Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Modes & Menus
The digital controls on the back are:
The graphical menu system consists of five main sections:
Menu - Select the Main, Properties or Language menu
Status - Check at a glance the number of images remaining, battery condition, image format, ISO speed, current image folder and number of camera actuations.
WB - Select the White Balance options (Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Click on image)
Contrast - Adjust the contrast of the color LCD display
The Processing option on the Main menu is of most interest to us. Here you can select to have the Pro Back 645 process the Kodak raw images into finished TIFF or JPEG format without first going to the host computer. Most users of a digital back of this caliber are going to post-process their images in Photoshop but it's nice to have the option of creating images in a standard, portable format.
The TIFF or JPEG processing is carried out in the background so you are free to continue capturing images while the conversion process is taking place. The choices for processed files are JPEG Good, Better and Best and TIFF RGB. JPEG Best files have the least compression, JPEG Good have the most. The less compression, the better the quality of the processed file and the larger the file size. On average the Best JPEG images are from 6MB to 12MB in size, depends on scene content. Regardless of the quality selected, all JPEG images are saved in Kodak Extended Range Imaging format and contain the same information as the larger RAW files. The TIFF RGB images are about 50MB in size. The processed files are automatically saved to folders called JPEG and TIFF for easy retrieval.
There are a number of options that can be changed and applied to images as they are
processed. Save or delete the original raw .DCR file after processing. If creating
JPEG format you can select the image quality (Good, Better, Best), resolution (100%,
67%, 50%, 25%) - aspect ratio is unchanged, Fit to ProShots resolution, Noise
Reduction (Yes, No), Look (Portrait, Product) and finally the Sharpening Level (None,
High, Medium, Low). Both the Infrared and Anti Aliasing filters will "soften" the image
so most users will select a desired level of sharpening.
When reviewing images you can use the Right or Left portion of the 4-way selector to
go forwards or backwards through the stored images. Pressing the selector Up or Down will
"pop up" the display options shown above which are Single image review, Zoomed review,
Histogram and exposure information, Multiple image (thumbnail) display or Delete images.
In Zoom Display mode, the thumbnail for the current image appears with a Region of Interest box and luminometer crosshairs. The Region of Interest box includes the area of the image that will be displayed when you zoom in. If an image has been previously viewed in Zoom Display mode, the thumbnail image will begin at the last-used zoom level.
The first zoom level is 1:3 (one pixel displayed for every three), the second level is 1:1, and the third returns to the un-zoomed 1:10. At the 1:3 or 1:1 levels you can pan around the image.
The crosshairs in Zoom Display mode indicate the level of luminance channel saturation
of pixels below the center of the crosshairs. This level is indicated on the status
bar in stops (-3 to 3.25) and percentages (2 to 180%).
When in Histogram display mode the thumbnail image will appear with the following information: image number, active folder nmber, date of capture, time of capture, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode and exposure compensation.
A histogram that is clipped at the right indicates over-exposure. One that is clipped at
the left indicates under-exposure. A histogram that peaks towards the right indicates a
high key image without many dark tones. One that peaks on the left indicates a low key
image without many light tones. The double bars at the base of the histogram indicate the
area of 18% gray.
In Multiple Image display mode there are four thumbnails with the status bar below.
The current image is highlighted.
While scrolling through images in Single mode there is a location bar displayed on the bottom to let you know approximately where you are in the queue.
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