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Kodak Pro Improves Components of 'Lab Digitization' Solution
By Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 16:24 EST)

Kodak Pro Digital Print Production Software, the new HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners -- featuring Digital ICE technology -- highlight Kodak Pro's digital imaging architecture for scanning, image management, storage, output and even Internet accessibility.

Kodak Pro today announced improvements to both hardware and software components of its "lab digitization" solution.

Kodak Professional Digital Print Production (DP2) Software v4.0 and the new Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners -- featuring Digital ICE technology -- are the improved key modular digital components.

A sample solution is on display this week at the Photo Marketing Association trade show, Feb. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla., in the Kodak Professional booth (#2772).

DP2 Software

Kodak Professional DP2 Software v4.0 employs a database architecture to integrate print orders, jobs, image editing and color management while providing additional layout and creation tools, and powerful image-rendering capabilities. The new DP2 software represents the "digital backbone" of a comprehensive lab workflow, allowing for easier integration and increased functionality, Kodak said.

Key features and capabilities of the new version of DP2 software include:

  • Advanced node and layout-creation tools to allow snap-to-grid and align nodes, as well as control selection, movement and deletion of multiple nodes New printing enhancements, including a job-queue summary window that lists queues, batches, number of items, approximate number of feet, and approximate time required to print

  • New scanning enhancements, including the ability to "lock" scanner offsets for scans using the Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners for long-roll averaging (included in v4.1 upon availability of scanners in second quarter of 2002)

  • Expanded support for the HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners strip gate accessory to give operators improved information on scan status and more flexibility with "problem" film strips (included in v4.1 upon availability of scanners in second quarter of 2002)

  • New printer support for Noritsu MP1600 mini-lab

  • New image-export options that simplify generation of image "thumbnails," and expanded flattening options for sending images to other applications

  • Compatibility with the Windows 2000 operating system

  • New backup and restore support for MSDE databases, as well as SQL databases


    HR Scanners

    Kodak Pro's venerable HR 500 high-speed film scanner has been equipped with Digital ICE technology by Applied Science Fiction Inc. and other upgrades to become the Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus Film Scanner. The HR Universal Film Scanner, which features Digital ICE technology and other enhancements found in the HR 500 Plus scanner, can also scan 4x5" film at a rate of more than 200 4x5" scans an hour making it ideal for commercial labs and image archives.

    The HR 500 Plus Film Scanner has a suggested U.S. list price of $45,000. The HR Universal film scanner has a suggested U.S. list price of $40,000. Both will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2002.

    Source: Kodak

  • Original Source Press Release:

    Kodak Professional Improves Key Modular Digital Components of its 'Lab Digitization' Solution to Gain Versatility, Scalability, Productivity

    Developing 'Image Architecture' Brings Photo Labs Closer to a Total Digital Workflow

    ORLANDO, Fla., February 23 -- Kodak Professional today announced important new improvements to both hardware and software components of its total "lab digitization" solution making the transition to a high-quality, comprehensive digital imaging workflow easier for photo labs and the photographers they serve.

    Kodak Professional Digital Print Production (DP2) Software v4.0 and the new Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners -- featuring Digital ICE technology -- are key modular digital components in a total digital imaging architecture to meet the stringent requirements of professional photographers and labs for scanning, image management, storage, output and even Internet accessibility.

    Unlike digital mini-lab systems, Kodak Professional's modular lab digitization solution can be customized for versatility, scalability and productivity to satisfy specific needs of customers, as well as the priorities and business model of a specific lab. A sample solution is on display this week at the Photo Marketing Association trade show, Feb. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla., in the Kodak Professional booth (#2772).

    "Kodak has a history of innovation in lab-processing systems and successfully assisting labs with the transition to new technologies," said Nick Parsons, Worldwide Marketing Manager, Lab Digitization, Kodak Professional. "When color began to supplant black-and-white photography, Kodak worked with labs to transition to new processing systems. And when technology allowed for more automation in film processing, Kodak helped labs adapt to yet another workflow shift."

    "Today, hundreds of labs worldwide invest in some aspect of Kodak Professional's modular lab digitization system as digital processing continues to advance," Parsons said.

    "With the news we announce today, labs can be assured that Kodak is well on its way to delivering a completely scalable digital workflow solution to increase their productivity and profitability, as well as their competitive appeal in the marketplace."

    In conjunction with Kodak Professional's ongoing development of a comprehensive lab digitization solution, ProShots, Inc. A Kodak Company is introducing the latest version of the Kodak ProShots System, including Kodak ProShots Studio Software Suite v5.0 its advanced digital imaging solution for photographers and studios (see accompanying press release).

    A complement to the lab digitization solution, the ProShots system is a robust, easy-to-use online image management and display tool that links the photographer to both client and lab in an effective digital workflow for film-based and digital camera images. It serves as a reliable, integrated feeder-and-delivery system for a lab's digital and optical imaging workflows.

    Kodak Professional's modular approach to lab digitization is scaleable and customizable to account for growth and legacy systems. It allows components to be added easily or upgraded as the lab's business grows or digital technologies advance.

    DP2 v4.0: "Digital Backbone" of Today's Photo Lab

    Kodak Professional DP2 Software v4.0 employs a sophisticated database architecture that allows labs to integrate print orders, jobs, image editing and color management while providing additional layout and creation tools, and powerful image-rendering capabilities. In short, the new DP2 software represents the "digital backbone" of a comprehensive lab workflow, allowing for easier integration and increased functionality.

