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|| News Item: Posted 1999-11-15

Geek Corner
Digitial News & Notes

By Robert Hanashiro

From Wayne Shipman of Eastman Kodak comes news regarding the long awaited firmware upgrade for the DCS520/D2000 and the DCS620 digital cameras, a Sports Shooter exclusive.

Photo by
Wayne notes that the firmware for DCS 520/560 and Canon D2000/6000, V3.0.4 and V5.8 acquire software will be posted on Kodak's digital downloads page tomorrow, 11/15/99.

By Monday 11/29 the firmware upgrade for the DCS 620/660 should be posted to the downloads site. Both cameras use the V5.8 software.

By Monday 12/23 the firmware for DCS 330 & 315 and new software V5.8.1 should be posted.

Cameras packed and shipped after this week should have it in the box.

Says Wayne as a reason for the delay in releaseing the upgrades: "Testing sequence is very time-consuming. Final fixes to the SDK to make IEEE1394 more robust on the DCS 3xx cameras will be in the V5.8.1, so we didn't want to ship two firmwares for 3xx in short time, as it hurts support efforts. The SDK Toolkit V1.5.1 will be ready to release to developers in December, there is a tremendous amount of features added that makes the documentation task very large. MacOS V9.x testing delayed the release, but the good news is should be very compatible."

Here is Wayne's rundown on the new firmware and software: Long-suffering photojournalists the world over have lamented the slow pace of software development, wondering if the infamous New York Minute was restricted to the five southern-most boroughs of the Empire State. I am pleased to announce the imminent availability of the latest in a long line of no-charge upgrades by Kodak Professional Digital Capture products. Version 3.0 firmware and 5.8.x host interface software introduces some of the most-requested features and additions by the working photographer for their favorite digital cameras, the Kodak DCS 520, 620, 560, 660, 315 and 330. Here is my Sports Shooter exclusive look at this new package, for the discriminating road-weary elite.

* Faster navigation through a new menu interface. Easier, more compact,
better organized.
* Storage and recall of up to five custom White Balance settings.
* Support of the two PC Card slots for storage media: Navigation, auto-switch, and reviewing.
* Supports the IPTC header tags from the camera; editable in the Acquire/TWAIN module or valid IPTC editor. The commonly used IPTC fields can be uploaded with the user's information into the camera and appended to the images.
* Noise Reduction is improved and available for application to all images; default is OFF when first installed.
* Auto Balance feature, selectable and non-damaging to original TIFF capture files.
* Sharpening is available for all IEEE 1394 cameras (except DCS 315) and can be applied automatically if desired.
* Exposure Compensation over a four f/stop range, in tenth-f/stop increments for all DCS 5xx and 6xx camera models.
* File Format Module (Macintosh OS only) opens Kodak TIFF format directly within Adobe Photoshop without using the Acquire module interface. Applies Auto Balance correction to files that were never previously opened. Applies any saved parameters if the file was previously opened and viewed within the Acquire module. Forces you to save as a copy, so original file is untouched.

Additional features for DCS 520 and 620 (D2000) only - In-camera creation of JPEG files from Kodak TIFF camera files, without losing the original TIFF file. - In-camera JPEG format supports the IPTC headers, as stored and used in Kodak's Acquire module.

Many features are available for the DCS 315, as defined in the Read Me for this package. The older SCSI-based products like the EOS*DCS 3 or the AP NC 2000e get support of IPTC headers, but not in the camera.

Thanks to all the faithful shooters who have contributed to the evolution of our digital cameras, through their constant use and feedback of the Kodak products. It wouldn't be the same without you. The software and firmware need to be upgraded together, so do not upgrade until both firmware and software that you need is posted. To reach the Kodak downloading area, you must register through the Guestbook at:

and then select the Professional Camera Software from the pull-down menus. And most of all, READ THE !$^&&^*$%&^%& READ ME FILE before you complain, call, email, or curse my balding skull. It's full of good information. Honest.

Also of note, the prices of all DCS cameras were reviewed and key products were "adjusted". Don't let your deposit money sit in your dealer's pocket, get your order in now for the DCS 520, 620, 560, 660, 330 and 315 digital products. You'll be months ahead of others with prize-winning images to savor. There's also a incentive program that your favorite dealer can tell you all about.

Regards to All, from Baseball City, USA, Rochester NY! Don't Ask Me About the Weather...

(Wayne Shipman, is Eastman Kodak's Digital Support Specialist and can be contacted by email at:

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