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Contax is giving up on the N digital?


New Member
I just read that Contax is giving up on the N digital. I suppose I should have known from the first. They cannot keep up.


Well-Known Member
Where did you read that charming piece of news? Hmm, how long do they have to keep parts for the ND?

If it is true, I hope they make a better film camera than the N1 to take all these VERY expensive N lenses I invested in.


Active Member
> I do not own a digital camera, except for an early Pentax 3.2 mp model. In terms of Contax I have the G2, and I emailed Contax once about a possible digital G3, and the response I received (I was surprised to get a response) is that I would have to be prepared to pay about $3,000 for the camera body.

My other comment was that I suggested that Contax team up with Foveon and use a full frame Foveon chip for that G3.

I responded to Contax that if it could use a full frame high resolution chip (more than 6mp) I would buy the more expensive G3. The point is that I paid more than that for my Mamiya 7II with lenses, which such a camera would probably displace. At this point the $3,000 seems unnecessarily high.

Meanwhile, what I discern from the various posts is that Contax seems to be on the sidelines as far as a quality digital goes, other than a dressed up point and shoot.

Contax seems somehow to miss the point that its customers are willing to pay more for a superior and unique product. Contax has a different market than Canon, for ex&le.

It certainly seems that the owners of the NDigital are a determined group, and have pretty much figured out how to work around the issues with the camera. I cannot see how the TVS digital is going to satisfy anyone who really wants a true Contax. I am mystified why Contax is taking this approach after establishing such a valuable place in the market.



Well-Known Member
> Hi Richard!

I take great exception to your statement "Meanwhile, what I discern from the various posts is that Contax seems to be on the sidelines as far as a quality digital goes, other than a dressed up point and shoot" .

Yes, their ND has some problems. Take a look at all the digitals, and they all have some problems (Including Canon, Kodak, and Nikon!). But, the quality of the ND is unmistakable. And all film cameras have shortcomings! That is way digital cameras are gaining ground ... trying to circumvent film shotcomings!



Well-Known Member
> I am also asking for a substantiation of what article contained information on the ND rumour. I checked John's profile ... and he just came to the group 4 days ago ... and indicated NA in every field regarding his equipment, etc.

If the statementis accurate, then let us know what "article" supports the claim. Otherwise; I think that this is a possible "hit and run" on Contax.



Well-Known Member
Nothing is wrong, but Contax needs a modern
Flagship Pro SLR like the RTS to go with the N lenses. know a F5 or EOS 1v type camera (I'm not holding my breath).

Kyocera is turning the brand into a consumer level camera company. If it won't compete in digital (that remains to be seen), and not offer the 35mm counter part to the Contax 645, it's going to sink into oblivion, at least for me.

Here's what they need IMO, A more sophisticated flash system that puts out an AF signal that a NEW, more AF sensitive camera can read in low light. Then make the 16 meg., full frame, digital back for it. That is what Leica just announced for the R camera (10 meg, 20X24 sensor separate back to fit the ROM Rs). One camera, film or digital.


Well-Known Member
Hi Marc,

> Then make the 16 meg., full frame, digital back for it. That is > what Leica just announced for the R camera (10 meg, 20X24 sensor > separate back to fit the ROM Rs).

That is not what Leica just announced. It is NOT full frame. Full frame is 24 x 36, or 864 mm2, 20 x 24 is 480 mm2 or barely just over 1/2 frame!



New Member

I just do not know how to respond to this news. It is really upsetting.


"What's so wrong with the N1?"

I think Contax is in a dilemma. If you look at the N1, there is basically nothing what you would miss in functionality, except maybe an ultra high speed AF for mybe 5% of the Contax users who need it.

But the N1 as a consumer camera (equivalent to the RX) has even a mirror lock up included. You will not find that on a Nikon F100! So thik abaout it, what would you really NEED additionally compared to the N1 to use it professionally.

IMO there are not really many features which a professional N camera à la RTS III would need (maybe the vacuum system).

