Like the Pentax MZ-3 , the Contax Aria is a 1990s all electronic camera that has great ergonomics, a high shutter speed (up to 1/4000), spot and matrix metering, and various program modes. Immediately noticeable is the Aria’s much nicer build quality and as a result its more expensive price. However, unlike the MZ-3, the Aria does not have a built in flash and it does not use autofocus lenses. Nevertheless, the use of only manual lenses means that the Aria has a traditional ground glass/split-screen viewfinder, and what a beautiful viewfinder it is! There are probably very few film SLR viewfinders that are as large, as bright and as crisp as the Aria’s, a true pleasure to use. The other big advantage of the Aria is the availability of a fantastic line-up of Contax Zeiss prime lenses. Ranging from 15mm to 1000mm, plus a plethora of zooms and other manufacturers lenses means an extensive number of options (CY lens catalogue here). Several highlights are the 28mm F2 “Hollywood” lens, as well as the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm fast f1.4 lenses. I particularly like the Contax/Zeiss 45mm f2.8 Tessar tiny pancake lens, which on the Contax Aria turn it into a small and light walking around camera about the size of a point and shoot. Thus it would seem that the Aria is an overall better option than the Pentax MZ-3, except for the fact that I prefer Pentax lenses for B&W photography. The Zeiss lenses for the Aria are excellent, but they have a very modern contrasty look, too close to what digital looks like than I would prefer. On the other hand, the Pentax K, M and Takumar lenses are less contrasty and render nicely in B&W. For colour, the Zeiss lenses win hands-down, but since I do very little colour photography, my MZ-3 sees far more action. Purchase Contax Aria here.