Minolta Dynax 3L

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The Minolta Dynax 3L was Minolta's last innovation in the field of autofocus system SLRs for 35mm film. This camera was introduced in 2003. In the Americas it was known as the Maxxum 3 or Maxxum GT.

At this time it was the smallest 35mm autofocus system camera body ever made. But this was the only innovation of the camera with fast three-spot autofocus and built-in flash (guide number 12). The camera was a pure consumer camera design, kept as simple as possible. Thus it got no manual modes except a switch to set off autofocus temporarily and a switch-on mode to toggle permanent manual/automatic focusing (switching on while holding down program button AND timer button). Exposure is always fully automatic. The user has choice between normal program mode "P" and five programs by using the program button (with portrait symbol): Portrait, landscape, macro, sports and night-portrait. There's choice between 5 flash modes by flash mode button, for use of either internal or external flash with or w/o anti-red-eye extra-flash either permanently, automatically or never. The camera is not compatible with the system flashes of earlier Minolta autofocus SLRs. That's its biggest disadvantage. It indicates automatic use of flash by a red LED in the finder.

The user can choose between single-shot, timer-controlled shot or multi-shot mode by means of the timer button. Further controls are the film rewind finger-nail-button, the spot AF button and the shutter release button. Of course it has the typical AF camera feature to focus automatically when the shutter release button is pressed down halfways until a green LED in the prism viewfinder signals "ready for shot". The AF setting remains as long as the shutter release button is kept pressed. The camera has a nice LCD on top which displays flash mode, shooting/timer mode, image number and battery freshness, and it indicates the actual chosen program.