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Old Jul 14, 2004, 12:28 AM   #1
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I've seen this nice Olympus Digi SLR at Sams Club, and it looks decent. Nice size mp, and good lens by the looks of it. Also used the Canon Digital Rebel, but idk. I'm a kodak freak, so idk if Kodak has a cheaper SLR from their expensive ones. Jus curious, thanks guys.
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 8:03 AM   #2
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Kodak only has 3 current Digital SLR cameras. One is not really in production anymore (although it's still considered a currentmodel). It's the Kodak DCS 14N.

This camera was plagued with problems, and used a CMOS Sensor made by the Belgium Company Fill Factor, with the "top" of the camera made by Nikon (based on the F80 body).

Some users thought it to be OK for studio work, but it's sensor had very high noise as ISO speed was increased (especially in lower light), compared to most other DSLR models -- so usefullness was limited compared to other DSLR models.

If you search around, I've seen it discounted heavily lately (down to around $2,600.00 from some vendors).

After all of the problems and complaints with the DCS 14N, the CMOS Sensor was redesigned (by Fill Factory), and the Electronics were upgraded by Kodak.Kodak introducedthis upgraded model as the DCS SLR/N. They have also introduced a DCS SLR/C. Like prevous model Kodak Digital SLR's, the DCS SLR/N is based on a Nikon body, and will take Nikon lenses.

The newer DCS SLR/C, appears to be based on a Sigma body, custom made for Kodak, but is designed to take Canon lenses.

These models work much better than the original DCS 14N, andare selling for approximately $4,995.00

Note that these are 14 Megapixel "Full Frame" (35mm film size sensor) cameras, with the closest competition being the Canon EOS-1Ds (full frame, 11 megapixel CMOS Sensor). The Canon sells for considerablymore than the Kodak (around $7,999.00), and is aMUCH better camera.

Unfortunately, Kodak does NOT offer any "entry level" Digital SLR models (only consumer digital cameras with permanently attached lenses).

Right now, the two lowest priced Digital SLR models, from any manufacturers,are the Canon Digital Rebel, and the Nikon D70. These models sell for around $899.00 and $999.00 respectfully (body only, no lens). Both are also available as "kits", with entry level zoom lenses, for a little more.

As far as Olympus, their only Digital SLR model is the E-1 (introduced about a year ago). Ironically (since Kodak does not offer any models at this level), it's using a Kodak Sensor. The Olympus E-1 is selling for around $1,499.00 (body only, no lens).

This model (Olympus E-1) is using a new "4/3" System, and requires lenses specially designed for this format.

IMO, Kodak needs to put a LOT more emphasis on new product development. Otherwise, one of these days, you may be hearing people say "remember when Kodak was still around".

The Digital SLR market is really starting to take off now (with Kodak being left far behind). Consumers are beginning to realize that their consumer grade cameras,don't work well enough in many conditions (especially in lower light, when higher ISO speeds are called for).

Digital SLR models have dramatically larger sensors, and can shoot at much higher ISO speeds with lower noise (similiar to film grain). These larger sensors also give much better dynamic range. It's not about the "quantity" of the pixels, it's about the "quality" of the pixels.

An "entry level" 6 Megapixel Digital SLR (like the Canon Digital Rebel,or Nikon D70), can "run circles" around non-DSLR models at higher ISO speeds. This is because the size of the photosites for each pixel is much larger, allowing them to gather more light. As a result, not as much amplification of the signal is neeed, for equivalent ISO Speed sensitivty. Amplification adds noise. Of course, there are exceptions to a larger sensor always being much better -- the Kodak DCS 14N proved this. However, the Kodakwas the exeption to the rule.

As for Kodak, I really can't understand what in the world they are doing (from a new product development standpoint). In the past, they've made some of the most highly regarded Digital SLR models (based on Nikon bodies). Many photojournalists swear by some of these older models. But, for now, they seem to be satisified with a VERY small "niche", with the DCSSLR/N and DCS SLR/C models.



