SEATTLE, WA, December 5, 2001 – The growing need for a comprehensive and effective digital data management system that will allow the storage and re-use of high quality images has led Imacon to begin developing its new 3f digital workflow concept – the Flexible File Format.
"We have developed and launched a number of new and technically exciting products in 2001," said managing director Christian Poulsen. "What we are working on now is a unique digital workflow concept that builds on the significant technical advances Imacon has made in digital technology over recent years, for example, the common ICC platforms across all of our product range. I believe the 3f concept of digital data storage will dramatically change the way the industry looks at digital asset management."
"The basic principle behind 3f is the ability to re-use data with total flexibility, always deliver perfect output images, reduce production time and increase the value of the digital database," Mr. Poulsen continued. "I believe the 3f concept will complete the picture in terms of a fully integrated digital workflow process."
With the introduction of the Flextight 848 scanner, raw files now consist of clean data with high resolution, true 16-bit color and low noise level. The text capture of the original image includes capture resolution, noise level information, copyright data and date.
"The ideal method of digital storage is to retain maximum file information, even if the post-database technology in the workflow process currently can't handle that data. It may be able to one day, using a new generation of technology," Mr. Poulsen explained. "3f is about developing a real technology for the future as well as providing something that is suitable for today's requirements."
"There have been significant advances in data capture methods, so effective digital database storage is becoming more important to retain the value of this information. With an increasing number of users having virtually unlimited access to databases over the Internet, database files are also now being re-used for a variety of different media. As a result, there is a continual and growing desire for increased image quality and consistency," said Mr. Poulsen.
True quality is a reality when the image is sharp, it has the correct lighting, the colors are correct (dynamic range) and the size is in a useable output format. It is no good keeping images that are not perfect in all aspects. If the user compromises quality, the value of an image decreases.
"Database value is increased dramatically if the quality of the images are as good as is technically possible," said Mr. Poulsen. "It is important that we talk about real quality, with clean files. It is Imacon's belief that high-end quality in a database will more than double the asset value."
Imacon is a leading player in the digital scanner market and has a growing presence in the digital camera back market. The company is recognized internationally for its technical innovation and expertise in these fields. With its new scanners, digital camera backs and integrated FlexColor software, the move towards a seamless asset management system has become one step closer.
The next step in the development of the 3f workflow concept is the renaming of Imacon's award winning ColorFlex software as FlexColor, and the introduction of a new version – 3.1. The new name brings this exciting new software package into line with Imacon's 'Flex' brand of products (Flextight and FlexFrame), allowing customers to instantly recognize the Imacon brand and the quality and innovation it has come to represent.
"We achieved a major technical breakthrough when we developed software that
provides a common platform for both scanner and digital camera back," said Christian Poulsen. "The production and quality benefits for the user are enormous, and Imacon remains unique in providing software that can be used with both technologies in this way."
"Users can move easily from scanner to camera back operation or vice versa," continued Mr. Poulsen. "Eventually we see photographers having both devices in their production suite, providing them with the best tools for every task. They already have the flexibility to shoot film and scan the results or shoot digitally."
New features available for use with both scanner and camera include the ability to rotate or scroll the preview image, and a preview grid for alignment. There is a color information box with up to five user definable points, plus improved levels and curves tools.
The software automatically detects which device is on-line. If both scanner and camera are linked, the user selects which device he will use. New features only available for camera backs include improved capture performance (burst rate), live video for focusing and set composition, and the ability to save shots directly as PhotoShop layers. There is also better support for handheld Single-shot operation.
Improved capture performance means faster Multi-shot and Micro-step exposures, and for Single-shot there is only a few seconds between exposures. The live video feature means that the camera view is present on the monitor before exposure, making it easier to adjust focus and set composition.
Saving exposures directly as PhotoShop layers means that users can make multiple exposures with different lighting and with the PhotoShop layer technique get the best out of each exposure. Better support for handheld operation means that even though the user operates the camera back via FlexColor, he can still control everything from the camera.
FlexColor 3.1 is now available for use on Macintosh platforms. A PC version will be launched at the beginning of 2002. Customers can download the software from the Imacon website at www.imacon-usa.com.
Imacon, Inc. is a division of Imacon AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Glunz & Jensen, the world’s leading manufacturer of film and plate processors. Imacon was formed in 1995 to launch the Flextight scanner, which is now one of the most successful scanners in the world with over 5,000 installations. The company is also the manufacturer of the FlexFrame 3020 digital camera back, which is unique within the digital back market in terms of quality, flexibility and functionality.
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