Contax TVSD vs. Sony V1

edmond

Member
I am now considering to buy a new digital camera and would like to obtain advice on whether Contax¡¦s TVS-Digital and Sony¡¦s DSC-V1 would be a better choice in terms of just final picture quality. I note Sony provide a F2.8-4.0 / 7-28mm (approx. focal length in 35mm format, 34-136mm) (8 elements in 7 groups) zeiss lens while Contax provides a 7.3mm-21.9mm, F2.8-4.8 (6 elements in 6 groups), (approx. focal length in 35mm format, 35mm-105mm). The appearance of Contax TVS is more impressive but seems that Sony's lens and the core CCD part might be better.
 
W

writing4me

> I'd like to add a question to this: Does either the Sony or the Contax allow either a tif, or raw image? Or can you only obtain jpegs? Thanks, Lynn L.
 

vhouse

New Member
[Vince Housecroft] The TVS has a very good lens. The resolution of the digital photographs is comparable to the Nikon D100. It is very easy to use and the controls all seem to be in the right places. It is also very compact whilst not being too small. [Vince Housecroft] The TVS is not capable of producing TIFF or RAW files. It uses JPEGS for all the file outputs.
 

keoj

Active Member
[.. [Joe Kirchgessner] Hi, this is my first post and I hope I get it = correct. Okay, the Sony I'm sure will output TIFF files. I own and use = its older brother, the DSC85 and have nothing but good things to say = about the quality of the pictures. They are excellent. The only two = issues (common with Digital) is the shutter lag and the autofocusing = limits of the camera. These limts are learned an dealt with. I'm quite = sure that the new Sony will be an excellent camera ..]
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Okay folks, I just uploaded 4 images in the Contax test area.

One is from the TVS Digital, along with its cropped version. And one is from the Canon S50, plus an similar crop. All images were shot and processed exactly the same.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

I have an opinion, but would like your impressions first.
 

ksklo

Well-Known Member
Marc, thanks for posting of the test images. It seems to me that the TVSD renders better contrast and details than the S50, but the difference is only negligible. Of course this is only my own opinion based on the few pictures you have posted. And being a Contax proud owner, unfortunately I might be a little biased. As a matter of fact, at this very moment I am also trying to decide between these two gadgets, and although the Contax name is really attractive, the difference between the functionalities and their respective prices doesn't really justify the TVSD decision. What do you think?

My purpose of getting a digital P&S is mainly to complement my slr systems. This will only be used mainly in family gatherings, dinner parties, travels, and other similar occasions. As a result, what is practically more important to me is the noise with higher ISO as it will be used primarily indoors, and subsequently the flash capabilities. I also favor the added value of having RAW files with the S50, especially under not so perfect conditions, i.e. not in a studio. I have the 10D and its E-TTL is not so clever, so RAW is a must for me there.

I would greatly appreciate your opinions not only because you must have extensively tested both cameras, but also the fact that you have been a demanding photographer with the highest set of standards. Thank you.
 
D

djg

Marc,

Examining the Hat & Cup images, the TVS exhibits both a more pleasant color (for me), a bit more contrast, and better detail which is especially noticeable in the cup's painted eye, the fine unravelled ends of the fastening strings, and the underside of the hat's upturned brim.

On the other hand my eyes have started to go so I may be imagining it all
.

DJ
 

jcheng

Member
Marc,
Thanks for posting those comparison photos. I agree with DJ that the TVS has a more pleasing overall image with better rendition of the hat's texture. Color is warmer, more natural and has more depth (at least on my monitors). Canon seemed harder, more mechanical. Looking at the hat picture reminds me of your posting of the American Flag shot with your ND 85 f1.4. The same incredible resolution of color and background.

However, looking at the cropped details, the Canon seems to be sharper. Really hard to tell.

I have the S50 now and am very impress with its quick and accurate focusing and metering. There is no question for me that the TVS has better glass, but how does it really handle in terms of metering and focus? Also, Canon uses Compact Flash cards, and TVS uses SM, is there a concern? Can you get the same amount of storage on SM as Compact Flash? Really would appreciate your comments on these items as I am very tempted to get the TVS also. Thanks.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone.

I tested the cameras in studio conditions to eliminate variables. This is to see the ability in the most favorable controlled conditions. I am also shooting real world situations to reveal any differences.

So far, this is my opinion.

The TVS lens is better. It is sharper out to the edges. Note that the beans in the coffee cup are more clearly rendered on the left side than the Canon rendition which became mushy.

Now here is the kicker in all this...
Being a new camera, I had set the resolution on the TVS to the maximum, but had NOT adjusted the default setting of normal to FINE !!! The FINE images are even better !!!! (I will download a s&le set on FINE.)

The TVS only shoots J-Pegs, but for me I could care less now that I see the TVS J-Peg quality. RAW adjustments on these P&S cameras is limited anyway (the Canon RAW converter is pitiful for the S50), and PS is a far better correctional tool. So, IMO, downloading a J-Peg using the PS-7 Browser is faster and the correction easier. Then saving as a Tiff is a no-brainer.

