Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c Review
The SLR/c has one of the widest ranges of white balance choices of any digital SLR, there is of course automatic white balance and no less than twelve preset color temperatures split between Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent and Flash. Each preset category has a selection of slightly different temperatures available for select (a pop-out sub-menu).
In addition the SLR/c's manual preset white balance (named 'Click balance') allows you to take a reading from a gray area of a RAW image (viewed magnified). The measured white balance preset is then applied to the image and recorded for subsequent shots. You can choose to save click balances and retrieve them later (this can also be done from DCS Photo Desk). Annoyingly you can only take presets from RAW images hence if you are shooting JPEG you must take a RAW shot, take a Click balance reading and then switch back to JPEG.
Auto white balance does appear to be slightly better than it was on the DCS-14n however it's still not perfect. The wide range of white balance presets is impressive however it still seemed quite difficult to pick the correct one, sometimes there can be too many choices.
Settings: ISO 160, Canon EF 24-70 mm F2.8L, Normal NR, Low Sharpening, Product Look
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Sunny Standard||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incan. Warm||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluorescent Office||Fluorescent, Manual|
Also available for download
- Outdoors, Sunny Cool
- Outdoors, Sunny Warm
- Incandescent, Incandescent Standard
- Incandescent, Incandescent Cool
- Fluorescent, Fluorescent Cool White
Night / long exposures
Just like any other digital SLR you can select long exposures using manual exposure mode, however the SLR/c will suggest (by a message on the LCD screen) that you use the dedicated Long or Longer exposure modes. These are selected from the record menu, the Long exposure mode is suggested for exposures up to 1/2 sec. Select Longer exposure mode and a table allowing you to select a combination of ISO sensitivity and exposure is displayed. This provides access to ISO 6, 12, 25 and 50 at exposure lengths of 2, 4, 8, 15 and 30 seconds. This of course also enables you to take long exposures in daylight conditions without the use of an ND filter.
Settings:Canon EF 17-35 mm F2.8L, Normal NR, Low Sharpening, Product Look, RAW
|Manual exposure mode: ISO 160, 4 sec, F5|
|Longer exposure mode: ISO 50, 15 sec, F5.6|
|Longer exposure mode: ISO 25, 30 sec, F5.6|
The SLR/c is listed as being fully compatible with the Sigma EF-500 DG Super flash lite, Canon EOS 220EX, 420EX, 550EX, MR-14EX, MT-24EX Speedlights and STE-E2 E-TTL transmitter. The shots below were taken using the Canon 550EX. Our first impression was that the SLR/c's automatic white balance does not work with a flash attached, you must manually select a flash white balance to get usable results.
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
Just like the DCS-14n the SLR/c is certainly capable of delivering some stunning resolution. I had the same levels of 'ooh and ahh' checking these 13.5 megapixel images at 100% zoom. Because the SLR/c doesn't have an anti-alias filter it's capable of pulling out finer detail than we are used to seeing. Unfortunately Kodak haven't done enough to address the image quality issues which occur too frequently to ignore (detailed below). It's worth repeating what I said in my 14n review, thanks to the sensor's immense pixel count you can get very 'Foveon X3 like' images by switching resolution down to 6.0 megapixel output size (several input pixels used to create each output pixel).
Image quality issues
There were several image quality issues we noted with the SLR/c, some if not all can be avoided or reduced by shooting RAW and careful processing using Photo Desk or third party RAW converters. This meant that shooting JPEG in-camera delivers images which are below what is achievable. Issues identified:
- Moiré at resolution limits - As the SLR/c doesn't have
a low pass (anti-alias) filter high frequency information (fine detail)
tends to produce moiré which must be dealt with in software.
Unfortunately neither DCS Photo Desk or third party RAW converters could
completely eliminate this artifact. (see sample below, ironically one
of the most detailed images we've ever captured)
- Green color cast introduced by Lens Optimization - Switch it
off and you will sometimes get a magenta cast, leave it switched on
and you will sometimes get a green cast. (see
bottom of page 12)
- High noise levels above ISO 400 - Converting SLR/c and EOS-1Ds
samples in Adobe Camera RAW was very revealing, it exposed the high
levels of noise exhibited by the SLR/c's sensor above ISO 400. Kodak's
noise reduction systems keep this in check but at the expense of detail.
(see bottom of page 15)
- Watercolor-like appearance due to noise reduction algorithm - Ever present even when set to very low levels Kodak's noise reduction algorithm has an excessively intrusive effect on image quality leaving many areas of the image with a 'watercolor-like' appearance. (see sample below)
|Moiré at resolution limits|
|Watercolor-like appearance due to noise reduction algorithm|
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more