Old lady Kodak DCS PRO 14n (Kodak Professional Nikon F-mount)

Many thanks to Eugene for the provided Kodak Professional DCS Pro 14n Digital Camera (Nikon F-mount).

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

In short

The Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n is the world's second full-frame DSLR camera. The DCS PRO 14n is fully compatible with Nikon Nikkor lenses and Nikon D-TTL flashes, and other Nikon peripherals. DCS PRO 14n is based on the body of the Nikon F80 / N80 film camera.

In short, the DCS PRO 14n is an old, monstrous, slow professional camera, which is currently only interesting for its full-frame sensor without anti-moire filter and good color reproduction in good lighting conditions. It takes pictures of 4500 x 3000 pixels, which is approximately equal to 14 MP (perhaps this is why the name of the camera contains '14n'). Considered an iconic camera. The DCS PRO 14n has a lot of features that cannot be described in short.

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

History of full-frame Kodak CZK

Kodak has long been making sensors for digital backdrops. It was at Kodak headquarters that the first CCD sensor was developed. Kodak, before the release of DCS PRO 14n, already had experience in creating large sensors. So, in 2000, the KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro Back with the M11 sensor was already introduced, which could create images of 4080 x 4080 pixels, which is more than 16 MP. For that time it was just an incredible indicator.

With the release of the camera, a special 'PRO 14 Digital Camera Architecture' was introduced to create a versatile and easy-to-use full-frame camera.

The DCS PRO 14n is the first to use a 'CMOS' type sensor. Before that, all the matrices Kodak made itself and they were CCD-type. The new 'c14' die was manufactured by FillFactory.

As a result, several models of full-frame cameras were released:

I. Kodak DCS PRO 14n (Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n Nikon F-mount)

Presented September 24, 2002 via Photokina. Matrix 'c14'. By the way, on the same day, Photokina was presented and Canon EOS-1 DS. Inexplicably Canon EOS-1 DS considered the second full-frame CDC, and the '14n' - the third, because they were presented on the same day. True, the camera did not go on sale soon. The '14n' body is from Nikon F80 (N80) film.

It was produced in three versions:

  1. Basic variant '14n', shown in this review. The very first and easiest.
  2. Extended version of '14n 512'. Since September 10, 2003, the '14n' can be upgraded with buffer memory, after which the memory has been expanded from 256 to 512 MB. This allowed at least shooting at ultra-low ISO in RAW + JPEG 13.5 MP and significantly increasing frame buffer. Since September 2003, all new 14n cameras have come with extended memory.
  3. Monochrome '14n m'. Instead of the usual color Bayer pattern, RGB was monochrome. This option immediately came with 512 MB of memory.
  4. Extended version '14n x'. Everything is more complicated here. It was possible to upgrade and replace the matrix in '14n' with a newer one, exactly the same as that of the subsequent model 'SLR / n'. As a result, there was no functional difference between '14nx' and 'SLR / n'. '14nx' and 'SLR / n' differed only in name and power management.

II. Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n (Kodak Professional DCS Pro SLR / n Nikon F-mount)

Introduced February 12, 2004. 512 MB buffer memory. New modified sensor 'x14' (with the same resolution). Nikon F80 body (same as '14n').

SLR / n was issued in two options:

  1. Basic variant 'SLR / n'.
  2. Monochrome 'SLR / n m'. Instead of the usual Bayer color paretern, RGB was monochrome.

III. Kodak DCS Pro SLR / c (Kodak Professional DCS Pro SLR / with Canon EF mount)

Presented March 18, 2004. 'x14' matrix. Produced in a single version. Sigma SD-9 body, Canon EF mount, SLR / n matrix, 512 MB memory. Yes exactly! This is a hybrid of the Sigma body, Canon mount under the Kodak brand! The Kodak DCS Pro SLR / c is Kodak's latest full-frame DSLR camera. All versions of the 'PRO SLR / n' and 'PRO SLR / c' cameras were discontinued simultaneously on May 31, 2005.

It's important: 'PRO SLR / n', 'PRO SLR / c' and 'PRO 14n x' cameras have the same sensor.

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Upgrade

It's hard to believe, but at one time the Kodak DCS PRO 14n could be properly updated - for only 1800 USD. it could add twice as much buffer memory and install a new matrix from SLR / n. For less money, you could simply add memory. It sounds like a small thing, but the idea of ​​a construction camera is very commendable.

Most likely, the idea of ​​memory padding was conceived immediately with the release of 14n. When trying to shoot at ultra-low ISO, in RAW + JPEG format and an image size of 13.5 MP, the camera will tell you that it wants 512 MB of memory, which, as it were, hints at the possibility of an upgrade (display snapshot).

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

ISO

With ISO settings, there are subtleties. In general, for any image quality, you can only use the ISO range from 80 to 400 units, in increments of 1/3 stop. Thus, you can set the values ​​of 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400 units.

