Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
The Contax N Digital and the Nikon D2X are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2002 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (N Digital) and an APS-C (D2X) sensor. The Contax has a resolution of 6.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 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.
|Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Contax N mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|6.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 50-1600||ISO 100-800 (100-3200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.0" LCD, 200k dots||2.5" LCD, 235k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|100 shots per battery charge||3800 shots per battery charge|
|152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g||158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g|
Body comparison: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Contax N Digital and the Nikon D2X is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 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 Nikon D2X is notably larger (13 percent) than the Contax N Digital. Moreover, the D2X is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the N Digital. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2X is splash and dust-proof, while the N Digital does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|Contax N Digital»||6.0 in||5.4 in||3.1 in||34.9 oz||100||n||Feb 2002||7,399||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D2X«||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon 1Ds« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon D60« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.2 oz||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999||-||Canon D60|
|Leica M10-P« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica SL« »||5.8 in||4.1 in||1.5 in||29.9 oz||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica M9« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||37.7 oz||2900||Y||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1X« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||6.2 in||6.0 in||3.3 in||38.8 oz||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D2X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 32 percent) than the N Digital, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 Nikon D2X an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D2X is 57 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 D2X offers a higher resolution of 12.2 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 5.52μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the D2X is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 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 Contax N Digital has a native sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2X are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200..
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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Contax N Digital»||Full Frame||6.1||3040||2008||-||-||-||-||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D2X«||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||-||21.8||11.0||954||63||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon D60« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||-||-||-||-||Canon D60|
|Leica M10-P« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||-||-||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||24.4||13.2||2133||86||Leica M10|
|Leica SL« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88||Leica SL|
|Leica M9« »||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||-||22.5||11.7||884||69||Leica M9|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||APS-C||4.0||2464||1632||-||18.9||10.0||352||40||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1X« »||APS-C||5.9||3008||1960||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||APS-C||2.6||2000||1312||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Feature comparison: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The N Digital and the D2X 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 viewfinder in the D2X 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 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Contax N Digital and Nikon D2X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Contax N Digital»||optical||Y||2.0||200||fixed||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D2X«||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Canon 1Ds« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon D60« »||optical||Y||1.8||114||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon D60|
|Leica M10-P« »||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||n||n||Leica M10-P|
|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|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||optical||Y||2.5||211||fixed||n||8000||8.0||n||n||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1X« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||16000||3.0||n||n||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||16000||1.5||n||n||Nikon D1|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the N Digital and the D2X write their files to Compact Flash cards. The D2X features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the N Digital only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
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 Nikon D2X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Contax N Digital»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D2X«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 10D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon D60« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon D60|
|Leica M10-P« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10|
|Leica SL« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica SL|
|Leica M9« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Nikon D1|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the N Digital and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2X was replaced by the Nikon D2Xs, while the N Digital does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Contax and Nikon websites.
Review summary: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Contax N Digital or the Nikon D2X – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Contax N Digital:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.57x).
- More compact: Is smaller (152x138mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 262g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).
Advantages of the Nikon D2X:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 41%.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 200k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 100) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (32 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the N Digital launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D2X emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 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.
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 N Digital and the D2X 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: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Contax N Digital»||-||-||-||-||-||Feb 2002||7,399||-||Contax N Digital|
|Nikon D2X«||-||++||-||o||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Canon 10D« »||-||++||-||o||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||++||-||o||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Canon 1Ds« »||-||++||-||-||-||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Canon D60« »||-||++||o||-||-||Feb 2002||2,999||-||Canon D60|
|Leica M10-P« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica SL« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica M9« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||-||-||-||o||-||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||++||++||o||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2H« »||-||++||-||o||-||Jul 2003||3,499||-||Nikon D2H|
|Nikon D100« »||-||++||o||o||-||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Nikon D1X« »||-||++||-||o||-||Feb 2001||5,999||-||Nikon D1X|
|Nikon D1« »||-||++||-||-||-||Jun 1999||5,499||-||Nikon D1|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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Specifications: Contax N Digital vs Nikon D2X
|Camera Model||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Contax N mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2002||September 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 7399||USD 4999|
|Sensor Specs||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||23.7 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||372.09 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.1 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3040 x 2008 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||11.90 μm||5.52 μm|
|Pixel Density||0.71 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||50-1600 ISO||100-800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-3200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||59|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||476|
|Screen Specs||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||200k dots||235k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Contax N Digital||Nikon D2X|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||4xAA power pack||EN-EL4a power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||100 shots per charge||3800 shots per charge|
152 x 138 x 80 mm
(6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
158 x 150 x 86 mm
(6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||990 g (34.9 oz)||1252 g (44.2 oz)|
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