Still very capable

Started Nov 27, 2017 | User reviews
schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Still very capable

The good: Optically superb Zeiss-zoomlens with very smooth out of focus rendering in macro. Short shutter-release lag (although AF is somewhat slow).

Mostly very intuitive to use. It's a camera which you like to use. Pretty quick and straight forward access to Exposure compensation and Iso etc. The way it should be.

Nearly foolproof Auto white-balance and iso 320 is useful though grainy in a good way. Max is iso 400 which looks a little ragged. Still iso 320 is pretty ok for being such an old compact.

Very short shutter-release lag. Works well with manual focus.

The not so good: The small 1.6" display is at least clear enough but can be hard to see clearly in strong sunlight.

The flash-capacitor needs to charge up on each first "cold start" even if the flash-option is set to Off. It takes about 5-6 secs. But after you can just turn it straight on next time and begin to take pictures at once.

No Raw-format option. Af can be a little slow though very accurate. Screen freeze while the AF operates is something else not very well which I've got used to, but not the way it should be of course.

Writing to card is not very fast. At least it have bufffer enough for another two or three pictures after the first one.

In-camera charging which can be both good or bad depending on how when see it. You can use an external charger as well if you want that instead.

Only P-mode and Aperture-priority. No manual or shutter-priority. Though no problem for me but may be for others.

Default in-camera sharpness settings turns out a little ragged. Better and still sharp use -1 instead, which is the lowest setting and the images gets a better, more natural look.

 schaki's gear list:schaki's gear list
Contax TVS Digital Kyocera Finecam S5 Kyocera Finecam SL400R Ricoh Caplio 500SE Ricoh Caplio R3 +1 more
Contax TVS Digital
5 megapixels • 1.6 screen • 35 – 105 mm (3×)
Announced: Sep 29, 2002
schaki's score
4.5
Average community score
4.2
bad for good for
Kids / pets
unrated
Action / sports
weak
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
unrated
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
unrated
= community average
OP schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Re: Still very capable
 schaki's gear list:schaki's gear list
Contax TVS Digital Kyocera Finecam S5 Kyocera Finecam SL400R Ricoh Caplio 500SE Ricoh Caplio R3 +1 more
JL Auch Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: Still very capable

Would love to see this camera remade, or some version of the contax t2/3.

schaki wrote:

The good: Optically superb Zeiss-zoomlens with very smooth out of focus rendering in macro. Short shutter-release lag (although AF is somewhat slow).

Mostly very intuitive to use. It's a camera which you like to use. Pretty quick and straight forward access to Exposure compensation and Iso etc. The way it should be.

Nearly foolproof Auto white-balance and iso 320 is useful though grainy in a good way. Max is iso 400 which looks a little ragged. Still iso 320 is pretty ok for being such an old compact.

Very short shutter-release lag. Works well with manual focus.

The not so good: The small 1.6" display is at least clear enough but can be hard to see clearly in strong sunlight.

The flash-capacitor needs to charge up on each first "cold start" even if the flash-option is set to Off. It takes about 5-6 secs. But after you can just turn it straight on next time and begin to take pictures at once.

No Raw-format option. Af can be a little slow though very accurate. Screen freeze while the AF operates is something else not very well which I've got used to, but not the way it should be of course.

Writing to card is not very fast. At least it have bufffer enough for another two or three pictures after the first one.

In-camera charging which can be both good or bad depending on how when see it. You can use an external charger as well if you want that instead.

Only P-mode and Aperture-priority. No manual or shutter-priority. Though no problem for me but may be for others.

Default in-camera sharpness settings turns out a little ragged. Better and still sharp use -1 instead, which is the lowest setting and the images gets a better, more natural look.

thelps
thelps Contributing Member • Posts: 565
Re: Still very capable

I can recall a number of people saying it had a DP2 Foveon like look the images. I can see this myself. I suspect this was due to the good lens design and build. I know of one guy who bought a pile of NOS units when they were discontinued.

I think its sensor was a bit limited in DR by today's standards but nothing that can't be worked around.

-- hide signature --

DPReview Quote: Ricoh GR III shooting experience: "Shut up and take my money"

 thelps's gear list:thelps's gear list
Sigma DP2 Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sigma DP2 Merrill Ricoh GR III Fujifilm X100V
OP schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Re: Still very capable

JL Auch wrote:

Would love to see this camera remade, or some version of the contax t2/3.

It would be nice if Zeiss began to use the Contax brand again. Contax used to be innovative and that is exactly what the Zeiss ZX1 seems to be.

Not too sure however if they are about to launch that camera or not though. I guess we that we might hear and see something from Photokina, if Zeiss will be there.

Just a couple of days ago I read that Nikon, Leica and Olympus wont be there this year.

I find that somewhat weird because Olympus don't seem to do too well really and like Panasonic them still hangs on to that old 20mp 4/3 sensor which they have had since 2015 when it first was used in Panasonic GX8.

There almost must have been tweaks made to that old sensor over the years, but it really would be good if Sony could come up with something newer that have good DR and iso performance.

