Contax SL300R T* Review

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Features & Controls

Contax SL300R T*

The SL300R T* features a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar f/2.8-4.7 zoom lens with anti- reflective T* coating. The swivel lens/flash unit rotates 120° forward and 120° backward, enabling easy framing of any subject from high overhead to low angle. You can rotate the lens backwards for quick and easy self-portraits, just frame yourself on the LCD and press the shutter.

The 3x zoom 5.8 - 17.4mm lens has a maximum aperture of F2.8-4.7 and a focal coverage of approximately 38mm to 115mm (35mm equivalence). The lens combines compact size and high performance through the use of special low-dispersion glass with four aspheric lenses.

The SL300R T* offers continuous AF that allows the user to seize the moment. The focusing range in normal mode is about 60cm to infinity and in Macro mode from about 17cm - 60cm (at wide-angle setting).

Contax SL300R T*

The flash unit has a coverage of approx. 0.6 - 2.5m (wide angle) and about 0.6 - 1.8m (telephoto). The flash has modes for Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill, Flash off and Night scene.

Contax SL300R T*

The SL300R T* has no optical viewfinder, so Contax used an exceptional color LCD as the viewfinder. In addition to a brightness control, the 1.5-inch LCD incorporates "Day Fine" technology which uses available sunlight to intensify the viewfinder's display, allowing images to be previewed and reviewed outdoors without consuming battery power for an LCD back light. The viewfinder is also used to navigate the menu system and change camera settings.

Controls across the top: Display button controls the information displayed on the LCD. The Scene button gives you quick access to the pre-programmed scene modes (Standard, Sports, Night, Night Portrait, Macro, Landscape). Upper right is the zoom lens control buttons. Rather than a mode dial the SL300R T* uses two buttons and a 5-position illuminated display bar (Setup, Play, Record, Burst Record, Movie).

The 4-way selector is used to navigate menus and select images for playback. The center button accepts selections. The MENU button calls up the menu screens. Press the 4-way "Up" to change Flash modes.

Contax SL300R T*

On top is the Power on/off button and the shutter release.

Contax SL300R T*

On the side are the USB and DC IN ports. There is no video out capability. The battery charger / AC power supply plugs into the DC IN port.

Contax SL300R T*

Images and movies are stored on a SD (Secure Digital) memory card. Contax supplies a 16MB card with the camera. The SL300R T* is compatible with any capacity SD/MMC memory card. For our tests, we used a SanDisk 512MB Ultra II SD card.

Contax SL300R T*

The camera is powered by a proprietary BP-780S rechargeable 3.7V 780mAh lithium battery pack. This is a very slim battery and is charged in-camera. Contax includes an AC adapter/charger that requires approx. 180 minutes to recharge a fully depleted pack.

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