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

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 6,063
Re: Why were some of Kodak's DCS models so far ahead of other digital cameras at the time?


In the early 1980s, Kodak was making imaging sensors for industrial use. I bought six 1 MP CCDs for use as board imagers on a production line at IBM. $30k per sensor. No cameras per se. I had to make my own.

Kodak used the same parts with purchased cameras for the US military. some Nikon, some Canon. They did assist me when it came to making my cameras.

Later, 1988, they decided to make a commercial product, the DCS based on a purchased Nikon F3. And IBM assisted them when it came to the storage unit.

In the early 90s, they made the storage unit smaller so now it was a digital back. And they moved to the Nikon 8008 body and then to the N90. And they added the Canon body to the mix.

By then, they sensors were becoming larger. And they made a 6 MP APS-H one which was pretty amazing to me. Eventually I picked up a used 460 once the price tag dropped on the used market in the face of the Nikon D1.

I still use a 2 MP 520c and a 6 MP 760c. I had several others over the years. And I also have the last of the Kodak CCDs in my Pentax 645D.

Kodak faced the issue of being a low volume manufacturer where the costs are always higher. Once Canon and Nikon decided to go their own way and no longer resell the Kodak products as a sideline to their film products, it became difficult for Kodak.

They attempted to lower costs with different bodies and also a 3rd party sensor. It had a major flaw and resulted in a massively costly recall. That didn't help them any.

About that same time, Kodak executives looked at the shrinking film market and decided that much of that was a result of the DCS group's efforts. So, No More DCS.

The sensors continued on used by other makers. Medium Format backs and Leica with their DMR and Pentax and such. But, eventually that came to an end as well.


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 Stan Disbrow's gear list:Stan Disbrow's gear list
Kodak DCS520 Kodak DCS760 Nikon D1H Pentax 645D Nikon Df +21 more
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