Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Review

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Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n

DCS Host Software Options

The Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n camera stores its images as either ERI-JPEG format or in the Kodak DCR proprietary raw format. ERI-JPEG provides 2 stops of exposure latitude and extended color space, delivers 36-bit dynamic range and is generally 1/4 the size of raw files. Kodak has an ERI-JPEG import module for Photoshop 7.0 users.

Streamline your workflow and increase productivity with KODAK PROFESSIONAL Extended Range Imaging Technology (ERI). This proprietary technology offers an innovative image file format similar to a JPEG, but with the dynamic range and color gamut information of raw DCR camera files. And it's now available only with KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Digital Cameras.

Extended Range Imaging Technology files allow you to easily open, edit, and print JPEG files within your JPEG workflow. Your JPEG files are captured directly in the camera. With ERI, you'll have the extensive editing, color balance, and color compensation capabilities of RAW digital negatives--for applying to your JPEG files.

High-quality JPEG files can be stored in-camera for later color correction or manipulation, saving precious storage card space. All of the original image data is preserved. If you shoot high volumes of images, you'll find Extended Range Imaging a real advantage to your JPEG workflows.

Kodak ERI Photoshop plug-in

Here's a screen shot of the Kodak ERI plug-in for Photoshop. Photoshop will automatically launch this file import filter when it detects an ERI-enabled JPEG image.

Check out what pro photojournalist Rob Galbraith has to say about this "groundbreaking technology" and see an example of a 2-stop over-exposed JPEG literally "recovered" on his Kodak ERI Technology web page - it is amazing.

The greatest benefits come from using the Pro SLR/n's DCR raw format images. These are lossless-compressed and average from 15-17MB for the full 13.5MP (4500x3000) images. Once transferred to the host computer, they can then be post-processed and enhanced with Kodak's DCS Photo Desk software.

The latest DCS Photo Desk v3.3.x has support for the DCS Pro SLR/n and DCS Pro 14nx cameras. New and improved Noise Reduction mode, Expert, for use on images from DCS Pro SLR/n, DCS Pro 14nx, and DCS Pro 14n cameras. The Windows version provides 10 levels of Undo and Redo of commands for all image editing and renaming commands. A new selection in the Look menu, "Kodak DCS Commercial Product Look". The new look is based on our "Kodak DCS Product Look" and is optimized to minimize highlight artifacts sometimes associated with metal objects.

DCS Photo Desk 3.3.x Features:

  • Manage tethered KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Digital Camaras and Digital Camera Backs via FireWire.
  • Browse raw and edited DCS/DCR images in folders on hard disks, CD-ROM, PC Cards and network servers using an efficiently laid out contact sheet interface that displays image settings in iconic form.
  • Browse Kodak and non-Kodak JPEG images.
  • Browse DCS Photo Desk and DCS Digital Camera-created TIFF images.
  • Automatically monitor folders and add thumbnails to their display as new images arrive.
  • Open multiple images in windows with variable view scaling from 10 to 200%.
  • Control cropping, rotation, balance, lighting, exposure compensation, look, sharpening and noise reduction.
  • Save image files as standard JPEG and TIFF files, with optional naming and sequence numbering.
  • Optionally imprint GPS information into images saved in standard TIFF format.
  • Automatically open converted files in any application.
  • Copy and paste image settings.
  • Drag and drop images between folders.
  • Add image information, including IPTC-NAA record 2.
  • Quickly review and tag high-resolution images.
  • Launch KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Camera Manager.
  • Select an RGB working space profile.
  • Apply KODAK PROFESSIONAL Custom Looks V2.0 to your images.
  • Print full images and contact sheets.
  • Adjust exposure compensation automatically.
  • Undo and Redo image editing and renaming commands
  • Adjust Exposure and Tone with a histogram curve tool.
  • Fine tune Color Balance with independent slider controls.
  • Preview image adjustments with a zoomable preview window.
Kodak makes this and all DCS Host Software and camera firmware freely available on their web site for downloads. Updates are only a mouse-click away.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Photo Desk can open a single image or an entire folder of images as a "contact sheet" with each image shown as a large thumbnail.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Above the thumbnail are icons that represent the color balance, white balance, image "look" (product, portrait, etc) and exposure compensation at the time of capture.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The Crop Aspect Ratio options make it easy to get your images ready for printing. Here's the drop-down menu of options: Freeform, Square, 2x3 Landscape, 3x2 Portrait, 4x5 Landscape, 5x4 Portrait, 5x7 Portrait, 7x5 Landscape or custom build your own.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Exposure and Tone: Allows for a +/- 2.0 EV exposure adjustment, in 0.2EV steps. And individual adjustments for shadow, midtone and highlight values that can be set with a histogram.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Balance & Lighting options let you pick the desired white balance preset or use the one-click eyedropper on a known gray value in the image. You can also manually adjust the color temperature from 4000K (cool) to 6000K (warm) using the slider control. Lighting has options for: Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Flash.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

