Rediscovering Film Photography with a Minolta X-370s – Camera Review

Rediscovering Film Photography with a Minolta X-370s – Camera Review

2000 1125 Sroyon Mukherjee

Is this what I was missing? It was summer 2011, and at a small photo-lab in downtown Tokyo I was holding 6×4″ colour prints from the first roll of film I’d shot in over six years. 37 color prints with gorgeous saturation and a three-dimensional look which far exceeded the capabilities of the digital bridge camera I was using at the time. The camera I used to take these photographs was a Minolta X-370s – a manual-focus SLR from the early nineties.

Minolta never had quite the same cachet as Canon or Nikon, but they do have a cult following, and of course they get plenty of love here on Casual Photophile. However, even a die-hard Minolta fan is unlikely to get excited about the humble X-370s. You won’t catch reviewers describing the X-370s as exuding “class and sophistication” (as did Jeb in his review of the Minolta XD) or as a “technological marvel of its day” (James on the X-700). On the contrary – and notwithstanding my ‘glamour photo’ attempts above – the X-370s is a thoroughly un-glamorous, fully-electronic camera. It was Minolta’s low-end SLR, manufactured with liberal use of plastic parts, and not in Japan but – gasp! – in China. Nevertheless, the Minolta X-370s has a special place in my heart. It’s the camera which brought me back to film photography.

It’s also the camera which got me into photography in the first place. My dad bought the Minolta X-370s in the mid-nineties in Kolkata, the city where I grew up. He got it for his own use when I was barely old enough to operate a camera. Still, he taught me how to focus, and later, the basics of aperture and shutter speed. The first of the old photos below, taken by my dad, is from around that time. He took it with the Minolta, but you can see the camera case around my neck. The other two are some of my first ‘experiments,’ probably from the late nineties – night photography, and two separate slides of my brother sandwiched into the same mount.


By the early 2000s, I was an impressionable teenager, and digital photography was the next big thing. My parents bought me a digital compact, and a few years later I upgraded to a bridge camera (a Canon PowerShot, to be precise). By then, my dad too had gone digital, and the Minolta languished in a cupboard. Then in 2011, I moved to Tokyo for work, and we thought it would be a good idea to take the camera with me. Shoot a roll or two – you know, just to keep it going.

Now you’ve probably read enough misty-eyed accounts of discovering (or rediscovering) the magic of using a manual-focus film camera in the digital age to know what happens next. Using the X-370s was a lot of fun in itself – the bright optical viewfinder, the tactile controls, the delayed gratification. But in the end, it was the prints that sold me. Is this what I was missing?

The photos below are all from that first roll of film, all taken with an MD-Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 – the only lens I had at the time. Most are from Tokyo, a few from my travels in Okinawa and Hong Kong.


Now remember, it had been a while since I last used film – or since I last used a manual-focus camera, for that matter. But somehow, that first roll had a higher proportion of ‘keepers’ than I get even now, after several years of regularly using the camera. It’s like after all that time spent in a cupboard, the Minolta was trying especially hard to impress.

If so, its efforts were a resounding success. I’ve been using the camera for over nine years now, and I still recommend the Minolta X-370s and its variants (I’ll say more about ‘variants’ in a minute) to film newbies who are looking for a cheap starter camera.

But wait, you cry. Isn’t the Canon AE-1 the ultimate beginner camera? Isn’t it the Pentax K1000? Isn’t it Minolta’s own celebrated X-700? As it happens, I also own an X-700, and I’ve owned or used several other cameras. They all have pros and cons, and I could probably make a decent case for most of them. But if you’re looking for a perfectly good camera on an ultra-low budget, I believe there are few which can match up to the X-370s and its variants.

There’s that word again! Let’s define variants.

The Minolta X-370s Variants

When I say variants, I’m referring to three other models: the X-300 (1984), the X-370 (1984) and the X-7A (1985). Not included in my definition are the X-300s, X-370n and X-7; I mention them because they have confusingly similar names, but they differ in more significant ways.

Between the X-370s and its variants, there are only minor differences. For example, the X-370s (my model) has a film window on the back, while the other variants have a film-tab holder. Some, I believe, are only available in black, while others have both silver and black versions. But for all practical purposes, most of what I say in this article about the Minolta X-370s is also applicable to its variants.

