A teardown of the world’s first modern DSLR, Kodak’s DCS315

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 12:19 PM EDT


We often take for granted the vast amount of technology packed into today’s DSLRs. To help humble us a bit is this fantastic video from Youtuber EEVblog. In it, he does a complete overview and teardown of what many consider to be the world’s first modern DSLR, Kodak’s 1.5-megapixel DCS315, released in 1998.

Essentially a Nikon Pronea 6i with a digital back in place of the traditional film plate, this camera was an unwieldy beast. To fit the required circuitry and leave enough space for the PC cards that the images were saved to, Kodak had to double the size of the camera.

The DCS315 featured two LCD screens on the back. The top one was a full-color display used for reviewing shots. The lower screen was used for displaying and adjusting the camera’s settings.

Its ISO range was only 100–400; paltry in comparison to even the most basic DSLRs today. Also, you could take a burst of photos, but only 2 frames/second with a total of 3 images every 11 seconds – and even that was with the fastest Type III PC card on the market.

The complete video is just shy of 40 minutes, so it’s by no means a quick watch. It is however one of the most thorough teardowns and overviews we’ve ever come across. For more details on the DCS315, you can check out the impressive amount of resources EEVblog has shared in the video’s description.

(via ISO 1200)