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After comparison on the functions and also made reference on the test result from web site, I finally decided to buy Sony¡¦s DSC-V1 in lieu of Contax¡¦s TVSD which save me about US$170. But there is no carrying case included which cost additional $US25 for a Sony case. You could see the web page {
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} for full review for both models. Test result from web site gives Sony ¡§excellent¡¨ image quality but only ¡§good¡¨ image quality for Contax. It may be the factors of smaller aperture, CCD type, noise reduction ability and exposure control, etc that deteriorate Contax¡¦s final image quality.

My additional reasons to give up Contax are as follows: -

I use Contax C/Y prime lenses for travel purpose. I also have a TVSIII. Optical quality for a TVSIII zoom is not comparable to C/Y prime lenses. At 8x12 enlargement, the difference is substantial. I would expect that TVSD would be more or less at the grade of TVSIII. My required enlargement for digital picture is 4R to 5R and I would avoid 8x12. For a compact zoom lens selection, the minor difference (if exists) between the optical quality from TVSD vs Sony DSC-V1 because of the lack of T* coating is tolerable if this could save me about US$170.

At 2594 x 1944 pixel (Sony) or 2560 x 1920 (Contax), when converting to 24x 36mm film scale, it would mean about 70 pixel per mm. The equivalent theoretical maximum resolution is limited to about 35 line per mm. You can¡¦t expect magic result from either brand.

Aperture value is quite an important factor for me for low lighting and indoor shooting without flash where Sony could have f3.2 at 2X, f3.5 at 3X and f4 at 4X which is about 1 stop faster than TVSD. It means that you could have an equivalent gain from ISO200 to ISO100 in indoor condition to reduce picture noise.

My Aria uses Metz 32 Z-2. Sony could use external flash which could accept my Metz 32 Z-2 on its non-TTL tele-computer apertures mode for distance group photos at f4 or f8 at ISO100.

Additional advantages from Sony include 2:3 frame format select which is convenience for me for photo processing, full manual control, higher LCD pixels, TIFF format storage, exclusive hologram AF in dark, 640x480 mega movie ability.


Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

I have just posted some images taken by the TVSD on the web for your review. Personally I like the B&W and Sepia effects a lot, and these out of camera effects are superior, IMHO, to FM's Digital_BW_Pro action used at Photoshop. One inherent drawback though, with the TVSD and many other P&S's, is the ultra wide angle lens that results in less than satisfactory bokeh even at 35mm f/2.8.

I will try take more pictures in the near future at various ISO's to illustrate the noise level as well.

Here's the site where I have uploaded the images:
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Nice stuff Ken. I won't bother trying to evaluate the photos technically, I'm just looking from an artistic point of view and I like them. That image of the white phalaenopsis with the beautiful view through the window just has me captured. It keeps making me think of a Nero Wolfe novel!
Really lovely that one. Nice framing. Sets a mood. By the way, is it possible on the TVS-D to do exposure corrections? I was thinking a half stop to get the whites to pop would have been nice, while not killing the outside view through the window. And my curiosity is killing me, but where is this view, it is stunning. Thanks, Lynn


Well-Known Member
Hi Lynn,

Thanks for your compliments. To answer your question, the TVSD does allow exposure compensation. Unfortunately without any RAW format, there are certain limitations on post editing. I do agree with your suggestion that adding a 1/2 stop would be more pleasing. I was just too lazy to bracket at the time. This picture was taken in my home in HK. Luckily I can always go back to the same scene and retake with better exposure.

Today I took some more pictures with the TVSD and S50 today. Once they are processed I will post them onto my link.



thanks for posting the B&W. I have been wondering about how good the the TVSD is in B&W. Very nice sharp pictures. Are the out door ones on tripod too? I am using the S50 as my P&S and now in the process of buying the TVSD. Your comparison will be of most interest. Can you please please elaborate on what you meant regarding the 35mm end as less than satisfactory? Thanks.


Well-Known Member

I like the b&w ones very much as well. The sepia in my opinion are also very nice. When I said I was not satisfied with the 35mm end, what I really meant was that the bokeh effect was not dramatic enough due to the ultra wide-angle lens used for P&S's. I like composing pictures with sharp foreground subjects with nice bokeh background. Unfortunately this is not quite feasbile with the TVSD lens. I hope this is clear.

The outdoor pictures were not taken on a tripod. I was playing a round of golf and had my camera around to kill time while waiting. They were not meant to be perfect, but they certainly illustrate the quality of TVSD images shot under normal conditions.



Well-Known Member
I have now added a comparison of TVSD vs. S50 images shot at different ISO's in my link. There is also a macro comparison on both along with my beloved 10D. Let me know what you think after seeing the results.


Active Member

All of these photos are interesting - and many are quite enjoyable.

It's hard to know about cameras, isn't it - and the TVSD appears to be one with particular personality.

I know it would be useful and interesting to me at least to see some more comparisons with the S50 - both for indoor and outdoor available light scenes.

If it suits your purposes and convenience also, then nice to see.



Well-Known Member
Simon, yes it is indeed a Lange Tourbillon. Very beautiful watch. Have had it for almost two years and still haven't worn it once yet.

Clive, I like the TVSD very much, except for its lack of RAW capabilities. I would love to take more available light scenes to illustrate the difference between it and the S50, but unfortunately the S50 belongs to a friend of mine, and I would have to borrow it from him again to make any further test comparisons. I promise when the opportunity arises, more pictures would be uploaded. Will keep you posted.