Even more confusingly, sometimes there are small differences in the same model. For the most part, these differences only matter to collectors (someone recently told me that they are “collecting Minolta X-300 and its various clones, of which there are at least 49.”). But if you’re interested in the X-370s specifically, there are a couple of things which may be worth checking. First, I understand that not all X-370s cameras have a cable-release socket, which is important if you plan to shoot long exposures. Second, some appear to have a diagonal split-screen focusing aid, though mine has a more conventional horizontal one.


The Minolta X-370s was released in the early 1990s as Minolta’s entry-level SLR. Minolta were still producing manual-focus SLRs – the X-700 wasn’t discontinued until 1999 – but their priorities clearly lay in autofocus, the technology of the future. The X-370s, though a child of the nineties, was no more modern than the X-300 released way back in 1984.

Does that put you off? It shouldn’t. The reason is simple. If you’re in the market for a manual-focus SLR, I would argue that all the features which you (or 95% of you) really need were already incorporated in cameras made in the mid-1970s – fantastic devices like the Olympus OM-2n, Canon AE-1 and the Minolta XD. And if you can make do without auto-exposure – or indeed, if you prefer all-mechanical cameras, as some do – you can go even further back: the Minolta SRT series, for example, or the Pentax Spotmatic.

Features only matter if you use them, and this is how I use my X-370s. I mostly stick to aperture-priority mode. To take a photograph, I select the aperture and lightly touch the shutter button, activating the meter. Red LEDs light up inside the viewfinder. An ’A’ indicates Auto mode (aperture-priority). Another LED indicates the camera’s recommended selected shutter speed (up or down arrows warn me if it’s too fast or slow, and I adjust the aperture if needed). I focus through the bright viewfinder, using the ground glass, split-image spot or microprism ring. Compose and shoot. What more do you need?


A self-timer? The X-370s has you covered. Auto-exposure lock? It has that too (while the Minolta XD, an otherwise fantastic camera, doesn’t). Exposure compensation? Not as such, but you can instead adjust the ISO dial (e.g. to overexpose ISO 400 film by one stop, set the dial to 200), or just switch to manual mode instead. It is these additional features – especially the ability to shoot in manual – which make the X-370s a great camera not just for beginners, but for advanced amateurs too.


  • Type – 35mm SLR
  • Lens mount – Minolta SR mount (including MC and MD lenses)
  • Focusing – Manual with Acute-Matte screen, microprism ring and split-image spot
  • Viewfinder – 0.9x magnification; 95% coverage
  • Exposure – Aperture-priority mode with AE lock option; Manual mode
  • Shutter – Electronically-controlled, horizontal-traverse cloth shutter; 1/1000 to 4 sec, stepless (in aperture-priority); 1/1000 to 1 sec and Bulb (in manual)
  • Meter – TTL centre-weighted; Range: EV 1–18
  • ISO range – 12 to 3200 with ⅓-stop detents
  • Batteries – Two LR44 (1.5v, alkaline-manganese) batteries. Alternatives: two 1.55v silver-oxide or one 3v lithium cell
  • Dimensions (L x H x D) – 137 x 90 x 51.5mm
  • Weight – 470g (excluding lens and battery)

Other Attractions

The spec sheet for the Minolta X-370s is certainly impressive for such a low-end camera. But I would argue that its true appeal lies elsewhere: in its bargain-basement price, and the ability to mount Minolta Rokkor glass.

On eBay, the X-370s and its variants routinely sell for under $50 – sometimes for under $30. At that price, whether you’re a beginner looking for a ’taster’ camera to figure out if you like film photography, or a seasoned Minolta shooter looking for a back-up body, it is hard to go wrong. The price estimate, by the way, usually includes a lens – typically a nifty-fifty or a kit zoom.

Which brings me to glass. All the photos in this article, other than the ones of the camera itself, were taken with my MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.7. The lens is ubiquitous, and therefore cheap. It is, nonetheless, a wonderful, versatile optic. Should you wish to diversify, Minolta made a veritable smorgasbord of lenses in the compatible SR mount – exotic ultra-wides like the 7.5mm f/4 fisheye, superfast telephotos like the 135mm f/2, zoom lenses which offer ’prime like’ quality, and superb standard primes like the vaunted 50mm f/1.4 – to name just a few. Save on the camera, splurge on the lens.

