Kodak DCS Pro 14n SLR Review

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Kodak DCS Pro 14n

DCS Host Software Options

The Kodak DCS Pro 14n 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.

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.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The greatest benefits come from using the Pro 14n'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 3.0 software.

DCS Photo Desk 3.0 Features:

  • Provides enhanced noise processing which greatly reduces moire
  • Provides enhanced sharpening with unsharp mask sharpening filter
  • Allows you to select RGB working space profile
  • Export RAW, TIFF, JPEG - into the RGB color space of your choice
  • Uses KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Custom Looks Software v2.0 (Optional)
  • Prints full images and contact sheets
  • Supports Windows 98SE, Me, XP, 2000 and MAC OS 9 and OS X
  • ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Software v7.0 compatibility
  • Adjusts exposure compensation automatically using Kodak's advanced image science without changing the white balance
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 DeskKodak 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 Landscape, 7x5 Landscape or custom build your own.

Exposure Compensation allows for a +/- 2.0EV adjustment in 0.5EV steps. 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.

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. There's also a set of tools for advanced noise reduction to help eliminate moire problems too.

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 the Product and Portrait looks 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 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

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

With DCS Camera Manager v1.0 software, photographers can control camera settings from a computer, trigger the camera, quickly copy images from the camera to the computer, and send images directly to the computer where they can be transmitted to other locations.

Camera Manager connects a Kodak digital camera to a computer via a "Firewire" interface and lets photographers use their computer to set any of the properties accessible through the camera's menu. These include adjusting the clock, setting the aperture, designating a personalized start-up screen with contact information and many other functions. The computer connection also allows remote camera triggering for a more nimble set-up and greater efficiency in studio applications.

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.

Camera Manager supports Mac OS9 & OS X as well as Windows 98SE, Me, 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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