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Contax TVS Digital 4 to 5 Megapixel
Submitted by Keith a Professional
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2015
Strengths: Wonderful build quality. Fantastic lens. Massive pose value. Proof that fashion changes but style remains. Collector's item. Has outlasted all its competition. A joy to be in the same room as it. A joy to own. Beautiful attention to detail with titanium and Sapphire etc. Comes with nice case. One of the few digital cameras that will go up in price. Good battery life. Pin sharp and very bright coloured images. Easily spotted by camera buffs who instantly envy you. The best Contax digital. The last Contax camera, so an historical item. A digital T3. The pics are better than the T3 is capable of.
Weaknesses: A bit slow. 5mp is just enough to justify the great lens. Not good for all uses, though I would suspect it wouldn't be the only camera users would own. Was it ever? Well built with common technology of the time, though no customer service, which is still better than Canon....
As the years pass by you can look back at the reviews of this item that were posted back in the day and see how wrong people were. The cost new was the main issue, yet people tried to justify their wrath with silly, inaccurate vitriol, praising other cameras above it that are now land fill. Yes, what happened to all those Canons, Hitachies, Sonys etc, that were so much better? Land fill, is the answer. Many photographers now realise that a second longer for start up isn't the end of the world. Slow auto focus is still faster that manual, which was always good enough, and often still is. A half an inch smaller display won't stifle your muse. Other digitals of the time proved unreliable. The Canon Ixus was such a great camera till they all went wrong with 'Card Error' messages. Others became very ugly and often very stupid in their design. Others had silly card systems which became obsolete as soon as the camera was built. All those Sony memory stick systems. There was much talk about the 'inferior' sensor. When a batch went wrong, we found out that it used a common sensor used in many, if not all, of its competitors. The web was full of jibber-jabber and anger, usually an amalgamation of criticisms gathered around other reviews, posted by non-owners...or those, 'I soon returned mine' folk. Now, I'm not saying this will ever be an owner's only camera. There are better cameras for action shots etc. This is a lovely camera just to carry about for casual snaps. In the day, I used SLRs professionally, but carried a Rollei 35 for snaps. It was slow to use and not madly over-featured. However, it was a joy to use. This is one of those cameras that is a joy to use. Others include Leica rangefinders, tiny Rolleis, Minox stuff and the gorgeous Olympus XA and classic Trips. There are many others, including other Contax compacts. If you can get one of these, just do. It will improve your quality of life!
Purchased At: London Camera Centre
Similar Products Used: Leica, Nikon, Asahi Pentax, Rollei, Lumix G, silly stuff. Contax T compacts, XAs of all types, Canons etc...
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by Hiro Hosono a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2010
Strengths: 1. Amazing color. I have a digital SLR now....but it does much better color.
2. MF gives this camera good response.
3. Good design, good size to use.
4. Clear view finder
MF+ evaluation metering + Program AE......this set up turns this slow camera into Quick shooter. Actually, it is better than using AF with Digital SLR.
Weaknesses: 1. AF is accurate, but slow. Faster to use MF.
2. LCD is small and not clear.
3. Slow to start up.
4. No RAW or TIFF image
This was my 1st digital camera after 20 years of Canon F-1,
Like lots of old people, I was not interested in DIgital until I got this. But, after I experienced the amazing color , I stopped using Canon F-1 and got another Tvs Digital.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $450.00
Purchased At: Palarel imported
Similar Products Used: Another Tvs Digital
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by gusice a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2006
Weaknesses: All the ones stated on my review.
