Last Updated on 09/23/2017 by Chris Gampat
One of the brands of cameras you would absolutely never think would come back from the dead is Minolta. But according to Photo Rumors your lack of belief in zombies is wrong! Elite Brands, the makers of both Rokinon and Samyang, has seemingly struck a sort of licensing agreement to use the name brand. With that said, brand new Minolta cameras are currently on sale at Amazon. For those of you who knew and used Minolta cameras, you probably also remember they had a few digital camera models. But that’s what makes this even weirder.
You see, back in the 2000’s, Sony bought Minolta. Sony then took over the Alpha mount (A mount) lineup and all the intellectual property for Minolta’s digital imaging division. The lineup still continues to live on in many ways via the A mount and Sony has continued on with the company’s history being in their products (even in E Mount) while also helping it evolve. However, Konica Minolta is still around and they still make printers and the like. That’s exactly the reason why this all seems just so odd right now.
So when Photo Rumors was tipped off to the cameras on Amazon, it made it all the more perplexing. They’re selling point and shoots–and not even premium point and shoots: think Canon Powershot technology from maybe eight years ago or so and then put Minolta’s name on it. One point and shoot has a 35x zoom which obviously is absolutely nothing compared to today’s technology. When I first started this website almost eight years ago, things were being done with 65x optical zooms with intelligent zoom technology coming into the fore. There isn’t even a 1-inch sensor at the heart of these things! With that said, and with all the knowledge of these cameras and the history, I’m not exactly sure who would buy these point and shoots or how they’re going to market them. I can’t imagine even B&H Photo let alone Amazon finding a way to sell these when the industry has moved on quite a bit.
What would be absolutely amazing though is if they revived some of the old Minolta film cameras and sold them in bundles with Rokinon/Samyang glass. I mean, I absolutely couldn’t say no to a Minolta camera with a manual focus/aperture 50mm f1.4 lens attached. Heck, it would probably make an even bigger splash than these things. The news would be huge and photographers would buy them for sure since they’re a different niche that hasn’t been totally decimated by smartphones.
We’ve reached out to our reps at Elite Brands, who are currently on break for the Jewish Holidays but hopefully will be able to get back to us soon. Head on over to Photo Rumors for more in-depth specs.