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The Minolta X-700 is a 35 mm single-lens reflex film camera introduced by Minolta in 1981. It was the top model of their final manual-focus SLR series before the introduction of the auto-focus Minolta Maxxum 7000.
The X-700 used the basic body of the XG-M with electronically controlled stepless speeds, but added full program autoexposure in addition to the XG-M's aperture priority and metered manual modes. This program mode was referred to as "MPS" or Minolta Program System.
It also introduced through-the-lens (TTL) off the film flash metering in Aperture Priority or Program mode, which adjusted exposure and flash output automatically to produce a perfect exposure, without the user having to adjust anything at all, and added exposure lock and interchangeable focusing screens to the XG-M's features. The X-700 was aimed to appeal to the widest range of photographers possible. Its easy to use fully automated Program mode could turn it into a point-and-shoot that anybody could use, but its wide array of advanced features and available accessories and lenses made it appealing to professionals alike.
Minolta later launched various other models based on the X-700 chassis : X-300 (X-370 for the North American market), X-300S, X-300N, X-500 (X-570 for the North American market) and X-600. The X-500 (X-570 in the North American market) lacked the X-700's program exposure mode and exposure compensation dial, but addressed one of the main complaints of X-700 users: the X-700 in fully manual mode only showed the recommended shutter speed by the meter in the viewfinderl this meant that to actually see what shutter speed was selected, the user had to take their eye off the viewfinder. Despite it being a small detail, many photographers preferred the X-500/570 which in fully manual mode showed both the recommended shutter speed and the selected one in the viewfinder. The X-500/570 also offered slower flash sync speeds than 1/60 of a second.
Motivated by the huge success of the low-priced Canon AE-1 and other consumer-level cameras, Minolta followed suit in the new camera's design by offering a wide array of optional equipment, with the X-700 being the base of the "Minolta Program System" such as flashes, film winders, motor drives, data backs, multi function backs, power grips, wireless controllers etc. This lowered the budget for the camera's internal mechanism. In a step backwards, the new X-700 was not equipped with the fast vertical metal shutter of previous XE and XD cameras, and was instead fitted with a less expensive horizontal traverse silk shutter, enabling maximum sync speed of 1/60 second, and operated by an electromagnetic shutter release.
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