Minolta alpha 303si

I love this camera, it is my first ever minolta. I saw it in the junk bin, just the body. So I looked around for a lens and I found two that might fit. As everything was in bags it was difficult to tell if they were for the same camera, but I took a chance and bought two. A 100-300mm zoom, and a 28-80mm macro. All for the princely sum of around $25. I have seen some online for about the same price without a lens, with a basic lens the price doubles…never seen one with a zoom lens as well. Of course I had no idea if they fitted together or worked. But they did and it did after I inserted a 2CR5 battery in the very clean compartment.

Then I loaded a very old film and went for a walk.

Everything about this camera just worked. The lenses were sharp, the focusing was quick. The light seals were perfect, nothing needed to be done at all. It is light and comfortable to wear around the neck even with the larger lens on. And it was so cheap I didn’t mind just throwing it in a bag. I think I might damage it more than the previous owners.

Apparently this was one of Minolta’s cheaper cameras from the late 1990s. Maybe that is why it is so clean, it is practically brand new. It still has all the functions you might need – Automatic, aperture priority, speed priority, manual etc. No bells and whistles though like the digital cameras of today. I was so impressed with the quality of the test roll that I decided to take it out again, to a bird sanctuary. I even put a newer film in, only two years out of date.

I took a digital with me as well, just in case I saw something special..such as the kingfisher. And I think this camera coped better with the focusing than that one did.

I feel I should keep this one, but I have an OM4 so do I need two?? Yes because I don’t have a 100-300mm lens for that one and getting one would be way more expensive than the $10 I paid for this one.


5 thoughts on “Minolta alpha 303si

    1. windswept007 says:

      I didn’t but I will probably not own a digital Sony as I have a Nikon I really like. But Minolta cameras are easy to get, so I will probably use it on another one….though I do like this one despite the damage.


      1. Toby says:

        The very first proper af camera was Minolta the 7000 is probably the best of the lot, smaller than they all ended up more like a manual camera with grip. The lenses that were released at the time are fab glass, lenses with metal bodies. If you see any information the early ones cheap grab them. The 70-210 constant f4 is fab and usually £50 or less. For a constant f4 zoom!! The primes are great too, you’ll get an af 50mm f1.8 for £30 on a good day. They are essentially the same as the earlier mf rokkor glass.


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