Kodak Professional Debuts DCS Pro 14n Digital SLR Camera with Industry-Leading 13.89 Million Total Pixels and Competitive Price Point Variable Resolution, Ease-of-Use Ideal for Portrait, Wedding Photographers
Read our Pro 14n review
Kodak Professional begins shipping its DCS Pro 14n Digital Camera this week, which means the first units will start arriving at Kodak-authorized dealers during the first week of March 2003. The DCS Pro 14n camera - featuring a 13.89-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor, magnesium body for exceptional durability, basic and advanced operation settings, and the ability to capture high-quality images at three different resolutions - arrives in time for the PMA trade show in Las Vegas.
Designed to be easy to learn and to use, the DCS Pro 14n camera delivers the sharpest images possible today and will receive a number of important enhancements over the next several months through firmware upgrades to optimize its specifications. Firmware upgrades are free to Kodak Professional digital camera customers, and are a compelling part of the DCS Pro 14n camera's value and appeal - the ability to "renew" the camera regularly by adding functional enhancements and new capabilities.
"We're pleased to bring the Kodak Professional DCS Pro 14n Digital Camera to market in time for the imaging industry's largest gathering in the Western Hemisphere - PMA," said Madhav Mehra, General Manager, Digital Cameras, Kodak Professional. "This camera represents the very best option available today for many photographic applications. Even so, our work to make it the preferred choice of professional and advanced amateur photographers everywhere will go on. DCS Pro 14n camera users can be confident that their camera is able to meet their needs far better than any other camera on the market."
The DCS Pro 14n camera exhibits some variances in the specifications that were cited at its introduction at the Photokina trade show last September. For example, shots per battery charge is rated at 400, up a third from the announced 300 shots. The camera, originally configured to accept a 3-gigabyte storage card, will accept 4-gigabyte cards once they become available. Enhancements are planned for the file transfer rate (dependent upon third-party software capabilities), jpeg burst depth and long exposure settings. Activation of the camera's MMC/SD storage slot will be part of an upcoming firmware upgrade. And improvements to ISO range will be sought. Effective ISO range is now 80 - 800 at 50 percent (3.4 megapixel) and 67 percent (6 megapixel) resolution, and 80 - 400 at 100 percent (13.5 megapixel) resolution.
These enhancements promise to strengthen what already is a unique, feature-rich camera. In addition to its 13.89-megapixel sensor, variable-resolution settings and upgradeability via new firmware releases, the DCS Pro 14n camera creates and manages Kodak Professional's innovative Extended Range Imaging (ERI) jpeg files. This file format offers the dynamic range of a raw file and the workflow advantages of a jpeg file. In addition, the camera's rugged magnesium body includes a vertical trigger that activates in conjunction with an auto-orientation sensor, saving the photographer time by automatically rotating images as they're transferred to a computer. These and other capabilities place the DCS Pro 14n camera in a class by itself.
Due to the tremendous interest in and demand for the camera, it probably will
be several months before every currently open back order can be filled. For
most countries, Kodak Professional has instituted an allocation plan to help
ensure an equitable distribution of cameras. Suggested U.S. list price for
the DCS Pro 14n camera remains at USD $4,995. Dealers determine "street
price." Based on current demand, it is likely initial U.S. street prices
probably will stay very close to the suggested list price.
COLOGNE, Germany, September 24 - Kodak Professional, a division of Eastman Kodak Company, which introduced the industry's first professional digital camera in 1991, today announced the latest addition to its camera family, the DCS Pro 14n digital camera, an SLR with the industry's first 35-mm size CMOS sensor (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) in an SLR camera. The new camera boasts a 13.89 million pixel CMOS sensor and provides variable resolution raw files. The estimated street price is near USD$4,000.
