A year after Minolta released the X-570, they introduced the X-300 to the photographic market. It was a less-expensive alternative to the X-570 thanks to fewer features. The body of the X-300 is nearly identical to that of the X-570. The only change, other than the nameplate, is that the shutter speed dial in now covered, only showing one speed at a time. In addition, the camera features are minimized. Perhaps the biggest feature change from the X-570 is that the X-300 lacks the OTF (off-the-film) flash mode -- which many find very useful. In addition, the X-300 lacks the DOF preview, PC connection, and interchangeable screens of the X-570. Together, these changes reduced the price tag of the X-300 significantly.
The Minolta X-300 is a 35mm manual focus SLR using the SR lens mount (often wrongly referred to as the MC or MD mount, which were actually lens series) which was used on all Minolta manual focus 35mm SLR bodies (except for the Minolta ER) begining in 1958. The X-300 is based on the earlier X-570 but had features removed by Minolta to reduce the price tag. The X-300, and its many kin -- the X-370, X-300s, X-370n, X-9, X-7A, X-370s -- became the basis of Minolta's manual-focus SLR cameras after the introduction of the auto-focus Maxxum line. The various X-370's were less expensive than the new, auto-focus cameras, but still had many of the features that a new or experienced photographer needed. As mentioned, production was moved from Japan to China around 1990, and the X-370's have been used as the basis for many others cameras from China, sold by Seagull (such as the Seagull DF-300) and under several other names -- such as Kalimar, Vivitar, Safari, Phoenix, Soligor, Kalimar, Centon, Texer and others. In fact, the last of the Minolta X-700, X-570, and X-370 cameras were made under license by Seagull -- so it was easy for Seagull to make the switch when Minolta decided it didn't want any more cameras from Seagull! One thing seems certain -- the X-370 will live on, in one form or another, for many years to come.
- Film format: 24x36mm frames on 35mm film
- Type: Single Lens Reflex
- Lens mount: SR Mount
- Split-image spot, microprism band and acute matte field focusing screen.
- In viewfinder shutter speed scale/LED display.
- Cable shutter release on body next to lens.
- Electrically controlled focal plane shutter 4 sec to 1/1000 sec (Auto), 1 sec to 1/1000th (Manual).
- 10 Second self-timer with LED indication.
- AE lock (15 seconds).
- ISO Range 12-3200
- 2 x AG13/LR44 batteries required.
- Black or chrome body.