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Hasselblad posts release version of FlexColor 4.6 for Mac  
Thursday, July 13, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

Hasselblad has posted the official version of FlexColor 4.6 for Mac. The latest release of the software for Hasselblad/Imacon digital backs and scanners, as well as the included R166 firmware for newer backs that accept CompactFlash cards, makes a number of changes to the file format, colour and noise processing of Hasselblad/Imacon image files. The Windows version of 4.6 is still at the public beta stage.

Both FlexColor 4.6 for Mac and FlexColor 4.6b3 for Windows are available for download by registered users from the Hasselblad/Imacon download site.

The Read Me accompanying v4.6 notes the following changes since v4.5.4:

New CF(X) back firmware R166
This firmware includes a number of stability enhancements and a couple of feature enhancements. These include manual gray balance and digital focus check.
It's important to note that it will default to use the new 3FR workflow for all the CF type devices including the 22MP units. This means that these backs which previously captured images in DNG format will now capture 3FR files instead. This leads to improved capture rate and much improved noise reduction quality. If you have been running a DNG based workflow with the DNG's as the end product you will now need to include an extra step in exporting DNG's from FlexColor. Note that this can be done directly from the import window.
It should also be noted that in order to downgrade to an earlier version you will have to follow a special procedure which you can hear more about by contacting our support department:
Film curve changes
We have improved the film response curve for camera captures. The previous curve happened to add too much gain thereby increasing the sensitivity with nearly 0.6 f-stops compared to the ISO standard. Furthermore, the default curve now intentionally increases the contrast.
We've added a set of new film curve options that all incorporate the necessary gain reduction. At the bottom of the gradation window you'll find a new popup that controls the selected film response curve. The possible selections are:

As Shot
This option will select the curve selected when the capture was shot. When a capture is shown the menu item will also indicate what the "As Shot" setting is for this capture. With no image shown it will indicate Standard as the corresponding curve since this is considered the default curve for new captures.
This is a new curve with higher contrast than the previously used standard curve
Low Contrast
A new curve with a contrast quite similar to the old standard
High Contrast
A new curve with extra contrast
A new curve with a linear response except for the highlight areas.
Old Standard
This is the exact curve used in older versions of FlexColor. 
When making a new capture it's "As Shot" film curve will depend on the menu setting. If the menu is set to As Shot it will automatically be Standard no matter what As Shot might refer to for the currently shown image.
When importing images their "As Shot" film curve will depend on the firmware of the device that captured the image. Currently the curve will be Standard if the images is captured with a CF back with firmware 166 or later since this firmware will also use the standard film curve for it's display and histogram calculations. All other devices will default to the Old Standard curve.
For existing images you'll find that they default to using the Old Standard curve but you can of course choose to select one of the new curves instead. Because of the difference in gain you'll probably have to add appr. 0.6 stops of exposure correction when using one of the new curves with an old image.
Improved single shot interpolation
The quality of single shot camera captures is much improved This goes for both old and new captures. 
Improved color noise filter
First of all you'll find that even with the color noise filter set at 0 there'll be significantly fewer color artefacts present because of the improved interpolation. The old filter had a tendency to simply smear color all over the image - the new version is much more discrete, however we also know that at the current stage there are situations where it will not remove everything that needs to be removed. Vice versa you can also find examples of unwanted color smearing. We expect this to be solved in an upcoming version.
Improved noise reduction for CF(X) back captures
Especially at high ISO's and at long exposures you'll see significantly less noise and better preservation of detail. It should be noted that you'll only see the benefits of this filter when using the 3FR workflow which will automatically be default with the firmware included in this release.

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