member since: 10/22/2006
out of 5
Your Maxxum GT is what the industry calls "entry level" in Single Lens Reflex(SLR). It is designed to be a very easy camera to use, yet you can still add many options to it. To take better pictures, consider a tripod, other lenses, and flashes.
Most people can handhold the camera and get a good picture at a shutter speed of 1/60 second or faster. In low light, the camera will slow the shutter to as much as one second. A tripod will stabilze the camera for those slow speed shots.
Another lens will extend your picture taking options. A zoom lens will allow you to frame the picture as you want it, without a lot of walking to and fro, by turning the zoom ring. Telephoto lenses bring far things closer. You can't just walk up to a sailboat on the lake, but a long telephoto will bring it closer, so it doesn't look like a tiny speck. Wide angle lenses allow you to get all the kids at the party in one picture. You need not limit yourself to Minolta-made lenses, as Tamron, Sigma, Quantaray, and Vivitar lenses with Maxxum mount will work as well. Some lenses have MACRO focusing. Macro lenses vary. Macro is the art of shooting flowers, insects, buttons, doll faces, etc. so they are large and you can see all the details. Tripods are useful in these situations.
A more powerful flash will give you more 'working distance' in flash photography. A built in flash is only good for about 13 feet with ISO 100 film. More sensitive film will give you more 'working distance', as will a more powerful flash. A bounce flash raises up, so you can bounce the light off the white ceiling to make the photo look more natural. When you hold the camera vertical, you can bounce the flash off a wall or a reflector, like white paper. A bounce and swivel flash allows you to hold the camera vertical, and still bounce the flash off that white ceiling.
Flashes are available in three basic styles. The least expensive and and least powerful just point forward. These are a little better than the built-in flash at reducing red eye. The next level of power, usability, and price includes bounce flashes. The third tier is the bounce and swivel flashes. No need to buy Minolta brand, as the Sunpak , Vivitar and others also offer good flashes with the Minolta foot that will fit your GT.
The GT seems most similar to the Maxxum 3, 4, and 5, with less bells and whistles. Once you try some of these upgrades, you'll have a better idea what you want in your next camera, and if buy a fancier Minolta, you can use all your stuff with it as well.
10/22/2006 9:18:12 AM