Kodak Pro DCS620 Review
Stick right to the traditions of Kodak Professional digital cameras the DCS 620 is a big camera, indeed it's bigger and slightly heavier than it's predecessor the 520. But that extra weight is all in the superb titanium F5 body. Again, it does have the look of an SLR with a motor wind unit. This camera unlike the 520 is taller than it is wider (the 520 seemed almost square from front on).
Despite it's large proportions and weight this is an impressively comfortable camera to use, the hand strap is strong and the body has been carefully molded to fit your hand exactly. You certainly feel as though you are using a quality piece of equipment with a completely metal case and rubberised coating on various strategic areas of the body the camera feels robust enough to be used in just about any situation (if you can forget for a moment how much it's worth). The F5 definitely brings an extra feeling of solidity and robustness to the whole package, this is a camera which wouldn't feel out of place in any situation, in fact it seems to beg to be taken into the harshest possible conditons.
The 620 features the second "portrait orientation" hand grip (which can be seen running along the bottom of the body), when holding the camera rotated 90 degress (for portrait type shots) you have a shutter release button (which has to be enabled with a small switch) and exposure lock (on the back), the vertical grip feels as comfortable as the normal hand grip and I found myself using it on many occasions.
On the top right hand side of the body is an LCD display which displays: shutter speed (and lock), aperture (and lock), metering mode (the * indicates flexible program mode), exposure compenstation, bracketing, AF focus points (and lock). (some of this information is repeated through the viewfinder - see below)
(Note: LCD backlight
was turned on in this image)
The first rear LCD (top) displays: main image reviews, thumbnails and menu system navigation.
The second displays: ISO, flash mode, bracketing mode, white balance mode, PCMCIA activity, total frames, estimated frames remaining, battery status and sound recording information.
The viewfinder is good, the only niggle would be the fact that an area of the focusing screen is less than would normally be seen on an F5 because of the size difference between 35mm film and the CCD (this was not the case with the 520's viewfinder).
Through the viewfinder you have five focus point squares and the reference circle, when choosing a focus point they become "darker" (unlike the 520's which glow red). You also have indiciators for: Focus lock, direct aperture readout (mirrored from the top of the lens), veritcal and horizontal focus area, shutter speed and aperture, shutter and aperture lock, exposure mode, metering system and exposure compensation.
Dioptric adjustment is made on the side of the viewfinder next to the metering system switch.
One very unique feature of the F5 is it's ability to take different viewfinders, you unlock the viewfinder by pressing the small recessed button on the back left of the viewfinder and gently (very) slide it backwards. This exposes connectors and the focusing screen. Compatible viewfinders are: Multi-meter finder (modified DP-30), Action finder (DA-30), Waist-level finder (DW-30), High-magnification finder (DW-31).
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In this weeks' Throwback Thursday article, Simon raises a toast to the Sony Digital Mavica FD71 - a little camera which used really big memory cards.
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