7D distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well. The large color blocks are all pretty accurate, with most of them dead-on the correct hue and saturation. Blues are very slightly oversaturated, with the cyan block shifted slightly toward blue. As is usually the case among the cameras I test, reds are somewhat oversaturated, the bright red block particularly so. Overall color accuracy is a good bit better than average though, although that means that the 7D's colors across much of the spectrum will look a bit undersaturated compared to the output from some competing models which tend to oversaturate slightly.
Detail is strong in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, with moderately low noise, and highlights show good detail as well. Quite a good job overall.
The images series below duplicate examples of various camera controls
we've already covered above. I include them here though, for our more
analytically-minded readers, who'd like to see the effect of various camera
controls with a well-known target like the MacBeth Color Checker (tm).
Excellent low-light performance. Good color and exposure, with low image noise, even at the darkest light levels of this test. Good lowlight autofocus. (1/8 foot-candle without AF-assist, total darkness with AF illuminator.)
The Maxxum 7D produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, with good color at the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1,600 ISO settings. Color was generally quite good, though the dimmer exposures often resulted in a light pink cast. Noise was quite low at all ISO levels, although it did increase to a noticeable extent at ISO 800 and 1600. As was the case at higher light levels though, the 7D trades away subject detail to achieve its low noise levels at high ISO. There was relatively little difference between the shots taken with and without Noise Reduction enabled, although the noise reduction did remove a few "hot pixels" that crept into the images at the longest exposure times. The 7D's autofocus worked well at low light levels, focusing to a bit below 1/8 foot-candle with the AF-assist light disabled, and on nearby objects in complete darkness with the AF illuminator turned on. The table below shows the best exposure I was able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
(Note: If you'd like to use a light meter to
check light levels for subjects you might be interested in shooting, a
light level of one foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of two
seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 100.)
Flash Range Test
A powerful flash, with plenty of light all the way to 14 feet.
In my testing, the Maxxum 7D's flash illuminated the test target all the way to 14 feet, without any significant decrease in intensity. (I'm not sure why the ISO came out to 125, I'm pretty sure we shot this with ISO 100.) Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
Very high resolution, 1,400 lines of "strong detail."
The Maxxum 7D performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its 6.1-megapixel class. I didn't see artifacts in the test patterns until resolutions as high as 1,200 lines per picture height in both directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,450 lines on the horizontal axis, 1,400 vertically. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,650 lines.
Geometric distortion on the Maxxum 7D will depend on the lens in use.
With a 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom, I found approximately 0.8 percent barrel
distortion at wide angle. The telephoto end did quite a bit better, as
I measured approximately 0.07 percent pincushion distortion (about two
pixels' worth). Chromatic aberration was virtually nonexistent, as I couldn't
really find any strong pixels of coloration. (This distortion is visible
as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the
field of view on the resolution target.)
Resolution Series, 50mm f/1.4 lens,
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A very accurate digital SLR.
The Maxxum 7D's Digital SLR viewfinder is very accurate, showing about 98 percent of the final image area at wide angle, and about 99+ percent at telephoto, much better than most SLRs in its price range. Flash distribution is rather uneven wide angle (a 17mm focal length here, a stretch for any camera's built-in flash, even allowing for the sensor's multiplier factor), with strong falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, however, coverage was much more uniform.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420