For a camera as packed with controls as this, Minolta has still kept the body comfortable and light. With more features than your average Boeing, this camera's menu modes are entered into with a jog dial that locks in the off position, stopping you from draining your batteries with accidental inside travel-gear shots.
The slightly larger than normal 1.8-inch LCD is clear and well lit, and is another unit to switch automatically between viewfinder and display as required. Offering either auto or manual focus the 7x optical zoom is responsive and easy to use. It's a little disappointing a camera of this calibre only comes with 32MB of CompactFlash, as you're limited to only four shots in the highest resolution mode.
Its picture quality is nothing short of wondrous. It has a strong flash and its white-balance settings mean that you can take photos with this unit in almost any condition and be guaranteed high quality shots. You could tweak the photos afterwards in an image-editing application, but straight from the camera there's little room for improvement.
With a stylish and strong magnezium alloy body, the Minolta 7i isn't budget, but at $1,999 it produces beautiful and accurate reproductions. Geared towards the enthusiast after best quality imaging, this is more than up to the task, though factor in the cost of some extra memory at time of purchase.