Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Review
By Movable Type Admin
The DCS Pro SLR/n contains a new 4536 x 3024 pixel (effective), 12-bit CMOS imager that covers the full 24 mm-by-36 mm image area of 35mm film and delivers 14 million pixels of resolution. With a full-size sensor, photographers regain the benefits of true wide-angle lenses and can use their F-mount SLR lenses the same way they used them with 35 mm film. This sensor incorporates advanced High Performance-Low Noise (HPLN) technology, incorporating a unique new pixel design and an optimized device manufacturing process that enables increased sensitivity and reduced noise levels that result in broader ISO performance.
Photographers can select the appropriate image size - full 14MP, 6MP, and 3MP - to suit their needs and the format: DCR raw, standard JPEG or ERI JPEG files. The ERI-JPEG files serve as another form of picture protection for photographers, especially in situations where re-shooting is inconvenient. They provide two stops of exposure latitude and extended color space within a JPEG workflow
The DCS Pro SLR/n offers a fully calibrated ISO range of 6 to 800, plus those using raw files can also access a non-calibrated ISO range that extends from 1000 to 1600. The camera's feature set includes long-exposure capabilities, enabling exposures up to 60 seconds at lower ISO settings and a hardware "sleep mode" that conserves battery life when the camera is not in use.
The camera captures images at about 1.7 frames per second. Images can be saved as DCR raw files, normal JPEG files or ERI JPEG files. The full resolution raw image burst depth is ~19 frames thanks to a large 512 MB RAM buffer
Many key features of the DCS Pro SLR/n camera are based on KODAK PROFESSIONAL firmware and
are not hard-wired within the camera, so they can be enhanced and easily upgraded with
free firmware downloads from Kodak. Free firmware upgrades essentially give photographers
a "new" camera, whereas most other manufacturers require the purchase of an entirely new
camera system to receive the latest enhancements.
The OK button turns on the color LCD in Imaage Mode. Accepts menu selections, enables the Region of Interest box in zoom mode, implements a zoom in zoom mode, accepts changes and dismisses confirmation screens.
The Cancel button turns off the color LCD in image mode, exits menus without applying changes, disables the Region of Interest box, dismisses a confirmation screen, and displays Image mode when a menu is displayed.
The Menu button turns on the color LCD (if off) and displays a menu (last accessed menu option highlighted), displays a menu when in Image mode and displays Image mode when a menu is displayed.
The Nav+ button if the color LCD is off, turns it on in the last-accessed image mode with the Nav+ overlay. If the color LCD is on, it displays the last-accessed Image mode with the Nav+ overlay. Navigates to higher or lower numbered folders when pressed and held while you press Up or Down on 4-way selector. Displays every tenth higher or lower numbered image within a folder when pressed and held as you press Right or Left on the 4-way.
The HotKey button provides a shortcut to frequently used (user-defined) digital functions.
The Digital Status button provides a shortcut to capture-critical menu options on the color LCD.
The Delete button is only enabled when the color LCD is on in Image mode and presents the user with a screen with five options for deleting images.
The Tag/Record button is only active when the color LCD is on. Press and release quickly to display Tag options. Press and hold (longer than one sec.) to activate the microphone and record a voice annotation.
Below the color LCD is the Digital Status LCD that displays interactive Capture
information: White Balance, ISO, CF and SD Cards, Number of shots remaining JPEG
quality, Raw and JPEG resolution and Crop aspect ratio. It also displays "tool tips"
when navigating menu screens.
Navigating the Menus
The graphical menu system consists of five tabbed sections, press and hold the MENU button and
then press Right or Left on the 4-way controller to select the appropriate section:
Uncalibrated 1000-1600 (DCS RAW files only)
White Balance - Auto, Daylight (standard, warm, cool), Tungsten (standard, warm, cool),
Fluorescent (standard, cool white), Flash (standard, warm, cool, studio), Click White Balance
Capture Folder - Select or create image folder
CF Card - Select the image type to be recorded on the CF media:
MM Card - Select the image type to be recorded on the SD/MMC media:
Raw Resolution - Select Raw Image size: 13.5MP, 6MP, 3.4MP
JPEG Resolution - Select JPEG Image size: 13.5MP, 6MP, 3.4MP, 0.8MP
Crop Aspect Ratio - 2x3, 4x5, 2x2 (JPEG only, Raw is adjusted in software)
Long Exposure - Off, Long (up to 1/2 sec.), Longer (see the grid below).
