The DCS-14n has two dials, both of which are mounted horizontally in the body. The dial at the rear of the camera ('under your thumb') is called the main command dial. The dial at the front of the camera is called the sub command dial. It's important to remember which is which when reading the next few pages of this review.
|Main command dial (rear)||Sub command dial (front)|
Top of camera controls (left)
Top of the camera on the left side of the viewfinder are situated the mode / settings and drive dials. The mode dial is free to move, the drive dial is 'locked', this means you must hold down the small locking pin to move this dial.
Once more we find ISO on the mode dial, which would mean switching out of the current exposure mode to change ISO sensitivity. Luckily the DSC-14n offers a second option, that is to hold the STATUS button on the rear of the camera and cursor to change ISO, not neat but a little quicker.
Mode / Settings Dial: Settings
|AF Area Mode
Single Area AF
Dynamic Area AF
Mode / Settings Dial: Mode
Programmed Auto (Flexible)
The DCS-14n remembers the selected offset from default metering, the only way to reset this is to quickly turn the camera off and on again.
Shutter Priority Auto
30 seconds - 1/4,000 sec (in 1/2
Aperture Priority Auto
Range depends on lens max. and min.
apertures (in 1/2 EV steps)
|M||Full Manual Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Main command dial selects shutter speed, sub-command dial selects aperture. The meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will immediately reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will add an arrow '<' or '>' on the end of the meter. Bulb shutter release can only be accessed when enabled by a custom setting.
1/2 EV Steps
Just like Fujifilm's S2 Pro the DCS-14n is limited by the exposure system upon which it is based, that from the F80 (N80). This means that you are limited to making exposure adjustments only in 1/2 EV steps. This can at times feel limiting, especially when trying to pick an aperture in aperture priority mode or select an exposure compensation that isn't 'too much'.
Drive Mode Dial
|Single frame shooting
One frame is taken when shutter release is pressed. You can take another shot almost as quickly as you can re-press the shutter release.
Camera takes a single frame after a predefined delay, this delay can be set to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds via a custom function.
Switching to this special mode locks exposure settings such as selected aperture in aperture priority mode, exposure compensation in all modes. However it doesn't stop you from changing ISO sensitivity etc.
Top of camera controls (right)
Top of the camera on the right side are the two sub and main command dials (front and back), the power switch, shutter release, exposure compensation, flash compensation and LCD illumination button.
Switches camera on, although the 'photographic side' of the camera comes on instantly (meaning you can change photographic settings, auto focus) you can't take a shot until the 'digital side' has also finished its startup sequence. This means a wait of approximately x seconds at startup.
+/-3EV in 1/2EV steps
+/1EV in 1/2EV steps
This button illuminates the top LCD panel and rear LCD panel in green. A single press of this button toggles the backlight on or off.