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Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (1100D) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Contax provides 6.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1100D   Contax N Digital
Canon 1100D Contax N Digital
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 6.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6400 ISO 50-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.0" LCD, 200k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge100 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g

Body comparison: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Contax N Digital is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1100D and Contax N Digital
Compare 1100D versus N Digital top
Compare 1100D or N Digital rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Contax N Digital is considerably larger (61 percent) than the Canon 1100D. Moreover, the N Digital is substantially heavier (100 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D nor the N Digital are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

As can be seen in the images above, the N Digital has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 1100D, there are third party battery grips available as optional accessories (see here on eBay).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1100D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Contax N Digital« 6.0 in 5.4 in 3.1 in 34.9 oz 100 n Feb 2002 7,399- i Contax N Digital
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 1000D« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Canon D60« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 1100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 94 percent) than the N Digital, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1100D features an APS-C sensor and the Contax N Digital a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the N Digital is 167 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1100D and Contax N Digital sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1100D offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 6.1 MP of the Contax N Digital. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the 1100D is much more recent (by 8 years and 11 months) than the N Digital, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 The corresponding ISO settings for the Contax N Digital are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

1100D versus N Digital MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1100D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Contax N Digital« Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008-----Contax N Digital
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
Canon D60« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-----Canon D60
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 1100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the N Digital does not. The highest resolution format that the 1100D can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1100D and the N Digital are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1100D and Contax N Digital along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1100D»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Contax N Digital«optical Y 2.0 200 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Contax N Digital
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
Canon D60« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D60
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n Leica M9

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 1100D has one, while the N Digital does not. While the built-in flash of the 1100D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 1100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the N Digital uses Compact Flash cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1100D and Contax N Digital and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 1100D»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
Contax N Digital«Y-----FW---Contax N Digital
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
Canon D60« »Y-----1.1---Canon D60
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Leica M9« »Y-----2.0---Leica M9

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Contax N Digital (unlike the 1100D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 1100D and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1100D was replaced by the Canon 1200D, while the N Digital does not have a direct successor.


Review summary: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1100D or the Contax N Digital – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 1100D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.1MP) with a 41% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 200k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x100mm vs 152x138mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 495g or 50 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 100) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 11 months of technical progress since the N Digital launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:

  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2002).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1100D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1100D 10:06 N Digital

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1100D or the N Digital handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1100D»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Contax N Digital«----- Feb 2002 7,399- i Contax N Digital
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 600D« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon 550D« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 1000D« »82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
Canon 10D« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Canon D60« »-HiRecrev-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 1100D:
Check Ebay offers
Contax N Digital:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1100D vs Contax N Digital

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1100D Contax N Digital
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 7399
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 36.0 x 14.7 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3040 x 2008 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 11.90 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 50-1600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 ..
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View n/a
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 200k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E10 power pack 4xAA power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    152 x 138 x 80 mm
    (6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 990 g (34.9 oz)

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