A Deliberately Unfair Comparison

Or should you go for a higher-end camera instead – the Minolta X-700 for example? 

Is the X-700 superior to the X-370s? I would say it is, and I think few would disagree. On the other hand, the X-700 currently sells for over $120 on eBay. Is it superior enough to justify the price difference? That’s a harder question with no clear-cut answer. So let’s compare the two.

Now you might say that this is an unfair comparison – which it is. I’ve chosen the X-700 as a benchmark for three reasons. First, it’s a popular camera, often recommended to beginners, and with plenty of online reviews and user experiences. Second, despite the difference in price point, the X-700, like the X-370s, is a manual-focus, auto-exposure SLR. So if you have your eye on one of these cameras, it’s also worth considering the other. Third, I’ve used both cameras extensively, so for what it’s worth, I can speak from personal experience.

The build quality of the X-370s is lower than that of the X-700 (which in turn lags behind older Minoltas like the mostly-metal XD). The X-370s has more plastic parts and generally feels less robust. But we’re definitely not talking plastic-fantastic point-and-shoot quality. I’ve carried the X-370s all over the world in my backpack, and so far, it has held up remarkably well.

What about looks? This perhaps should not matter, but does to me (I’m shallow). Here it’s a close call (again) but I prefer the X-700 (again). Both cameras, I believe, have plastic top plates, but the top plate of the X-700 looks… less plasticky. I also prefer the X-700’s more business-like film-advance lever. And I greatly prefer its shutter-speed dial – a classic design with all speeds visible.

The Minolta X-370s, by contrast, has a concealed dial just below the shutter release, with a little window showing only the selected shutter speed (or ‘Auto’ for aperture-priority). This was probably a cost-saving exercise by Minolta, but for me, it is visually and ergonomically less pleasant than the X-700’s more conventional dial. Maybe I’m nit-picking – did I just write 60 words comparing shutter-speed dials?! – but then again, one of the reasons I like using film cameras is because they look nice and feel nice.

Finally, we get to the features. This is where the gap between the two cameras is most apparent. But funnily enough, while I do prefer the X-700, it’s mainly for its build quality and looks; its extra features make little difference to me.

What sets the X-700 apart is its ‘Program’ mode – the green ‘P’ on the shutter-speed dial. In Program mode, the camera sets both aperture and shutter speed, turning it into a virtual point-and-shoot (of course, you still need to focus). But personally, I like having control over aperture and shutter speed, so I’ve literally never used the X-700 in Program mode.

The X-700 has some other features which are nice, but which I personally have little use for: flash sync and TTL flash metering (I hardly ever use flash), depth-of-field preview (I prefer to use the depth-of-field marks on lenses) and a beeping slow shutter-speed warning (I find it distracting, so it stays off). If these things matter to you, the Minolta X-370s might not cut it. But given the way I shoot, the X-370s has almost all the features I want in a film camera.

Did I say ‘almost’? The X-700 does have a couple of features I like. First, you can see the selected aperture in the viewfinder, a feature which the X-370s lacks. Second, the X-700 has an exposure compensation dial where, again, the X-370s does not. As I mentioned, there are ways around this shortcoming – using the ISO dial or switching to manual. But the truth is I find the compensation dial more intuitive, needing fewer mental gymnastics and freeing me up to focus (pun intended) on what really matters.

Interestingly, the humble Minolta X-370s has one feature which the higher-end X-700 doesn’t. In manual mode, the viewfinder LEDs indicate both the selected shutter speed and the metered speed; on the X-700, you only see the latter. Holding the X-370s to your eye, you can turn the shutter speed dial until the blinking LED (user-set shutter speed) joins up with the steady LED (metered speed). Or you can choose to set it a few stops higher or lower than the metered speed, to over- or under-expose. In this respect, the X-370s “beginner’s camera” is actually better for shooting in manual mode. You win some, you lose some.

Final Thoughts

For seven whole years, I owned just one film camera – the Minolta X-370s – and one lens – the MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.7. In the last two years I’ve acquired more cameras and lenses, including some, like the Leica M3, whose reputation puts the X-370s in the shade. But the X-370s – the camera with which I discovered and then re-discovered film photography – is still in regular use.

