The single control dial is mounted vertically flush on the front face of the camera, which must have simplified the sealing of the wheel in comparison to one that sits in a slot in the body. The Minolta Dynax 5 top-plate is polycarbonate in a satin chrome finish and the grip is less substantial than seen previously. The camera still has 14 custom settings available, but these need to be set using code numbers as the top-mounted LCD has insufficient real-estate to show full-text explanations, so you need to refer back to the manual (available online). The safety lock on the rear door is still there, but the 5 introduced the innovation of opening the rear with a hinge on the left, with the latch being over on the right.
The Minolta Dynax 5 was the third model of the single-digit series and introduced a number of economies and design changes that affected all Minolta’s subsequent film SLRs. It was released the year after the 7, in 2001. Noticeable amongst the economies was the return of push-button-and-move-dial settings in comparison to the dedicated dials and switches of the 9 and 7. Much of the control heavy lifting is taken on by the left-mounted function dial, which allows you to select one of a number of functions off the dial and then change them by pressing a button and moving the control dial.