Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Monday, July 05, 2004
Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c

For photographer's with Canon EF lenses who want a digital camera with a full frame sensor, the new Kodak camera is one answer that costs $3,000 less than the Canon EOS 1Ds.

Why is a full frame digital sensor important? Because your wide angle lenses still act like wide angle lenses. On a Canon 10D (or similar digital camera from other manufacturers) a 20mm wide angle lens has about the same field of view as a 32mm lens on a 35mm film camera. That is because the digital chip is smaller than 35mm film and crops down the image to a smaller size. This is called the "field of view crop" or sometimes the "lens magnification factor". With many digital SLR camera bodies, you multiply the focal length of a lens by 1.5 or 1.6 to get the equivalent field of view. A 100mm lens on a digital body give you the same field of view as a 150 or 160mm lens on a 35mm film camera body. This is good for telephoto work, but not for wide angle work.

Kodak's DCS Pro SLR/c for Canon EF (autofocus) lenses has a full sized sensor so a 20mm wide angle lens has the same field of view as on a 35mm film body. This is good news! Since it costs $3,000 less than the equivalent Canon body with a full frame sensor, is it worth it?

That all depends.

Phil Askey at DP Review has posted his review of the Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c. You can read Phil's full review for all the details, but I will give you the short version.

If you want a fast sports or news camera, this is NOT the camera for you. It is too slow. It you shoot regularly in low light and use ISOs higher than 100, then this camera is NOT for you either. The high ISO images are too noisy compared to other digital cameras.

If you shoot at a leisurely pace, mostly outdoors at slow ISOs or in a studio with flash at low ISOs, then this may be just the camera for you. At low ISOs, this camera produces gorgeous images. If this sounds like you, then you can save $3,000 from the cost of Canon's 1Ds digital SLR with a full frame sensor, and get beautiful, high resolution images. Read Phil's full review to get all the details.

As for me, the Canon 1Ds is too expensive. I need to shoot fast on occasion, and often at higher ISOs, so the Kodak camera is not a solution for me either. I will wait for a less expensive body to appear with a full frame sensor. In the mean time, I will happily use my Canon 10D digital camera, and switch to film when I need to do really wide angle work.


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