Minolta SR-M

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The Minolta SR-M is the first 35mm SLR camera with an integral electric motor drive. It was introduced in 1970 by Minolta Camera Co. Ltd. Japan. It was only available in black. A detachable handgrip with shutter release doubles as battery compartment. The normal lens for this camera is the MC Rokkor-PF 1:1.7 f=55mm, possibly one of the best standard lenses made by Minolta.

It uses a cloth focal plane shutter with speeds from 1-1/1000 sec plus B. Electronic flash sync is at 1/60 sec. The camera has no exposure meter, but it is otherwise quite similar to the Minolta SR-T 101, although the modified prism housing is not found on any other Minolta SR camera. It has a mirror lockup, but no self-timer. There is no traditional frame counter at the top, but a special one is placed on the back of the motor unit. The manufacturers name is placed to the left on the front of the motor section, rather than on the top next to the rewind knob as is the usual practice on the SR camera range.

The motor is situated at the camera base as a fixed extension of the body. At the back of the base is, from the extreme left edge, an extra carrying strap eyelet, an automatic reset frame-counter with an automatic motor stop feature in the shape of a small add-on clock, a rewind release lever, and on the right edge is the battery grip socket. The frame counter bezel can be lifted and rotated to set the frame-number the motor shall stop at automatically. The intervals must be multiples of five frames.

The battery grip is secured using a thumbscrew. When fully un-screwed, the battery grip slides on fore-wards entering from the back. The grip takes eight AA-batteries in a two-piece plastic battery holder that must be separated by a right-hand counter clockwise rotation, and reunited by pushing the two halves together without twisting. The motor main switch is at the back of the grip at the top. It has three positions: C (continuous) - OFF - S (single). At the lower front of the grip is a mini jack socket for remote release.

The camera was quite expensive when introduced and not many were produced, quite a few have seen heavy usage. In consequence this is a rare camera, and extremely collectable.