It’s true that the X-370s and its variants are electronically operated, which means they don’t work without batteries, and are more prone to failure than fully mechanical cameras. It’s also true that they don’t have the build quality or history as more famous models by Minolta and other brands.

But to me, the X-370s has just enough of the look and feel of older film cameras which makes them such a joy to use. It also has just enough features to suit my style of photography – easy to use in both aperture-priority and manual mode, and with auto-exposure lock and self-timer to boot. It’s a gateway to superlative Rokkor lenses. And then there’s an irrational, wholly personal, but (for me) crucial factor – sentimental value.

Finally, and inescapably, there’s the price. When James reviewed an X-370s variant, the X-7A, in 2014, he noted that it sells for the frankly incredible price of nineteen dollars. In the intervening years, the price has crept up, but only slightly. Personally, I think it’s still under-valued. In a way, I hope positive reviews like mine can change that. In a way, I hope they don’t.

Browse for your own Minolta X-370s on eBay here

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Sroyon Mukherjee

Sroyon is an amateur photographer who likes making images with pinhole cameras, smartphones and everything in between. He also enjoys working on collaborative projects, alternative processes, and developing and printing in the darkroom.

All stories by:Sroyon Mukherjee
  • Nice piece, Sroyon – and some fine pictures. I love the one of the Hong Kong trams – so many vertical lines, so close together. A great bit of composition!

    I’m with you on Program mode, at least in an SLR, where we’ve already conceded the need to choose a lens and set our focus; we’ve usually got a good idea of which aperture will work best – and even if we haven’t, we can leave it at f/5.6 and hope for the best. Different matter for an autofocus, autowind compact where it’s all about simplicity and speed.

    • Thank you Clive 🙂 Yes, that’s my thinking too. As you say, if the light doesn’t change dramatically we can just “set and forget” at f/5.6, and then it’s like P mode anyway. But I can see how P mode on the the X-700 was a big deal in its day. Someone who knew nothing about photography could buy one, learn to load film and focus, and they’re good to go. And as they advance, they can gradually explore aperture priority and manual too.

  • Your photographs are terrific!

    There’s so much joy to be had in the lower-spec models from the major SLR makers. Your report on this X370s illustrates it well.

    My wife has an X-570 around here somewhere, with a 50/1.7, and now you make me want to go find it and put film through it!

    • Thanks Jim! The X-570 is a great camera, another sleeper. I don’t own one, but features-wise, I actually think it’s better than the X-700 (though it often sells for less). I like the full-information viewfinder showing the aperture setting (which the X-370s doesn’t) as well as both metered and selected shutter speeds (which the X-700 doesn’t). Looks-wise, I slightly prefer the X-700 – the X-570 has a kind of step on the top plate on the shutter side, while the X-700 is all one level. But now I’m *really* nitpicking hahaha.

      • The X-500 (or 570) was introduced as a slightly cheaper model to follow the X-700, but was never as successful even though technically it’s a more capable camera (loses “P”, gains: correct metering in DoF preview[*], display of selected as well as recommended shutter in manual mode (a big mistake in the X-700 IMHO)and the ability to use fill-flash). I’ve owned one for almost 25 years, and have never felt the need for any other full-frame 35mm SLR.

        [*] Mine actually shows a half a stop change in shutter speed.

  • Your review covered all the bases and your affection for the camera is evident. A nice set of photos; my favorite is the b&w shot of the couple walking under the street lamp.

    I’m a retired photography teacher. In 1992 (I remember the date; it was the year I had exchange students from Columbia & Denmark in my photo class!) a parent dropped off a box with two X-370’s with normal lenses and ancillary bits and pieces. He passed them onto our program from an acquaintance of his. Our students loved them – literally worn them out! I’d say they were used by 200 students over the span of 5 years. Tough little cameras. Since we were a low income community, they were most welcome and treated with respect & care.

    I wish you continued success with the camera! Please keep your family and yourself safe & healthy. These are crazy times.

    • Thank you Daniel, and that’s such a great story about the X-370s 🙂 Just goes to show that even the low-budget cameras were built to last, although they may not inspire quite as much confidence as an high-end all-metal body. Hope you and your loved ones are safe too!

