Minolta Dynax 9xi

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The Minolta Dynax 9xi (or Minolta Maxxum 9xi or Minolta α-9xi) was the flagship of Minolta's 3rd generation of its autofocus system SLRs for 35mm film. The xi series went the first steps towards what we have become used to as modern DSLR design, but of course with film as media instead of a sensor. Thus a new generation of AF zoom lenses was presented for motor-driven focal-length setting. The cameras had a data setting thumb wheel near the shutter release button. As further support of exposure setting manipulation while keeping the eye on the viewfinder the latter got an LCD display under the focusing screen.

The Dynax 9000xi was thought as tool for professionals. Especially sports photography was supported, not just by its fast focal plane shutter allowing 4.5 images per second thru speeds up to 1/12000 sec. and a max. flash sync exposure time of 1/300 sec., but also by an intelligent autofocus that could predict movements in three dimensions. The powerful programs supporting this flexibility were powered by a new 16Bit 20MHz microprocessor. As it was fashionable in the early 1990ies the camera used "fuzzy logic" algorithms, for example to analyze the image subject characteristics with help of measuring data from the 14-field metering sensor. An image lock mode allowed to make an image series while the zoom factor was set automatically to keep the subject's size equal on all exposures. The new system flash Minolta 5400xi could be used remote-controlled thru a remote adapter for TTL flash photography. Special chip cards were available, chip cards with software to ease the use of the camera's enhanced features.