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Kodak readies 14n, Photo Desk updates  
Thursday, August 28, 2003 | by Rob Galbraith

Kodak Professional is readying September updates to both the firmware for the DCS Pro 14n and its image browsing and processing application Photo Desk.

DCS Pro 14n firmware v4.4

Firmware version 4.4 will include the following changes:

  • Longer long exposures. Through changes to the camera's long exposure noise reduction processing, and the ability to choose sensitivity settings lower than the 14n's base ISO of 80, Kodak is promising much cleaner files at exposures even in the 30 second range. Also added is a mirror pre-release function for use when shooting extended exposures.

  • Wedding and Event colour looks choosable in the camera. While it's already possible to process 14n files through these new colour looks introduced in Photo Desk 3.1, the new version of firmware will make Wedding and Event choosable in the camera.

  • Improved Lens Optimization. This is a feature in the 14n that compensates for a magenta-to-green shift across the frame with certain lenses. Lens Optimization improvements have not been specified by Kodak, but will likely include the stomping out of green-edged and magenta-edged frames with a handful of problem lenses that early 14n purchasers have reported.

  • Automatic image review. The camera can be set to automatically display the photo on the rear LCD for a user-selectable interval before turning off.

  • LCD brightness slider. The camera already includes an LCD contrast control; added is a brightness slider for finer adjustment of the rear LCD display.

Other firmware tweaks include a slide show feature, improved focal length reporting with some zoom lenses and support for storing multiple Job Tracker files in the camera (as well as a function for deleting Job Tracker files). Firmware version 4.4 is scheduled for release, at no charge, on Kodak's web site mid-September.

DCS Photo Desk 3.2

Improved image adjustment controls are the main attraction of Photo Desk 3.2. Changes include:

  • RGB sliders for fine tuning colour balance in DCS 720X/760, Pro Back and 14n photos.

  • An "Interactive Histogram" with white, black and midpoint controls.

  • Apply buttons for White Balance, Noise Reduction, Sharpening, Exposure Compensation and more. This change is designed to improve the usability of the Close-Up View introduced in Photo Desk 3.1.

  • A single level undo that will enable the user to reverse the effect of the last image adjustment applied.

  • Use of a better-quality, camera-generated JPEG thumbnail for display in Contact Sheet view.

Other Photo Desk 3.2 improvements include better Review mode processing, a resizeable Image Info panel, the addition of an Open as Contact Sheet menu item (Mac version only; this is already present in the current version of Photo Desk for Windows) and a preference over how tool panels are docked (Windows only; not applicable to the Mac version). Photo Desk 3.2 will be a free update. It's expected to be posted for download on Kodak's web site at the end of September.

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