  • Jerome (EarthSunFilm) January 15, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Sroyon, nice review. It’s always heartening to see Minolta receive some love. I have many Minolta cameras, but no X-370 level body. I didn’t realize that the X-370s had both shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder, now I may have to try one. Like you, I’d like to see them get more respect, but on the other hand, prices have already increased over the last year.

    • Thanks Jerome, and likewise, I find the resource links on your website very useful! The X-370s finder doesn’t show the aperture, though. But it does show both the selected and metered shutter speed in the viewfinder, whereas the X-700 shows only the latter. Of the lower-end Minolta bodies, I believe the X-300s, X-370n and X-9 show the aperture in the finder, but I’m just reporting what I’ve read elsewhere, haven’t actually used these camerats myself, so please don’t take it as gospel….

  • Very, very nice.

  • Very cool article, and awesome photos. My only point of reference is that I own an X-700 and some of the older SR-T models, but I now appreciate what a gem the X-370 must be.

    • Thanks, X-700 is a great camera too! Better that the X-370s I would say, objectively speaking. I’d like to try an SR-T someday, they look cool and have that all-mechanical charm…

  • Hello Sryon, Great body of work, well done! My favourite image is the very last one – just before the ‘Final Thoughts’ section. Why? well because it’s an image we see thousands of times a day, but don’t see – if you get my drift? An invisible piece of street art or, maybe a moving still life? Lucky coincidence that finger nails are the same colour as the hand rail. I don’t even care if it was ‘fixed’ it has certainly inspired me -Thanks for that.

    • Thanks Brian 🙂 That wasn’t a set-up shot, just luck! In fact it was the last shot of the roll, I was taking the Tube to the photo-lab and trying to finish the roll before I gave it to them. In London all the Tube lines have different colours on the map, and many have matching handrails. After this pic I thought of a project, riding up and down each line until I got a full set of matching nails. But never had the energy or perseverance to put it into action.

      I recently came across this quote from Lisette Model: “New images surround us everywhere. They are invisible only because of sterile routine convention and fear. To find these images is to dare to see, to be aware of what there is and how it is.” And in literature/philosophy, Georges Perec’s idea of the infra-ordinary.

  • Thank you all I have an x-700 and love it. I have used it for many weddings etc, and many day to day pics I just love the way it feels in my hands. I do have extra lenses for it.

  • Great camera! Tbf I now have an extra lens too, the excellent MD 28/2.8. The 50/1.4 in the gear photos actually belongs to my dad.

  • I thought I’d share the review I wrote of my X 370 (not “S”) back in June of 2000 for a now defunct review site.

    I got this in 1985 and used it for years. Just be aware of the film advance issue if you pick one up. They are cheap enough now though you can always get more than one.

    Still my favorite camera, btw

    So, courtesy of the Wayback Machine, I found the review. Hope you’ll excuse the length


    As I write this my faithful, but now ill, Minolta X-370 sits in my lap. The camera was a High School graduation gift from my dad, an experienced photographer. He told me that to really learn photography I needed a good, simple camera that would let me control all aspects of the image making process.

    In the 15 years since then, (has it been that long?), I’ve learned he was right. The X-370 let me concentrate on creativity while learning to, hopefully, bend the technical aspects of photography to my will. For me, it was the perfect student camera.

    Since then, the 370 has been modified into its current form, the X-370s. I’ve only used the older model, but I believe they are close enough that my experiences should still be helpful. Looking at the technical specs it appears the biggest change is that the newer camera has a plastic body, while my camera has a metal body. There is an problem with the older X-370 models that only became evident after long-term use. I don’t know if it’s fixed in the newer versions and I’ll discuss it later in the review.

    Both versions allow the photographer to set both shutter speed and aperture, or to only set the aperture and let the camera pick a shutter speed. I prefer the aperture-priority option. I just have to remember the basics: The smaller the f-stop; the wider the aperture, the wider the aperture; the smaller the depth of field, the faster the shutter speed desired; the wider the required aperture. With these rules in mind I just decide what effect I want and make my choices.

    The camera controls are simple and work well with that approach. Moving the knurled aperture knob lights up different LED numbers in the viewfinder as the the aperture-priority system changes the shutter speed. I find this much easier to use quickly then the exposure needles common on other cameras of this type.

