Anybody out there interested in the International space station (ISS) and photography should take note of the cameras floating about in pictures courtesy of NASA. This picture (cropped from hi-res photo during the STS-115 crew visit) on the left is Expedition 13 Science office Jeff Williams holding what appears to be a Nikon D1 series DSLR with 17-35mm F/2.8 Nikkor lens. Take a look at the vertical grip area and note the Kodak DCS plate. I can only imagine it’s a custom made camera configuration for the unique environment of the ISS. Also, it’s probably several years old but I guess it’s still good enough. I’ve seen another Nikon floating around too, maybe a D100. The current expedition 14 crew are still using both, as I’ve seen them in the STS-116/ISS crew video yesterday. I wonder if Nikon and NASA have some sort of relationship as far as still camera equipment goes. I’ve seen at least one expensive Sony video camera on the ISS too, so Nikon isn’t the only game in town. Anybody with more information please pass it on!Update: 12/21/06
More information reveals a Kodak DCS 760 ($7995) which is based on the Nikon F5 film camera body. It has a 6mp sensor and weights a whopping 4.1lbs (1.86kg) without battery or lens, though not a problem on the ISS. The camera (now discontinued) was introduced in 2001 and is still in use today.