I have an extra X-570 like brand new. Has new seals and mirror bumper. Email me if interested. I just don't need two of 'em.
Andrew, I highly recommend the XD cameras. the X-570 and the X-700 for more modern electronics. The XD-7 or XD-11 here in the States are truly wonderful cameras. AP for sure and I think you can shoot SP with the XD-11.
To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
The XD-11 was one of the best ever!
It actually was the first program 35 SLR, but Minolta never put the "P" mode on the dial. The Canon AE-1P stole its thunder, but the XD-11 was first. Just set it at the fastest speed and it automatically shot wide open on shutter speed priority with the lens set on the smallest (green) f/stop. The shutter speed would always be at the highest possible setting, according to the ISO and the prevailing light.
The XD-11 also has a non-electronic shutter speed (1/100th?) which worked great for flash or when the two button cells died. A great camera, wonderful bright focusing screen, and a "sleeper", IMHO.
A few sites that I have found very helpful in browsing through the MF Minolta line up are:
I think you will be happy with any of the choices many have mentioned.
The SRT101 was my first real 35mm camera (except for a very short fling with a Miranda), so it is in some ways my sentimental favorite. But realistically, why put up with the hassle of battery issues (and I use hearing aid zinc airs all the time).
Then there's the X700, which may be the last good camera Minolta made, but even so it seems to have a greater than reasonable propensity to a diode failure. Fixable in some cases, but still a hassle.
So that leaves a number of OK models in the middle, plus a couple of standouts that others have mentioned - the XD and XE series. Both series were excellent so in my opinion it doesn't make sense to seek out other models.
You may happen across another model that catches your fancy. But if you are actively seeking/shopping, choose the XD series for features with reliability and the XE series for ruggedness.
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I have an XG-M that I have been using for 10 or more years and an srT101 that I picked cheap from eBay last year. I love them both. My XG-M is my family outing snapshooter and my srT101 is my slow down and take it more seriously body. I don't keep a battery in it so I rely on my Sekonic light meter.
I recommend XD11 (XD7), because of its lovely release/shutter sound. Unfortunately the XD11 has no AEL lock.
Alternatively, the X-570 would be worth thinking of. The release sound is much more crude in comparison to the XD11, but it has AEL lock and better viewfinder information in M-mode than X-700.
My personal favourite is the XM, but that is really "heavy metal" and sometimes to big and heavy to put it in the pocket.
David Kilpatrick on the "special look" of older Minolta lenses.
As some others have already recommended - the XD11 (aka XD7) has both Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority, as well as Metered Manual.
And, yes, the X-sync speed of 1/100 is mechanical. Add to that a full metal body, TTL Centre-Weighted metering, DOF Preview and a PC connector and you shouldn't find yourself wanting much else.
If you want a fully mechanical model, IMHO you can't go past the SRT-102 (aka SRT-303, SRT-Super). This was a very well spec'd model and should be great value. For some reason (someone here may know?) the SRT-101 gets all the limelight in forums, but as far as I know the SRT-102 is basically the same camera with a couple of added features. Why it has largely remained unknown is anybody's guess, but you just might grab a bargain. They are built tough, and are a real sweet body.
If it were me, I'd hate to have to choose - I'd probably go for the XD11, but you might feel otherwise. You really can't go wrong with either one.
*Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
*Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
*A passion to capture God's awesome creation
I want to thank everyone for the help; what I've received up until this point and, of course, all the advice I'm sure I'll be needing in the future.
I've narrowed down my choices (XD11/7, SRT 102, and the XK). The problem is that KEH, while they have an XD11 available, it's in UG condition. I also found an XK, but like I said before, it's in BGN condition for $225. They have the SRT 102, but I'd hate to choose a camera (or anything else) simply due to a lack of options.
Can anyone suggest another dealer (preferably one with which you've had some experience)?