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older Kodak DCS SLR cameras

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Anonymous
May 7, 2005 11:18:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS series
of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras on
eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
realy in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
amount.
Also, would the Canon D60 still be considered a useful DSLR when
compared to the EOS 10D?
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 10:41:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dj_nme@hotmail.com writes:
> Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS series
> of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
> In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras on
> eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
> current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
>
> I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
> really in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
> The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
> amount.

I assume you mean the DCS 660 and DCS 760? AFAIK there is no DCS 650
and the DCS 720 is only 2.7 Mpx. If 6 Mpx is what you want, you
might also want to look for the DCS 460 and DCS 560 (both 6 Mx,
1.3x crop - based on Nikon and Canon bodies respectively).

YMMV, but compared to the current prices for brand new entry level
DSLRs such as Nikon D50 and Canon 350D I think it is very hard to
find a bargain at eBay for these older Kodaks.

That much said, I own such a camera myself (a Kodak DCS 460), and I
love to use it - but I bought it before Nikon released the D70 and
mainly bought it to keep using my older non-CPU Nikkors. Until I can
afford a D2x (not very soon) I'll probably keep it around to be able
to meter with my non-CPU Nikkors. It is a shame that Nikon left this
feature out of all its non-pro bodies after the N90s. But if I was
shopping today I think I'll just as well gotten the Nikon D70 and used
an auxillary light meter.

Here is some more data on my DCS 460c:
http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~gisle/photo/dcs460.html .

The good: A Kodak DCS 460 in good second-hand condition is probably
the cheapest 6Mpx DSLR you can get. Oher nice features includes a low
crop facror (1.3x), that it meters with most older Nikkors, that there
is no shutter delay (it operates just like a film SLR) and that it has
retained most of the great features on the Nikon N90s/F90x - including
a very fast and precise autofocus, and a great light metering system.

The bad: The biggest drawbacks of the DCS460 is the very low
sensitivity of the sensor (ISO 80 without a hot miror, ISO 60 with),
that you must use a hot mirror filter to get consistent colour, no
rear LCD display for histograms or reviews, the buffer only holds two
images (and writing to the disk drive is very slow), and that you need
to dismantle the camera to replace the batteries.

The ugly: Some user may dislike its bulk, and that it uses an
expensive and fragile PCMCIA type III disk drive for storage. (Some
owners have reported that they use CF-cards with a PCMCIA-adapter for
instead. This does not work with my camera.). Some users think that
its ancient SCSI interface is an issue, but you can ignore the SCSI
(just plug the PCMCIA disk drive into a PCMCIA port on your computer,
and it appears as a regular disk). The original Kodak software that
came with the camera doesn't run on Windows/XP, but ACR (PS CS) has no
problem in converting the RAW files from this camera.

I said that it retained most of the Nokon N90s/F90x features, but
some N90s/F90x features is missing, i.e.:
- There is no way to get more than 30 seconds exposure in bulb mode.
- No TTL flash metering (but auto works fine with my SB-28).
- It can't use Nikon's MF-26 Multi-Control Back (for obvious reasons),
so you loose /all/ those nifty MF-26 functions: including multiple
exposures, bracketing, focus priority, etc.)

That much said, In my opinion, this is a capable camera. You just
need to work at slower pace and be more careful with your settings
than you would with a more modern camera.

However, with the low prices that entry level DSLRs sell for brand
new, I'd be careful about my bidding if I wanted to buy one of these
from eBay today.
--
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 10:41:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gisle Hannemyr <gisle+news@ifi.uio.no> writes:
> That much said, I own such a camera myself (a Kodak DCS 460), and I
> love to use it - but I bought it before Nikon released the D70 and
> mainly bought it to keep using my older non-CPU Nikkors. Until I can
> afford a D2x (not very soon) I'll probably keep it around to be able
> to meter with my non-CPU Nikkors.

There were some D2H's available at "bargain bin" prices ($2000 USD)
when the model was discontinued, if that helps. You could also get a
used D1X.

> The good: A Kodak DCS 460 in good second-hand condition is probably
> the cheapest 6Mpx DSLR you can get.

> The ugly: Some user may dislike its bulk, and that it uses an
> expensive and fragile PCMCIA type III disk drive for storage. (Some
> owners have reported that they use CF-cards with a PCMCIA-adapter for
> instead. This does not work with my camera.).

