Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Review
By Movable Type Admin
DCS Host Software Options
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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
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.
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).
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.
The embedded exposure information can be displayed whenever you want to reference
the original settings used to capture an image.
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.
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.
DCS Camera Manager
DCS Camera Manager v3.3 can do the following:
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.
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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