(1975) In 1975, Minolta "upgraded" the original SRT100 series to the SRT200 series.  Actually, there was very little difference between the two series of cameras.  Perhaps Minolta felt that the SRT100 series name was getting too old and that the public wanted something "new".  After all, the early 1970's saw dramatic competition in the camera market, and other camera companies were producing "new" cameras with new names -- some with very minor changes.  For example, Nikon added a hot shoe to it's Nikkormat FTN in 1975 -- and called it the Nikkormat FT2.  In the same vein, Minolta made some minor changes to all of the Minolta SRT100 series cameras -- and the SRT200 series was born.  

The SRT201 was a modified version of the SRT101.  There were actually several versions of the SRT201, depending on the market, with slight variations over time.  The model numbers are not inscribed on the cameras.

The SRT201 was manufactured from 1975 into the 1980's, when it was dropped.  It was the last Minolta SLR camera with a non-battery-dependent shutter, so it will always have a special place in our heart.  It was the last model in a long, successful line of well-designed, well-built, easy-to-use SLR cameras, going back all the way to 1958.  With the development of the auto-exposure cameras (1972), and then the auto-focus cameras (1985), Minolta saw a drop in demand for it's manual-everything cameras. The fact that their marketing budget supported auto-focus cameras, and not manual-focus cameras, played an important part. Fortunately, you and I know that the more control a photographer has, the better the results will be.

Given the addition of the split-image focusing screen and a hot shoe, the SRT201 (especially the later models) is a perfect camera for many photographers.  It competes well in a feature-comparison with the SRT102 and SRT202. And with Rokkor lenses, the SRT201 provides the exact same picture quality as any of Minolta's higher priced models.  Best of all, the SRT201 is still available at amazingly low prices on the used market -- often cheaper than the earlier SRT101.  For a comparative look at the major features of the SRT201 models, check out MINMAN's SLR table -- the world's most complete!


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