DC-1/1S/2/2L/2V/2E Frequently Asked Questions

Edited by: ESD Jun-ichiro itojun Itoh <itojun@itojun.org> itojun's face


(itojun-and-DC-2 icon appears by coutesy of "JK" Junko Kawaguchi)
$Id: dcfaq.eng.html,v 1.21 2003/11/23 14:14:40 itojun Exp $
Based on Japanese version Id: dcfaq.html,v 2.119 1997/03/29 15:32:12 itojun Exp

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Notice on English version

This document is based on Japanese version. In Japan, Ricoh digital cameras have the name "DC-1" or "DC-2", not "RDC-1" or "RDC-2". Please translate those names accordingly.

In Japan, date is usually denoted by "YY/MM/DD", not "MM/DD/YY" as in US nor "DD/MM/YY" in Europe.

This document is ongoing effort. This document is excerpt of Japanese version, and contains fewer chapters.


Sometimes "DC-2*" denotes DC-2/2L/2V/2E, and most of the time, RDC-2 too.

Information sources


Q: What is the difference between RDC-1/2 (overseas edition) and Japanese edition, DC-1/2?

A: Basically, as follows: Here's a brief summary:
model	release date	what is it?
---	---		---
DC-1	Jul 1, 1995	DC-1S with old revision of firmware
DC-1S	Jan 13, 1996	RDC-1 camera - LCD
DC-2	late June, 1996	RDC-2 camera - LCD
DC-2L	late June, 1996	RDC-2 camera
DC-2V	Oct 7, 1996	DC-2L + 2M extra memory + modem connection
DC-2E	Dec 6, 1996	DC-2L - flushbulb - sound - 55mm lens
DC-1/1S is mostly the same as RDC-1 camera itself. The difference between DC-1 and DC-1S is, user interface. DC-1S has updated firmware, that allows less keystrokes for manipulation. I believe RDC-1 is same as DC-1S, but I haven't confirmed that yet. (could anyone comment?)

DC-2L is the same as RDC-2 camera itself. DC-2 is DC-2L without LCD. (Actually, DC-2L is a bundled kit of DC-2 and LCD, DM-2)

DC-2V is a business oriented model of DC-2. It has direct-to-modem functionality which was implemented in DC-1/1S, and removed in DC-2/2L. It also adds 2M internal flash memory. (4M in total)

DC-2E is a entry model of DC-2. it does not have flushbulb, sound functions and switchable lens. (Don't worry, DC-2 are very good at taking pictures in the dark; it is just ok not having flushbulb with DC-2E)

Q: What is the difference of DC-2 variants, then?

A: Following table shows the differences.
DC-2	DC-2L	DC-2V	DC-2E
---	---	---	---
YES	YES	YES	no	sound record/play
YES	YES	YES	no	flushbulb
YES	YES	YES	no	33mm/55mm switchable lens
2M(*)	2M(*)	4M	2M	internal flash memory
-	DM-2	DM-2	DM-2E	bundled LCD monitor
no	no	YES	no	direct modem connection
no	no	YES	YES	SanDisk SDP5-xx support
YES	YES	YES	YES	SanDisk SDP5A-xx support
no	no	no	YES	SanDisk SDP3B-xx support
YES	YES	YES	no	flushbulb auto/off/on switch
no	no	no	YES	RA (Re-Adjust) switch
no	no	no	YES	white balance lock to preset values
no	no	no	YES	"shutter speed slow" warning
CS	CS	CS	GG	color of the body
				(CS: Champagne Silver/GG: German Gray)
Gray	Gray	Black	Black	color of the stripe in front of the body

(*) not exactly 2M, it is almost 2M.
(Thanks to: Shinsuke Seki <seki@jah.or.jp>)

Parts related

Q: Can I use ATA flashmemory card/SRAM memory card/AIMS flashmemory card, manufactured by foobaa?

A: (97/3/5) For ATA flashmemory card for DC-2*, information from Ricoh is available at http://www.ricoh.co.jp/dc/q&a/dc-2/ata9703.html. Since the page is in Japanese, to summarize,
Officially supported cards
Cards that are confirmed to work with (NO OFFICIAL SUPPORT! use at your own risk)
Cards that are not recommended for use
Cards that does not fall into the above categories
There's detailed description about SanDisk manufactured cards, so please take a look at the above webpage. (only if you can read Japanese...)
Past revisions of the above webpage is available at the following locations: A: Here are information collected from the users. (listed by the name of the manufacturer) Please note that, categolization of "Compatible" and "Not compatible" is based on the note sent from the contributor. Therefore, even if some of the contributor says card A is compatible with DC-2, some other contributor may consider card A is not compatible.
NOTE: If some card is listed here as "compatible", it is NO WAY guaranteed. Do not contact Ricoh, manufacturer of the memory card, nor contributor. Use the information listed here at your own risk. If you can't understand this, don't use the following table.

