Minolta Dynax SPxi

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The Dynax SPxi is an autofocus 35mm SLR camera, released by Minolta in 1992. In North America it was also released as the Maxxum SPxi. Beside the Minolta Dynax 2xi, it was one of the budget variants of Minolta's xi autofocus SLR bodies. It was the cheapest camera body that featured the extended intelligence (xi) which is a camera mode in which the camera takes over control of focal length, the auto standby zoom mode ASZ. Therefore a new series of motor-zoom lenses like the Minolta AF Zoom xi 35-200mm 1:4.5(22)-5.6 was released with the xi series. Camera-controlled zoom setting can be overridden by simply actuating the lens barrel ring for manual zoom control. The release of the zoom setting is simply achieved by taking the camera from the eye, since it's the cheapest Minolta with eye-start comfort. Moving the viewfinder's ocular again towards the eye triggers a new automatic focal-length setting to be used or overridden.

First steps to digital: Minolta MS-C1100

In the same year Minolta released its first digital still camera, the Minolta MS-C1100. Its image-taking was still based on still video CCD technology like the still video backs SB-70 and SB-90 for the Minolta 7000, but the images were stored digitally by the DAT-recorder MS-R 1100. The camera body was just an enhanced Dynax/Maxxum SPxi.