Minolta brand

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Speedliner, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I was looking through my old Minolta SLR gear and was wondering why Somy Sint retain the Minolta brand? Would their current cameras and lenses have more impact of they were still labeled Minolta, or did they do better leveraging Sony?

    Like most of us, I have some affection for the "things" of my youth. I was missing "Minolta".
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    In the digicam market, Sony's name was better than Minolta's. Minolta had trouble making the leap to digital. By the mid-2000s, the frontier of camera development was sensor technology, and Sony was far stronger there. Minolta seemed to most of the digicam market like Dad's old film camera, which it was.

    When I was a kid, I dreamed of owning an SRT-101, and eventually settled for a Hi-Matic F. I'm grateful to Sony for coming out with the NEX and helping to popularize mirrorless cameras that can use legacy lenses. I went with Olympus bodies but I've bought several Rokkor lenses, some with Minolta SLRs attached. Now my teenage daughter shoots an SRT-101 with black-and-white film and a colorful strap, which she calls her "hippie camera." I prefer to see the Minolta name live forever in its classic film cameras, not struggling in the digital market to draw a few selfie-ists from their cellphones.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This is what crippled Minolta: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/..._1_minolta-honeywell-patents-camera-companies
    The patents were fundamental for AF. The other camera companies settled with Honeywell and paid royalties. Minolta didn't, was sued by Honeywell and lost. It cost them the financial resources for developing digital cameras. Sony bought the camera and lens design and manufacturing technology and added their electronics capability.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Minolta (Konica Minolta) existed till 2003. At the time Sony had no system cameras... only bridge and P&S. Konica-Minolta also was the first to deliver in camera image stabilization which was the first attempt to take on the market aggressively. I don't recall taking Sony seriously at all when it came to digital SLRs; two big players Nikon and Canon. It was that lawsuit that did them in. Sony's purchase of Konica-Minolta got them what they needed to be a player in the DSLR market.

    I don't think it would matter much whether the camera was marketed as Sony or Minolta. Like Pentax, Minolta already was loosing marketshare to Nikon and Canon very quickly. Fast forward today.... Sony as electronics brand has been taking a hit and is on a decline. So from that respect Minolta brand may have faired better.. however the brand transition occurred over 10 years ago and Minolta as a brand probably wouldn't have the same impact on the buyers of today.

    The buyers have changed... more of them are not the same type of buyer that still go to camera shops for their equipment. The vast majority of camera purchases occur in big box retail stores brick and online. So the nostalgia wouldn't really help much.
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    think a lot of it relates to where in the world you grew up.. Brand awareness wasn't always global.. In the UK in the 70's/80's Olympus regularly advertised on TV using David Bailey

    and Monty Python Eric Idle and Formula One world champion James Hunt

    I would reckon in that era Nikon probably had best brand recognition (hey Paul simon referenced them along with Kodachrome in a song ), followed by Pentax and maybe then Canon..

    Minolta were always a little niche. I never lusted after a Minolta... though i did after a Contax RTS

    never got the camera but do have a couple of the lenses :)

    • Like Like x 1
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    You missed the one with (Lord) Patrick Litchfield!
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thats true... couldn't find that one in my late night trawl of youtube.. though I did find this one

    Also reminds me that a good friend of mine was visiting Paris in the early 80's . She was standing on one of the bridges over the Seine doing touristy shots when she recognised Litchfield standing there. So she cheekily went up to him and asked if he would take a shot of her.. Handing over her camera, Lichfield noted it was an Olympus (probably an OM10) and said something along the lines of "maybe my friend might be better" and turned and pointed to David Bailey who was standing beside him. So my friend ended up with a couple of shots, one by Bailey of her and Lichfield and one by Lichfield of her and Bailey :)

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