The easy-to-use DCS Pro 14n is Kodak's sixth-generation professional digital camera and is primarily designed for professional portrait, wedding, event and commercial photographers, but will likely be popular with advanced amateurs as well. Built on a Nikon lens mount, it adds speed, as well as quality, to the photographers' workflow through FireWire connectivity at a 12 MB per second transfer rate, nearly four times faster than previous Kodak Professional cameras.
"This is the camera that portrait, wedding and event photographers have been waiting for," said Jay Kelbley, DCS Product Manager, Kodak Professional. "In addition to its highly competitive price point and phenomenal 13.89 million total pixels, the DCS Pro 14n is loaded with features and, thanks to Kodak Professional firmware, its overall image path enhancements make it the most upgradeable camera on the market."
Resolution, Image Storage and Camera Body Features
The camera is equipped with a 4536 x 3024 pixel (effective), 12-bit CMOS imager, covering the full 24mm by 36mm image area of 35mm film, allowing photographers to regain the benefits of true wide-angle lenses and use their Nikon SLR lenses as they have used them with 35mm film. With the DCS Pro 14n photographers have the freedom to select the image size (full 14MP, 6MP, and 3MP) that suits the shooting environment.
The camera captures images at about two frames per second. Images can be saved as DCR raw files or Kodak Professional Extended Range Imaging (ERI) JPEG files. Kodak ERI-JPEG files serve as another form of picture protection for photographers, especially in situations where re-shooting is inconvenient. Kodak ERI-JPEGs are created by and stored in-camera on removable media for later color correction or manipulation, and provide two-stops of exposure latitude and extended color space within a JPEG workflow, a benefit no other competitor offers. The ERI-JPEG format provides professional photographers ease-of-use of JPEG files with the image quality and color/exposure control of Kodak's highly regarded DCR format raw camera files, to create the best quality images.
Images are stored in a CompactFlash memory card and a MMC memory card interface. The camera can write to both storage media, and the image can be sent to each card simultaneously in any of the available formats.
The Kodak Professional DCS Pro 14n Digital Camera is leveraged from a Nikon lens mount and the magnesium body is more durable and robust than plastic digital cameras based on similar camera platforms. The DCS Pro 14n uses cast magnesium encasements for a solid, rugged camera body instead of the plastic encasements commonly used by other manufacturers. The robust body includes a vertical trigger that works in conjunction with the camera's auto orientation sensor. The sensor detects the camera's orientation +/- 90 degrees from the horizontal position. This enables automatic rotation of the image as it moves to a computer for manipulation, saving photographers time and improving workflow, hallmarks of Kodak Professional's efforts to make digital easier for customers.
Simplifying Digital, Free Firmware Upgrades
Heeding photographers' calls to simplify the transition to digital photography, the DCS Pro 14n includes features for new and more advanced digital shooters. The camera operates in two user modes: basic and advanced. The camera defaults to the basic setting and offers a very intuitive, simple interface. In the advanced mode, the user can adjust many more capture, resolution and storage settings, among others.
"The digital camera learning curve has been sharply reduced with the DCS Pro 14n. Novices and advanced users will be equally at home with the camera's user-friendly functionality," said Kelbley. "As Kodak continues to lead the industry in digital capture, we design our cameras to grow with the photographer. Whether it's a beginner or experienced digital photographer ready to move up to a pro series camera, the DCS Pro 14n will help users explore new territory and upgrade along the way."
The camera is capable of capturing images at two frames per second, for a full burst of up to eight frames in full-resolution mode. Because the features of the DCS Pro 14n are based on Kodak Professional firmware and not hard-wired within the camera, the camera can be enhanced and easily upgraded with free firmware downloads from Kodak Professional. Free firmware upgrades essentially give photographers a "new" camera whereas other manufacturers require the purchase of an entirely new camera system to receive the latest enhancements. Unlike competitors' cameras, the DCS Pro DCS 14n can be taken to Kodak Service Qualified Sites to enable a deeper burst depth (from 8 frames to 18) by doubling the camera's built in RAM buffer from 256MB to 512MB image memory.
