How to Operate the Minolta Freedom 3 Camera

The Minolta Freedom 3 is a very versatile camera that is very easy to operate, making it the perfect camera for the beginning photographer. Most 35mm cameras require you to adjust the amount of light to be allowed onto the film and to focus the camera. The Minolta Freedom 3 does this for you, as well as advancing each picture to the next frame. You will be able to take professional quality pictures after mastering these following easy steps: (1) loading the film, (2) taking the picture, and (3) unloading the film.

Equipment and Supplies

To get started using your camera, you will need a:

Warning:   Different films are for different occasions! Just remember that the 
       	   lower the ISO number (this will be on the film box as 25, 100, 200, 
           400, or 1000), you need more light and less movement. The higher 
           numbers are for taking pictures inside or where there is a lot of 
Loading the Film

Before you can begin taking pictures with your camera, you need to put an unexposed roll of film into your camera. This can be done by following these easy steps: (1) opening the back of the camera, (2) putting the film in the camera, and (3) advancing the film.

Opening the back of the camera. This camera will help you load the film. All you need to do is:

  1. Turn the camera face down so you are looking at its back with the viewfinder pointing away from you. You will notice the film door covers the entire back of the camera beneath the viewfinder.
  2. Find the film door opener on the left-hand side of the door. Push this switch up and the door will swing open.
Putting the film in the camera. You are now ready to put a unexposed roll of film into the camera. This is done by:

  1. Taking the film out of its box and plastic container.
    Warning:   Film producers recommend that the film should be loaded in low light
               levels! this is to protect the film from being exposed before it is 
               put in your camera. Do not pull the film out of the cassette except 
               as indicated below.
  2. Hold the film cassette so the little inner hub is pointing toward you. Place the film into the left-hand side of the camera. The film will only go in one way so do not force the cassette into place.
Advancing the film. The camera will now do the hard work of advancing the film. All you need to do is:

  1. Hold the cassette in place with your left hand as you pull enough film from the cassette to reach the right side of the camera. Slide this end piece of film aroundthe rubber hub and press the notched holes of the film onto the matching notched teeth of the hub.

  2. Locate the clear, plastic door on the right-hand side of the film door. Close THIS door onto the film and hub. The camera will now advance the film. If it doesn't, repeat the previous step.
  3. Close the main film door. As you do this, the motor will advance the film to exposure 1. On top of the camera in the center, the display window will now say 1 in the lower right-hand corner.
Taking the Picture

Now that the film has been loaded into the camera, you are now ready to start taking pictures. The majority of the work is done by the camera, but a few easy steps must be followed to maintain a consistent quality in your pictures. These are: (1) holding the camera, (2) framing the picture, and (3) taking the picture.

Holding the camera. Holding the camera is a very important part of picture taking; an improperly held camera can result in blurred pictures caused by camera movement. To ensure a good picture, you must:

  1. Grasp the camera with its front pointing away from you in your right hand so that your index finger is wrapped around the top, right-hand corner of the camera. Your remaining fingers should be in the notch of the lens cover and your thumb should be on the film compartment door.
  2. Place the camera into your left palm so it has a flat, sturdy platform to rest on.
    Warning:   Make sure your shoulder strap is held out of the way of the 
               lens.  This can cause pictures to be partially blacked out.
Framing the picture. Framing the picture means getting everything into the picture that you want. You need to:

  1. Hold the camera up to your face with the front facing away from you. Position the viewfinder to the eye that you will be looking through. Close the other eye.
  2. Aim the camera at the subject that you will be photographing and look through the viewfinder. You will see a representation of the picture.
  3. Center the main item of your picture into the middle of the viewfinder. The white box around the outside edge of the viewfinder is a representation of the outer edge of your picture. If something you want in the picture falls outside this edge, back up to squeeze this in.
  4. Make sure the small, inner box in the very center of the viewfinder is on the subject you want photographed. This is the spot where the camera will focus.
Warning:   Failure to center the focusing box on your subject can result in 
           blurred pictures.
Taking the picture. The final step in picture taking is actually taking the picture. All you need to do is:

  1. Make sure that there is nothing, fingers or shoulder strap, directly in front of the camera.
  2. Find the shutter release. This square, silver button, located under your right index finger on the top right-hand side of the camera, is what triggers the camera to actually take the picture.
  3. Depress the shutter release. Your picture is taken and the film is automatically advanced to the next frame. (The Minolta Freedom 3 automatically adjusts for different lighting situations and turns the flash on automatically when needed.)
Warning:     When taking a picture, if a red light appears in the viewfinder, 
             this means the flash needs a moment to charge itself. Wait a few seconds until a greenlight comes on, then take your
             picture. Failure to wait will result in dark pictures due to lack 
             of light.
Unloading the Film

After you've finished taking your pictures, you need to get the exposed roll of film out of your camera so that you can get it processed into pictures. This is done by: (1) rewinding the film and (2) removing the cassette.

Warning:  Never open the back of the camera before the film is rewound
          back into its cassette. Doing so will expose the entire roll to light
          which will ruin all of your pictures.
Rewinding the film. Rewinding the film is easy enough because the camera does it for you, except when you need to remove a roll of film before the end of the roll. To remove the film, just:

  1. Continue to take pictures with your camera as normal. When the film reaches its end, the camera will automatically unlock the advance mechanism and rewind the film.

  2. Locate the rewind switch on the bottom of the camera if you want to rewind the film before it reaches the end of the roll. This switch is shaped like the letter L and is labeled with the letter R. Just press this button and the film will rewind back into the cassette.
Removing the cassette. After the film has been rewound into the cassette, removing the cassette follows the same basic steps as loading the film but in reverse. All you need to do is:

  1. Hold the camera face down.
  2. Open the film compartment door by pressing the latch located on the left-hand side of this door.
  3. Remove the film cassette from this camera.
    Warning:    About 2 inches of film will stick out of the cassette.  Do
                not pull this out of the cassette. This will expose the film to light
                and ruin any pictures. 
  4. Hold the cassette in one hand and turn the small hub of the cassette counter-clockwise to roll the remaining film into the cassette. You do not want any film to be left sticking out of the cassette.
Now that you have taken an entire roll of pictures, you can take your film into your favorite film developer to print your pictures. The more you use your camera, the more familiar you will be with its functions and with the composition you like to obtain from your pictures. Enjoy your memories.

This information is owned and maintained by David A. McMurrey. For information on use, customization, or copies, e-mail or call (512) 476-4949.