    The film advance is right where it should be, on the right behind the shutter release where it’s easily operated by the thumb. The manual control for the shutter speed is a disc below the shutter release. The displays are simple colored numbers visible through a clear opening located on the top of the camera to the left of the shutter release. Using my index finger, I can quickly and easily change shutter speeds without looking down or changing my hold on the camera. Of course, changing the shutter speed this way also changes the LED display.

    The film rewinder is on the left top of the body. It’s a small saucer/cylinder with a collapsible lever. Pulling the whole unit up opens the camera back and the ASA is set with a ring around the base. The power switch is to the right of this unit.

    The TTL exposure system is the older center-weighted style. I was almost always happy with the exposure results. For tricky exposures requiring the shooter to first compose on a different subject in better light, the exposure lock is conveniently located on the right front of the camera where it is easily manipulated by the second finger. The lock also pulls up to act as a self-timer, a feature that is occasionally nice to have.

    The hot-shoe flash mount is located in the normal place on top of the camera. Turning the flash on automatically synchs the flash and shutter and sets the shutter at 1/60.

    Now for the bad news. After serving me well for many years, my X-370 developed a near- fatal film advance problem last year. The film would still advance normally, but only for the first half or two-thirds of a 36 exposure roll. The more pictures I shot, the harder it would be to advance the film or even trip the shutter. The longer the roll, the worse the problem.

    A trip to the camera doctor gave me the bad news. A part in the advance mechanism was broken, and it would require the complete disassembly of the camera to replace. It turned out to be cheaper and easier to buy a new camera then to fix this one. The repair man said he’d seen the same problem on a couple other X-370 models, but didn’t know if it had been fixed on the newer models like the 370s.

    Amazingly enough, one of my best friends has a X-370 given to him by HIS father, a full-time professional photographer, at about the same time my dad gave me mine. His camera is now also developing signs of the same problem, but the condition isn’t as advanced as it is in mine. His only has problems with 36 exposure rolls, while mine chokes at about shot 19 or 20 on 24 exposure rolls. He’s switched to 24 exposure rolls only, and the problem seems to have vanished for now.

    As for me, I’ve relegated my camera to honorable semi-retirement. I still shoot the occasional roll of 12 though it, especially when I’m messing with B&W, but for serious shooting I decided to buy a different camera.

    I thought I’d learned enough with my simple camera to appreciate the goodies associated with newer technology, so I bought a good used Nikon N8008. It has everything the X-370 lacked: Auto-focus, auto exposure, multiple program modes, etc. So far I’ve spent more time trying to figure out the different options and how everything works then I’ve spent creating images.

    Do I recommend the X-370s? Yes, but cautiously. I loved my X-370 and never had any problems until it developed its fatal illness. Even then I did get nearly 15 years of use out of it first. The X-370s should serve beginners just as well. Just be aware of the problem I had before you decide. Hopefully, Minolta has fixed that problem on the newer X-370s models.

    Even knowing about the problem, and not knowing for sure if its been corrected, I’m still considering buying a new 370s. And this is after spending the money on the N8008. I just like the design that much

  • You inspire me to take some rolls again.
    Which film did you use?
    Regards Göran

    • Thanks Göran! Colour is mostly Fuji C200 and Kodak Ultramax 400, plus a few others films as well. BnW is Ilford FP4+ for the daytime shots and Delta 3200 at night.

  • I love what you have written here Sroyon. The reason why I am reading your review here because I just owned one X370 and the same lense that you have. I have taken some few shots and hopefully the results will come out awesome. I am still skeptical of this camera I just purchased. But after watching and reading a lot of reviews and tutorials on this one. I think feel confident and more calm. However still can’t wait to develop them.

    I was a bit worried a few days ago where the ISO setting meter came off a bit and it got to do with the film winder cap located just on top of it. I got loose while it brushes through my inner wall of my camera bag while I took it in and out. It has a little black fine spots on the viewfinder but the seller said it doesn’t affect the pictures . Anyhow, the seller gave me a one month warranty and I hope everything is alright with this camera I just bought. He is an experienced 74 years old photographer too and so far all the other buyers gave good review about him.

    Can I send I few pictures of the camera and ask your opinion about it. This is my first SLR. All these while I was playing around with Point & Shoot.

    • Hi Iylia, sure, I’m happy to help if I can. If you use Instagram, you can DM me @midtonegrey. I hope your photos turn out well!