    "The features incorporated into our new DP2 software will make our customers' businesses run more smoothly, both by making it easier to accomplish tasks and by integrating their existing digital workflows," said Bill Poehlmann, Worldwide Manager, Lab Software Products, Kodak Professional. "Just as Kodak's processes E-6 and C-41 are the standards in film processing, DP2 software delivers digital workflow excellence for the lab."

    In the year since it has been introduced, DP2 software has demonstrated extraordinary versatility and productivity for centralized labs around the world that produce a broad variety of professional photographic prints. Labs integrating their own digital production with customer databases or traditional optical-production systems have found it especially useful. Program functions can be configured for individual workstations throughout a lab to perform all critical tasks, optimizing workflow efficiencies and production automation.

    DP2 software's database design manages order, job, customer and image information to maximize productivity from virtually any lab workflow. It combines an easy-to-use layout-creation tool with image-rendering capabilities to create unique and differentiated products, as well as composite images using frames, layouts, masks and backgrounds.

    Key features and capabilities of Kodak Professional's new version of DP2 software include:

    o Advanced node and layout-creation tools to allow snap-to-grid and align nodes, as well as control selection, movement and deletion of multiple nodes New printing enhancements, including a job-queue summary window that lists queues, batches, number of items, approximate number of feet, and approximate time required to print

    o New scanning enhancements, including the ability to "lock" scanner offsets for scans using the Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners for long-roll averaging (included in v4.1 upon availability of scanners in second quarter of 2002)

    o Expanded support for the HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners strip gate accessory to give operators improved information on scan status and more flexibility with "problem" film strips (included in v4.1 upon availability of scanners in second quarter of 2002)

    o New printer support for Noritsu MP1600 mini-lab

    o New image-export options that simplify generation of image "thumbnails," and expanded flattening options for sending images to other applications

    o Compatibility with the Windows 2000 operating system

    o New backup and restore support for MSDE databases, as well as SQL databases

    DP2 software v4.0 supports ICC color management to provide accurate control of color and WYSIWYG monitor-to-printer performance. It allows instant view of density, color, crop and other image adjustments, and enables editing of images to improve their contrast, brightness, saturation and color balance. DP2 software accepts TIFF and JPEG image files from any source, and serves as a host processor for Kodak scanners and printers. It delivers completely rendered image files to disk for easy networking to a wide variety of output devices.

    Kodak Professional DP2 Software v4.0 will be available in March directly from Kodak. Pricing is dependent upon configuration and based on a licensing agreement that covers training and support, as well as ongoing program upgrades and a "path forward" for the technology.

    HR 500 Plus / HR Universal Film Scanners: Fast, Accurate

    Kodak Professional's venerable HR 500 high-speed film scanner has been equipped with Digital ICE technology by Applied Science Fiction Inc. and other upgrades to become the Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus Film Scanner. The HR Universal Film Scanner, which features Digital ICE technology and other enhancements found in the HR 500 Plus scanner, can also scan 4"x5" film at a rate of more than 200 4"x5" scans an hour making it ideal for commercial labs and image archives.

    Digital ICE technology automatically removes surface defects, such as dust and scratches, from a scanned image increasing the number of useful scans per hour a lab can produce and reducing or eliminating the time needed for retouching later on. Digital ICE technology does not soften, blur or otherwise alter the details or composition of the original image, but works within the scanner to provide a clear base image that improves the original.

    When Digital ICE technology is enabled, the new Kodak L-33 sensor found in these two scanners with improved sensitivity allows operators to scan at consistently high rates. And a new scanner lens delivers greater image sharpness.

    "Our new HR 500 Plus and HR Universal film scanners are capable, productive, highly regarded workhorse scanning devices," said Don Pillittere, Worldwide Manager, Lab Equipment Products, Kodak Professional. "With the higher number of useful scans per hour that Digital ICE technology enables, labs can save a significant amount of time required for rescans and retouching, so opportunities arise for these labs to take on additional business to increase their productivity and their profitability. And the cleaner images created give the labs a competitive edge."

    The Kodak Professional HR 500 Plus Film Scanner has a suggested U.S. list price of $45,000. The Kodak Professional HR Universal film scanner has a suggested U.S. list price of $40,000. Both will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2002.

    In the U.S., current owners of the Kodak Professional HR 500 Film Scanner can upgrade their units to the new HR 500 Plus Film Scanner by sending the unit to Bremson Inc. A Kodak Company, in Lenexa, Kansas. The upgrade is priced at $12,000 and includes air shipment to and from Bremson. Other Kodak Professional sales regions around the world are developing their own independent upgrade policies. Customers can contact the Kodak Professional representative in their region for more detailed information about HR 500 scanner upgrades.

    "We're constantly improving our digital architecture, and we're committed to helping the labs transition to a digital workflow and realize the productivity and cost-savings benefits it offers," Parsons said. "Kodak Professional has the digital backbone and modular components in place to offer a complete lab digitization solution today."

    More information on Kodak Professional's lab digitization solution is available online at www.kodak.com/go/digitalprolab. Information on DP2 software specifically is available online at www.kodak.com/go/dp2. Information on the HR 500 and HR Universal scanners specifically is available online at www.kodak.com/go/hr500plus and www.kodak.com/go/hruniversal.

    Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging

    Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, enhance, preserve, print and enjoy pictures -- for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in "infoimaging" -- a $225 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and PDAs), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). Kodak harnesses its technology, market reach and a host of industry partnerships to provide innovative products and services for customers who need the information-rich content that images contain.

    The company, with sales last year of $13.2 billion, is organized into four major businesses: Photography, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Components, delivering flat-panel displays, optics and sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services.

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