Christopher J Osborne

Minolta XD-7

Minolta XD7 camera with the Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 lens fitted Minolta XD7 shutter speed dial detail Minolta XD7 rewind crank and film speed dial detail

The Minolta XD-7 (known as the XD-11 in some markets) was launched in 1977, and it holds a special place in the history of 35mm photography: it was the world's first camera to offer multiple automatic exposure modes. If you wanted an automatic exposure camera before the XD-7 you had to make choice between shutter speed priority and aperture priority operation. The XD-7 removed the need to make that choice by offering both. This was still fairly early on in the history of automatic 35mm SLR cameras, and Minolta felt that the kind of photography enthusiast willing to spend top dollar on a top-of-the-range machine like this wouldn't trust a fully automatic programmed mode (Minolta fans would have to wait another 5 years for the introduction of the X-700 model in 1982 for that!)

The XD-7 included a full list of features, including a full information viewfinder, multiple-exposure facility, depth-of-field preview, self-timer, interchangeable focusing screens and exposure compensation of +/- 2 stops. All though this was the top of Minolta's consumer range, there were a few features you still had to spring for the professional Minolta XK to get, such as the ability to take a 5fps motor drive (though the XD-7 could take a 2fps unit).

This example is shown with an early MD 50mm f/1.4 lens. Later in the XD-7 period of production Minolta switched to a harder leatherette body covering. The softer leatherette on early models usually exhibit the shrinkage you can see on this example, but otherwise it is in very nice condition.

Detailed Minolta XD-7 photographs

Minolta XD7 camera with the Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 lens fitted - front Minolta XD7 camera - back

See my article about the Minolta X-500 for full details of my complete Minolta MD system.