PHOTOPLUS: Kodak offers new DSC Pro Back Plus, profiles

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At Photo Plus Expo in New York this week, Kodak is giving showgoers a look at its recently released Professional DSC Pro Back Plus. It's the latest version of the company's 16-megapixel digital camera back.

At almost $22,000, the device isn't likely to appeal to mainstream consumers, but Kodak has engineered the new version to fit a wider range of medium-format cameras -- in fact, it'll fit any medium format camera with an electronic shutter, according to the company.

The DSC Pro Back Plus sports a FireWire connection to download images to your Mac and is also one of the only such products on the market to feature on-board storage as well, according to Kodak worldwide product manager Jay Kelbley. The camera back sports two slots that can take media including IBM Microdrives. With up to 2GB of onboard storage, the DSC Pro Back Plus can store up to 100 images without needing to download to a computer, said Kelbley.

Kodak is firmly committed to the Mac -- in fact, some of the software included with the DSC Pro Back Plus is Mac-only. And while Mac OS X support isn't there yet, Kelbley reassured MacCentral that Kodak's developers are hard at work getting the software ready. Part of the issue is the absence of a Mac OS X-native version of Adobe's Photoshop, said Kelbley, but he added that it's only a matter of time.

For professionals who are already using the DSC Pro Back and the new Plus model, Kodak unveiled this week a new set of custom imaging profiles called DCS Custom Looks Profiles. The new profiles help users customize the tonal values of their images to mimic the effects of using specific film products and lens combinations.

There are ten different tonal variations available:

  • Kodak DCS Product Hi Color Hold -- Useful for commercial images that involve people and other colored objects, where bright colors that are not skin tones are more richly saturated.
  • Kodak DSC Portrait Hi Color Hold -- Useful for portrait images that involve people and other bright colors of interest.
  • Kodak DCS Product Hi Color -- Designed for commercial images, where bright colors are more saturated and skin colors are affected, as well.
  • Kodak DCS Portrait Hi Color -- Skin tones and other scene objects gain saturation.
  • Kodak DCS High Contrast -- A higher contrast tone scale compared to the standard "product" look.
  • Kodak DCS B&W Normal -- A standard black and white rendition where the gray scale has been modeled using the Helmholtz-Kohlraush effect; perceived brightness increases with color saturation.
  • Kodak DCS B&W Wratten #8 -- Mimics the effect of using black and white film with a Wratten #8 (yellow) filter; useful for darkening blue skies in landscape images, or lightening skin tones in portraits.
  • Kodak DCS B&W Wratten #25 -- Mimics the effect of mixing black and white film with a Wratten #25 (red) filter on the lens. Dramatically darkens blue skies and provides other special effects.
  • Kodak DCS Sepia 1 and Kodak DCS Sepia 2 -- Each filter provides classic sepia tones to an image. Sepia 1 is warmer in tone than Sepia 2.
  • The profiles can be customized to suit individual photographers' needs, too. The collection is available now for $249.

    This story, "PHOTOPLUS: Kodak offers new DSC Pro Back Plus, profiles" was originally published by PCWorld.

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