Kodak DCS Pro 14n SLR Review

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Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Review posted 03/27/03
(Conclusion update and new
sample photos posted 7/30/03)

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Pro 14n

Kodak Professional announced the new $4,995 DCS Pro 14n digital SLR at Photokina in Germany in September of 2002. The DCS Pro 14n will become the world's first dSLR to use a 35mm size CMOS sensor with 13.7 million effective pixels and povide variable resolution raw files. This is Kodak's sixth-generation professional digital camera and is designed for professional portrait, wedding, event and commercial photographers. It features a Nikon-F lens mount and a durable magnesium body and includes a vertical shutter release that works in conjunction with the camera's auto orientation sensor.

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. No more focal length conversions, lenses will retain their original coverage which makes for an easy transition from 35mm film to digital. Photographers can select the image size (full 14MP, 6MP, and 3MP) that suits the shooting environment. 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 allow for later color correction or manipulation, and provide two-stops of exposure latitude and extended color space within a JPEG workflow.

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 camera is capable of capturing images at two frames per second, for a full burst of up to eight frames in full-resolution mode. Kodak Professional offers free firmware and host software upgrades downloadable from the Kodak website. Unlike most 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.

The camera is powered by a single rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack, or by an included 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 setups. Images are stored on CompactFlash Type I or II or SD/MMC memory cards. The camera can write to both storage media, and the image can be sent to each card simultaneously in any of the available formats.

Pro 14n Features:

  • Full-frame 36 x 24mm, 13.85-million pixel CMOS imager
  • Kodak RAW and ERI-JPEG images up to 4500 x 3000 pixels
  • Selectable image resolutions: 13.5MP, 6MP, 3.4MP
  • Simultaneous capture of RAW and ERI-JPEG files
  • 36-bit color depth (12 bits per color)
  • Nikon-F mount lens compatibility
  • ISO 80 to 800 (80 to 400 in 13.5MP resolution) in 1/3-stop increments
  • Selectable aspect cropping: 3:2, 4:5 or 2:2
  • 5-Area AF with tracking and closest subject priority
  • TTL exposure metering: 3D-Color Matrix, Center-weighted and 4mm Spot
  • 2fps Burst with a depth of 8 frames at full resolution
  • Builtin flash with Red-eye mode, Guide No. 12
  • Flash hot shoe for Nikon Speedlights and PC sync port
  • Vertical portrait release and orientation sensor
  • Shutter speeds: 2 sec. to 1/4000 sec. plus Bulb
  • 2.0" color LCD for image analysis and user menus
  • Durable but lightweight metal body with familiar SLR functionality
  • Lithium rechargeable battery with charger/AC adapter
  • Composite video out, NTSC or PAL format
  • IEEE 1394 FireWire interface provides up to 400mbps transfer rate
  • Voice annotation provides audio notebook to document specific shots.
  • CompactFlash Type 2 and SD/MMC card slots for storage flexibility.
  • Upgradeable firmware, host software and camera buffer RAM
  • Intervalometer to enable time-lapse image capture for remote applications.

Physical Views

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak Pro 14n and Canon EOS 10D

Kodak DCS Pro 14n

Kodak Pro 14n and Nikon D100

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DCS Pro 14n Specifications

Camera type: Interchangeable lens digital SLR
Lens mount: Nikon-F
Focal Multiplier: 1.0X (Full-frame)
Imager: 36 mm x 24 mm, 12 bit, RGB CMOS
13.85 million Total pixels
13.7 million Effective pixels
RAW Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (13.5 MP)
3000 x 2000 (6 MP)
2250 x 1500 (3.4 MP)
ERI-JPEG Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (13.5 MP)
3000 x 2000 (6 MP)
2250 x 1500 (3.4 MP)
1125 x 750 (0.8 MP)
Bit depth: 36-bit color (12 bits per color) original capture
Aspect ratio: Selectable crop: 3:2, 4:5 or 2:2
Image type: Kodak proprietary DCR raw format
Kodak ERI-JPEG user-selectable compression level
ISO equivalents: 80 to 800 in 1/3 stop increments
(80 to 640 limit at full 13.5 MP resolution)
Shutter: Electronically controlled, vertical travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter speeds: 2 secs to 1/4000 (in 1/3 stop increments) plus Bulb
Recording modes: Programmed AE w/Shift
Aperture priority
Shutter priority
Full Manual
Continuous recording: 2fps up to a maximum of 8 frames at full resolution

Kodak Service Qualified Sites can enable a deeper burst depth (from 8 frames to 18) by doubling the camera's built in RAM buffer from 256MB to 512MB

