Advantages FAST autofocus, sharp pictures, great value for the price!
Disadvantages None at this level
The Dynax 5 is Minolta's serious amateur's camera and frankly, it wipes the floor with equivalently priced models by any other manufacturer. Choc-full of features and well worth the money at a more than reasonable £250.00 (as of March 2003).Features in detail:
LENSYou can buy the Dynax 5 on its own with no lens, or with a 28-80mm (D) zoom lens (I'll explain the 'D' bit later). Some other combinations exist, but these are down to individual companies.
The 28-80mm gives decent coverage, from landscapes to portraits, and is a good lens with which to start. If your photographic interests take you into a specific area of photography e.g. close-up work, professional portraiture, landscape photography etc, you might consider buying more specialised lenses which give better results than the basic 28-80. The Dynax 5 accepts any Minolta AF lens currently in production, so you can interchange to your heart's delight. There are also some other lens manufacturers, such as Tamron, Sigma and Tokina, who provide high-quality, Minolta-fit lenses as well.Returning to the 'D' bit now...this means that the lens is compatible with Minolta's 'Advanced Distance Integration' system. Here's what Minolta say about it:
Essentially this means that with the correct type of lens (D-series), and with the built-in flash or a separate Minolta flashgun (5600HS or 3600HS), the camera will calculate just how much flash is necessary and use only what is needed, leading to better-exposed pictures. The system does indeed work, in my experience, and Minolta are bringing out more D-series lenses as time goes on. A useful little feature.Just a final note on lenses (especially if you upgrade to an expensive one) - buy a UV filter for your lens (£8) and leave it on. If the filter is damaged, you can replace it for a mere £8, but if you damage the actual lens, you're looking to pay a lot more!
AUTOFOCUSIf you are looking for a point-and-shoot SLR, the Dynax 5 has a VERY fast autofocus system, based around a 7-point sensor. It will provide good, well-focused shots in all but the most taxing light. 99% of the shots that I've taken with the autofocus system have come out very nicely indeed.
The camera's in-built metering system will calculate the right exposure settings for each shot and will use the camera's built-in flash if necessary. The viewfinder will flash once to tell you which autofocus sensor is being used to take the picture and all you have to do is press the shutter release.
If you are too close to the object you are shooting, the viewfinder display will flash to warn you that it cannot focus and will lock the shutter release so that you don't waste a shot.
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