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The Minolta XE-5 is the one year younger, less advanced sibling of the Minolta XE 35mm SLR cameras; introduced in 1975. It was not sold on the Japanese home market. This too has fixed finder and the vertical running metal blade shutter, as well as the bright viewfinder with the convenient exposure meter scale to the right, for either manual or automatic operation. However, the double exposure facility has gone, as has a few other minor details. The on/off switch is at the rear, but the film advance indicator is gone. The traditional hot-shoe is at the top of the finder, while the finder shutter deleted. The prism housing is all black. The MC Rokkor-X PF 1:1.7 f=50mm is the standard lens.
|The all black prismhead sets the XE-5 appart from its siblings|
The exposure setting is either meter-assisted manual or aperture-priority automatic. In the manual mode, the recommended shutter speed on the meter scale in the viewfinder must be compared to that set on the dial. The automatic mode is selected by setting the shutter speed dial to A. The electronically controlled shutter has manually selectable speeds from 4 sec. to 1/1000 sec., and a backup mechanical 1/90 sec. and B. The shutter-speed dial locks in the A position, easily released by a tiny button reached when gripping the dial. The film speed is set on a dial surrounding the rewind knob. A small button just next to the black finder housing releases the ASA-dial. The value is set against an index dot to the right. To the left on the same dial is an exposure compensation scale of ±2 EV, which may easily be set depressing an almost invisible button on the dial edge.
The viewfinder is quite bright and uncluttered with a centre split-image range finder. The exposure-meter hand moves across the available speeds displayed on a vertical scale to the right, brightly backlit by the SLR view extending beyond the image area. No other information is visible in the finder. The exposure-meter hand points to the recommended shutter speed in manual mode.
The camera operates on a 3V silver battery or two 1.5V SR44 batteries. A battery check lever with a red LED is on the left-hand side of the body. On the left-hand front is the lens release button, high at the left-hand side of the mirror housing. A PC X sync. only contact is also on the left-hand side. A lens diaphragm stop-down button is on right-hand side at the bottom of the mirror housing. Normal position is pushed in, for stop down it is pushed and let out. There is no mirror up facility. A traditional self-timer with trigger button is to the right of the mirror housing. On the base are the rewind release button, the tripod socket and the battery compartment.