Kodak this week is preparing to release DCS Camera Manager 1.0, software that enables the automatic transfer of images from certain Kodak DCS cameras over a FireWire connection to a computer hard drive or connected server.
DCS Camera Manager 1.0 set to automatically save images
The new Mac/Windows application, which is soon to be available as a free download from Kodak's web site, will bring a much-requested feature to the laptops of DCS 520, 620, 620x and other users of Kodak DCS cameras. Namely, the ability to connect a Kodak DCS camera via FireWire to a remote computer, then have the images the camera records automatically drop onto that computer's hard drive or a mounted server.
In a live trial this week, a late beta of DCS Camera Manager 1.0 reliably saved several hundred of my photos through a Mac laptop across an Airport wireless Ethernet connection to a remote server. Even when shooting bursts of 8 or 10 frames, a new picture would continue to land on the server's drive every 5-6 seconds. Over a wired network connection, or when Camera Manager is configured to capture images directly to the connected computer, the relatively pokey FireWire transfer rates of Kodak DCS cameras prior to the DCS 760 limit the image capture throughput to about 1 picture every 2-3 seconds, regardless of the speed of the hard drive or network.
As with other Kodak software, Mac transfer speeds are fastest with G3/G4 desktop computers and dead slow with the built-in FireWire of last year's G3 Powerbooks, though performance with PC Cards such as the Newer FireWire 2 Go should be fine.
In certain configurations, DCS Photo Desk can be set to automatically display images as they arrive, simply by clicking the Open with DCS Photo Desk button in the Camera Manager interface (as shown below). Version 1.1 of DCS Photo Desk, which will add support for the DCS 760, is also slated for release soon on Kodak's web site.
Clicking Open with DCS Photo Desk
DCS Camera Manager can also optionally rename files as they're being captured over FireWire, copy files from cards in the camera to the computer, set numerous camera properties and synchronize the camera's internal clock with that of the computer.
Copying images from a DCS 520, renaming them in the process
Setting shutter speed from within the Properties tab
The Mac version should be the first to make it onto the Web, perhaps by the end of this week, followed by a version for Windows 2000 shortly thereafter. DCS Camera Manager for other versions of Windows are expected to be available towards the end of this month. Supported SLR cameras include the DCS 315, 330, 520, 560, 620, 660, 660M and 760. Note that the Canon EOS D2000 and D6000 are not supported.