ISO Features:

  • ISO 500, 640, and 800 are available only with a thumbnail image. To be able to use high ISO values, you should select an image size in the 'RAW Resolution' setting of 6 or 3.4 MP. Also, you can use high ISO values ​​in JPEG format, and you need to select the image size in the 'JPEG Resolution' setting equal to 6 or 3.4 or 0.8 megapixels. High ISO and RAW + JPEG can be used, but only if both are 6MP or smaller.
  • For use over low ISOsuch as ISO 6, 12 and 25, use the 'Long Exposure' -> 'Longer' (display snapshot). In this case, with an ISO value of 25 units, you can shoot only at shutter speeds of 2, 4 or 8 seconds. At ISO 12, you can only shoot at 4, 8, or 15 seconds. At ISO 6 (six!), You can shoot only at shutter speeds of 8, 15 or 30 seconds. Important: It is best and most intuitive to use the 'S' or 'M' mode for shooting at ultra low ISO values. If you use the 'A' or 'P' shooting modes, you can get confused as shooting will still occur with the selected shutter speed and at the selected ISO value and it will not depend on what the metering data will show on the monochrome display.
  • When you select an ISO value using the control dial and front selector, ISO 1250, 1600, 64, 50 values ​​may be displayed on the monochrome display, which may be misleading about the presence of such values ​​on the camera. After displaying this value, it changes to a maximum of 800 or a minimum of 80.
  • If you try to select 500, 640 or 800 in the menu and use an image size of 13.5 MP, the ISO value will automatically be reset to 400 units.
  • In the menu, you can select the level of noise reduction using the 'Noise Reduction' function. Three values ​​are available: 'Weak', 'Normal', 'Strong'.
  • When shooting in standard JPEG format, in EXIF ISO sensitivity data is recorded crookedly, so it’s not so easy to get it. This affected the fact that in the gallery of this review there is no accuracy in the ISO values.
  • When shooting at extremely low ISO, the shutter does not behave as expected. For example, when shooting at ISO of 6 units, s shutter speed 30 seconds, the first 15 seconds the camera works with the mirror raised and the shutter closed, only then it opens the shutter and exposes the scene for the prescribed 30 seconds, after which the shutter closes and only after 15 seconds the mirror returns to its original position. Thus, the camera spends 15 + 30 + 15 = 60 seconds to shoot one frame. Most likely, this is done to subtract noise. At first, I couldn't even understand that it clicks several times in the middle of the camera, while shooting at long exposures. Most likely, this is done to 'calculate' hot pixels, the method is described here.
  • No function auto ISO.
  • When changing the ISO, the camera recalibrates for several seconds, and you cannot shoot.

As a result, the camera can only use the following ISO values: 6, 12, 25, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800.

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Working capacity

DCS PRO 14n uses a set of shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/4000 seconds + excerpt by hand (absolutely useless due to the noisy matrix). ISO values ​​are set in 1/3 steps, and excerpt, aperture and correction exposure only change in 1/2 steps, which is not entirely familiar.

The module is responsible for focusing. Multi-cam 900 with 5 points, the central of which is cruciform. The same module is used by cameras. D100, D70, D70s, D50, Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro, Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro UVIR. Accuracy and tenacity of focus is not very happy, but you can get used to it.

Measurement exposure performed using simple 10 segment SPD sensor. The same simple measurer use cameras D100, Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S3 Pro UVIR. Despite the simple sensor, the DCS PRO 14n measures the exposure quite correctly.

Maximum burst speed is only 1.7 frames per second. By the way Nikon D3x with maximum image quality (RAW with 14-bit color depth) can shoot on such pathetic 1.8 fps., and the legendary Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro and even less - 1.5 fps.

Frame buffer The DCS PRO 14n can hold about 8 RAW or JPEG files at its maximum size. In RAW + JPEG (baseline) - 2 images, in RAW + JPEG (ERI) - 1 image (chickens laugh!). RAW files are in the range of 10 to 17 MB and are quickly written to the memory card.

The DCS PRO 14n has two slots for CF and SD / MMC memory cards. SD / MMC cards are best used up to 4 GB.

The DCS PRO 14n uses a large viewfinder with 92% frame coverage. True, because of the protruding 2-inch display, leaning the camera to your face and sighting is not very convenient.

DCS PRO 14n turns on for 5 seconds. The batteries run out very quickly (on the review, of course, they were not new), on one of them I was able to shoot 30-40 photos, on the second about 200 photos.

The DCS PRO 14n uses a magnesium alloy body and weighs about 900 grams. There is an awkward grip for portraits. We can say that the combo-body of the camera is conditional, since there are no additional controls for vertical orientation, but there is only a shutter button. The camera got sick from Nikon - swelling nasty rubber bands on the grip.

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Image quality

Frankly, the DCS PRO 14n nowadays produces poor image quality. But you can pull quite a lot from a 12-bit RAW file.

