Minolta Maxxum STsi 35mm SLR Camera (1998)
The Minolta Maxxum STsi (also known as the Dynax 500 SI Super in Europe and the Alpha Sweet in Japan) is the most modern 35 mm SLR that I own. It has all the automatic features that you would get in a modern entry level DSLR but of course it is a film camera.
The Minolta camera company merged with Konica in 2003, then sold their photography business to Sony in 2006. Sony took over and further developed the camera system as the Sony Alpha system.
The Minolta cameras use a proprietary hot shoe (the same type as the Sony Alphas). I use a Pocket Wizard to trigger an external flash unit, so I needed to buy a hot shoe adapter. They are available in most camera stores or online.
This camera is great to use, and being a modern camera, it feels a lot like using a DSLR. I occasionally look for the LCD screen, forgetting it is a film camera!
The autofocus is fast and sharp. It has an autowinder so the next shot is ready to go very quickly. I use the camera in the studio with a light meter and external strobes, on manual exposure mode, and it has worked very well. Here are some studio shots that I took with this camera using Kodak Ektar 100 negative film.
Overall this is an excellent camera for people who want to use a 35mm SLR but also want the modern features of a DSLR. It is also compact and lightweight making it easy to carry around.
Here are some more images of this camera, as well as the 70-210 mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens and camera bag.
The PDF version of the user manual is available online too!