Contax N Digital vs Fujifilm X-S10
The Contax N Digital and the Fujifilm X-S10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2002 and October 2020. The N Digital is a DSLR, while the X-S10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (N Digital) and an APS-C (X-S10) sensor. The Contax has a resolution of 6.1 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 26 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Contax N Digital and the Fujifilm X-S10? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Contax N Digital and the Fujifilm X-S10 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-S10 is considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Contax N Digital. Moreover, the X-S10 is substantially lighter (53 percent) than the N Digital. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the N Digital nor the X-S10 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. The power pack in the X-S10 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.
|1.||Contax N Digital||6.0 in||5.4 in||3.1 in||34.9 oz||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-S10||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||16.4 oz||325||n||Oct 2020||999|
|3.||Canon 10D||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|4.||Canon Rebel||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|5.||Canon 1Ds||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999|
|6.||Canon D60||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.2 oz||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E4||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.3 in||12.8 oz||380||n||Jan 2021||849|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T30||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T100||4.8 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||15.8 oz||430||n||May 2018||599|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T20||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.5 oz||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|12.||Leica M10-P||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995|
|13.||Leica M10||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|14.||Leica SL||5.8 in||4.1 in||1.5 in||29.9 oz||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|15.||Leica M9||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|16.||Nikon D100||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D1X||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999|
|Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X-S10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 Contax N Digital features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm X-S10 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-S10 is 58 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the X-S10 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 6.1 MP of the 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 3.76μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the X-S10 is much more recent (by 18 years and 7 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-S10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-S10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-S10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 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 X-S10 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Contax N Digital has a native sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-S10 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Contax N Digital||Full Frame||6.1||3040||2008||none||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|12.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|14.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|15.||Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-S10 indeed provides for movie recording, while the N Digital does not. The highest resolution format that the X-S10 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-S10 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the N Digital has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the X-S10 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the N Digital (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the N Digital has a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.62x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Contax N Digital, the Fujifilm X-S10, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Contax N Digital||optical||Y||2.0||200||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the N Digital, but is missing on the X-S10 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The X-S10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the N Digital does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-S10 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-S10 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The N Digital writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the X-S10 uses SDXC cards.
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 Contax N Digital and Fujifilm X-S10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Contax N Digital||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-S10 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the N Digital does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Contax N Digital (unlike the X-S10) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The X-S10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the N Digital has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the N Digital from Contax. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Contax and Fujifilm websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Contax N Digital better than the Fujifilm X-S10 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.62x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control 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 available for much longer (launched in February 2002).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-S10:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (26 vs 6.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 106%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- 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 flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (126x85mm vs 152x138mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 525g or 53 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (325 versus 100) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 18 years and 7 months of technical progress since the N Digital launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-S10 is the clear winner of the contest (25 : 8 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Contax N Digital and the Fujifilm X-S10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the N Digital or the X-S10 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Contax N Digital||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2002||7,399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-S10||5/5||..||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||999|
|3.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|4.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|5.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999|
|6.||Canon D60||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E4||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2021||849|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|12.||Leica M10-P||..||..||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995|
|13.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|14.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|15.||Leica M9||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|16.||Nikon D100||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D1X||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2001||5,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Contax N Digital vs Fujifilm X-S10
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 Model||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Contax N mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2002||October 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 7,399||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.1 Megapixels||26 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3040 x 2008 pixels||6240 x 4160 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||11.90 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||0.71 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||50 - 1,600 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 51,200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||200k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Contax N Digital||Fujifilm X-S10|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||100 shots per charge||325 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
152 x 138 x 80 mm
(6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
126 x 85 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||990 g (34.9 oz)||465 g (16.4 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.