Advantages Optical and build quality, size and features.
Disadvantages AE and AF lock cannot be set independently.
|Range & Quality of Features|
|Ease of Use|
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Contax TVS III
The last, best and smallest picture taker of the TVS series. The optics are much improved from the previous models incorporating 2 aspheric and an extra low dispersion glass element. The optics are so good that performance is near optimal wide open and stopping down mainly improves corner light falloff. AF is very accurate especially in the spot mode. Like it's sibling, the T3, there is no electronic rangefinder for manual focus assist, just manual focus settings. The biggest failing related to this is that unlike the T3, you can't independently lock AE and AF settings but intead they are linked together on the TVS III. The T3 gives you the additional option to lock focus with a special spot AF hold button and then lock exposure with the shutter button. This allows for recomposition of the shot without losing desired focus or exposure settings. Fortunately with the TVS III you can guesstimate and set focus manually and then use the AE lock. I suppose it's small aperture allows for more guessimate error unlike the T3 with it's f/2.8 lens. That not withstanding, the TVS III has a lot going for it: optical quality on par with the T3, manual focus, exposure compensation with viewfinder alert, custom function settings, modern flash options, five focal length settings ( 30, 38, 45, 52 and 60), approximate focus distance displayed in viewfinder, top speed of 1/500 in aperture priority AE, 1/1000 in program AE, built-in date back, the best close up repro ratio of any T series camera (0.5 m @ 60 mm) and priced well below the T3 on the used market. When new, it was a few hundered $$ more than the T3. I bought mine used but in like new condition with box and papers from KEH for $364.
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