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Design

Big. The DCS 760 is a hefty 'tank' of a digital SLR, standing nearly 1.5 inches taller than the Nikon D1 / D1x / D1H the camera certainly feels like it could take on the competition in a ring! The entire body is made from the same strong magnesium alloy material used for the Nikon F5 as well as D1 / D1x / D1H.

The top half of the camera should be very familiar to anyone who's used or handled an F5 as it's essentially the F5's body. The extra space at the bottom of the shell is taken up by all of Kodak's electronics, the large battery and the two PCMCIA cards. On the back you'll find a moulded rubber thumb grip which also assists in gripping the camera (although it's girth can leave your hand aching if you use the AE-L/AF-L or AF-ON buttons a lot).

Despite its size the DCS 760 is relatively comfortable (assuming you have a fairly large hand) to carry and hold thanks to the supplied hand strap. Turning the camera through 90 degrees there's a portrait grip on the base with repeated AF-ON and shutter release buttons. Some Pro's prefer to remove the hand strap as it slows down the switch from landscape to portrait grip.

The observant among you will have noticed that Kodak have done away with the distinctive white balance sensor (it used to live where the DCS 760 badge is now), preferring instead to now measure white balance based on image data.

And here comes the competition... As you can see the DCS 760 and D1x share a lot of design hints, not surprising considering the D1x's F5/F100 heritage. There's no doubt here who wins the portability / comfort ratings, the D1x is smaller, lighter and easier to hold (and just as well, if not slightly better built).

As I mentioned the DCS 760's grip is very comfortable and well designed. The rubber mould on the back means that the whole right side of the camera fills your palm, fingers grip the front nicely and thumb opposes this. I personally found (as Rob Galbraith also noted in his review) that the AE-L/AF-L and AF-ON buttons are just that little bit too far away from your thumb to be comfortable in use for a long time.

Because the battery runs the whole length of the camera (left to right) and overall the camera is midpoint balanced and sits quite comfortably, though I doubt you'll be doing much one handed shooting.


LCD Monitor

The 760's main LCD monitor is now larger and brighter than found on previous DCS SLR's. It measures 2 inches diagonally, has more resolution and is brighter. However it still doesn't have an anti-reflective coating which would help a great deal when reviewing images outdoors.

The new monitor, combined with new onboard software, menus and magnifying options makes the whole user interface experience far better.


Rear Status LCD Panel

The rear status LCD is identical to that found on previous DCS SLR's, it provides information which is primarily associated with the 'digital portion' of the camera. Things such as ISO sensitivity, frames available, white balance setting, battery status etc. This panel has a green backlight which is activated by turning the power dial to the bulb icon.

The diagram below details all of the possible items of information displayed.


Top Status LCD Panel

The top LCD panel shows current exposure / focus settings, all details primarily associated with the 'photographic settings' of the camera.

This panel has a green backlight which is activated by turning the power dial to the bulb icon.

The diagram below details all of the possible items of information displayed.


Rear Status LCD Panel

The rear status LCD is identical to that found on previous DCS SLR's, it provides information which is primarily associated with the 'digital portion' of the camera. Things such as ISO sensitivity, frames available, white balance setting, battery status etc. This panel has a blue backlight which is activated by turning the power dial to the bulb icon.

The diagram below details all of the possible items of information displayed.


Viewfinder

The 760 has an optical TTL viewfinder, just like the F5 it's removable to allow access to the removable focus screen. You can also attach other F5 compatible viewfinders. Note that the focus screen itself is masked out to compensate for the smaller size of the imager.

Compatible viewfinders are: Multi-meter finder (modified DP-30), Action finder (DA-30), Waist-level finder (DW-30), High-magnification finder (DW-31).

The small lever on the back of the viewfinder slides a shutter over the inside of the eyepiece and should be used for self-timer or long exposures where stray light entering through the eyepiece could otherwise affect the metering system. On the right side of the viewfinder is a dioptre adjustment knob and also the choice of metering system (3D Matrix, Center-weighted average or Spot).

The diagram below details all of the possible items of information displayed through the viewfinder.

Focus area brackets are indicated by being slightly bolder when selected (as well as top / left border arrows). The main LCD information read-out in the viewfinder is displayed along the bottom and is detailed in the second diagram below.

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