Minolta Freedom lll 35mm Film Camera
Our review camera for today is the compact Minolta Freedom III; featuring a quartz date back, AF, auto loading, advance and rewind; along with a nice 35mm F/2.8 lens. The ‘Freedom’ line from Minolta were wildly popular during the 1980s, and competed with the similar Canon and Nikon offerings of the day. This camera came out in 1986 along with three other ‘Freedom’ models; see a goofy wild west themed period ad here.
The fully automatic Minolta Freedom III (AF-Z) was at the top of the Freedom line, and fairly expensive back in the day. So will it still take good pictures today? Let’s find out now!
Name; Minolta Freedom III Quartz Date; also known as ‘AF-Z” in Europe, and “MAC-7’ in Japan.
Box contents; camera, owner’s manual, a wrist/neck strap and maybe a vinyl carrying case.
Manufactured by; Minolta Co, LTD, Osaka, Japan.
Made in: Japan.
Date of manufacture; 1986-?
Price; Original retail probably around $250-300.
Build material; mostly plastic body.
Weight; camera with batteries, 12.1oz (344g).
Dimensions; Size is 5.35″ (136mm) wide, 2.8″ (72mm) high, and 1.8″ (45mm) deep.
Focal length; 35mm.
Aperture; F/2.8-18, not user selectable.
Focusing; active type infrared auto focus, 2.1′ (0.65m) to infinity.
Lens; 35mm F/2.8 multi-coated glass four elements in four groups design. Angle of view 63°
Shutter and speed; 1/40s to 1/800s but not user adjustable. No cable release option.
Distortion; did not check, but looks mild from the pictures I have with straight lines near the edges.
Color fringing; mild magenta colored lateral type.
Double exposure prevention; yes, but cannot be over-ridden.
Features; fill flash, 10 second timer, sequential (1 shot per second) mode.
Film; all 135 film cartridges,
Flash. built in, 13′ (4m) at ISO 100, 1.2 second recharge time with fresh lithium batteries or pack.
Power; DL223A 6V or 4 AAA batteries for main power, and a CR2025 for the data back.
Viewfinder; .6x magnification. Small, with good brightness, marks for framing with parallax correction, and AF zone. Has red and green warning lights. Solid green means you’re good to shoot, blinking green (ISO 200 or less) means subject is beyond flash range. Solid red means flash is charging; there is no blinking red warning.
DX coding; 25-1600. Defaults to ISO 100 when no code is detected.
Accessories for this model; Close-up lens and tele photo lens from Minolta.
Crippling features and omissions; no way to shut off flash, but you can put your finger over the strobe lens if you don’t want the flash illuminating your picture. Uses expensive 6V battery, but can use four AAA too.
Good features; very simple to operate, excellent exposures, fast and mostly accurate AF, and decent flash.
Go here for an owner’s manual