What's the catch with the F5-based Kodak cameras?

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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What's the catch with the F5-based Kodak cameras?

Post by Webmaster » Tue May 24, 2005 7:09 am

The Kodak models built around the Nikon F5 body (DCS 620, 660, 720 and 760) looks very good on paper and are obviously very robust cameras.

Why were they (at least the 760, the latest model) discontinued? I'd rather have one of these than Kodak's current SLR/n (I realize resolution is lower, but megapixels isn't everything..) Too expensive?

How do these cameras compare with Nikon D1 and later Nikon models?


Stan Disbrow
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Nikon wanted to kill the F5, along with cost, I think

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue May 24, 2005 2:27 pm


Good Question!

I wondered about this myself. Just prior to the anno of the Kodak 14n, I was honestly expecting to see a DCS-811, as I called it. This would have been the usual Nikon F5-based body with the Kodak KAI-11000CM imager.

FWIW, the KAI-10000CM is a Progressive-Scan, Interline Transfer CCD device with 11 megapixels (4072x2720), each pixel being 9um square. This has a 3:2 aspect ratio and is a 37.25 x 25.70mm physically. This means that it's active area is roughly 24x36mm, or what we'd normally think of as a 135 'full frame' size.

Anyway, Kodak had the DCS-700 series, *and* they had this nifty 11 MP FF imager sitting in their parts bin. Can anyone fault this engineer for mentally sticking the 11 MP device into the existing mechanical package when the rumors of a new Kodak Pro DSLR came forth?

It would have been grand, I think! :)

As it was, the super-duper new DSLR, the 14n, turned out to be rather less than I was expecting. Kodak obviously was aiming for a lower price point in the marketplace. Heck, they didn't even ante up the dough to use their own imager, opting to use a less costly 3rd party one.

BTW, the Kodak imager has shown up in some medium format backs, and seems to work well, even if it is an interline vs full-frame transfer device (don't confuse full frame transfer of data with what we usually think of 'full frame' as being (i.e. 24x36mm in size)). I think it would have been a decent thing had there actually been a DCS-811. Oh, well.

Now we come to the F5 part of the issue. Was the loss of the F5 soley a cost move, or was it due to a desire on the part of Nikon to stop selling the modified F5? We know that the F6 was in development, and I can easily see where Nikon would want to stop all F5 production. Meaning Kodak had to do something else anyway.

It might well have come about that since Nikon wanted to supply F80 parts, and stop supplying F5 parts, that Kodak decided to aim for a lower price point as a result.

I doubt that we'll ever know for sure. But, there's my suspicion.

Personally, I still want a DCS-811. I have a reasonable facsimile, though, in the form of a Canon 1Ds mk-I (I know. I said the 'C' word on a Nikon board, but there it is). If I could have had a Nikon F5-based Kodak 811, I would have, but the 1Ds-I works fine with most of my ancient Nikon lenses via an adapter. I'm pretty content, given that the 811 never existed.....


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