Contax launches i4r clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera

Contax launches clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera

Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens and RTUNE technology for crystal-clear images

Hamburg, September 27, 2004 – A slim body, sharp eye and a speedy heart: Contax is launching the i4R to coincide with Photokina 2004. This is the first in the new Contax “i” range. In addition to a fast Carl Zeiss lens and the RTUNE image processor for unlimited continuous shooting, other impressive features of this pedigree digicam are its small size, perky design and low weight (90g). The Contax i4R will be available in Europe in advance from mid-October at a price of €398.

“The “i” in Contax i4R stands for individuality, innovation and ingenuity. These are the core values of this camera,” states Dirk Hülsermann, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Yashica Kyocera. “In the Contax i4R we have developed a camera whose design generates emotions, which creates outstanding images and is breathtakingly fast.”

Timeless “design classic”
The design of the Contax i4R is characterised by straight lines for an ultraslim look. In the silver and cherry colour variants brushed aluminium gives the body a cool appearance. The black variant of the Contax i4R comes with a mirror-smooth finish. The protective slide (which incorporates the integral flash) is a striking feature. It protects the LCD monitor and the lens when the camera is switched off. The slide mechanism is also used to switch the camera on and off.

Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens and RTUNE
The “optical heart” of the Contax i4R is a Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 6.5mm lens (equivalent to 39mm in the analogue 35mm format) with a maximum aperture of f2.8. Four lens elements, configured in three groups, are precisely matched to the 1/2.5-inch image sensor CCD chip (resolution: 4 megapixels). Thanks to the patented RTUNE double processor the image data is processed extremely quickly. The camera therefore operates with virtually no shutter lag and can shoot up to 3 frames a second in continuous mode. RTUNE also decisively enhances image quality. Images shot on the Contax i4R stand out because of the absence of noise and their high-fidelity colour rendition.

New control concept and various setting options
The Contax i4R has been designed to be as reliable as it is functional. The newly developed control concept enables intuitive and fast handling of all the main setting options. The Contax i4R has eight programs plus one automatic and five preset white balance modes to ensure that images are perfectly adjusted to the light conditions. Its sensitivity can be set manually in the range 50 to 400 ISO or automatically regulated. Four flash programs round off the exposure control. The Contax i4R offers a 1.5-inch LCD monitor for viewfinding and image playback with a resolution of 130,000 pixels (557×234).

Docking station and USB 2.0
The Contax i4R comes complete with a docking station. The docking station is used to charge the battery in the camera and to provide a straightforward link to a PC, TV and printer. Images and videos can therefore easily be transferred to the computer, video clips can be played back on the TV, and photos can be printed directly on a PictBridge-compatible printer without any intermediate steps.
Power supply to the Contax i4R is provided by a powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Measuring a bonsai-like 94 x 38.5 x 21 (W x H x D in mm) and weighing a mere 90g, the camera is extraordinarily compact. It is available from mid-October in three colour variants, i.e. black, cherry and silver, and comes complete with the docking station. The price is €398.


Camera Contax i4R

digital camera with record, playback and delete modes

Effective pixels
4 megapixels

Pickup device
1/2.5″ CCD with 4,19 million pixels gross

Image dimensions in pixels (stills):
2272×1704, 1600×1200, 1280×960, 640×480

Image dimensions in pixels (video):
640×480, 320×240

Video frame rate
30 fps, 15 fps., unlimited, depending on size of recording media

Recording format
JPEG (Exif 2.2), DCF standard, supports DPOF

Carl Zeiss Tessar T* with 4 elements in 3 groups with aspheric elements and special optical glasses

Focal length
6.5mm (corresp to 39mm in 35mm format)

Lens speed

Digital zoom
up to 6x (13 steps)

Focusing control
automatic (video AF)

Focusing range (from lens front surface)
approx 0.6 – ∞, Macro approx 0.05m – 0.6m

Shutter speeds
CCD controlled electronic programme shutter (1/2000 – 1sec)

programme AE, exposure compensation, ISO: auto, 50 – 400 (4 steps)

