Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


 

Kodak SLR/c Experience Report

A review diary by Uwe Steinmueller @Digital Outback Photo

Also photos by Bettina Steinmueller

 

 

 

 
This review will be written again in the form of a diary. Most recent findings on top.
 


Improve your Digital Workflow

Testimonial

"If you are just now venturing into the world of fine art digital photography you can immerse yourself in new knowledge about almost every aspect that I can think of. The photographs on the Outback Photo site are stunning, to say the least! The books and handbooks offer a true wealth of knowledge because they are so well thought out and organized in a concise manner, with numerous examples. There are vast quantities of other resources available as well, through linking to other sites. There are interesting and provocative stories and essays written by both Uwe and Bettina Steinmueller and many others. I first found the site while checking reviews of the Canon Digital Rebel and I haven't stopped exploring ... where do Uwe and Bettina find the time to give so much? They are excellent teachers." Eleanor T. Culling 2/25/2004

If you work with Photoshop CS our e-books DOP1009 or DOP2000 are the right choice for the Kodak SLR/c. DOP2000 is the more complete handbook.

 
 

Note on image processing:

As usual we work only with raw files. Workflow as described in our e-book. Tools used: Camera Raw 2.2 for Photoshop CS, Simple Sharpening.

 

 
5/29/2004 Camera is back
 

We have sent back our review sample to Kodak.

We will update this diary in the future if we get new raw conversion options that would enhance the image quality of SLR /c photos.

 

 
5/24/2004 Color Shift again
 

Unfortunately we had also some photos from the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens that showed a color cast at both sides of the frame.


Color shift

Fortunately this photo was planned to be for B/W and here the cast is not really visible:

 

 
5/14/2004 Kodak SLR/c, Canon 1Ds and 1D Mark II comparison photos
 

We have new article that features this comparison.

Note on SLR/c auto focus

During the comparison shooting we observed the following failings of the SLR/c:

  • AF did not lock on any scene with the Canon 135 f/2.0 lens (the AF oscillated instead)
  • AF did not lock on some scenes with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 (e.g. clouds in the sky)

Both lenses worked perfectly on the Canon cameras.

Mirror lockup on the SLR/c

The SLR/c (actually like the Sigma SD10) features the best mirror lockup we know. Without using camera menus you can set the camera to "LU" (Lock up). The you use the IR remote (comes with the camera) to trigger the shutter. We set the delay between mirror lockup and shutter execution to 2 seconds. Switching the camera to lockup with the 1Ds is way more hassle.

 

 
5/13/2004 Lens Optimization
 

The Kodak 14n, SLR/n and SLR/c are the only digital SLRs we know that need new firmware settings to work with some lenses. We hoped to get along with the auto setting as out 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 IS seemed to perform well.

Today we wanted to make a nice stitched panoramic with our Canon 45mm and 90mm T/S lenses. The good news is they fit on the camera (the Nikon 85PC lens does not fit on the SLR/n). The bad news is that we got strong color casts:


Color cast with 90mm T/S

Actually we do not plan to make special settings to our camera just to switch lenses. Not a good day with the SLR/c (we drove 140 miles to get to our location).

Fortunately we also got some nice shots from the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens.


California Oak


crop at 100% magnification


California Golden Hills


B/W version

The resolution of these shots let us smile again.

 

 
5/12/2004 The dark side of aliasing
 

On yesterdays test shots we found this (using ACR 2.2 , no sharpening):


Demosaicing pattern on the chimney (100% magnification, @70mm)

This aliasing shows in 3 different raw converters we have for the SLR/c (ACR 2.2, Kodak Photo Desk and Bibble 4.0 beta). Seems that the demosaicing algorithms have a hard time to avoid these artifacts.

Today we shot the same chimney with a longer lens:


Aliasing (100% magnification, @200mm)


100% maginification @400mm

This time again aliasing is shown but also the fact that this chimney is covered with a very fine mash. Not having an AA filter allows to get sharper and more detailed images but be prepared that the raw converters may produce results like this.

While taking the shot at 400mm (70-200mm f/2.8 + 2x tele extender) we realized that the autofocus at 5.6 is very slow.

 

 
5/11/2004 SLR/c a blend of Sigma SD10 and SLR/n
 

We first wrote "The ergonomics of the SLR/c is inherited from the 14n." This is not entirely true as the SLR/c is a blend of SLR/n (the Kodak part) and a Sigma SD10.


Camera Top Layout (SLR/c)

The layout on the top is just like a SD9/10 (we have a SD9 here).


Camera back layout (SLR/c)

Slightly different buttons from the SLR/n. Still the feeling is much like a 14n or SLR/n because of the bulky bottom part of the camera.

 

 

 
5/10/2004 Kodak SLR/c is in
 

Recently Kodak announced to add a camera like the SLR/n that can take Canon lenses. We are one of the first getting our hands on a SLR/c production sample. Because the SLR/c uses the same chip and imaging electronics as the SLR/n (read our review)we actually know the image detail the SLR/c should be able to deliver. But now we will be able to use the same lens on a Canon 1Ds and the SLR/c.

Selling arguments for the SLR/c compared to the Canon 1Ds?

  • Price (<$5000)
  • 14 Mega Pixels
  • There is no AA filter. This can result in more sharpness and detail per pixel (unfortunately sometimes at the price of imaging artifacts)

Ergonomics

Some of the ergonomics of the SLR/c is inherited from the 14n. We need to get used to the bulky body bottom.

Here are some first notes:

  • The shutter speed dial is hard to use with the camera in front of your eyes
  • Autofosus not at the same level as the Canon 1Ds but does it's job (remember the SLR/c is not designed to be an action camera)

Image processing

We use Adobe ACR 2.2 to work with the SLR/c raw files. Here is why:

  • We never liked the Kodak Photo Desk workflow
  • Photo Desk shows also stronger purple fringing in some high contrast scenes

Note: We adjusted the exposure 0 point in ACR 2.2 to -0.4 and saved this value as default

We will also check soon a new version of Bibble (Version 4) with the SLR/c.

First Test Shots

As usual we had our standard Los Gatos walk.


Los Gatos Ristorante


crop 100% magnification

Colors are excellent and detail just amazing.

Download the original raw from here and experience the detail yourself using ACR 2.2 or just download a version of Kodak Photo Desk.


Antique Store


crop at 100% magnification

Good results and not a lot of noise for ISO 160 in the shadows.

Noise Check

SLR/c

ISO 160

ISO 320

ISO 640

At ISO 160 the SLR/c is good and even at ISO/320 usable. The noise at ISO 640 is to strong for most applications.

 

 
 
 
Review methodology (or lack of :-)) here.
 
 
 

 

For Comments post in our News Group

2000-2007 Digital Outback Photo