Hmm, that's weird, did you try lower capacity CF cards like 128MB?
Maybe there's a maximum that the camera can handle. Did you ask Kodak
tech support about this? I do have a full sized PCMCIA type II flash
card (160 MB) around here that I'd unload pretty cheap if I can find
it and if you think it might help you.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 10:48:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gisle Hannemyr wrote:
> dj_nme@hotmail.com writes:
> > Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS
series
> > of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
> > In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras
on
> > eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
> > current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
> >
> > I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
> > really in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
> > The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
> > amount.
>
> I assume you mean the DCS 660 and DCS 760? AFAIK there is no DCS 650
> and the DCS 720 is only 2.7 Mpx. If 6 Mpx is what you want, you
> might also want to look for the DCS 460 and DCS 560 (both 6 Mx,
> 1.3x crop - based on Nikon and Canon bodies respectively).
>
> YMMV, but compared to the current prices for brand new entry level
> DSLRs such as Nikon D50 and Canon 350D I think it is very hard to
> find a bargain at eBay for these older Kodaks.

I must admit that I did get a bit confused with the DCS camera model
numbers.
Losing some of the features that a sepreate camera back can do doesn't
bother me, because some of them cam be done later in photoshop (double
exposure, for example).
If I could find it, I would prefer to go for an EOS D60 because it
seems to be pretty much the same as the EOS 10D with only a slightly
larger body.
As for storage (for a DCS 460), I have some PCMCIA harddisk cards
(256mb and 512mb) from a Stylistic 500 computer that should be
compatible.

Thanks for th info, I will keep it in mind.
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 10:49:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gisle Hannemyr wrote:
> dj_nme@hotmail.com writes:
> > Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS
series
> > of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
> > In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras
on
> > eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
> > current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
> >
> > I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
> > really in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
> > The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
> > amount.
>
> I assume you mean the DCS 660 and DCS 760? AFAIK there is no DCS 650
> and the DCS 720 is only 2.7 Mpx. If 6 Mpx is what you want, you
> might also want to look for the DCS 460 and DCS 560 (both 6 Mx,
> 1.3x crop - based on Nikon and Canon bodies respectively).
>
> YMMV, but compared to the current prices for brand new entry level
> DSLRs such as Nikon D50 and Canon 350D I think it is very hard to
> find a bargain at eBay for these older Kodaks.

I must admit that I did get a bit confused with the DCS camera model
numbers.
Losing some of the features that a sepreate camera back can do doesn't
bother me, because some of them cam be done later in photoshop (double
exposure, for example).
If I could find it, I would prefer to go for an EOS D60 because it
seems to be pretty much the same as the EOS 10D with only a slightly
larger body.
As for storage (for a DCS 460), I have some PCMCIA harddisk cards
(256mb and 512mb) from a Stylistic 500 computer that should be
compatible.

Thanks for the info, I will keep it in mind.
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 12:39:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Paul Rubin <http://phr.cx@NOSPAM.invalid&gt; writes:

>> The ugly: Some user may dislike its bulk, and that it uses an
>> expensive and fragile PCMCIA type III disk drive for storage.
>> (Some owners have reported that they use CF-cards with a
>> PCMCIA-adapter for instead. This does not work with my camera.).

> Hmm, that's weird, did you try lower capacity CF cards like 128MB?

I've tried the silly 16Mb "starter" card that Canon supplied with my
G5, and that actually worked durimg my not very extensive testing
(with room for only two 6.5 Mb RAW images on the card, the utility
of that particular card was limited).

I have also tried a Sandisk 256 Mb "standard speed" CF-card (which
works sometimes, but fails often enough to be annoying), but I
haven't tried to go down to 128 Mb.

With the 256 Mb, it seems to work better with freshly charged
batteries, so it may be some sort of power or currency drain issue.
Do smaller CF-cards drain less power than larger during the write
phase - and do perhaps slower card use less power than fast ones?

I've tried to find out something about power drain from the web
Sandisk's pages - but this type of data is not easy to find.

I must add that the Callunacard 512 Mb PCMCIA type III hard drive
that Kodak recommends I use, performs flawlessly.

However, it would be great to be able to use CF. Then I could unload
in the field using a standard CF-card-to-disk reader, instead of
having to bring the laptop along.

> Maybe there's a maximum that the camera can handle. Did you ask Kodak
> tech support about this?

Yes - I'm amazed that Kodak tech support is willing to discuss a
camera discontinued almost ten years ago, even if it was only to
recommend I use the drive the camera was designed for (i.e. the
Callunacard). The camera is supposed to handle file systems up
to 1 Mb, as long as they are formatted as FAT16, so it is not a
file system problem.

> I do have a full sized PCMCIA type II flash card (160 MB) around
> here that I'd unload pretty cheap if I can find it and if you think
> it might help you.