For many fans, DCS PRO 14n is the legendary camera that replaced the film, which is why you can find many very positive reviews about its color rendition, dynamic range, as well as many myths / facts about its super-unusual matrix with noise similar to film grain. The color of the camera is really good, but only in cases where there is good lighting. In artificial or poor lighting conditions, getting a good color with the DCS PRO 14n is very difficult.

Disadvantages of the image:

  • A high noise level at ISO above 200. At ISO 400, the camera is already very noisy. Images at ISO 500, 640, 800 are generally disgusting to watch. I do not consider the high ISO noise of the DCS PRO 14n to be that which resembles film grain, or that which is pleasant to behold. In fact, for a more or less high-quality image, in the normal shooting mode, only ISO values ​​of 80, 100, 125, 160, 200 can be used.
  • Extremely loud noise at slow shutter speeds even at ISO 80. After taking a long shot shutter speed the camera warns that the recommended excerpt for such an ISO (display snapshot) For example, dFor ISO 80, it is not advisable to exceed a shutter speed of 1/3 second! ISO 80 s shutter speed more than 1 second noise like a steam locomotive (example with a shutter speed of 10 seconds in normal lighting and disabled function 'Long Exposure '). For exposures from 1/8 to 1 second, it is recommended to enable 'Long Exposure' - 'Long' (display snapshot). For very long exposures it is recommended to use the corresponding 'Long Exposure' - 'Longer' function. At slow shutter speeds, when shooting in RAW + JPEG format, the camera simply turns off JPEG and records only one RAW file.
  • Strong sensitivity to moire. Due to the lack of an AA filter, getting a strong moire is very easy. Moire example.
  • Poor on-camera JPEG (in standard mode) with a small number of settings. You can only adjust the level of sharpness, noise reduction, image size and select the image style (Wedding, Portrait, etc.). You cannot completely disable the noise reduction function. The image obtained by converting a RAW file can be several times greater than the camera JPEG.

Advantages of the image

  • Sharp, detailed picture due to the lack of an AA filter. Where else can I get a 14MP full frame without an AA filter? Nikon started shooting the AA filter starting with 36 MP cameras, and Canon with 50 MP cameras. You can also look for information about a special infrared filter and microlenses for photodiodes.
  • Nice color rendering in good light.
  • More or less flexible 12-bit RAW (lossless compression used?). Can stretch up to 2 stops exposure.
  • The ability (theoretically) to obtain an image at ultra-low ISO values, which can remove the disadvantages of neutral filters during certain types of shooting.
  • Lack of micro lenses on subpixels matrices (is this even possible?), which theoretically allows you to get rid of additional vignetting during shooting on ultra wide-angle optics.
  • The image behaves well in the lights.
Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Examples

All photos taken using a lens Nikon 50 / 1.4G.

ISO 500-800, camera JPEG:

High ISO source files can be downloaded here. RAW + JPEG source files can be downloaded here. Additional files only in RAW format (DCR) can be downloaded here.

My experience

In fact, shooting with the Kodak 14n is very easy, Anonymous from comments. It's just like riding a bike that burns. And you burn, and everything burns, and you are in hell.

The DCS PRO 14n is not a single bit balanced and very specific camera. I would only recommend it to people who are well versed in the technical aspects of shooting and processing. The DCS PRO 14n will take a lot of time to learn about its behavior and how to handle RAW files. This is not a camera that will immediately give excellent results in on-camera JPEG.

If you really want an inexpensive full frame, then the Canon EOS 5D is a great solution. If you need an exclusive camera with good color without additional processing - Fujifilm S5 PRO or Fujifilm S3 PRO. However, I added DCS PRO 14n to my list legendary cameras.

Nevertheless, I hope that the modified SLR / n model will be better than 14n.

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n

In comments Can I ask you a question on the topic and you will answer, and you can also express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs of various photographic equipment, such as E-Catalog, or large online stores such as Socket. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.

Results

Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n - unusual a camera released at the dawn of full-frame digital cameras. If we discard the not-so-successful Contax N Digital, then Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n, along with Canon EOS-1 DSare pioneers in the world of classic full-frame CZK. They are 5-6 years ahead of Nikon and Sony. Most likely, something went wrong with the DCS PRO 14n and DCS PRO SLR / n, as they were the first and last full-frame cameras from Kodak.

The PRO 14n camera has a lot of shortcomings, it itself is one continuous flaw. Nowadays, it is very weak in terms of functionality. Perhaps in 2002 PRO 14n was a breakthrough camera with the largest number of megapixels on its board, but now 14 MP will not surprise anyone. Many users love it for its good color and detail. First of all, due to its color rendition, the camera is still the adored subject of many photographers and amateurs.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 121, on the topic: Old lady Kodak Professional DCS PRO 14n (Nikon F-mount)

  • Vladimir

    So how much did they say on this Kodak?

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