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Contax N1 vs Digital Rebel


New Member
I recently purchased a Canon Digital Rebel. I'm new to the world of digital SLR. I took a college course many years ago with manual SLR and developing film.

After getting more into digital SLR's, I discovered that many professionals use Contax. In particular the 645. However, I'm not sure ready to spend that much money yet for my new hobby. And to go digital with the 645 I would need a very expensive digital back.

So how does the N1 compare to the Digital Rebel? I really like the Rebel but I figured before I spent alot of money on Canon lenses, I would look into Contax and their lenses.

I'm sure you guys get this question alot. Digital Rebel vs N1. Fair comparison?




Well-Known Member
I own an N1 and have played around with my brother-in-law's digital Rebel. The Rebel produces nice images and gives you a fully digital work flow. With the N1, you'll need to scan film if you want a digital darkroom. So the work flow is very different.

I love the egonomics of the N1. For me, it feels very natural. Everything is placed perfectly. And the lenses are outstanding.

You can make very nice images with either camera. But I'm staying with the N1. Contax will eventually market a DSLR, and I am willing to wait.

Why don't you find a local shop and handle an N1? Better yet, rent one for a weekend, if possible.


Well-Known Member
Hi Peter,

I have had the Canon 10D for about a year and was quite disappointed with it. The dynamic range is terrible and unless you are shooting in controlled light you will get very disappointing results. A lot of times I got far too much blown highlights while I realized the exposure was correct. I always shoot RAW and use C1 for my conversion. Recently I have upgraded to the 1Ds and images are stunning in comparison to the 10D. I also have owned, sold and repurchased the N1 with no regrets, but probably for a different reason from yours. I also have the 645 whose lenses can be mounted onto the N1 with NAM-1. At any rate, Contax gives you, or at least me, the feeling that Canon or other Japanese companies could never achieve.

Obviously digital slr's, especially Canon's, provide a convenient work flow and extremely fast autofocus speed. As I take a lot of portrait pictures of my children I love and am very satisfied with both the 10D and 1Ds. The focusing speed, the "free film", and the ability to process the digital negative any way you want with C1 and PS are unbeatable with Canon dslr's. However, for critical work where you demand the highest quality, Contax is still in a different league compared to the 10D or Rebel. In my opinion, unless you are willing to invest into the 1Ds and mount some C/Y lenses via specially made adapters, my advice is to stick with the N1 and enjoy the magnificent image qualities. I personally think dslr's still have a long way to go unless you are willing to pay a substantial premium to film.



Well-Known Member
One more thing. Don't forget the Rebel has a 1.6x magnification, and Canon wide angle lenses SUCK! If you like landscape pictures like me, then you definitely should get the N1 instead and shoot slides.


Well-Known Member
I agree with Ken.

If you haven't the "need for speed", get a N-1, 24-85/3.5-4.5 Zoom & 50/1.4 for low light work and you're all set.

If you want the creative control and convenience of digital printing, pick up the new Minolta 5400, 35mm dedicated scanner. Wowzer! You should see the ink-jets you can pull from a 5400 dpi scanner using a Zeiss lens. Plus, it has Digital ICE so dust is less of a problem when scanning. Add a Epson 2200 printer and you can ignore digital for years to come.

Oh, by the way, I also own and use the Canon 1Ds with some excellent L prime lenses. But if I didn't need it for fast paced weddings and commercial work, the N stuff would be my choice.