Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 Review

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Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back 645

Kodak DCS Host Software

Kodak provides host software for both the PC and Macintosh platforms. As I am a Windows XP user and have no access to a Macintosh computer we will only be covering the PC software available. DCS Photo Desk is available in both platforms.

DCS Capture Studio

DCS Capture Studio currently ships with KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro Back Plus and DCS Pro Back 645 for MACINTOSH Systems. In DCS Capture Studio, the RGB working space of choice is ProPhoto RGB. A unique Kodak capability, ProPhoto RGB provides a wider color gamut for:
  • retouching
  • color space transformations to output printer spaces
  • other RGB or CMYK color spaces
  • display on calibrated systems
You can do extensive image editing in a 12-bit space. Make color shifts to improve your image's quality without worrying about out-of-gamut problems. The bottom line is that ProPhoto RGB will provide you with maximum flexibility and the best color results.

Also, with Capture Studio's contact-sheet feature, you can store a series of images in a folder on your computer, then review and edit them later.

You can also customize your images in DCS Capture Studio by using ten new profiles in KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Custom Looks Software.

Extended Range Imaging Photoshop Plug-in

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. 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. It provides 2-stops of exposure latitude, extended color space, high dynamic range (36-bit image quality) and you can save a minmum of four times more images in-camera than RAW.

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.

DCS Photo Desk Software

DCS Photo Desk can do the following:

  • Browse DCS 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.

New features in DCS Photo Desk v2.0:
  • Allows you to select RGB working space profile
  • Uses KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Custom Looks Software v2.0 (Optional)
  • Prints full images and contact sheets
  • Supports MAC OS X
  • Adjusts exposure compensation automatically
You will obtain exceptional quality over typical sRGB workflows by selecting the working space profile that you want--and speed up your workflow! You can also select profiles from the optional KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Custom Looks Software v2.0 to give your image the look you and your customers want!

Photo Desk v2.0 allows you to print full images or contact sheets of your images, up to the maximum size of the media that's loaded in your printer.

If you use MAC OS X, you can run Photo Desk v2.0. The user interface matches Apple Computer's AQUA user interface so all your applications look consistent. There's no waiting to launch Classic, and it works with ADOBE PHOTOSHOP v7.0 Software.

In Photo Desk v1.x you had to move a slider to adjust exposure compensation. We've made the functionality simple and easy to use in the new v2.0 upgrade. Our auto-exposure compensation uses Kodak's advanced image science algorithm values and won't affect tone or lighting.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

This is the latest Photo Desk v2.0 (Sept 2002), it can open a directory 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.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

These are the available Image Tools - You click and select a thumbnail image and then apply these options as desired on the image. You then double-click the thumbnail to display a full screen version of the image with the corrections applied. You can change any option desired and it will be re-processed and displayed on the enlarged image.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

Kodak DCS Photo DeskKodak DCS Photo Desk

The raw image data can be easily manipulated. Never again worry about an entire shoot being ruined because the white balance was incorrectly set. You can vary the exposure index +/- 2.0EV, select a "look" (portrait grayscale, portrait, portrait reduced, product grayscale, product, product reduced), rotate portrait mode shots, crop to a desired aspect ratio (3x2 portrait, 2x3 landscape, 5x4 portrait, 4x5 landscape, 7x5 portrait, 5x7 landscape, etc), pick the desired white balance (preset, one-click, custom, auto), lighting (daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, flash), apply noise reduction (low, medium or chroma moiré) and sharpening (none, low, medium, high) to overcome the softness caused by the IR or AA filter.

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

The embedded exposure information can be displayed whenever you want to reference the original settings used when capturing the image. For those in the photojournalism or pro business there is the IPTC/Job Tracker screen where all sorts of info can be embedded for future reference.

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

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

Kodak DCS Photo Desk

When you have modified your image to your satisfaction it can be saved back to the lossless compressed Kodak DCR format or you can "Save As" and convert to TIFF or JPEG format image. The RGB working color space and profile is embedded in the final output file.

DCS Camera Manager

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

DCS Camera Manager is an application designed to capture or copy images from any of the FireWire-capable DCS cameras or backs. It can also be used to set various camera properties. DCS Camera Manager brings much-needed automatic image transfer from camera to computer, and it does so at over 5MB/second thanks to the IEEE 1394 interface. DCS Camera Manager integrates nicely with DCS Photo Desk, which can be set up to automatically monitor a folder for arriving photos and immediately display their thumbnails.

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

If you're in the studio with the camera or back tethered to the computer then DCS Camera Manager becomes your remote camera control. Capture an image at any time by clicking on the "Take Picture" button. The image can be stored in the camera's memory or sent directly to the host computer's hard drive. Once on the host computer it will be displayed immediately in DCS Photo Desk if it's set to monitor a specified folder.

Kodak DCS Camera Manager

DCS Camera Manager allows you to set or check any camera parameter (aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, exposure comp. and etc.)

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