Kodak DCS 420 Digital SLRs

Kodak DCS 420 Digital SLRs 


This megapixel camera offers a great combination of image quality and portability. It consists of a special electronic back fixed to the body of a Nikon N90 camera. Ideal for those who require a combination of rapid turnaround and high quality images, including desktop publishing, presentations, catalogs, and science as well as a range of military, government, and law enforcement applications.


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[Nov 13, 2015]


-Great colour and flat TIFs that are excellent to handle
-An ordinary film camera with a digital back on it. There is nothing better and more flexible out there!
-2.5 x crop comes handy with telephoto lenses & you just use the very sweetest spot of any lens attached.
-Sharp images.
-The film body costs next to nothing theses days and can be found a lot. So if it breaks... get another one!
-Still perfectly usable with Lexar CF cards in an adapter.


-Just 1.5 megapixels, but very good megapixels. Every single one of them!
-Colour sometimes needs a bit "tweaking".
-a little noise @ ISO 400
-not more than 400 ISO
-Battery not available any more in most parts of the world.
-Mostly the D.C. power supplies are missing, so you have to build your own (the MINI-DIN layout: PIN 6/lower left = + 15V PIN 7/lower right = GND seen directly looking at the female plug on the camera, rating should be 1.9A)

Cool camera to experiment with. Suprisingly good results for a unit of the nineties. Even nowadays. Excellent colour rendition. Kodak TIFs are reference in flexibility!
Important!: Just use Lexar CF cards in an adapter to have no issues with writing/reading! I currently use a 80x 512MB in it, works superfast & reliable!
Either get an old computer with SCSI and the Photoshop Acquire Plugin or just use Adobe's Camera Raw for converting (Photoshop CS5 works fine for that!).

Customer Service


Similar Products Used:

Kodak DCS620/620X/720X/760

[Mar 10, 2010]


Well, it's a camera, and can take color photos. It can also make people think you're an old school film buff as it looks just like a 1980's 35mm with an attached motor drive.

The way you're supposed to use these is by connecting them by SCSI and then downloading the pictures by a TWAIN driver. I found it works better to just put the drive in a PCMCIA slot and copy the pictures (they are saved in Kodak's proprietary TIFF format) onto your hard drive, and then edit with a RAW converter or Kodak's own software. Both are free to download.

Has all the traditional camera settings and will work with manual focus lenses.

Is not as heavy as it looks.

Will work with almost any Nikon F mount lens, even the newer DX ones.

One screw and two cables and apart it comes. The easiest sensor to clean out there.


Uses PCMCIA mini hard drives/flash cards. I'm using a 170MB card and formatting it in FAT with a laptop to erase pictures. I've gotten other Kodaks to use SD or compact flash cards in an adapter, but no luck so far.

The battery is internal and is a cursed NIMH. As of 2010 a few aftermarket suppliers still sell it, the question is the charger. It's an Elpac MI2815, but most of these had a normal socket connector, not the 7-pin connector these use. I think the specific model is the MI2815-760. An alternate solution is a Quantum QB5 external battery with a DCK cable.

A 2.6X crop factor means a normal lens is something like 18MM, and most shots are going to be really tight.

Being from the early days of digital SLR's, expect fun with colors and noise.

The 420 is probably the most common of the classic Kodak/Nikon combos (I'd like to call them Kodakons but no one else does) available on eBay, even though they only had a production run of about 6-7,000. At this point there's no practical purpose to owning one other than you just want to. As with all the older cameras you can turn in good photos under the right conditions, but those conditions are so limited compared to modern cameras it's almost arcane.

To explain the family history, the grand daddy is the DCS 200, which uses AA batteries. The 410/420/460/Nc2000E all use the same basic design but differ in the sensors and some of the electronics. It's tempting to think the DCS 200 battery tray could be modded to fit but it won't work. It's like trying to make parts from an early model and late model car work together, everything looks similar but it isn't.

Customer Service

Drivers, utility software, and manuals are still available on Kodak's website.

Similar Products Used:

DCS 315, 330, and Minolta RD-175.

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