Much to my surprise, I won this Minolta Hi-Matic 7s camera for just $27 on Ebay. I had been watching them go for anywhere between $75 and $160, but this one had very poor photos and just said "Working properly, no returns." I bid on it with a high bid of $30 knowing that it was a gamble and that it would probably go for much more. It didn't and I received it today. It's in very nice shape - no bad scratches or dings, the lens looks clean, and the shutter seems to fire properly at all speeds. The aperture opens and closes smoothly, but it needs a battery to see if everything works. Minolta Hi-Matic 7s Isn't Hi-Matic a cool name for a camera?
I love the simplistic look of this camera. It's kind of boxy and heftier than it looks. You know you're holding an old camera in your hands when you grab it.
These old cameras from the 1960s and early 70s take mercury batteries, which they don't make anymore. You can use Wein air cell batteries or even 675 sized hearing aid batteries in them with decent results. So, I'll get some batteries this weekend and see if the meter works. If the meter doesn't work, then I'll just shoot it with the Sunny 16 Rule and it will be just fine.
What's neat about this camera is that it shows you the EV (Exposure Value) in the viewfinder instead of showing you shutter speed and aperture. I like that as I find it helpful to think in EV numbers sometimes. You can shoot it on automatic or switch it to manual for total control.
Apparently the 45mm Rokkor lens on this is pretty sharp and I'm pleased that it's a fast f1.8 lens. This is good for low light and knocking backgrounds out of focus.
This won't be a daily shooter like my Nikon Fm2n or F3, but it will be a nice camera (and a rangefinder to boot!) to have around.