The Contax G1 is the best point & shoot camera! Okay, so technically it’s not a point & shoot per se, it’s more like a rangefinder camera. Though, even then it’s not your typical rangefinder camera like the Leica M6. The Contax G1 doesn’t use the typical manual focusing system that most rangefinder cameras do, it uses a completely automatic focusing system.
It’s been a great system in my experience with it. I’ve been using mine for about a year now and I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to try something that was different from the SLR and point & shoot selection I already have in my collection. So, after much research I decided to go with a Contax G1 because it seemed like such a unique camera, and it is.
At first glance, the Contax G1 is a beautiful camera. This things looks like the if Apple made a 35mm film camera. It’s built like a tank with its fully titanium body. It just feels great in the hand. Perfectly heavy but also light-enough at the same time. Taking photos with this camera feels just as amazing as it looks. The autofocus on this thing is fast and smooth. It feels like a point & shoot camera but in a great way.
With the 28mm f/2.8 lens I bought along with the camera, it feels like I’m getting the experience of a point & shoot but the results of a rangefinder. The Contax G series was essentially made for the rich hobbyist that wanted to take nice photos but didn’t want to try too hard, and it shows. They wanted to compete with Leica but at the same time, make something unique.
Now, this isn’t a fully automatic camera. You still have to set the aperture and shutter speed, and that’s what separates this camera from being just a high end point & shoot. You CAN manually focus on this thing but it wasn’t really made for that, and quite frankly its a bit of a hassle to even try.
Before I bought mine I heard tons of horror stories about the autofocus not always focusing on your subject or just not focusing at all, but I have yet to have any experience with that. I mean, the first roll(s) I ever shot on this camera were photos my friends skating at our local skatepark and all the photos I got back were in focus and sharp… So sharp. They made some amazing lenses for the Contax G system, all by Carl Zeiss.
Using this camera is so simple, easy, and fast It’s pretty surprising some of the amazing results you can get. It has became a glorified point & shoot to me, but I don’t mean that in a bad way, I actually mean that in the best way. This has became my take everywhere type of camera. I highly recommend the Contax G series if you’re looking for something to try in the world of 35mm film.