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Canon-mount DCS Pro SLR/c unveiled  
Thursday, March 18, 2004 | by Rob Galbraith

It was six years ago, in 1998, that Kodak Professional introduced their last Canon-based digital SLR's. The cameras, the 2MP DCS 520 and the 6MP DCS 560, were built in partnership with Canon around a modified EOS-1n chassis.

When these cameras faded from the market earlier this millenium, and Kodak's subsequent plan to release a high-ISO DCS 520X evaporated, it seemed unlikely that the world would see a Kodak digital SLR that accepts Canon EF-mount lenses again anytime soon.

Until today: the Canon mount returns to Kodak in the form of the DCS Pro SLR/c, a digital twin to the recently-released DCS Pro SLR/n. Scheduled to ship in May 2004 at about the same US$4500-5000 street price as the SLR/n, the SLR/c sports the same sensor, image processing circuitry and other key digital components of the SLR/n, but is built to be used with Canon EF lenses and EX-series Speedlites.

It features a 1/180th standard top flash sync speed (1/6000 with High Speed Sync-capable flashes), a top shutter speed of 1/6000, 1.7 fps shooting rate for up to 19 frames and a magnesium-frame body that incorporates a number of components from Sigma (final assembly of the camera takes place in Japan).

The decision as to whether to offer an internal PocketWizard MultiMAX, one of the sweeter optional features of the DCS Pro SLR/n, has not yet been made. 


DCS Pro SLR/c - rear view

DCS Pro SLR/c - top view

The SLR/c will be on hand in Kodak's booth at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany through March 24, 2004.

Kodak Professional's Jay Kelbley shows off the DCS Pro SLR/c at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany. (Photo by Stefan Sobotta)

A Kodak press release provides additional details about the camera:

Press Release

Kodak Offers More Choices for Pro Photographers by Introducing New 14MP Digital SLR Camera with CANON EOS Mount Compatibility


Highest Resolution, Broadest ISO Performance in a Digital SLR

HANNOVER, Germany, March 18 —Providing professional photographers with a choice of lens mounts on its new digital SLR cameras, Eastman Kodak Company today introduced the KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro SLR/c – a digital camera compatible with the popular CANON EOS lens mount. It offers the same superior resolution, broad ISO performance and extended burst depth found in the acclaimed KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro SLR/n digital camera built on a NIKON F-mount and introduced in February, 2004.

The DCS Pro SLR/c digital camera contains a high-performance imaging system and full size 35mm size CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, boasts 14 million pixels with a total available ISO range of 6 to 1600 and offers variable resolution raw files. The camera delivers the highest resolution of any digital SLR with an ISO range that meets the needs of a wide variety of professional photographers, including wedding, portrait, event, commercial and advanced amateur photographers. Aside from the EOS lens mount, the DCS SLR/c camera also includes an infrared (IR) remote for shutter release, a flash sync of 1/180th of a second with a Focal Plane (FP) flash mode up to 1/6000th of a second when using an EX – series Speedlite, and an overall shutter speed range from 1/6000th to 30 seconds. Each of these features is unique to the SLR/c model.

“Once again, Kodak combines the best of medium-format image quality with the convenience and flexibility of 35mm photography in its digital SLR cameras. The introduction of our DCS Pro SLR/c further meets the needs of our customers by giving them a choice of lens mounts," said Jay Kelbley, Worldwide and US&C Product Manager, Professional Digital Capture. "By pairing a CANON EOS compatible lens mount with highest performance sensor available in a digital SLR today, we are now providing stunning image detail and broad ISO range to customers who use CANON lenses."

Image Quality and Key Features
As with the DCS Pro SLR/n, the DCS SLR/c camera leverages the same 4536 x 3024 pixel (effective), 12-bit CMOS imager that covers the full 24mm-by-36mm image area of 35mm film. With a full-size sensor, photographers regain the benefits of true wide-angle lenses and can use their CANON EF-lenses the same way they used them with 35mm film. This new sensor incorporates advanced High Performance-Low Noise (HPLN) technology, incorporating a unique pixel design and an optimized device manufacturing process that enables increased sensitivity and reduced noise levels that result in broader ISO performance.

The DCS SLR/c camera's sensor incorporates an enhanced optical transmission system that further increases image quality – particularly with tungsten light sources. Consistent with the recent generation of DCS Professional cameras from Kodak, photographers can select the appropriate image size that suits their particular shooting environment and workflow. Full resolution 14MP, 6MP, and 3MP sizes are available for both RAW and JPEG files and thumbnail 0.8MP size for JPEG files only.

As with the DCS Pro SLR/n, photographers using the SLR/c will have the benefit of a fully calibrated ISO range of 6 to 800, while those that utilize DCS raw files can also access a non-calibrated ISO range that extends from 1000 to 1600. In addition to this broad ISO range, the feature set for the SLR/c camera includes long-exposure capabilities, enabling exposures up to 30 seconds at settings down to 6 ISO, a full resolution raw image burst depth of ~19 frames from the cameras integrated 512 MB RAM buffer and a hardware "sleep mode" that conserves battery life when the camera is not in use.

The camera captures images at about 1.7 frames per second. Images can be saved as DCR raw files, normal JPEG files or ERI-JPEG files. The ERI-JPEG files serve as another form of picture protection for photographers, especially in situations where re-shooting is inconvenient. They provide two stops of exposure latitude and extended color space within a JPEG workflow - a benefit no competitor offers. Images are stored via COMPACTFLASH and/or MMC/SD memory cards. Images can be written to each card type simultaneously in any combination of the three available formats. In addition, FIREWIRE connectivity - at a transfer rate of up to 12 MB per second - adds speed to the photographers' workflow.

Designed with a new, custom magnesium body, the DCS Pro SLR/c camera 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's efforts to make digital easier for customers.

Simplifying Digital, Free Firmware Upgrades
The DCS Pro SLR/c camera includes features for both new and more advanced digital shooters. The camera operates in two user modes: basic and advanced. It defaults to the basic setting and offers a very intuitive, simple interface. In the advanced mode, the user can access and adjust a host of capture, resolution, storage and other settings.

Many key features of the DCS Pro SLR/c camera are based on KODAK PROFESSIONAL firmware and are not hard-wired within the camera, so they can be enhanced and easily upgraded with free firmware downloads from Kodak. Free firmware upgrades essentially give photographers a "new" camera, whereas most other manufacturers require the purchase of an entirely new camera system to receive the latest enhancements.

Kodak leverages the CANON Evaluative - Through The Lens (E-TTL) flash metering system in the DCS Pro SLR/c digital camera. Photographers can expect near-perfect flash exposures with the camera, an improvement over many existing professional digital cameras.

The DCS Pro SLR/c has a camera interface localized in nine languages and comes complete with the latest versions of the following software:

  1. KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Photo Desk - including Expert level noise processing tools
  3. KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS File Format Module
  4. KODAK PROFESSIONAL Extended Range Imaging Technology File Format Module

Availability of the KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro SLR/c digital camera begins in May, 2004 through authorized dealers of KODAK PROFESSIONAL digital imaging solutions.

About Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images – for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and flat-panel displays), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). With sales of $13.3 billion in 2003, the company comprises several businesses: Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services; Commercial Printing, offering on-demand color printing and networking publishing systems; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Display & Components, which designs and manufactures state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other specialty materials, and delivers optics and imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Digital & Film Imaging Systems, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services.


(Kodak and Kodak Professional are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company. Eastman Kodak Company is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark.)

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