Nikon is still doing well enough with their dslrs at the moment but really must try and get it right with their mirrorless ZX-line of cameras. https://dpreview.com/forums/thread/4444275

Leica however are problably doing well especially with the Rangefinders and M-mount as there is seemingly no real competition. The L-mount alliance with Panasonic and Sigma however. I'm not sure that Leica benefit a whole lot from that really since Sigma also can make very lenses probably Panasonic is not bad either at a lower cost than Leica as for the camera-bodies too I suppose.

The only small lenses that I've been able to find for the L-mount are the 18 and 23mm aps-lenses from Leica. Panasonic and Sigma, so far, have only bigger/ longer lenses that unlike the those two Leicas supports FF for the L-mount. It's not very well. I had hoped that there would be more small lenses for that L-mount.

Panasonic have no aps-camera for that mount yet. Leica have three. TL, TL2 and CL and Sigma have 2 from 2016. The last two Leicas was launched in 2017. So both Leica and Sigma might launch another aps-c/h camera for the L-mount during 2020.

 schaki's gear list:schaki's gear list
Contax TVS Digital Kyocera Finecam S5 Kyocera Finecam SL400R Ricoh Caplio 500SE Ricoh Caplio R3 +1 more
JL Auch Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: Still very capable

I agree with you. They should revive the contax line. I think the Zeiss ZX1 is a huge misfire. It is just much too large for what it is. It does have a few very interesting ideas though. Specifically; built in social media sharing and built in storage.

As for Panasonic and Olympus well... there is a reason, after being a dedicated m4/3 shooter for years, that I liquidated all my gear and bought Fuji. The forest through the trees says the M4/3 is totally stagnant. Olympus has completely lost the plot.

But back to the original topic. I could really envision a Digital Contax T2 selling extremely well, or at the very least selling as well as a Ricoh GR III would/did.

schaki wrote:

JL Auch wrote:

Would love to see this camera remade, or some version of the contax t2/3.

It would be nice if Zeiss began to use the Contax brand again. Contax used to be innovative and that is exactly what the Zeiss ZX1 seems to be.

Not too sure however if they are about to launch that camera or not though. I guess we that we might hear and see something from Photokina, if Zeiss will be there.

Just a couple of days ago I read that Nikon, Leica and Olympus wont be there this year.

I find that somewhat weird because Olympus don't seem to do too well really and like Panasonic them still hangs on to that old 20mp 4/3 sensor which they have had since 2015 when it first was used in Panasonic GX8.

There almost must have been tweaks made to that old sensor over the years, but it really would be good if Sony could come up with something newer that have good DR and iso performance.

Nikon is still doing well enough with their dslrs at the moment but really must try and get it right with their mirrorless ZX-line of cameras. https://dpreview.com/forums/thread/4444275

Leica however are problably doing well especially with the Rangefinders and M-mount as there is seemingly no real competition. The L-mount alliance with Panasonic and Sigma however. I'm not sure that Leica benefit a whole lot from that really since Sigma also can make very lenses probably Panasonic is not bad either at a lower cost than Leica as for the camera-bodies too I suppose.

The only small lenses that I've been able to find for the L-mount are the 18 and 23mm aps-lenses from Leica. Panasonic and Sigma, so far, have only bigger/ longer lenses that unlike the those two Leicas supports FF for the L-mount. It's not very well. I had hoped that there would be more small lenses for that L-mount.

Panasonic have no aps-camera for that mount yet. Leica have three. TL, TL2 and CL and Sigma have 2 from 2016. The last two Leicas was launched in 2017. So both Leica and Sigma might launch another aps-c/h camera for the L-mount during 2020.

OP schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Re: Still very capable

thelps wrote:

I can recall a number of people saying it had a DP2 Foveon like look the images. I can see this myself. I suspect this was due to the good lens design and build. I know of one guy who bought a pile of NOS units when they were discontinued.

I think its sensor was a bit limited in DR by today's standards but nothing that can't be worked around.

Yes the DP2 sample images from the Dpreview review resembles of the images Taken with Contax TVSD.

If one wants a Contax TVSD on a budget then there is the Kyocera Finecam S5 (not the newer S5R which uses more NR). It uses the same 5mp sensor and the TVSD is based on the S5 jpeg engine, so I read. But actually, it is not the same 35-100mm zoon although the largest aperture matches. TVSD have only macro at the wide end of the zoom but can go somewhat nearer while S5 have macro at both ends of its zoom.

Imaging-resource have sample images from both cameras.

TVSD https://imaging-resource.com/PRODS/TVS/TVSA.HTM#pics

S5 https://imaging-resource.com/PRODS/S5/S5A.HTM#pics

S5 is somewhat smaller but dont have quite as good UI as TVSD although it is near.

 schaki's gear list:schaki's gear list
Contax TVS Digital Kyocera Finecam S5 Kyocera Finecam SL400R Ricoh Caplio 500SE Ricoh Caplio R3 +1 more
OP schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Re: Still very capable
 schaki's gear list:schaki's gear list
Contax TVS Digital Kyocera Finecam S5 Kyocera Finecam SL400R Ricoh Caplio 500SE Ricoh Caplio R3 +1 more
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