Contax N Digital

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Contax N Digital

Post by NikonD1X »


Surely not as rare as a Kodak DCS100, a Nikon QV-1000 or a Canon RC-760 but also uncommon: The Contax N Digital, Yashica/Kyocera's 6 Megapixel Fullframe DSLR based on the Contax N1.

I was able to buy a Contax N Digital Manual years ago. Starting my reports for the German Internetsite it was time to write an article about this one and only Contax DSLR. There is still one sample on sale on eBay, but no idea for me: the price is 2999 Euros. Please read my argument and my research, what I found about the Contax N Digital, why the Contax DSLR couldn't be a success – out of my view: ... n-digital/

Last edited by NikonD1X on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stan Disbrow
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Re: Contax N Digital

Post by Stan Disbrow »


Good article. :)

Contax was really quite a bit off with this unit. Having to make a new lens mount to correct some issues with a full frame sensor was a unique idea. Everyone else was opting to use reduced frame sensors. At least until Canon finally managed to do their thing with the 1DS.

The big error, though was the two-year premature announcement of the N Digital. That did two things. One, it allowed every other maker to accurately estimate the market for a full frame digital SLR. Two, it made a lot of people unhappy with Contax before they finally managed to ship any units.

Finally, when they did ship, way too many customers were unhappy with what it did. Not a good combination of events.

The inability to repair a unit with a faulty sensor was due to the very low yields of sensors. They simply did not produce enough good ones off the line to have a decent quantity for repair. That was coupled with a too-high failure rate of the ones which did make it into the product.

All in all a sad story.

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Re: Contax N Digital

Post by atlas »

I have to disagree with the sentiment that it is just the sensors themselves that failed.
I've previously spoken to Mr. Richard Chang of MegaVision and there have been no widespread failures of the S3 digital backs. (which share the FTF3020-C)
It must have been something in Contax's control circuits that caused the sensor to prematurely fail.
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