OT: Canon D2000

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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Ashley_Pomeroy
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OT: Canon D2000

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:04 pm

Ages ago I wrote a short article on my blog about the older Kodak DCS cameras, but I felt a bit guilty because I hadn't actually used one; I was summarising research rather than writing from direct experience. I've since managed to get hold of a Canon D2000 (from Australia!). There aren't many Kodak DCS cameras for sale in the UK, and they tend to be Nikon models, but I don't have any Nikon lenses and it would make no sense to buy one just for a technical novelty. I have managed to accumulate a bunch of accessories, including one of those old IBM Microdrives, which still works. And a hot mirror filter which I don't really need.

It's apparently a former Canon Professional Services camera dating from the Sydney Olympics, although it only had 20,000 or so actuations when I got it. It took a while for me to find a PCMCIA-CompactFlash adapator (the camera doesn't take SD cards with an adapter, which I could have learned from one of the threads just beneath this one). It has the infrared filter rather than the antialiasing filter. Here's a shot of the camera:
Image

Here's a shot taken with it, using the Zenitar fisheye lens in the image above, and stretched out a bit with Panotools, and darkened a bit with Photoshop:
Image

Overall it operates quickly, the camera side of things is great, although it tends to underexpose. High ISO performance is very poor, and reds tend to blow out. The colour balance is odd indoors.

A few things puzzle me still. Specifically, the DCS 500 seems like the odd one out of Kodak's "modern" DCS cameras. This article goes into some detail about the camera's construction:
http://www.epi-centre.com/reports/dcs.html

As explained very well at the link, the DCS 500 cameras have a fundamentally different and more compact design than the DCS 600 / 700. They use the same components, but whereas the DCS 600/700's board is a single flat unit that sits upright in the digital module, the DCS 500's board is folded over. This seems a more elegant design. I wonder why Kodak did not continue with this idea for the DCS 600/700? I assume it was because of a fundamental physical property of the Nikon F5 body, but perhaps e.g. the folded circuit boards were more prone to electrical interference or heat build-up.

Furthermore, the DCS 600/700 cameras were eventually upgraded into high-ISO 600x/700x versions, although from what I have read here the 720x was a kind of last dying gasp that was made in small quantities. There was never a DCS 500x, although in theory it should have been a relatively simple operation. I assume the Canon / Kodak arrangement had expired by the time of the 620X (it seems that 1998 was Kodak's "Canon year", and that the companies drifted apart, certainly by the time of the Sigma-bodied DCS SLR/c). It seems to me that Nikon has consistently been more willing to work with other companies, notably Fuji, whereas Canon does its own thing.

Does anybody know when the DCS 500 / D2000 was discontinued? The impression I get is that the cameras were almost hand-built to order, so I suppose there was never a formal point at which they turned off the assembly line.

One other thing. I've cleaned the sensor. The glass bonded to the front of the sensor doesn't seem to be bonded very well - there are bubbles in between the two layers. Nonetheless this doesn't seem to affect image quality. I assume the problem was present in the factory, and the sensor was calibrated to compensate, or perhaps it is optically insignificant. Is this common with other DCS cameras, or is it just one of those things?
Last edited by Ashley_Pomeroy on Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OT: Canon D2000

Post by Webmaster » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:59 am

Thanks for sharing. Personally, I know little about the Canon models, but I've found the following pieces of information:

According to a Wikipedia article, "The D2000 was replaced two years later by the EOS D30, Canon's first wholly integrated Digital SLR." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS_D2000

The Canon EOS D30 was announced on May 18, 2000. Here's the D30 press release:

http://www.canon.ca/english/1999pressre ... 0-D30.html

There's also some interesting information/speculation in this article (from January 2000) at Robgalbraith.com, regarding various Kodak/Canon DSLR rumors. For example: "Rumour #1: Canon has discontinued the EOS D2000. Not true, say Canon representatives in Canada, the U.S. and northern Europe."

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/conten ... -3205-3215

There was also a later (announced in March 2004) Kodak Canon mount DSLR, the Kodak SLR/c. I was surprised to learn that this particular model wasn't based on a real Canon body:

"This marks a significant step for Kodak, returning to its history of offering digital cameras based on both Nikon and Canon bodies. Note that the camera body itself isn't sourced from Canon however. Kodak's relationship with Canon apparently allows them to build EOS-compatible digital cameras. Considering the striking resemblance of the control layout to Sigma's SD9 and SD10 digital SLRs, it seems they're sourcing the EOS-compatible camera bodies from Sigma - no parts on the camera are manufactured by Canon."

Source: http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1079600492.html

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Re: OT: Canon D2000

Post by precertvideo » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:28 pm

Ashley_Pomeroy wrote:Here's a shot taken with it, using the Zenitar fisheye lens in the image above, and stretched out a bit with Panotools, and darkened a bit with Photoshop:
Image
Is that Salisbury Cathedral?
DCS serial no. survey
RC-760, EOS-1D & Ds Mk I, II, III, EOS*DCS-3, 5, DCS, DCS-200ci, 420, 460, D1, D1H & X, D2H & X, E2, F, F2, F3, F4, MVC-2000, 5000, 7000, RD-175, 3000, EF 50mm f/1.0, Audi S2, Porsche 911, GSX-R1000 K9

jimmymc
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Re: OT: Canon D2000

Post by jimmymc » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:14 pm

A few answers...

All DCS camera models, including the DCS5XX series, were built in Rochester. You could say that they were 'hand assembled' but in a modern and efficient assembly process. There were a number of operators, but each camera was assembled and calibrated by one operator. Cameras were not made to order, and production of 5XX cameras was stopped sometime after mid 2000, but I'm not sure the exact date. The assembly process described in http://www.epi-centre.com/reports/dcs.html was essentially the same for all DCS cameras - the 5XX series were not unique in any significant way.

The tall and flat configuration of the 6XX cameras was mostly because of the mechanical design of the F5 body. The F5 front body casting has a 'skirt' that extends well below the lens mount, and the camera would have been taller if the boards were horizontal below that skirt. The 5XX main board has three folded sections, while the 6XX board has two.

The Pro SLR/c camera body was supplied by Sigma. Kodak and Canon had a patent cross license in place that allowed Kodak to use the Canon lens mount, but Canon did not supply bodies after the 5XX series was discontinued.

Ashley_Pomeroy
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Re: OT: Canon D2000

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:18 pm

"Is that Salisbury Cathedral?"

That it be. I've since sold the D2000; it was fast and responsive, but really too big to carry around casually. One thing I noticed was that it seemed to deal with highlight clipping really well - I could bring back lots of detail that looked to be lost in the highlights. The small files were quick and easy to work with, and ISO 800+ was at least usable in black and white. The colour balance always seemed a bit odd in strong sunlight, even though I had the IR filter (and a separate hot mirror filter that I found cheaply).

Here's three random shots taken around Christmastime:
Image

"The tall and flat configuration of the 6XX cameras was mostly because of the mechanical design of the F5 body."

Thanks for that. The D2000 wasn't much taller than my regular digital SLR with a battery grip, I was expecting a behemoth. Instead, I got a moth.

That was a pun. Not a very good one.

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