Mark Peters from LetsGoDigital.nl checks out the new Pro14n at Photokina
The DCS Pro 14n has the first professional camera interface localized in eight languages. It includes the latest versions of Kodak Professional DCS Photo Desk and Camera Manager software, and supports DCR FFM and Kodak Professional ERI-JPEG format and is compatible with Kodak ProShots Studio Software Suite, an online image management and display tool that links the photographer to both client and lab in an effective digital workflow for film-based and digital camera images.
The camera is digital camera format (DCF) compatible, a first for a Kodak Professional digital camera. The standardized DCF format gives photographers more access to printing services because most printing systems are calibrated to work with DCF files.
The camera includes a power source in the form of a single rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack, or by an accessory AC adapter. Photographers may select NTSC or PAL video formats for image review. In NTSC mode, the color LCD and the video output are enabled simultaneously, a feature particularly useful for portrait photographers preparing set-ups. Using a video monitor, photographers can "play back" images captured during a shoot as a preview and potential sales opportunity with customers.
Product availability begins in December through authorized dealers of Kodak Professional digital photography equipment.
Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, enhance, preserve, print and enjoy pictures -- for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in "infoimaging" - a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and PDAs), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). Kodak harnesses its technology, market reach and a host of industry partnerships to provide innovative products and services for customers who need the information-rich content that images contain. The company, with sales last year of $13.2 billion, is organized into four major businesses: Photography, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Components, delivering flat-panel displays, optics and sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services.
Editor's Note: For information about Kodak Professional, customers may call: 1-800-235-6325, or visit the Kodak Professional web site at: www.kodak.com/go/professional.
(Note: Kodak, Kodak Professional, ProShots are trademarks.)
Eastman Kodak Company is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark.
©Eastman Kodak Company, 2002
FillFactory Builds Full-Frame CMOS Sensor for Kodak DCS Pro 14n Digital SLR
September 26, 2002 - FillFactory has begun shipments to Kodak Professional of a customised 13.85 M pixel CMOS image sensor for its new SLR camera, DCS Pro 14n, launched at the Photokina 2002 (Cologne, Germany) earlier this week.
With an 8 um pixel size and total light sensitive area of 36 mm x 24 mm, this device currently offers the highest resolution for a true 35 mm format image sensor.
This new high-resolution CMOS image sensor is the result of a joint research and development effort that started about 18 months ago. The development work successfully addressed the challenge of achieving the required electro-optical performance, as well as the demanding requirements related to die placement accuracy, packaging, cover glass quality and NIR cut-off filter characteristics. Special attention was also paid to the design of the on-chip colour filters.
The integrated circuits for this image sensor are produced by Tower Semiconductor (Migdal Haemek, Israel, NYSE: TSEM; TASE:TOWER) utilizing its 0.5 um CMOS technology. "This product offering results directly from the close alignment between Tower and FillFactory to advance current capabilities in CMOS image sensor applications. Due to Tower's extensive experience with mega pixel image sensors, we are able to provide customers and designers with background information to boost customer successes in volume production. As far as we know, no other foundry today offers this combination of capabilities and experience to CMOS image sensor designers and customers", says Tower Semiconductor's Danny Hacohen, Vice President of Sales - Europe, Asia and Japan.
In support of this initiative, FillFactory installed a new cleanroom for device inspection, device testing and packing under class 100 conditions and will continue to expand its design, production and test facilities at its Mechelen base.
"With this order from Kodak Professional, FillFactory will continue to strengthen and expand its position in the high-end digital photography market segment. Our customers in other market segments will also benefit from the investments in infrastructure and quality that have been driven by the production of the Kodak device", stresses Luc De Mey, FillFactory's President and CEO.
This new device is an exclusive development for Kodak and will therefore not be offered as a standard FillFactory product. However, FillFactory can develop similar imaging devices for other interested third parties.
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