  • Hi Sroyon. It’s a great review. I went to university in the early 90’s to study Fine Arts and my first camera was the Minolta X370. I used it intensively and with it I learned photography, almost always in b & w. He accompanied me during my life as a student and traveler and today I still have it and it works 100%. I currently have a Nikon F3, Pentax K1000, Hasselblad 500cm, Canonet Ql17 GIII, and a long list of analog cameras from different brands that I have collected over the years and my heart and technical facility go out to the X370. I currently use Nikon and Leica digital cameras, but just this week I dusted off the Minolta and am about to use photographic film again. Thanks for your excellent text.

  • Interestingly, this review of the X-370 compares the X-700 as an alternative contemporary camera option as a contrast to the X-370. But why would the author not even give a mention to the X-500/570? The X-500/570 offers full manual and aperture priority shooting and has a similar build quality to the X-700, which the author says is superior to the X-370. The viewfinder display in the X-500/570 is superior to that of the X-700 displaying both the selected shutter speed, and the shutter speed the meter thinks will provide proper exposure. Additionally, the X-500/570 is criminally underrated and therefore very cheap to buy, essentially costing the same as the X-370. So, why wouldn’t you buy an X-500/570?

    • …for the simple reason that I have never owned or used an X-500/570 🙂 And I don’t feel comfortable recommending a camera I haven’t used. I explained thre reasons why I picked the X-700 for a comparison, and at the end of the day this is a review of the X370s, not an article about which Minolta to buy. But as you have probably seen, the X-500/570 was mentioned a few times in comments, and if you’re interested, Jeb has reviewed it before on this site.

      • I have previously read that review of the X-570 that you linked to and it definitely factored into my decision to replace a dead XD-11 with an X-570. Your response to the comment above that specifically referenced the X-570 details the reasons why I chose the X-570 over the X-370 or X-700. Excellent, full-info viewfinder is so nice! Given all the points that make the X-570 “better” than either the 370 or 700, I think it represents the better value, since these are available for similar prices to the X-370. You are right, your article was a review of the X-370 and my comment was not directly related to your article, but rather a tangential criticism of what I thought was an omitted mention of the best value camera that Minolta offered in the X-series. Keep up the great writing and sharing your nice images Sroyon!

        • Thanks, I appreciate it! I understand the X570 doesn’t have an exp compensation dial, that’s something I like about the X-700. The X-370s doesn’t have one either…

          • Yes, that’s true, no exposure comp dial on the X-570. But you can get around that by changing your film ISO setting for whatever shot you’re taking, just so long as you return it to your intended ISO setting afterward. If you’re shooting 400 speed film and you want 1.5 stops of exposure comp for backlight correction, you can just set your ISO to 125, take your shot, and return the ISO selector to 400 for the next shot. This lack of dedicated exposure comp, along with lack of automated Program mode, is part of why the X-570 was released as a less expensive alternative to the X-700.

  • Thank you for a vey informative article. I am a self-confessed Minolta maniac, and even I did not know that the X-370 had both the selected and recommended shutter speeds displayed in the viewfinder. Wow! From now on, I will be recommending the X-370 to anyone looking for an entry into film photography.

    • Thanks Kevin! I don’t know what is more surprising – that the entry-level X-370s and its variants have this feature, or that the otherwise more advanced X-700 doesn’t. I’ve sometimes made exposure errors with the X-700, thinking I’m in aperture priority, but actually I’m in manual with a very different shutter speed. On the X-370s, seeing two LEDs at different shutter speeds immediately tips you off.

  • Ah,yes… The Minolta, X370… The camera that got me into photography…

    It was a Christmas present from my parents in 1984… I didn’t really make any serious use of it until I took up photo class in 1987 using black-and-white film, and that was it… Years and molto, molto dollars later, I am thoroughly hooked… A true photo geek….

    I still have the X370, and it still works, although it probably needs new light seals. Can’t say I use it much, digital being the mainstay of my work now. However, thanks for the X370, I still shoot film on occasion , and also have ended up with a rather large collection of various Minolta cameras and lenses. The company may be gone, but I still carry the torch…

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Sroyon Mukherjee

Sroyon is an amateur photographer who likes making images with pinhole cameras, smartphones and everything in between. He also enjoys working on collaborative projects, alternative processes, and developing and printing in the darkroom.

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