The shutters on Chinese/Minolta SLR cameras can be grouped into two types -- mechanical and electronic -- although you might not know which type your camera has.  All of the electronic shutters require a battery to function, while the mechanical shutters do not -- but the camera still might need a battery to fully operate.  An easy way to determine if your camera's shutter is mechanical or electronic is to look at the shutter release.  If it is threaded to accept a cable release, it is a mechanical shutter.  Electronic shutters will have a cable release connection on the side of the lens mount -- assuming the camera has a cable release connection.

The shutters can also be grouped by their physical operation -- either horizontal or vertical.  Either type of shutter can be electronic or mechanical, but with Chinese/Minolta cameras, all of those with electronic shutters operate horizontally.  All Chinese/Minolta SLR cameras that have a vertical shutter are mechanical -- not electronic as one would expect.  In operation, either type of shutter will produce the same result, but the might be small differences in the available shutter speed selection, and/or the top flash synch speed.  

The main functional difference between shutters is that only electronic shutters can provide automatic exposure control.  But just because a camera HAS an electronic shutter does not mean that it offers automatic exposure control -- it doesn't even mean that it has a meter!

Here is Phenix DC500 camera with a mechanical shutter and without a meter.  It only offers manual exposure control.  

Here is a Braun SR2000 MD camera.  It also has a mechanical shutter, but it has a meter.  It offers manual exposure control, and metered manual control.  

Here is a Seagull DF-98 camera.  It has an electronic shutter, but does not have a meter.  It only offers manual exposure control.  

Here is a Kalimar KX 5000 camera with an electronic shutter with a meter.  It offers both manual exposure control, and metered manual control.

Here is a Kinon X-380 camera with an electronic shutter with a meter.  It offers manual exposure control, metered manual control, and automatic exposure control.

So, here is a summary of what shutter, meter, and exposure combinations you can choose from:

When choosing a camera, you need to decide if you want a mechanical shutter or an electronic one.  With an electronic shutter, you'll need to always bring extra, good batteries.  You'll also need to decide if you want automatic exposure control, or metered-manual exposure control -- or both.  No matter how you answer, there will be different cameras with additional different features from which to choose.  Generally speaking, the more features, the more the camera will cost.

Another difference between the Chinese/Minolta SLR cameras is the shutter release plate which can have different features:  

Some have a mechanical shutter release, while others have an electronic one.  The upper camera has an electronic shutter release (green circle) and a film advance window (red circle).  The lower camera has a mechanical shutter release (green circle) and multiple exposure lever (red circle).

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