Preliminary review posted for Kodak Pro SLR/n!|
(Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 08:19 EST)
Roughly 17 months ago, Kodak rocked the digital SLR world when they announced their 13.5 megapixel Pro 14n digital SLR at Photokina in Germany, with a price of $4995.
The price was thousands less than its only real competition, the 11 megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds, but sensor noise problems blunted much of the 14n's impact, relegating it to a fairly narrow range of applications in the studio and other well-lit venues. Which was a shame, as the 14n had a lot of excellent design elements in it, the result of Kodak's long history with professional-grade digital cameras. (They really created the whole D-SLR category almost single-handedly.)
It's with great pleasure then, that I can now report on the new Kodak Pro SLR/n, which uses the same body and most of the same digital components as the original 14n, but with a significantly improved sensor chip and analog electronics board. The result of the improvements is a fairly dramatic reduction in image noise, and an associated improvement in subtle image detail, resulting from the less-aggressive noise suppression that the new sensor allows. The result is still not perfect, but it's sufficiently far ahead of the 14n that Kodak finally has a camera that can give the EOS-1Ds a serious run for its money.
I didn't have time to run my full battery of tests on the new SLR/n before I had to leave for the PMA show, but I did manage to put together a fairly complete review of its features, along with a modest number of test images and "gallery" photos for you to peruse. I'll have a complete update some time after I return from PMA, but it's safe to say that Kodak's solidly back in the D-SLR game, with a camera that produces very good-looking images (with beautiful color in particular), at a price that's thousands lower than its closest competition. Check it out!