The fact of having a great name behind like contax doesn't really yeald the best results as this camera shows.Having a great optics like Carl Zeizz sonar T lens won't suficce when the electronic desing is mediocre. I a not going to repeat myself with countless technical details that abond in other review sites. Instead I am going to tell why I don't recommend to buy this camera. Very slow either writing to sd card, reading and transfering. Very poor choice of materials on buttons and keys it resemble cheap plastic buttons on children's toys. Poor light metering managment on dim light conditions. Poor metering and focusing resulting in out of focus pictures that any normal & descent digital camera should be able to handle. Lack of downloable firmware upgrade s on contax site to improve speed and other bugs in this camera (actually there's an firmware upgrade on the website of kyocera, help yourself if you read japanese...). Too small letters on the menus. Worst lcd display I've ever seen: is to small for a camera at this price tag, it has a very low refresh rate and flickers to much, it can be seen very well in strong daylight conditions but the worst is the annoying "flickering" of the lcd display. It doesn't come with an auto lamp to add to focus using the lcd display in dim/dark light conditions. It desn't come witha descent cpapacity memory card for the price paid (the 16 mb is actually miserably useless). The shutter release button has to much play and feals cheap. Who needs a jewells grade shapire on the viewfinder since it's in a receded cavity? They should have cover the lcd screen with an anti-scratch layer which is more prone to scratchs than the viewfinder. Who use the viewfinder with aa good lcd screen anhyways? It would've been nice to have the chance to charge the battery out of the camera using an external battery charger. Nice woud've been also to have the chance to choose speeds (speed priority). And last but not least Price, too high for the mediocre results that this camera yields. For all this reason I don't recommend buying this camera I am thorougly disapointed with contax and this is my last contax camera.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $899.00
Purchased At: wolf
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Sebastiaan F.C. Harm a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2004
Strengths: classical design,
fairly quick auto focus
good overview (operation)
easy pc transport (USB)
I must say I don't (din't:-) like digital camera's. Too expensive, bad quality, too cold, hard pictures etc,etc.
It't is that I'm back to school again and a digicam was recommended because off the large amound of pictures must being
taken, digi is cheaper in the long run.
You must understand that my understanding of digital camera's is not that great.
I sometimes play around with them when a friend had one.
I most of the time found them fustrating;
Tons of useless info and operations, a shutter delay of I-dont-now-how-long and a out focus even wurse the the G1(contax:-)
With this Idear in mind I was looking for a camera and saw this deal.
I found this black finished TVS by chance I liked classical (analoog) apperance, the sold build construction. The Zeiss lens, 5mp and size. I't has a more timeless feel than other digicams.
When I finaly got him, I feld quickly 'at home' the operation is what getting used to, but ones you get the hang of it (quick:-) i'ts where logical and analoog...
I think is a good camera for analoog minded photographers, there is a good licht metering system, color managment. and a fairly good manual focus opparation.
The format (JPEG) is maybe limited, but good anough for the concept of a compact/rangfinder. How use a Tiff/Raw (outside studio) annyway?
The zeiss lens is exellent (this is one of the reasons to write this review because many dispute the quality of the lens in opinions/reviews I have seeing. IMHO it's more due to other reasons than the lens but more as Digital in general, commpared to analoog)
Would I recommend the cam?
Yes, When you are Analoog orientated I surtenly do, It is a classical, not to ovious camera with a easy operation and exellent
Price Paid: $449.00
Purchased At: www.kamera-express.n
Similar Products Used: NON digicams :-)
Pentax ME, Canon Eos300, Canon AE1(!), Contax G1, Lomo mca, Yashica-MAT6X6, Ensign selfix 820
Submitted by nvanallens a Expert
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2003
Strengths: - build quality, like all T compacts
- Zeiss lens, great colour and contrast
- fill flash/skin tones (awesome)
- perfect size
- good battery life
- easy menus
- includes leather case
- no lens cap (hooray)
- did I mention build quality?
Weaknesses: - no RAW images
- no hot shoe
- no full manual mode
- software could be better
- not the fastest camera
I am very happy with this camera. It fits very nicely in a pocket, is built like a tank (and therefore a wee bit heavy), looks good :-) , has a Zeiss lens, lasts a good long time on its batteries and takes excellent images. It is relatively simple to operate, but you can use it "like" a manual with a few adjustments. However, I'm perfectly happy on program or AV mode, as this is basically my take everywhere camera. Note, though, that this is not an idiot-proof camera. In the hand, it feels like my old T2, which is to say perfect. If you appreciate a Contax camera, this may be the digital for you. It will cost more than the G5s of this world, though (especially in the gorgeous black), and you may consider the options that those camera have, at a lesser price, to be the way to go. I did, but then I came back to the Contax - primarily for the fill flash and the skin tones.
Similar Products Used: Oly 2020, 3030, D-10; Canon G3, G5, S50.
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