Minolta Maxxum 8000i 35mm SLR Auto Focus Film Camera
(AKA Minolta Dynax 8000i or a-8700i)
The Maxxum 8000i was released as an upgrade to the 7000i, and was also known as the Dynax 8000i in Europe and the a-8700i in Asia/Pacific markets). One improvement over the 7000i was a boost to 1/8000 maximum shutter speed. It might seem it has something to do with the name, but I don't think so since the max. speed of the 7000i was 1/4000th.
When I first checked this thing out, I though "what an odd duck". It's just weird looking - especially for one who loves the traditional look of classic, vintage SLR cameras. But those negative thoughts left as quickly as they had arrived once I picked it up and put my right hand on the grip. From there on out, I felt like congratulating Minolta for thinking outside the box and putting function over form rather than the usual other way around. The Minolta Maxxum 8000i (or Dynax 8000i in Europe or a-8700i in Asia/Pacific) is a pleasure to hold - probably the most comfortable SLR camera out there, I dare say. But that's not all it's got going for it... read on below for my likes and dislikes.
Above: The Minolta Maxxum 8000i shown here with the Maxxum AF 50mm F1.7 lens.
LIKES: Okay, I know you already got this part from above, but my favorite part is the design of the grip - super comfortable to hold; relatively lightweight yet very well made; nice easy to read LCD that was made even easier to read because it's tilted up toward the users line of vision; even though I love the traditional old mode dials - which this camera doesn't have - I'll admit the user interface was well designed and so is easy to learn and master quickly; nice bright viewfinder
DISLIKES: Minolta's proprietary flash shoe - I hate it when camera companies do stuff like that. Of course all their cameras were like that once they switched over (and Sony continued with that where Minolta left off - UGH); relatively loud (though not enough to be a deal-breaker)