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Kodak posts updated acquire software, firmware  
Sunday, July 23, 2000 | by
Wolfram Scheible notes that Kodak has posted v5.9.3 of the acquire software for their pro line of digital cameras, as well as firmware v3.2.3. The update tandem improves support for FireWire on both Macs and PCs, including the G3/400 and G3/500 Powerbooks with built-in FireWire ports. Also included in the update is the ability to transmit photos directly from certain cameras, though an extra-cost unlock key, as well as a cable kit, are required to enable that feature.

Changes in v5.9.3 include:

  • FireWire support for Windows 98 SE and 2000. OHCI-compliant IEEE 1394 (FireWire) host adapter cards from Orange Micro, as well as the AdvanSys ASB30400, have been certified with v5.9.3 and these versions of Windows. Other versions of Windows, and certain Adaptec IEEE 1394 (FireWire) host adapter cards are still supported to an extent, though with various performance problems, including slow operation. See Kodak's IEEE 1394 Read Me for more information.

  • FireWire support for G3 PowerBooks, including the built-in FireWire ports on the G3/400 and G3/500. Note that for now, expect FireWire from the camera to these Powerbooks' built-in ports to be slow, says reader Bob Deutsch. A future Apple software update may improve the speed of thumbnail display, copying and acquire times. Support continues for the Newer FireWire 2 Go and VST FireWire CardBus Card, without performance slowdowns on even the newest Powerbooks. The table below demonstrates the FireWire speed differences:

Time to display and copy photos using Kodak DCS Acquire v5.9.3 (Mac) and the hardware listed
Powerbook G3/500
built-in FireWire ports
Powerbook G3/500
Newer FireWire 2 Go PC Card
Time to display 28 thumbnails (images previously shot)
67 seconds
16 seconds
Time to copy 28 photos from card to computer
445 seconds
94 seconds
Time to display 13 thumbnails as photos are being shot
79 seconds
19 seconds

  • Be sure to update the Mac's set of FireWire extensions to v2.3 or later; v2.4 is the latest available.

  • FireWire support for laptops using Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000. CardBus IEEE 1394 (FireWire) PC Cards, including the Orange Micro OrangeLink FireWire CardBus PC Card and AdvanSys ASB30400CB have been certified on laptops running these versions of Windows. Tucked into a separate document on FireWire support is a note that Sony Vaio iLink (FireWire) ports are also supported using Windows 98 SE and 2000. The PCG-F420 laptop has been tested by Kodak and deemed compatible.

  • Allows the setting of the image resolution for photos saved as JPEGs. The default is 300 dpi.

  • Either all images being previewed, or just the one selected, may be acquired.

  • Double-click selection for selecting a camera folder (Mac version only).

  • Pre-selection of the active folder in the Camera Control window (Mac version only).

  • Cancel option for copying images to folder on the computer.

  • On/Off selection for displaying GPS data in the photo.

  • Reduced saturation preference for photos taken with the DCS 620X.

The v3.2.3 firmware update is for the DCS 520, DCS 560, DCS 620, DCS 660 and DCS 620X cameras. New firmware for the DCS 315 and 330 has not been posted. Changes include:

  • Photo transmission directly from the camera's serial port using a landline, GSM or CDMA mobile phone. Kodak is expected to soon unveil a web site where the unlock key may be purchased. It should also contain information on supported mobile phone models.

  • Image output resolution can now be preset in the camera.

  • Multiple Custom White Balance files can now be saved in camera memory from the camera itself.

  • Improved camera storage card compatibility.

  • External GPS support (Garmin GPS III Plus) via the camera's serial port.

  • Additional unspecified features are supported via the serial port as well.

  • Improved FireWire support (in conjunction with v5.9.3 of Kodak's acquire software, or a third party application built with v1.6.1 of Kodak's Software Development Kit). More PC systems are supported, as well as the newest G3 Powerbooks.

Kodak also indicates that two cards should not be inserted simultaneously; instead, wait for the card busy light to stop blinking before inserting a second card. Note that once the v3.2.3 firmware update is installed, the firmware's Read Me document warns that it will NOT be possible to downgrade to an older 1.x or 2.x firmware version.

Kodak's web site states that the D2000 and D6000 are not "approved for use" with v5.9.3. This is presumably because Canon has not yet certified the software, though its unlikely there are any problems specific to Canon-branded versions of these cameras.

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