But looking at the costs of such a camera, it would make sense to offer only a pro model as a digital camera (IMO nobody would pay nowadays 3500 euro/usd for a "polished" N1 with a sturdier body and slightly faster AF)

But the digital area is obviously not yet the strebgth of Contax. I do think that they could build something equivilant to the competition, but it would be always a lot more expensive and also slightly (at least) less comfortable. Why this? Because Canon et alii have so many patents on certain crucial technology for AF and digital, that you have either to pay a lot of money to use a license or you have to use different technique as it was done with the AF motors in the new N-lenses. Canon has the patent on the smaller motors, so Contax had to use the bigger ones, which make the lenses looking like Medium Format.

But I do not believe that Contax will stop with a Digital N-line. This is the future for every manufacturer and normally you do not kill your own future. Whether they like it or not, they have to come out with more digital slr models - not only N-based.



New Member
Michael...should I need to defend myself. I have been a Contax N owner for over 1 year now. I was with this forum since day one. Usually just browsing and hoping for some good news. For some reason I really like to shoot with my N. Probably because of a perverse nature and the challenge it represents. I had always hoped for a new camera or better yet better software,now it looks like a dead end. I will probably shoot my N once in a while but really lost faith in Contax (Kyocera). I guess ceramics brings in enough money but not enough to keep the r&d going.


This is the copy of the announcement on the page of RG:


A spokesperson for Contax in the US has confirmed that the N Digital SLR camera is no longer being manufactured. While there may still be stock at dealers or in the distribution chain, no new shipments are expected from parent company Kyocera in Japan.

The 6 MP Contax N Digital was the first digital SLR to ship with a sensor about the same size as a 35mm film frame, and emerged on store shelves about a year ago. The Contax N Digital remains listed for sale at reputable dealers in the US for about US$6800-7000, or about the same price that it shipped at originally in 2002.

References to The N Digital as a current product will soon be removed from the Contax web site. The spokesperson said that while new products are always being developed, a possible replacement for the N Digital is not being announced at this time.


This is only a statement that they do not continue with this model. No surprise at all. First it is a normal thing nowadays to take a digital model from the market after one year and secondly it was not really a homerun-model compared to the newest models of the competition. So a totally normal reaction.

And after the marketing desaster with the ND, it is also normal that they do not announce something new, til it is REALLY ready to go



Well-Known Member
Interesting as no other spokespersons for Contax are saying anything like this. I think robgalbraith may have been listening to too much gossip rather than hard facts.

Now, who's for a bet with me. I wager £5 that rob galbraith cannot supply the name of the US spokesperson. I also find it incredible that a US spokesperson would tell rob galbraith but forget to tell all the photographic press. Perhaps rob galbraith has some special treatment.



Don't be so upset john, this is old news. The N Digital has been discontinued but there are more overly priced Contax Digital products on the way.. Bet on it!


Well-Known Member
As long as Contax N Digital is still supported, I do not care if it is in production. I still shoot with Rolleiflex Automat made in 1949, and as long as parts ofr it are available from Rollei, I could not care less that it was taken off prodiction 52 years ago.


I hope they will come up with a digital body for the C/Y lenses. Many users would like to be able to get the benefits of our lenses even if we had to put up with a less than full-frame sensor (more than one has been asking about adapters for EOS bodies!).
If Sigma can make a decent 20-40 zoom for their digital SLR, I am sure Zeiss could also do it. That seems to require less R&D money than the possible competitive "N-RTS-D" camera we might dream of.
And if you prefer long lenses, a conversion factor 1.2x or 1.4x is not a shortcoming, it is a plus!
I understand their attempt of a completely New system with AF and digital, but as an intermediate solution, a C/Y body with digital sensor seems to make sense...And they do have the technology to do that


Well-Known Member
Austin, read my post again...I was refering to a separate back idea, not the current meg count or size. It shows the technology can be adapted. A reference to 16 meg, full frame is the dream. With that you would need nothing else.

Dirk, Pro level SLRs have always been the "Marketing" flagship that sets the reputation of most any camera maker. You say the N1 has mirror lock-up...could someone tell me how to do that? Super fast isn't the point about AF, it's sensitivity. Focusing in the darker conditions that others have no problem with. And it is more than 5% of Contax users if you consider all who left Contax for lack of it.

Personally, I'm with Irakly. I don't care if they make the ND anymore. I just hope I can get mine fixed later. As Irakly knows, I carry that camera around more than the superior Canon 1Ds. It's because of the images I get with it.