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Contax launches its 4 Megapixel U4R camera
Mark Peters : October 11th 2004 - 11:55 CET
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ContaxBeautiful images from a beautiful camera: brushed magnesium body, hand-tanned kid leather and an ultra sharp Carl Zeiss lens. Contax is launching its 4-megapixel U4R camera to coincide with Photokina 2004. Easy operation, an ergonomic shape and the ability to shoot images continuously mean that the Contax U4R will be a real photographer's camera. The model will be available in Europe in advance from early October 2004 at a price of ?498. "We are particularly proud of the Contax U4R. It is a fusion of everything the Contax name stands for: timeless design, outstanding quality and the pinnacle of camera-making expertise," states Dirk Hülsermann, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Yashica Kyocera.
Contax launches its 4 Megapixel U4R camera"Those with an eye for the unmistakable will love the Contax U4R. A brilliant lens, the finest kid leather and the timeless form make the Contax U4R both a visual and a tactile experience." Optimum handling thanks to ergonomic design: The ergonomically designed body sits in the hand perfectly thanks to its rounded lines. A high-strength magnesium alloy has been used for the body to make the camera impact-resistant. Hand-tanned kid leather, in three different colours (black, camel and indigo), provides further protection for the body against damage and permits the camera to take on a patina with increasing age and use.

Swivel lens with titanium knuckle joint: The swivel lens enables the two housing halves of the Contax U4R to turn by up to 240 degrees relative to each other. This makes it possible to take images from unusual perspectives and also to take self-portraits easily. A titanium industrial joint developed specially to withstand high loads holds the two camera halves together. Its service life is ten times longer than conventional industrial joints.

Carl Zeiss T* multi coating: The interaction of the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with the 1/2.7-inch CCD chip delivers impressive performance: with a resolution of 4 effective Megapixels the Contax U4R serves up stunning image quality. A zoom lens developed specially for the slim camera format guarantees high-fidelity colour and image rendition. Thanks to the T* multi coating the images show scarcely any loss of contrast. The maximum aperture over the entire zoom range with focal lengths from 5.8mm to 17.4mm (equivalent to 38mm to 115mm in 35mm format) is f2.8 - 4.7. The integral zoom enlarges subjects three times optically and no less than six times digitally.

Top image quality and continuous shooting thanks to RTUNE: Apart from the precise matching of the lens and the CCD chip, Kyoceras RTUNE technology is crucial to the high image quality. The RTUNE double processor which is responsible for signal processing reduces digital artifacts in the image and guarantees excellent colour fidelity. This double processor has all but dispensed with the problem of shutter lag. Furthermore, high-speed continuous shooting at extremely high resolution is possible. The 9-field autofocus assists continuous shooting mode by focusing up to twice a second. At 130,000 pixels the high-contrast 2-inch display is superb for view finding and for direct playback of the images already shot.

Numerous setting options and a revised control concept: The Contax U4R has eight automatic programs, for example for action, portrait or low-light photography. The camera adjusts to the respective light conditions (cloud, sun, artificial and neon light) via one automatic or five preset white balance modes. Its sensitivity can be set manually in the range 50 to 400 ISO or automatically regulated, while the integral flash can be controlled by four flash programs.

Docking station and PictBridge: The Contax U4R comes complete with a docking station. The docking station is used to charge the battery and to provide a straightforward link to a PC, TV and printer. Images and videos can therefore easily be transferred to the computer, or video clips can be played back on the TV. The camera supports USB 2.0 for high-speed data transfer. It is also PictBridge-compatible. If connected to a printer which supports PictBridge, photos can be printed directly without first downloading them to a computer.

Accessories and availability: Power supply to the Contax U4R is provided by a powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Measuring just 102 x 63.5 x 19 (W x H x D in mm), the Contax U4R is one of the slimmest digital cameras with a 3x optical zoom. The camera will be available from early October 2004 at a price of ?498.
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