Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 Review

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Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back 645

Review posted 10/2/02

The Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back 645 was specifically designed with handheld photography needs in mind -- it's lightweight (1.7 lbs.) and the same size as a conventional film magazine. The Pro Back 645 is ideal for commercial fashion, high- end portraiture, and wedding photography. You'll discover astounding image quality and resolution with its 16 megapixel (4080 x 4080) sensor that can generate a 12-bit- per-color image, resulting in a 16-bit linear, 96 MB RGB file.

A large, 2-inch color LCD image review and on-board rechargeable battery makes this camera back truly portable. And photographer-friendly functions are all inside -- pan, zoom, spot readings (in stops), focus check, exposure verification with a histogram feature, and a long exposure (up to 20 secs.) capability. Selectable ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 400 with a burst rate of 1 frame every 1.63 seconds for up to 5 frames.

With Picture Protection you can correct most over- or underexposed images or modify color balance before the image is acquired. You can also recover an image file that has been accidentally deleted from the memory card. Kodak's removable IR filter rejects strong infrared light while it protects your image from color errors and desaturation without losing ISO speed. For certain types of photography, such as portraiture, you can mount the optional anti-aliasing filter in place of the IR filter. The AA filter dramatically reduces scene aliasing and moiré.

The DCS Pro Back 645 is enabled with KODAK PROFESSIONAL Extended Range Imaging Technology to give you maximum control and flexibility - a full 2 stops of exposure latitude and extended color space. The convenience of JPEG; the power and flexibility of RAW files - get the benefits of both in one image file. Images are captured to standard CF and CF Type II cards such as the IBM Microdrive.

Compatibility: The Pro Back 645M is directly compatible with the Mamiya 645 AF and AFD series cameras. The Pro Back 645C is designed to work with the Contax 645 series.

And the just announced Pro Back 645H is for Hasselblad H1 cameras.

DCS Pro Back 645 Features:

  • Supports medium-format 645 autofocus cameras (645 Mamiya or 645 Contax)
  • 16-megapixel sensor 36mm x 36mm square
  • Burst rate 1 frame every 1.63 sec.
  • Burst depth is 5 images (256MB internal buffer)
  • 1:1 square or horizontal 5:4 or vertical 4:5 aspect ratio
  • 8-bit color RGB TIFF yields 48 MB file
  • 16-bit color RGB TIFF yields 96 MB file
  • 8-bit color CMYK TIFF yields 64 MB file
  • 16-bit color CMYK TIFF yields 128 MB file
  • In-camera TIFF and JPEG processing
  • Finished image size is 4072 x 4072 pixels
  • 2-inch color LCD screen for instant review
  • Histogram and blinking highlights
  • Long exposure capability
  • IEEE 1394 FireWire data/tether interface
  • NTSC or PAL video output
  • AC or Rechargeable battery (included) powered

The Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 is available for around $11,999.

TIPA Award for
Best Digital Professional Product
in Europe 2002-2003

Physical Views

Pro Back 645M with Mamiya 645AFD

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Pro Back 645

The Nikon D100 and the 645AFD for size comparison

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DCS Pro Back 645 Specifications


  • 16-Million pixel CCD imager, 36mm x 36mm square
  • 4072 x 4072 pixel finished image size, 19MB DCR raw file or 48MB processed as 8-bit TIFF
  • ISO Sensitivity Range: 100 to 400 in 1/3 stop increments
  • Bit depth: 36-bit color (12 bits per color) original capture
  • Burst rate/depth= 1 frame every 1.63 sec.: 5 images buffered at 1.63 seconds, then 3 at 2.5 seconds before CF Card write.
  • 1:1 square or horizontal 5:4 or vertical 4:5 aspect ratio
  • Image storage on CF Type I or II cards, Microdrive compatible
  • Power: Tethered with AC adapter
    Portable with Kodak DCS 645 Battery (included with charger).
  • Two inch color TFT LCD monitor
  • IEEE 1394 FireWire data interface
  • DRAM on-board: 256 MB
  • Composite Video Review: NTSC or PAL
  • Size: 4.33in (110mm) x 3.66in (93mm) x 2.5in (63.5mm) (without battery).
  • Weight: 1.7lb (.77 kg)

Included software

DCS Photo Desk

  • DCS Photo Desk helps you to browse and manipulate raw DCS and DCR images, finished JPEG and TIFF images from DCS Cameras, and other standard JPEG images. For raw DCS and DCR images, simply move the slider to bring your exposure back in, click to adjust white balance, or select contrast with simple icons. Then export your image data in TIFF or JPEG format, or save your corrections to the raw file header without disturbing the original raw data.

DCS Camera Manager

  • DCS Camera Manager is a camera-control application that connects a tethered Pro Back 645 to your computer using an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) cable. With this software, you can control Pro Back 645 settings and shoot your image. (Note: Camera-specific properties are dependent on camera model used.) DCS Camera Manager knows where to save your image - it can be automatically sent to your hard drive upon capture via your computer or the camera shutter.

DCS Capture Studio

  • In DCS Capture Studio, the RGB working space of choice is ProPhoto RGB. A unique Kodak capability, ProPhoto RGB provides a wider color gamut for:
    • retouching
    • color space transformations to output printer spaces
    • other RGB or CMYK color spaces
    • display on calibrated systems

  • You can do extensive image editing in a 12-bit space. Make color shifts to improve your image's quality without worrying about out-of-gamut problems. The bottom line is that ProPhoto RGB will provide you with maximum flexibility and the best color results.

  • Also, with Capture Studio's contact-sheet feature, you can store a series of images in a folder on your computer, then review and edit them later.

  • You can also customize your images in DCS Capture Studio by using one of the ten new profiles in Kodak Professional DCS Custom Looks Software. (Sold Separately)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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