A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon 300D vs Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2003 and February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (300D) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Contax provides 6.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 300D
versus
Contax N Digital
Canon 300D   Contax N Digital
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
6.3 MP – APS-C sensor 6.1 MP – Full Frame sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 50-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD – 118k dots 2.0" LCD – 200k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge100 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g
logo
Check 300D offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check N Digital offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Contax N Digital? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D 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.

Size Canon 300D vs Contax N Digital
Compare 300D versus N Digital top
Comparison 300D 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 (49 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the N Digital is substantially heavier (53 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D 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 300D, Canon provides the BG-E1 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on ebay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
2.
 
Contax N Digital 152 mm 138 mm 80 mm 990 g 100 n Feb 2002 7,399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
12.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 300D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 88 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 300D features an APS-C sensor and the Contax N Digital a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the N Digital is 152 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 300D and Contax N Digital sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 300D offers a higher resolution of 6.3 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 7.38μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the 300D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the N Digital, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Contax N Digital are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the 300D is build around a CMOS sensor, while the N Digital uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

300D versus N Digital MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
2.
 
Contax N Digital Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008none21.510.5128359
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
5.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
6.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
8.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
9.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
12.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none20.39.830147
13.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
14.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
15.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the 300D nor the N Digital offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 300D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the N Digital has a higher magnification than the one of the 300D (0.73x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 300D and Contax N Digital along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 300Doptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
2.
 
Contax N Digitaloptical Y2.0 / 200 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon 700Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon 400Doptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 350Doptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon D60optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 300D has one, while the N Digital does not. While the built-in flash of the 300D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 300D and the N Digital write their files to Compact Flash cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 300D and Contax N Digital and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 300DY- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Contax N DigitalY- / ----FW---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 700DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 400DY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 350DY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Canon D60Y- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
14.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Nikon D1XY- / ----FW---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Contax N Digital (unlike the 300D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 300D and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the N Digital does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Contax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Contax N Digital? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 300D:

  • More compact: Is smaller (142x99mm vs 152x138mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 341g or 34 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 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 (88 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the N Digital).

ilogo

Advantages of the Contax N Digital:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.55x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (200k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 2.5 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 on the market for longer (launched in February 2002).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the N Digital is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

300D 06:13 N Digital

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 300D and the Contax N Digital place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 300D and the N Digital in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
2.
 
Contax N Digital............ Feb 2002 7,399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 700D......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 400D..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 350D..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
12.
 
Canon D60......+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D1X......+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

logo
Check 300D offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check N Digital offers at
ebay.com

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon 300D vs Contax N Digital

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 300D 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 August 2003 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 7,399
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Contax N Digital
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3040 x 2008 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 11.90 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 50 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Contax N Digital
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 200k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Contax N Digital
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Contax N Digital
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Contax N Digital
    Battery Type BP-511 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    152 x 138 x 80 mm
    (6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 990 g (34.9 oz)
    logo
    Check 300D offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check N Digital offers at
    ebay.com

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon 300D vs Contax N Digital