Why were some of Kodak's DCS models so far ahead of other digital cameras at the time?

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RJDG14 Regular Member • Posts: 132
Why were some of Kodak's DCS models so far ahead of other digital cameras at the time?
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I found a site offering free RAW and lossless camera samples. One of them was a TIFF file of a photo taken on the Canon/Kodak DCS 1, which was released in 1995, and upon viewing it I was gobsmacked at how high quality the photo was for a digital camera of this era (I checked the metadata which confirmed that it was this camera). It literally looks about as good as a photo taken by a camera such as Canon's EOS 300D which was released 8 years later, albeit at a much lower price tag. The 1990s were a decade where technology evolved very rapidly, and most digital cameras from then (certainly in 1995) gave very grainy, low resolution images that are pretty unviewable today. This particular model on the other hand shot photos at just over 6MP and the photos were high quality, even when zoomed in, with pretty accurate colour - the only thing that's dated somewhat when viewed at a normal resolution would be the slightly low contrast, and perhaps some very minor colour banding with certain textures. This makes me ask why some of the better Kodak DCS models from the mid 1990s like this one were so far ahead (5-10 years roughly) of other digital cameras? I'd imagine it was because of their steep 5 figure price tag. This particular model still gave superior quality to Canon's own 1D Mark 1 which took photos at 4MP and was released 6 years later in 2001.

Here's the sample lossless file from it that I found:

http://www.rawsamples.ch/raws/canon/dcs1/RAW_CANON_DCS1.ZIP

(I've found that links from the above site don't download in my browser if you click on them, but copying the link into your URL bar should work)

Canon EOS 300D (EOS Digital Rebel / EOS Kiss Digital)
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