External Video - Enable/disable composite video output (NTSC, PAL)
Overexp. Indicator - Off or On, if On overexposed areas blink
Display Contrast - Adjust LCD contrast
Display Activation - Enable All, OK Only, Disable OK
Auto Review - Off, 3s, 5s, 10s
Slide Show - Continuous Loop or Single Show
Image Mode Menu - Display time for popup menu (off, 1, 2 or 3 sec.)
JPEG File Type - ERI (Extended Range Information) or Standard
JPEG Quality - JPEG compression level: Good, Better Best
Digital Exp. Corr. - Corrects some errors in exposure (JPEG only)
Exposure Bias - From -0.5 to +0.5 in 1/10 stop increments (JPEG only)
Look - Product, Portrait, Wedding, Event: Applies a tone scale adjustment to JPEG images and tags Raw images for adjustment in DCS Photo Desk
Noise Reduction - Normal, Strong (JPEG only)
Sharpening Level - None, Low, Medium, High (JPEG only)
User Mode - Basic or Advanced. Basic provides access to limited digital functions and is for new users, Advanced mode sllows access to ALL digital functions.
Vertical Release - Lock to disable, Unlock to enable when camera is in portrait orientation
Folder/FileNaming - Choose how to number files and folders. Auto sequence assigns continuous numbering and is not reset when a new card is inserted. Auto Restart resets names to 0 when a new card is inserted. Manual Restart names are reset to 0 on the current card(s) when you press the OK button.
Job Tracker - Access the IPTC data section. This allows press photographers to enter information that is retrieved later by their co-workers that uniquely identifies the job and photographer.
Language - Select menu language (English, Jpanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese or Portuguese)
Time/Date - Enable time and date stamping on the image
Firmware - Display firmware rev # or update firmware
Hotkey - Reset or Clear
Battery Save - Display time: 30s, 1m, 2m, 5m, 10m, Never
Default Reset - Reset all parameters to factory default
Video Format - NTSC or PAL video standard
Intervalometer - Set the time-lapse recording options
Serial Port - Set the serial port communications speed
GPS - Specify if GPS is connected to serial port
Imager Clean - Open, Close
Lens Optimization - Auto, Type 1, Type 2, Type 3
Mirror Prerelease - Delay after mirror goes up before shutter release (None, 0.5, 1, 2, 5 secs.)
Bracket Order - Sequence order for AE Bracketing: 0,-,+ or -,0,+
Grid Lines - Display viewfinder grid lines: On or Off
Focus Area Light - Display AF brackets in viewfinder: Low light, Off, Always On
Focus Area Wrap - Successive rotation of focus area selection: Off or On
Soft Press AE-L - AE lock with shutter release: Disabled, Enabled
Single Servo AF - Closest subject priority dynamic AF in Single Servo AF mode: Enabled or Disabled
Continuous Servo AF - Closest subject priority dynamic AF in Cont. Servo AF mode:
Enabled or Disabled
AE/AF Lock - Assign function of AE-L/AF-L button: AE/AF Lock simultaneous, AE Lock only, AF Lock only, AE Lock Persist, AF operation only starts
Command Dial - Assign functions to command dials: Main (S), Sub (A) or Main (A), Sub (S) -- S=Shutter speed, A=Aperture value
Meter Off Time - Time delay for auto meter switch off: 4, 8, 16, 32 sec.
Self Timer Time - Duration of self timer: 2, 5, 10 or 20 sec.
Top LCD Light - Status LCDs illuminate when any button pressed: LCD Light button only or Any button
AF Assist Illuminator - On or Off
Continue on to
Digital Features (cont.)
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