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Old Jul 14, 2004, 9:15 AM   #3
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P.S. -- my previous post assumes that youreally meant SLR (Single Lens Reflex). In the Digital World, we refer to these as Digital SLR's (DSLR).

Kodak does make a wide variety of non-DSLR models for consumers.

There are pros and cons to a Digital SLR.

LCD Framing: unlike a consumer (or "prosumer") camera like the Minolta A1, the LCD can't be used for framing on a DSLR.

Lens Cost: To get the same focal range you can find in a consumer level camera, you often have to spend much more money, especially to get lenses that are as "fast" (widest apertures available at wide angle and zoom). To get all the features (macro performance, zoom range, etc.), you must often purchase more than one lens, too.

Camera Size/Weight: Because of the larger sensors used in most Digital SLR cameras, the lenses also have to be larger and heavier for the same focal ranges/light gathering ability.

Sensor Cleaning: When you swap lenses, you risk dust getting into the the sensor.

A Few Advantages to a Digital SLR:

A true "Through the Lens Optical Viewfinder" -- what you see is the same image being transmitted to the sensor. You do have similiar functionality with a camera like the A1, with it's Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), although there is some delay in the image being transmitted to the EVF, compared to an Optical Viewfinder.

Much Better Dynamic Range -- again, this is mostly due to the much larger sensor being used.

Ability to Shoot at Higher ISO speeds with lower noise. Most Prosumer models have fairly high noise levels at higher ISO speeds (again, mostly due to pixel size and density of the smaller sensors). The SLR's have much larger sensors, and much better signal to noise ratios.

For low light photography (or sports photography), many users find that consumer grade (non-DSLR) cameras can be virtually useless in many situations, due to extremely high noise --- especially at ISO 400 or higher.

Fast Focus Speeds -- Most Digital SLR's use a Phase Detection Focus System which is extremely fast. Most Consumer Grade Cameras use a Contrast Detection Focus System which can be slow (and often unreliable) in lower light.

Ability to Control Depth of Field - The smaller sensors used in a Consumer Grade Camera limit your ability to control Depth of Field (blur backgrounds by using wider apertures). The much larger sensors used in a Digital SLR give you much more flexibility over Depth of Field, especially since you have a great variety of lenses available for an SLR.

Lenses become an investment - With a Digital SLR, when you upgrade your camera body later, you can take your lenses with you within the same manufacturer. With a consumer grade camera, the lenses are permanently attached.

Speed of Writes - The processors used in most Digital SLR's are dramatically faster than the processors used in consumer grade cameras. As a result the camera's overall operation is usually much faster.

Both types of cameras can be great for many users. Some users have both (a compact consumer model good for most shooting situations, that is much easier to carry); as well as a Digital SLR (with multiple lenses) for special purpose applications.

There are pros and cons to both approaches.


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Old Jul 14, 2004, 12:36 PM   #4
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JimC wrote:
Quote:
Fast Focus Speeds -- Most Digital SLR's use a Phase Detection Focus System which is extremely fast. Most Consumer Grade Cameras use a Contrast Detection Focus System which can be slow (and often unreliable) in lower light.

Ability to Control Depth of Field - The smaller sensors used in a Consumer Grade Camera limit your ability to control Depth of Field (blur backgrounds by using wider apertures). The much larger sensors used in a Digital SLR give you much more flexibility over Depth of Field, especially since you have a great variety of lenses available for an SLR.

Lenses become an investment - With a Digital SLR, when you upgrade your camera body later, you can take your lenses with you within the same manufacturer. With a consumer grade camera, the lenses are permanently attached.

Speed of Writes - The processors used in most Digital SLR's are dramatically faster than the processors used in consumer grade cameras. As a result the camera's overall operation is usually much faster.


First off great post with most of the stuff being right on the button as to the differences.

Personally I expect one of the makers to couple a cheap second CCD (like a webcam) to the prism on an SLR and give the real time display features to DSLRS.