After the white balance has been set properly you can still fine tune your image's color by adjusting the RGB channels independantly from -100 to +100.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Kodak Professional cameras use custom color profiles called "looks" to define specific color tonal options that are passed on to the software later to speed up the overall workflow process. Kodak includes some looks with PhotoDesk, gives you some more when you register your camera and sells optional Custom Looks profiles that emulate film and filters and includes: Product Hi Color Hold, Portrait Hi Color Hold, Product Hi Color, Portrait Hi Color, Hi Contrast, B&W Normal, B&W WRATTEN #8, B&W WRATTEN #25, Sepia 1 and Sepia 2.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The Noise Reduction tools are very important for retaining as much detail as is possible while also eliminating sensor and shadow noise. Noise Reduction methods available are: Advanced (noise reduction without any Chroma Moir� reduction), Advanced with Moir� Reduction (best noise reduction including Moir� pattern reduction), or Expert (for aggressively reducing noise without losing fine textures, does not reduce Chroma Moir� patterns).

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Photo Desk's sharpening features should be famliar to Photoshop users, they're just about identical to the Unsharp Mask (USM) filter options. You are given a greater degree of flexibility for processing images.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The embedded exposure information can be displayed whenever you want to reference the original settings used to capture an image.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The histogram can be used to see the overall distribution of luminance, you can toggle the Red, Green and Blue channels on and off as desired.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

When you have modified your image to your satisfaction it can be saved back to the proprietary Kodak DCR format or you can use the "Save As" option and save the image as a TIFF or JPEG format image.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

You can print a single image or select multiple images and then do a contact sheet, as shown here in the Print Preview window.

DCS Camera Manager

DCS Camera Manager v3.3 can do the following:

  • Manage tethered KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Digital Cameras and Digital Camera Backs via FireWire.
  • Take pictures and view the Preview resolution (except DCS 300, 500, and 600 series cameras).
  • Initiate a take picture sequence from the User Interface (except DCS Pro Back 645C).
  • Copy images from camera cards to host computer with optional naming and sequence numbering.
  • Shoot images into camera memory and copy directly to host computer with optional naming and sequence numbering.
  • View and set camera properties.
  • Switch between multiple connected cameras.
  • View camera serial number and firmware version.
  • View and set camera clock.

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

Camera Manager allows images to be saved directly on a computer's hard drive, bypassing the camera's removable memory. This option provides new versatility, especially with the newest PC models that offer wireless transmission and are small enough to be carried in a pocket or on a belt.

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

All camera and exposure settings can be easily changed from within the program.

Camera Manager supports Mac OS 10.2.8 and Windows XP and 2000.

File Format Module

KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCR File Format Module opens your DCR files in PHOTOSHOP from the camera or with saved processing settings from Capture Studio or Photo Desk. With DCS Photo Desk, you can reduce noise, remove moire, and sharpen your image. You can also output linear camera RGB data. That means you'll access the purest form of CCD sensor data, unique to DCS Digital Camera systems. The raw data remains unchanged, so you can manipulate it as often as you need. You can also press a button and send your image data to a third-party application, such as ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Software.

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