Kodak Professional DCS 520 (click for larger image)
Kodak Professional DCS 620
(Nikon F5 Body)

The Kodak Professional DCS 620 (referred to as the DCS620 from now onwards) is the latest generation of Kodak Professional digital cameras. Much anticipated it is a collaboration between Nikon who bring the wonderful F5 body and Kodak's digital back.

A sign of quality

Aimed primarily at sports, photojournalism, scientific, industrial and general professional use the 620 will be a popular choice for those traditional Pro photographers already used to the F5.

The DCS620 now makes up the fifth generation Kodak Professional digital cameras, the manual (pre-production) refers to the camera as "600 series" which does rather hint towards other models in the range (similar to the 500 series which features the two million pixel 520 and six million pixel 560) the Kodak Professional heritage now reads like this:

First DCS100 1990-1992
Second DCS200 1992-1994
Third DCS4xx/EOS-DCS X 1994-Present
Fourth DCS5xx (Canon EOS-1 body) 1998 - Present
Fifth DCS6xx (Nikon F5 body) 1999 - Present

(click for larger image)

For this review Kodak Singapore were good enough to loan me the following equipment for a short period (thanks again to Steve Seah of Kodak Singapore):

  • Kodak DCS 620 Body
  • Nikon NIKKOR AF 28mm Lens
  • Maxtor 130Mb PCMCIA Type III Hard Disk
  • Battery & Charger

Note: because of the size difference between 35mm film and the CCD in the camera you have to multiply the focal length of a lens by a "focal length multiplier", in the case of the 620 this is 1.6 (focal length multipliers are listed on the comparison engine for all pro SLR cameras).

Therefore the 28mm lens supplied had an effective 35mm film focal length of 45mm. Another example would be a 28mm to 70mm zoom lens would effectively be a 45mm to 112mm zoom lens on this camera. (And a 500mm lens would be 800mm !!) Obviously to get true wide angle you would have to use an 18mm or less lens.

Anti-alias filter (click for larger image)As with the 520 the 620 also features an anti-alias filter which prevents the effect known as "aliasing" (rainbow coloured bands on fine detail such as hair / distant fences etc.).

The anti-alias filter sits between the lens and the mirror and can be removed if required by removing a two small screws. The anti-alias filter on the 620 is of a notably different design than the 520, however the effect is the same.

The anti-alias filter has no noticeable effect on the viewfinder, exposure metering or focusing systems.