The Cameras are almost identical in size, The Canon feels heavier. The TVS is easier to use mostly because the options are limited compared to the Canon. But most of the extra options on the Canon are not of interest to me anyway. In fact, Contax could have left out the movie and voice recording abilities and lowered the price as far as I'm concerned. Both of my cameras are black, and I think the TVS is prettier and a little nicer to hold.

The Canon makes it easier to delete images on the fly.

SD verses CF cards. A pain in the rump to get new cards when I have so many CF cards. But they are small enough to put right in the little provided camera case, and higher meg counts are already showing up. I can't comment on battery life as of now. (I know the Canon lasts a long time).

More to come.

(BTW), I own both of these cameras now, so this is really unbiased. Only you can determine if it's worth an extra $250 to $300
for a point and shoot camera. I personally do think it is worth it so far, but real world shooting will be the final determination.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
I forgot to add an important item. The TVS seems to have less lag when shooting. I'll have to see if I can find the specs and confirm that. Or one of you can.
 
W

writing4me

>Oh, and just to comment on the comparison photos. The TVS on fine setting in my opinion blows away the Canon. The detail, the sharpness, the ability to capture the shadowy areas while keeping the highlight details is excellent in the TVS in my opinion. Worth the extra cash. Look at the coffee beans and the midtone areas of the hat, compared to the highlights. Look at the tassle and cord. Very nice stuff on the TVS. While the Canon is no slouch as far as digitals go, the TVS is just that much better. IMHO. -Lynn L.
 
W

writing4me

> Marc, I'm really curious about the comparison you made, since I sort of like that new little TVS. I know there was a size limit for posting the photos to the contaxinfo site, but would you mind emailing me a full size version of the fine setting TVS shot? (And if it isn't too much trouble, one of the full size versions of the canon shot?) If you would, please email me at Lynn at turnkeydesign dot net. If you're too busy, I understand.

It would be very nice if the new Sony was available for comparison in this same test, but I realize you are testing your personal cameras and appreciate your time in doing this for the group.

Lastly, I know this is pushing the limits of a fun little point and shoot, but would you ever use any of the images from the TVS in 300 dpi offset printing? (Like a brochure) The JPEG issue concerns me since there must be some compression (no?), but hearing you say that it doesn't worry you makes me feel more hopeful. If so, up to what size would be practical before you'd start seeing image quality probs in your opinion?

Thanks! Lynn
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Lynn, while J-pegs do lose info when they are open and closed repeatedly, the trick is to direct download to the computer and after correcting them save as a lossless Tiff. Once converted to Tiff nothing will be loss.

I think I dumped the test images already, but I'll look.
 

yogi

Well-Known Member
Marc, I believe you also had tested with a Canon G3 a while back? That camera has a better lens than the S50 so I was wondering how the G3 compares with the output of images from the TVS-Digital. Any information and impressions would be great.
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Marc,

first thank you for sharing these testimages of the TVSD and the Canon S50 with us. But I would be eager to know, what your personal opinion is on these 2 models


Which one would you prefer under which circumstances?

Maybe I missed it while reading, but which cropping size from the original did you take?
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Hi Dirk, Both cameras are pretty darn good for P&Ss. The Image size that comes out of each is a different configuration...a 72 dpi huge image for the TVS, and a 180 dpi smaller one from the Canon. But they are really the same. So I converted both to a 300 dpi, 10"X7.5" Tiff and did any corrections at the same size. Then proceeded to resize them for web display. Any cropping was done on the original Tiff file and saved separately., then also resized.

IMO, a P&S should be a simple camera and the Contax is simple enough to figure out. The only functional thing I dislike on the TVS is how you have to do a separate control wheel change just to dump an image.

I can also say that the battery doesn't last nearly as long as the Canon battery. I rarely have to charge the S50's battery. The Contax wears down pretty fast. A second battery is a must and isn't inexpensive. Also, downloading is a slower process unless you have an SD reader, which I do not. SD cards are a lot more expensive for higher meg counts... a 512 is about $100+ more than a CF 512.

But as usual, the glass is superior...and that is what makes pictures.
 

ksklo

Well-Known Member
Has anybody gotten a chance to test the noise level at ISO 320 or 400? How acceptable is it when compared to say S50 and its overall flash performance? Thanks.
 
D

djg

Holy Mackerel! I just finished wading through the N-Digital and this thread's messages! I'm still panting from the effort.

Marc, Here's an SD/SM USB 2.0 reader for $15
.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


DJ
 
K

kaisern

>=20 >=20 >=20 > [Noise is always the Kyocera=B9s pain, even for ND, ISO above 200 is not > acceptable, TVS is the same.] >=20 >=20 >=20
 

ksklo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Kaisern. That is in fact my biggest concerns regarding the TVSD. Shooting above ISO 200 is almost inevitable when taken out to dinners and indoor parties, which are when P&S are most used. For my purpose would you choose the TVSD over a S50? I have difficulties deciding because I haven't seen how unacceptable the noise levels really are with ISO 320 or 400. Thanks.

Ken
 
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