Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Review
By Movable Type Admin
The DCS Pro SLR/n accepts Nikkor F mount lenses, because the imager is the same size physically as a 35mm film frame the field of view is unchanged. Most dSLR cameras with the exception of the Canon EOS-1Ds use smaller imagers and therefore have focal length (FOV) multipliers of 1.5x or 1.6x.
Use of D-type AF lenses provide access to all available functions. If you use a non-CPU lens, "F--" appears in place of the aperture indication in the top data LCD and viewfinder. You must set or confirm the aperture using the lens' aperture ring.
Above you can see the AF illuminator lamp to the left of the lens, it also
functions as the red-eye reduction lamp and self timer indicator. Below the AF
illuminator is the DOF (depth of field) Preview button.
The Focus Mode is selected by the lever below the lens release button. Options are Single Servo-AF and Continuous Servo-AF. The Manual/Auto focus control is found on the lens itself.
There are three AF Area modes:
Dynamic AF - Use the primary focus area and when/if the subject moves, the focus shifts to the next focus area that detects the subject.
Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority - Available as an option when selected from Custom Settings. The camera automatically selects the focus area with the closest subject.
You can manually select one of five focus areas. Unlock the 4-way selector switch and
with the color LCD off, you press Up, Down, Right or Left to move the active AF focus
point on the top data LCD. You cannot select a focus area if you have enabled the
Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority mode.
Here's the Pro SLR/n with a Nikkor 24-85G AF-S lens. You can also clearly
see the vertical shutter release built into the beefy and comfortable handgrip.
The Pro SLR/n has a fixed eye-level pentaprism with an eyepoint of 17mm and a magnification of 0.75X (50mm lens @ infinity). The diopter adjustment range is from +0.8 to -1.8 DP. The viewfinder's coverage is approx. 92% horizontal and vertical.
To the right of the eyepiece is the AE-L/AF-L button and the metering switch with
positions for 3D-Matrix, Center-weighted averaging and Spot.
The focusing screen is a NIKON Clear Matte Screen 2 with focus brackets and on-demand grid lines. It is not interchangeable.
Viewfinder information includes: Focus indication, Focus Area, Metering System, AE Lock indicator, Shutter
speed, aperture, Exposure mode, Electronic Analog Exposure
display/Exposure Compensation display, Exposure Compensation/Flash
Exposure Compensation value, Flash Exposure Compensation indicator,
Exposure Compensation indicator, Flash Ready indicator, Focus
brackets/Spot Metering area, Reference Circle for Center-Weighted
metering and On-demand grid lines.
The Mode Dial has positions for: Program AE, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Manual, ISO selection and Focus mode.
Around the Mode Dial is the Drive Mode Selector with positions for: Single frame,
Continuous shooting (up to 1.7fps), Self Timer (2-20 secs.) and Exposure Lock.
The grip side camera controls: Main power switch, shutter release, EV compensation, Flash compensation and the LCD illumination button.
The monochrome data LCD displays shutter speed, aperture, Vari-Program (P*) mode,
flash mode, focus mode, AE bracketing, Custom features in use and battery status.
Along the back edge is the Main Command Dial and located on the front is the Sub Command
Dial. The Main Command Dial is used to change various settings as displayed on the
top data LCD. The Main and Sub dials are used to change the shutter speed and aperture
values and their functions can be reversed by Custom settings.
Below the Mode Dial on the back are the AE Bracketing and Flash Mode selection buttons.
Press and hold while turning Main Command Dial to make your selection.
The manual popup type flash has a Guide number of 12 (at ISO 100,m) and coverage for
28mm or longer lenses. Flash modes are: Front-Curtain Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye
Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain Sync. The maximum flash sync shutter
speed is 1/125 second.
The flash hot shoe has Nikon-specific contacts for D-TTL operation of external speedlights like the Nikon SB-80DX, SB-28DX, SB-50DX and others. You can also connect speedlights and studio strobes via the standard PC flash sync connector on the front.
The hand grip and vertical shutter release makes shooting in portrait orientation
much easier. The vertical shutter release is enabled by the orientation sensor when
the camera is in portrait mode. It can be disabled by a menu setting.
On the side above the battery are the I/O ports. The TEST port is a serial port for
connecting a GPS. The Video Out port sends NTSC or PAL composite video to a monitor.
The Digital port is an IEEE1394 FireWire interface with throughput up to 12MB/sec.
The Pro SLR/n can be operated in "tethered" mode using the
DCS Camera Manager software.
Not shown is a 10-pin remote terminal on the front for a wired shutter release.
Power is supplied by a rechargeable 7.4v Lithium-ion battery.
Kodak says the battery life is approx. 400 shots per charge. The battery status
is indicated by an icon on the top data LCD.
The Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Battery Charger also serves as an AC power adapter when used with
the supplied Power Module. The charging status is displayed by a green blinking LED
that indicates 50%, 70% and complete charge.
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