Minolta Freedom Zoom 105i (Only from the mind of Minolta)


Only from the mind of Minolta, that was a marketing tag line used by the camera maker to denote the leading edge technological aspects of their gear. In the case of the Freedom Zoom 105i though only from the mind of the marketing department. This feature could only have been dreamed up by a non photographer trying to make their product stand out. It has to be one of the most ill conceived features ever added to a camera. What is it exactly, you may be wondering considering that you probably have never seen one of these cameras and may not ever. It is an automatic zoom feature, (Advanced Program Zoom), and depending on the distance to the subject as determined by the autofocus system it will zoom in or out. Minolta says the camera suggests composition. Trying to use the camera I found myself in a constant battle. You see a nice sweeping landscape and want to take a wide shot, oh no you don’t the camera insists that you zoom in. You want to zoom in and isolate a subject, oh no you don’t the camera knows better. All that wouldn’t matter so much if it stopped once you tried to make an adjustment but it continues to zoom around. The only solution aside from hurling the camera at a solid object is to override the system by holding down both zoom buttons at the same time… Every time you turn the thing on. A T.V. ad from around 1990 suggests that it has a mind of its own making it easy for anyone to take a picture, only from the mind of Minolta.

The camera is also larger than necessary given that it only has a 35-105mm f4-6.7 zoom. It looks more like it belongs as a monocular vision system for a storm trooper in Star Wars. To be fair though ergonomically its actually pretty good and is perhaps the easiest camera to hold steady that I have ever encountered thanks to the natural way your hands fit. If only it didn’t battle you for composition supremacy.

2 Responses to “Minolta Freedom Zoom 105i (Only from the mind of Minolta)”

  • Canon Photura | Wallace Koopmans Artlog Says:

    […] different.  Other interesting cameras in the same, build it around the lens, vein are the Minolta Freedom Zoom 105i and the much more conventional looking Olympus […]

  • Jeremy Says:

    Found one for $6 at a thrift store because my daughter needed an old camera for a costume (dressing as Dorothea Lange for a school project). Wrong era, I know, but fun anyway. Plan to grab a new battery and some film to play with it after the project is over.

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