Kodak DCS Pro Back
by Rick Smith (September 29, 2000)
While the rest of the world compares the differences between 2 megapixel and 3 megapixel cameras, Kodak has designed a medium format (2 1/4) camera back, capable of an unbelievable SIXTEEN megapixel resolution. Called the Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back, each click of the compatible Hasselblad 555ELD or Mamiya RZ creates a whopping 48 megabyte file.
Announced at Photokina, in Cologne, Germany, this combination of camera and camera back can be used completely untethered and does not need to be connected to a computer like some high resolution digital cameras. This allows the photographer more creative freedom and more unusual angles. Its ability to capture an image every 2 seconds and store EIGHT of these images internally, before having to write to a memory "card" or computer via a IEEE 1394 "firewire" is incredible. My Sony Mavica MVC-FD7 takes seven seconds just to store a sub 50K image - this Kodak stores a file about 1,000 times larger, in about one third the time!
The LCD screen is adjustable and has 90 degrees of movement, so it can be easily used in either supported or waist-level operation. To achieve great focus, the Kodak DCS Pro Back features an LCD histogram, instant review, focus check, built-in spot meter along with a 1:1 zoom and pan function. This capability should be in every digital camera - the ability to critically examine the picture in the camera at the time of shooting.
To top it off, this back offers video review capability for high-angle or out-of-reach shots (no more standing on top of the ladder checking the focus). It captures images at the equivalent of ISO 100, so it is well suited for commercial location, tabletop photography and high end portraiture. Users would be advertising and catalog photographers, table-top studios and portrait studios.
The image sensor is 36.86 mm square and produces a 48 megabyte image with low noise. A removable anti-aliasing filter, digital anti-aliasing and non-reflecting IR cutoff filter helps to insure high image quality. Kodak’s DCS Capture Studio Software (version 1.5) simplifies the photographer’s workflow and lets the photographer concentrate on taking pictures, while getting the best possible quality out of the Kodak DCS Pro Back. This back is powered by internal batteries or via a “firewire” cable, attached to a host computer. It will be available in the first quarter of 2001. Pricing is not yet available.
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.