Color LCD: 2.0" TFT active matrix, 130,000-dot
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism
Magnification: 0.75X (50mm lens @ infinity)
Diopter adjustment: +0.8 to -1.8 DP
Eyepoint: 17 mm
Coverage: Approx. 92% horizontal and vertical
Viewfinder information: 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, On-demand grid lines
Focusing screen: NIKON Clear Matte Screen 2 with focus brackets and on-demand grid lines
Top LCD information: Shutter speed/Exposure Compensation value, Flash Exposure Compensation indicator, Exposure Compensation indicator, Flexible Program indicator, Flash Sync mode, Auto Exposure Bracketing, Focus Area, Battery power, Custom Setting, Aperture, Bracketing Bar graph
Back LCD information: Capture information (interactive): White Balance, ISO, CF and SD Cards, JPEG quality, Raw and JPEG resolution, Crop aspect ratio, Microspect ratio Review information (read only): Current image number, current folder number, Crop aspect ratio, White Balance, Resolution, ISO. Tool tips
Accessory shoe: NIKON Speedlight accessory shoe, standard ISO-type compatible, D-TTL compatible with supporting Speedlights (SB-80DX, SB-28DX, SB-50DX)
Reflex mirror: Automatic, instant return type
Focusing system: Dynamic (5 area) autofocus, single or continuous AF
AF area mode: Single Area AF, Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority
Autofocus area: Five selectable focus areas with AF Focus Tracking
Autofocus mode: Single Servo AF with Focus-priority and Continuous Servo AF with Release-priority
AF detection range: Approx. EV -1 to EV +19 at ISO 100 with f/1.4
Auto-focus Assist: Integrated white light
AF lock:Possible once stationary subject is in focus in Single Servo AF; in Continuous Servo AF, focus can be locked with AE-L/AF-L button
Metering System: TTL full aperture exposure metering, three Metering systems available
Metering Modes: 3D Matrix
Center-Weighted (12 mm diameter)
Spot (4 mm diameter, approx. 1% of frame)
Metering range: EV0 to EV21 (ISO 100 with f/1.4)
EV compensation: -3 to +3EV in 1/2EV steps
AE Bracketing: 2 or 3 exposures, 1/2 EV steps
White balance: Automatic, Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash, Custom, Kelvin
Flash mount: Hot shoe with Nikon-specific contacts, PC sync connector
Built-in Speedlight: Guide number 12 (at ISO 100,m) flash coverage 28mm or longer lens. ISO range 80-800
Flash sync: up to 1/125 sec.
Flash modes: Front-Curtain Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain Sync
Flash Exposure Compensation: +3 to -3 in 1/2 EV steps
Self-timer: 10 sec. default (2, 5, 10, 20 by Custom Setting)
Voice annotation: Microphone on back
Special features: Intervalometer (time lapse) mode
Orientation sensor
Vertical (portrait) shutter release
Custom Settings: Bracketing order
Grid lines
Focus Bracket wraparound
Light press AE-L
Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority in Single Servo AF
Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority in Continuous Servo AF
AE-L/AF-L Lock
Command Dial
Meter Off time
Self Timer time
Top LCD light
AF Assist illuminator
Image Storage: 2 card slots:
    1 x CompactFlash Type II
    1 x SD/MMC Card
Data I/O: IEEE 1394 FireWire @ 400mbps
Remote Control: Mechanical remote release or Nikon compatible remote releases
Video Out: NTSC or PAL, selectable
Serial Port: Low-speed (300-57,600) serial port for GPS connection
Power source: Kodak Lithium 7.4v Pro 14n Battery pack
Kodak DCS Pro 14n Charger / AC Adapter (supplied)
Size: 5.16 in. tall, 6.22 in. wide, 3.5 in. deep
131 mm x 158 mm x 89 mm
Weight: 2 lbs. (907 g) without lens, memory card and battery
Lens compatibility: Use a CPU lens (except IX-NIKKOR) with your camera. 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 Status LCD and viewfinder. You must set or confirm aperture using the lens aperture ring.

In addition:

  • You must use Manual Exposure mode. (The shutter will not release in other exposure modes
  • The exposure meter cannot be used.
  • Aperture cannot be set using the Sub-Command dial.
Host software: Kodak Professional DCS Photo Desk, Kodak Professional DCS Camera Manager, Kodak Professional Extended Range Imaging File Format Module
Warranty: One year or 30,000 shutter activations, whichever comes first.

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer)

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