The only ones I am going to have a little issue with you are on the above points which were true in the early days (maybe a year or two ago) but are not as true now:

1) Fast focusing... The newer Prosumers are pretty fast .. My A2 is running faster thanmost Nikon lenses on D70s and D100sin the same situation and is keeping pace with Canon stuff. The USM Canon Pro-1 is fast also.

2) Depth of field... Good point, but you still lose a little with the smaller CCD of the standard (non-full frame) DSLRs. Not as much but it does take some getting used to.

3) Lenses as an investment .. True but you have to be careful, the newer lenses are being marked digital and if the future camera has a full frame CCD they won't work with it. Also I imagine a lot of Olympus fans are deciding if the 4:3 stuff will be an investment or the next screw mount lens

Also even if youhave an existing investment you will probably need to buy a new wide angle lens since your old WA is now close to a normal lens. Good news is you probablyhave a great"new" telephoto.

4) Speed of writes.. Well the newer Nikon D70is a speed demon for writing but the 10D/300D/1Ds Canon is about the same speed as the A2. The Nikon D100 is not that fast either. So the rule is more like speed of the Prosumer is about one generation slower than the DSLR.


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One that you missed is the DSLRs tend to have a bigger buffer in the camera so they can do more continuous frames (at full size) than the smaller cameras, The ultimate being the Kodak DCS having 512M of buffer space.

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Old Jul 14, 2004, 1:34 PM   #5
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CastleDude wrote:
Quote:
The only ones I am going to have a little issue with you are on the above points which were true in the early days (maybe a year or two ago) but are not as true now:

1) Fast focusing... The newer Prosumers are pretty fast .. My A2 is running faster thanmost Nikon lenses on D70s and D100sin the same situation and is keeping pace with Canon stuff. The USM Canon Pro-1 is fast also.

2) Depth of field... Good point, but you still lose a little with the smaller CCD of the standard (non-full frame) DSLRs. Not as much but it does take some getting used to.

3) Lenses as an investment .. True but you have to be careful, the newer lenses are being marked digital and if the future camera has a full frame CCD they won't work with it. Also I imagine a lot of Olympus fans are deciding if the 4:3 stuff will be an investment or the next screw mount lens

Also even if youhave an existing investment you will probably need to buy a new wide angle lens since your old WA is now close to a normal lens. Good news is you probablyhave a great"new" telephoto.

4) Speed of writes.. Well the newer Nikon D70is a speed demon for writing but the 10D/300D/1Ds Canon is about the same speed as the A2. The Nikon D100 is not that fast either. So the rule is more like speed of the Prosumer is about one generation slower than the DSLR.


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One that you missed is the DSLRs tend to have a bigger buffer in the camera so they can do more continuous frames (at full size) than the smaller cameras, The ultimate being the Kodak DCS having 512M of buffer space.
You're right. That's whyI used the term "most" in front of DSLRin some of the text regarding focus speeds and write times.There are always exceptions.

The "prosumer" (non-dslr) models are getting much better at some of these functions (focus speeds, etc.). But, then again, the newer DSLR models like the D70 aren't "standing still" either (as you noticed, too -- since you mentioned that Prosumersseem to be "one generation slower" than the DSLR).

Good point on the "crop factor", too. Someone used to a 35mm SLR, may not like the way their lenses work on cameras with a 1.5x or 1.6x crop factor (because of the crop factor impacting "35mm equivalent focal length" -- especially since the actual focal length of the lens is what impacts Depth of Field).

As far as the new 4/3's system and lenses...I did mention this in my first post in the thread (since the original poster was looking at Olympus):

"This model (Olympus E-1) is using a new "4/3" System, and requires lenses specially designed for this format."

You're also correct on the new "digital only" lenses coming out for other models. This is probably going to get pretty confusing to many users (especially if they want to use both 35mm and Digital SLR models with their lenses).

Great Points! I was just trying to give the original poster some insight on the major differences (in case he really didn't mean SLR).

Thesewere just some "general observations" , intended to compare most non-DSLR models, to most DSLR models.


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