Minolta Dynax(Maxxum) 9xi

European Camera of the Year

Minolta Dynax 9xi is the current top of the range autofocus camera body in the Minolta range. It has features not found on any other camera currently in production, like 1/300 sec. flash sync speed and the 1/12000 sec. shutter speed. Together with 4.5 frames per second AF sequence shooting, 4 sensor autofocus and a tough body with full sealing this points to being a serious camera designed for serious photographers.

The design of the 9xi provided for the fastest speeds of any 35mm SLR at the time of it's introduction in 1992. The 1/12000 sec. shutter speed was achieved through the use of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy in 8 of the 10 shutter blades.

The 9xi uses four highly sensitive CCD sensors to provide an ultra-wide focus area. Individual sensors are also able to be selected. The Multi-Dimensional Predictive Focus Control provides 3 dimensional subject tracking at very high subject speeds. (Author note: I have tracked race cars easily at 160 kph (100mph) and other authors have noted that speeds as high as 250kph may be possible).

The 9xi automatically determines the focus mode to be used by selecting contiumous focus mode if there is subject movement or focus is automatically locked for still subjects such as portraits.

The AF CCD sensors work in light levels down to EV -1 and the camera will automatically use the AF assist LED built into the body (or accessory flash if fitted) in low light or low subject contrast situations. The AF assist beam in the camera has a range of 9 meters.

The 9xi has a top range autoexosure system based around Minolta's 14 segment honeycomb-pattern meter. This metering pattern is intergrated with the AF system to provide weighted readings in conjunction with the position of the main subject.

The 9xi also has centre-weighted average metering that concentrates 80% of metering sensitivity into the three centre honeycomb segments and 20% into the remaining segments.

For pinpoint exposure control a spot meter (3% of the image area) is also selectable.

The Minolta 9xi has the full coverage of exposure modes, from Program selection, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual mode.

In addition when is program mode a further feature is available, this is the Pa and Ps modes. By turning the front control dial the shutter speed can be easily changed or by turining the rear control dial the aperture may be changed, whilst the camera will automatically maintain correct overall exposure.

A similar feature is available in Manual Mode which is achieved by pressing and holding the AEL button and turning either front or rear control dials. This quickly changes the aperture or shutter speed without affecting the manual exposure reading already set.

The 9xi can be quickly and easily changed through it's various modes by using the Quick button.

The 9xi has a full information viewfinder. It displays all the information you need to monitor camera settings, right before your eyes, including the focus and exposure modes currently selected as well as focus and metering areas.
This page neccessarily contains a large amount of graphics.

As would be expected in this level of camera, the 9xi provides a number of features demanded by serious photographers:

If you're interested, there are full graphics detailing all major camera parts and the body data panel.

Also released with the 9xi are a full range of accessories specifically for the 9xi and also the normal accessories available for use with the Dynax/Maxxum system

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Last updated 14 January 1997

HTML Prepared by Craig Huxley 1997
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