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The Best Beginner Film Camera

Entering the market in 1981 - The Minolta X-700 was sold as the “Minolta Program System X-700” Featuring the main camera body - over 50 different lenses and a set of various flashes, as well as  automated accessories.


“Minolta Program System with Camera as Robot”



 Working in direct competition with the likes of Canon - Nikon and Pentax it’s job was cut out for it in the 80s and into the 90’s before the release of the Minolta Maxxum 7000 the world's first autofocusing film camera. Which secured Minolta as the choice of professionals and general consumers alike. While it was widely used, it had a fierce competitor, and a camera I would love to get my hands on, one who we film nerds hold in reverence. The Nikon F3 HP - Good Enough for Nasa and especially good for any bespectacled individuals such as myself. But at a price range of 400 to 800 dollars the barrier to entry is set high.


In 1982 you could pick up the X-700 for around $500 Dollars American, adjusted for today's money, you’d be looking at around $1500 Dollars. I purchased this one for around 200 dollars. However I will briefly mention my first venture being a Minolta X570 which after a mere 3 exposures. Had a complete failure of the shutter curtain. After 3 days trying to fix the problem, I gave up and purchased something that actually works.


While the  automatic features were the X-700’s selling point, as everyone in the 80’s knew that the future was now! The current selling point of the X-700 is not the fancy attachments. It’s the simplicity and ease of use. Not to mention, the magnificent quality of the Minolta MD Lenses. 

Sometimes, the saying is true, they don’t make them like they used to, and the fact of the matter is, they really don’t when it comes to 1982 Glass.


The first time I used this camera, I swear I was transported back to 1982 and I knew exactly how to use it. Loading film couldn’t be simpler. With any camera, you expect a learning curve. With this, it was more like a learning escalator.


Quality images are nothing short of a quick snap shot away and with 24-36 shots in a roll, you have to be selective and really dial in what you want to photograph. Not to mention when you combine it with a flash, you have yourself an award winning combination.


As you can see from the sample images, there is nothing quite like a solid 35mm Film Camera. It's something that will give you an appreciation to the purity of how photography used to be. No lightroom, no photoshop.


Light ---> Lens ---> Shutter ---> Film


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