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Canon T2i vs Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (T2i) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 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 T2i
versus
Contax N Digital
Canon T2i   Contax N Digital
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 6.1 MP – Full Frame sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 50-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 200k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge100 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g
Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers
Contax N Digital:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T2i and the Contax N Digital. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T2i vs Contax N Digital
Compare T2i versus N Digital top
Comparison T2i 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 (66 percent) than the Canon T2i. Moreover, the N Digital is substantially heavier (87 percent) than the T2i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T2i 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 T2i, Canon provides the BG-E8 vertical grip as an optional accessory (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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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 T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
2.
 
Contax N Digital 152 mm 138 mm 80 mm 990 g 100 n Feb 2002 7,399i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
15.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
16.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
17.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T2i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 91 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T2i features an APS-C sensor and the Contax N Digital a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the N Digital is 160 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 T2i and Contax N Digital sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T2i offers a higher resolution of 17.9 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 4.31μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the T2i is much more recent (by 7 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 resolution advantage of the Canon T2i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T2i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Contax N Digital are 15.2 x 10 inches or 38.6 x 25.5 cm for good quality, 12.2 x 8 inches or 30.9 x 20.4 cm for very good quality, and 10.1 x 6.7 inches or 25.7 x 17 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Contax N Digital are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

T2i versus N Digital MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
2.
 
Contax N Digital Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008none21.510.5128359
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
14.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none20.39.830147
15.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
16.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
17.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T2i indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the N Digital does not. The highest resolution format that the T2i can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T2i 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 T2i (0.73x vs 0.54x), 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 T2i and Contax N Digital along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
2.
 
Contax N Digitaloptical Y2.0 / 200 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Canon D60optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
16.
 
Leica SL4400 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0/s n n
17.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0/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 T2i has one, while the N Digital does not. While the built-in flash of the T2i is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The T2i writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the N Digital uses 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 Rebel T2i and Contax N Digital and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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 T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Contax N DigitalY- / ----FW---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
14.
 
Canon D60Y- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
16.
 
Leica SLYstereo / monoYYfull3.0Y--
17.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Contax N Digital (unlike the T2i) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the T2i and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T2i was replaced by the Canon T3i, 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T2i and the Contax N Digital? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6.1MP) with a 71% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 200k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 152x138mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 460g or 46 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 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 (91 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 11 months of technical progress since the N Digital launch.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.54x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • 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 T2i is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T2i 10:06 N Digital

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T2i 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T2i or the N Digital. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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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 T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
2.
 
Contax N Digital............ Feb 2002 7,399i
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon D60......+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999i
15.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
16.
 
Leica SL4/5..4/584/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
17.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 T2i:
Check Ebay offers
Contax N Digital:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon T2i 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 T2i 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 2010 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 7,399
    Sensor Specs Canon T2i Contax N Digital
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3040 x 2008 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 11.90 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 50 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 ..
    Screen Specs Canon T2i Contax N Digital
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 200k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T2i Contax N Digital
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon T2i Contax N Digital
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T2i Contax N Digital
    Battery Type LP-E8 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    152 x 138 x 80 mm
    (6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 990 g (34.9 oz)
    Canon T2i:
    Check Ebay offers
    Contax N Digital:
    Check Ebay offers

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