Thanks. I'll see if I can find out something about the power drain
from various cards, and see if I can find a low power card that might
resolve it.
--
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 12:39:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 07 May 2005 20:39:21 +0200, Gisle Hannemyr wrote:

> I have also tried a Sandisk 256 Mb "standard speed" CF-card (which
> works sometimes, but fails often enough to be annoying), but I
> haven't tried to go down to 128 Mb.
>
> With the 256 Mb, it seems to work better with freshly charged
> batteries, so it may be some sort of power or currency drain issue.
> Do smaller CF-cards drain less power than larger during the write
> phase - and do perhaps slower card use less power than fast ones?
>
> I've tried to find out something about power drain from the web
> Sandisk's pages - but this type of data is not easy to find.
>
> I must add that the Callunacard 512 Mb PCMCIA type III hard drive
> that Kodak recommends I use, performs flawlessly.

From what I recall of PCMCIA flash memory prior to the
introduction of CF cards, (not in cameras, obviously) older, slower
cards tended to require a bit more power, but that doesn't
necessarily apply to today's memory. But it's likely that other
types of flash memory (SD, xD) might use less power than CF, and I
wonder how one of those might perform in a CF adapter?

. . . hold on . . .

I just tried this with an old 2mp Canon PowerShot S10, using an xD
card in a CF adapter and it worked fine, both for taking pictures,
and then transferring them to the computer using a card reader. xD
cards ranging from 16mb to 512mb were tested.
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 12:39:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gisle Hannemyr <gisle+news@ifi.uio.no> writes:
> With the 256 Mb, it seems to work better with freshly charged
> batteries, so it may be some sort of power or currency drain issue.
> Do smaller CF-cards drain less power than larger during the write
> phase - and do perhaps slower card use less power than fast ones?

If anything, smaller or older cards would use more power rather than
newer or larger ones (the highest density processes would use the
least power, and those are the processes they need to make large
cards). But anyway, either would use much less power than a hard disc
drive. I think it's more of a speed or timing thing.

> > I do have a full sized PCMCIA type II flash card (160 MB) around
> > here that I'd unload pretty cheap if I can find it and if you think
> > it might help you.
>
> Thanks. I'll see if I can find out something about the power drain
> from various cards, and see if I can find a low power card that might
> resolve it.

You might try a 1GB microdrive which should still be pretty easy to find.
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 10:32:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dj_nme@hotmail.com wrote:
> Also, would the Canon D60 still be considered a useful DSLR when
> compared to the EOS 10D?

Yes. The 10D and D60 have basically the same sensor.

-Dave
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 3:45:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hey DJ,

I have used them and feel they are great cameras. There is a lot that goes
into an image and the cameras afford you a lot of picture taking options
that the general point and shoot cameras do not, i.e. lenses and other
features of and SLR. It really depends on what you want to do with your
images.

Talk to you soon, let me know if you have any particular questions.

Ron Baird
Eastman Kodak Company


<dj_nme@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1115475489.121900.24630@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS series
> of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
> In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras on
> eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
> current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
> I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
> realy in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
> The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
> amount.
> Also, would the Canon D60 still be considered a useful DSLR when
> compared to the EOS 10D?
>
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 4:44:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<dj_nme@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1115475489.121900.24630@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Does any-one here have any experience with the older Kodak DCS series
> of digital SLR cameras that were based on Nikon and Canon bodies?
> In particular, I've seen DCS 330, 520, 650 and DCS 720 DSLR cameras on
> eBay and was wondering if they would be any good compared to the
> current line-up (EOS 300D, 350, 10D and 20D)?
> I know that The DCS 330 is 1.4mp and the 520 is 2mp, so they aren't
> realy in my considerations, but any opinions would be apreciated.
> The DCS 650 and the 720 are both 6mp and are going for not a huge
> amount.
> Also, would the Canon D60 still be considered a useful DSLR when
> compared to the EOS 10D?
>
I'd forget about the old DCS cameras. These things were bulky and the early
had a processor/battery pack as large as two motordrive stacked under tha
camera. Some didn't even have a LCD.

You'll find the size, speed, features, battery life, storage capacity, and
so on... so much better in the newer cameras. Let the old technology go. It
is obsolete.
John
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 11:40:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Considering the large number of Kodak DCS back that I've seen on eBay
in the last few years, I suppose that you are correct.
It looks to me as thought the oldest digi SLR that I should seriously
consider is perhaps a Canon D30, D60, a Fujifilm S1 or S2 or if cheap
enough, a Sigma SD-9.
I'm not realy interested in "keeping up with the Joneses" as far as
digital cameras go and would be quite happy with an older 6.1mp or
3.2mp DSLR, just as long as it is in good condition and that batteries
and lenses can be purchased or adapted to for it.
I am also a brand atheist and would consider any DSLR on it's own
merits.
!