Hi Ken,

if you upload your test-images in our test-images gallery (NOT the normal photo-gallery), you can upload also tiff files and sizes up to 8MB.

If you upload in the test-images gallery, please send a note to the webmaster to get the images approved.




Edmund, yes the V1 does have its advantages over the contax, but similarly the contax has its advantages over the v1 too, including T* coating, much longer battery life, a top LCD control panel for battery conservation (it is also easier to avoid handshake when u use a digicam like a normal camera held close and tight to your face instead of hands outstretched out in front of you), much smaller, more pocketable bulk and weight, nicer asthetics, and of course the delicious titanium casing.

But Edmund you do make many good points in favor of the V1, thanks for highlighting them to us! Just trying to balance things a bit too now...

The rest of us may also like to check out this site
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, which has test pictures taken by four different 5mp compact cameras including the Canon Powershot S50, an Olympus Camedia C-50, a Contax TVS Digital and a Konica Revio 500. Quite interesting!


Active Member
Dear Khoon,

From the website you've mentioned I think TVSD simply stands out. The s&les of S50 looks very much like the one I got from S30, which are dull and flat. This is even true if you look at the pictures shot in the overcast days (e.g. the harbor with ships). I've been looking for a buyer of my S30 but has not much success.

The following is from a very good friend of mine who works in the IT industry in San Jose:

"As for TVSD, well, believe it or not.
It has the lowest noise level among
all of the 5MP cameras using the
Sony 1/1.8" CX452 sensor! G5, V1, whatever.
It also has the best black level performance
among them all! Many un-educated
people saw TVSD's s&le pictures
on websits, found noises, then started
to say TVSD was noisy. The truth is
that the noises they saw are directly
coming from the CCD sensor. The Sony
sensor is a very noisy one. Even Sony's
own V1 can not straighten out the problem.
TVDS has the cleanest signal path
from CCD sensor, A/D circuit, to
the digital stage. It simply uses
better components. The Zeiss lens'es coating
and better anti-reflection treatment
in the lens help a lot on reducing
the dark current(this is another
of saying that a lens has very low noise.
Lenses have noises? Surely they have!
They are optical noises. Ever wonder why
Contax lenses can do so well with shadow details?)
To put everything, TVDS is the only
CX452 based digicam which can produce
pure black and has the richest shadow tone."


Dear Sheu,

Wonder on what basis your IT friend makes the observation that the contax has the lowest noise level among 5mp cameras using the Sony 1/1.8" CX452 sensor? Did he see a test report on all these cameras or something?


Active Member
Hi Khoon,

Basically he did lots of comparisons and research when he bought the TVSD two months ago in japan. Besides, the s&les are available readily on the internet.

Hope that helps, or I can ask him. To my understanding he is fully satisfied with the TVSD even after a side-by-side comparison with RTSIII+Velvia.

Best, Shu-Hsien


New Member
Would you let me know if a review was made of the Konica KD-500 against our favourite the TVSD?


Hi Khoon,

I am the IT guy Sheu was talking about. Actually he's not exactly right. I am in the chip design business, have dealt with quite a few digicam chips these years.

You can do a simple test yourself: Open a s&le photo in Photoshop, open the Level tool historgam, shift the triangle mark at the right bottom to the left. The further left you go, the brighter the image it will be. This process will also enhance the noises in the image. By counting the number of noise spots,
you will see how clean the image is. Canon and other companies engineers are doing the same thing to check noises.

DPreivew just posted tests on V1, G5, and 5400. You will see that how noisy the Sony 452 sensor is.

Anyway, I am still amazed by how much shadow detail I can pull from TVSD.




I agree the sony 5mp 1/1.8 (ICX452) sensor is a noisy one.. I wonder if the updated version ICX455 which will replace the 452 has any significant improvement, but i doubt it... 5 megapixel is simply stretching the limits of this tiny sized sensor, to the point where only the lower ISO speeds of 80 to 100 are usable without too much noise. Great as the contax tvs carl zeiss t* lens is.. I can't help feeling its true abilities and potentials are greatly limited and held back by the small sensor size, which at 7.18 X 5.3mm size, is only 4.4% the size of a 35mm film (36 X 24mm)!

But that is a problem that all compact camera makers face, not just Contax. Hopefully, in the next generation of digital compacts (next year?), the 5 megapixel 2/3 sized sensor (ICX282x) will be used instead. That should make for even lower noise in a Contax TVS Digital II!

In the meantime, enjoy..


Well-Known Member
Greetings, Khoon.

I have the old Nikon CP-900 (small sensor) and the Canon D30 DSLR (big sensor). As you can imagine, the difference in shadow noise is night and day! For my purpose, dynamic range is more useful than resolution, especially when I can boost the EI to a fairly clean 800.

But another benefit of large sensors is the greater depth-of-field. For my photographic style, this is immensely valuable. Even Finney's positive review of the TVSD cannot elevate its DOF characteristic above the other 1/1.8 P&S models.

To get away from digital, I like to shoot film: CZ Planar 50/1.4 at wide apertures gives a lovely effect. The D30 with EF 50/1.4 is also able to blur the background very well. As for the digital P&S, they are delightfully small, but everything is in focus -- ouch!


Yes, Rico, I totally agree with you. TVSD is only good for snapshots. The limited aperture setting and DOF are always a concern.


I really do not feel the situation will have any improvement with those new Sony sensors. Power consumption and compact size always have the higher priority. The only foreseeable cure will be a powerful image processor or a better analog front end. Again, this will not happen soon.