Continuous mode
3fps (without AF), 1.4fps (with AF) in highest quality, unlimited exposures, depending on size of recording media

White balance
auto and manual (options: bright sunlight, tungsten, cloudy, neon light, presettings)

Focusing control
video feedback autofocus

Focusing modes
Multi AF (9 points) or Spot AF


1.5″ TFT LCD monitor, 130,000 pixels

1. sports, 2. portrait, 3. nightportrait, 4. sunset, 5. twilight, 6. night, 7. black and white, 8. sepia

Flash/flash range
built-in/0.6m to 1.8m

Flash modes
full auto, full auto with red-eye reduction preflash, daylight fill-in flash, flash off

Interfaces/docking station
USB 2.0, video/audio, AC

Recording media
SD cards, MM cards

Sound recording
30 seconds per image, WAV format

Power source
3.7v / 760mAh

94×38.5x21mm (wxhxd)


Accessories (supplied)

Lithium-ion battery
AC adapter
USB cable
Video cable
Hand strap
Camera case
Docking station

Specifications subject to change


RTUNE starts very early in the imaging process and through efficient color management reduces the amount of data to be processed by the camera. White balance, so crucial for a natural color rendition, starts directly behind the pickup device and not, as is normal with other models, in the digital section. The result is a considerable reduction in noise. Additionally, RTUNE prevents the so-called “cross talk” effect, in which neighboring ones can distort the signal of a pixel. This results in fewer digital artifacts and an increased purity of color. Because the subsequent digitalizing of the signal means less computing time for the elimination of aberrations, another source of interference with color reproduction is reduced. The RTUNE processor works with 16 bits and so achieves an extremely differentiated, practically continuously variable conversion of grays and colors. By executing many complex image-processing algorithms, the RTUNE processor accelerates the computing speed and makes the customary intermediate storage of images superfluous. Because the image files are built up more efficiently thanks to RTUNE and contain less superfluous interference, the JPEG files finally saved turn out much smaller. Correspondingly more images fit onto every costly memory card.

YASHICA Kyocera GmbH, Hamburg

Together with subsidiaries in London, Paris, Vienna and Zurich the European head- quarters in Hamburg, theYASHICA Kyocera GmbH, controls distribution, marketing and service on the European market. The product range comprises YASHICA brand compact cameras, KYOCERA brand Finecam digital cameras as well as CONTAX brand compact, SLR and digital cameras.YASHICA Kyocera GmbH was founded in 1983 by the merger of Yashica Co Ltd with the Kyocera Corp and is an outright subsidiary of Kyocera Corp. Today approx 100 employees work for the YASHICA Kyocera group in Europe.
Managing director Europe of the YASHICA Kyocera group is Wilhelm H Hotes.

Kyocera Corporation, Kyoto

With a vision of ceramics as the key material of the future, the engineer Dr Kazuo Inamori founded the company in 1959. By combining ceramic materials with metals and plastics and integrating these into new technologies Kyocera is today one of the worldwide leading suppliers of ceramic components for, amongst others, the information and communication industry. The corporation is also one of the worldwide leading producers of solar modules. With an annual turnover of about EUR 9.32bn (fiscal year 2001/2002) and about 44,000 employees Kyocera today maintains 62 factories and more than 100 branches worldwide. 35 subsidiaries devoted to the marketing of laser printers, analog and digital cameras, microelectronic parts and solar modules are situated in Europe alone. Less known perhaps is the company’s cultural engagement: via a foundation the corporation every year finances the prestigious Kyoto award. With approx half a million Euros this is one of the highest endowed awards for the lifework of high-ranking scientists and artists.

Further Information:

YASHICA Kyocera GmbH
Dirk Hülsermann
Eiffestrasse 76
20537 Hamburg
Tel.: 040 / 25 15 07-46
Fax: 040 / 25 15 07-48


Peter Jefimiec
Kattunbleiche 35
22041 Hamburg
Tel. : 040 / 67 94 46-53
Fax : 040 / 67 94 46-11


Thomas Schultze
Kattunbleiche 35
22041 Hamburg
Tel. : 040 / 67 94 46-41
Fax : 040 / 67 94 46-11