EEVblog #495 – Kodak DCS315 DSLR TeardownPosted on July 17th, 2013 8 comments
Inside the worlds first Digital SLR camera with rear LCD and inbuilt JPEG processing, the 1998 vintage Kodak DCS315, based on the Nikon Pronea 6i film SLR camera body.
This was before Canon and Nikon had released their own DSLR camera technology, when Kodak ruled the digital camera world!
History of Kodak DSLRs
That complicated flex cable arrangement may actually be going inside the camera body to the autofocus CCD sensor arrays and the lens motor contacts.
Of course if that original camera did have the autofocus.
Yeah Dave, I recognize the circular flex PCB “sandwich” contacts. I bought a superb condition Nikon F5 (pro film SLR) out of eBay, which had a dead viewfinder LCD. I managed to source the flex PCB part and could change it with the help of the appropriate service manual. And yes the F5 has the same weird system to join all flex PCBs inside the viewfinder… These contact seem rather tough and proven despite their strange appearance…
I was once told that Kodak did not pursue the digital SLR market as they originally developed their CCD sensors for their spy satellite business, and were worried that the US government would take exception to them being used in consumer products. Especially given the price difference they charged between the two markets.
Great teardown, Dave. I especially like the intersection of electronics, optics, and consumer products. Such great innovation happens in that space. Thanks for tearing down this relic–THE original DSLR. Obviously designed for expediency with low-volume aspirations. Hence the hybrid bodge. You mentioned several things that were adapted from the Nikon film camera and tchicago mentioned autofocus above. There’s also exposure metering and a separate exposure sensor and system that would be built into the Nikon.
Firewire… back in 1998, it was the only fast interface available. USB was USB1.1 only back in the days and you couldn’t guarantee they had working USB ports (serial and parallel transfers were the standard).
And Kodak really didn’t WANT to pursue the digital camera market – they invented it back in the 70s, but they were so worried about digital cameras displacing film cameras that they didn’t pursue the technology. Kodak at the time make all their money selling film and processing chemicals and were deathly afraid of anything they would that would jeopardize their bread and butter. (In business, it’s called cannibalization – where you introduce a product that would hurt sales of your other products).
And today Kodak is bankrupt. So that cunning plan didn’t work out well. But it is another example of a company throwing away its future for short term gains.
Wow what a shitty location for a battery. Just imagine the service charge to change that $3 battery. Assuming it is keeping time and date alive I am thinking at the end of life many of these were flashing 12:00.
Look closer at PCMCIA clots and ask why it’s a dual slot.
The answer is one of PCMCIA standards, that define double thin cards with miniature HDD inside. Probably in these days, 1GB HDD in this format was cheaper and more popular than comparable flash memory.
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