Steve's Digicams

Kodak Professional
DCS 315

User Review

Review posted 11/22/99

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The DCS 315 is a blending of Kodak's digital technology with the precision and sophistication of Nikon's Pronea 6i SLR camera. The DCS 315 gives you 1.5-megapixel (1520x1008) resolution in 10 bits per RGB color and produces either a 4.4MB uncompressed TIF or a finished JPG image with three different quality levels.   JPEG processing can be done in-camera on demand or in the background or it can be done later on the PC with Kodak's Host software. The ISO speed equivalent is user-selectable at 100, 200 or 400.

The camera has a burst rate of 2 fps up to 3 images and can repeat it every 11 seconds. The DCS 315 uses Nikkor AF lenses, including IX Nikkor lenses and F-mount lenses. The Sigma 24-70mm F3.5 lens above becomes a 62-182mm lens after you use the 2.6x magnification factor (CCD imager versus film size.)

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The Pronea's data LCD has been moved to the bottom to make room for the 1.8-inch color LCD. The camera's digital options are changed on the color LCD which is also used to review the stored images and histograms.

The data LCD is for changing the camera settings. More detail on the LCD displays on the next page of this review.

Note the microphone in the lower right, this is used to add voice annotations to your pictures.

Kodak Professional DCS 315

Looking down on the top, everything is the same as the film-based Pronea 6i camera including the dedicated TTL hot shoe flash for Nikon Speedlites. Most all of the DCS 315's functions are changed by pressing the buttons on the back and then rotating the large command dial on the top.

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The DCS 315 is powered by six AA size batteries, NiMH type is prefered. The batteries are held in a tray that facilitates swapping them very quickly.

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The DCS 315 accomodates a wide range of storage devices. You can use CompactFlash Type I or II (in PCMCIA adapter), PC Type II solid state cards, Type III hard drives or the IBM Microdrive (in its PCMCIA adapter).

Only the rear card slot can be used with the current camera firmware. You can use the front slot to hold a spare card unless you're using a Type III hard drive.

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The only I/O ports on the camera are a DC input jack on the bottom for the optional AC power supply and the high-speed IEEE 1394 FireWire bus port for image downloading or tethering the camera to a host PC.

The benefits of IEEE 1394 include smaller and compatible connectors, hot plug connection, shared memory, a single connection and speed, speed, speed!

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The popup flash is TTL controlled and offers automatic, red-eye reduction, slow-sync and rear curtain operational modes. Dedicated Nikon Speedlites can be used via the TTL hot shoe when advanced lighting is required.

Kodak Professional DCS 315

The lens mount accepts all standard Nikkor IX or F-mount AF lenses. Due to the CCD imager being smaller than the film the Pronea was made to use, the focal length of the lens used must be multiplied by 2.6x.

This focal multiplier makes the DCS315 a superb telephoto camera but it makes it extremely difficult to outfit with a decent wideangle lens.

The lower switch turns the camera's autofocus system on or off. The upper button unlocks the lens. The red LED above that is the self-timer indicator.

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