Marks used in the following table:

**said-to-be "compatible" cards**
						DC-2/2L	DC-2V	DC-2E
						---	---	---
SanDisk SDP5-xx series				ng *0	ok *0	ok *0

    ADTEC PCMCIA PC CARD ATA 10MB SDP5-10	ok *50	-	-
	(SanDisk SDP5-10) (10MBytes ATA)
    ADTX Value Card AX-SSF-40 (40MBytes ATA)	?? *1	-	-
    Mitsubishi Electric Corporation		ok *14
	Solid State Disk 5MB M6886-1
	(SunDisk SDP5-5) (5MBytes ATA)

SanDisk SDP5A-xx series				ok *0	ok *0	ok *0

    EPSON FlashPacker FP20MB			ok *51	-	ok *56
	(SanDisk SDP5A-20) (20MBytes ATA)
    EPSON FlashPacker FP40MB			ok *2	-	-
	(SanDisk SDP5A-40) (40MBytes ATA)

SanDisk SDP3B-xx series				ng *0	ng *0	ok *0

    EPSON Flash Packer mini(10M) FPM10M		?? *3	-	ok *56
    EPSON Flash Packer mini(15M) FPM15M		?? *4	-	-
    Melco buffalo DFP-10 (SanDisk SDP3B-10)	?? *7	-	-
	(10MBytes ATA)
    ADTEC ADV-CFSD15M				-	-	ok *56
	+ ADTECのアダプタ(型番不明) (15MBytes)
    I/O DATA PCFCA-10M(SanDisk SDP3B-10)	ok *11	-	-
	(10MBytes ATA)

Hagiwara Syscom HPC-FA10M (10MBytes ATA)	ok *5	-	-

Hagiwara Syscom HPC-FA40M (40MBytes ATA)	ok *13	-	-

I/O DATA PCCF-10M				ok *52	-	-
    (10MBytes compact flash memory card)

IBM Intelligent Flash Memory 40MB 85G1228	ok *6	-	-
    (40MBytes ATA)

Fujifilm 5MB image memory card for DS-220	ok *53	-	-
    HG-5 (5MBytes ATA)

Midori Electronics CF-FL10 (10MBytes ATA)	ok *54	-	-

NEC PC-9801n-J11 (20MBytes ATA)			ok *12	-	-

Ratoc RHX5010 (10MBytes ATA)			ok *55	-	-

SunDisk ST710P5 (10MBytes ATA)			ok *8	-	-

TDK SFM004W/SFM012W/SFM020W (ATA)		ok *0	ok *0	ok *0

TDK SFM012W (12MBytes ATA)			ok *9	-	-

TDK super filing tip 2M FC002A			ok *10	-	-
    + FujiFilm SSFDC-PC card adapter PC-AD
    (2MBytes ATA)

(Japanese version FAQ includes comment for each cards, denoted
by "*12", but they are not translated yet... sorry for troubles)

**said-to-be "not compatible" cards**
						DC-2/2L	DC-2V	DC-2E
						---	---	---
ATA flash memory card with 3.3V power mode	ng *0	ng *0	ok *0

ADTX AX-SSF-10 A335142 (10MBytes ATA)		ng *1	-	ng *2

SanDisk SDP5-xx series				ng *0	ok *0	ok *0

    I/O DATA PCFCA-10M CP30000655		ng *4	-	-
	(SanDisk SDP5-10) (10MBytes ATA)

SanDisk SDP5A-xx series				ok *0	ok *0	ok *0

SanDisk SDP3B-xx series				ng *0	ng *0	ok *0

    EPSON FlashPacker FP85MB			ng *6	-	-
	(SanDisk SDP3B-85) (85MBytes ATA)
    I/O DATA PCFCA-20 (SanDisk SDP3B-20)	ng *3	-	-
	(20MBytes ATA)
    EPSON Flash Packer mini(10M) FPM10M		ng *7	-	-
    ADTEC ADV-CFSD15M				ng *7	-	-
	+ ADTEC compact flash adapter(15MBytes)
    KERNEL PCF-20 (20MBytes)			ng *9	-	-

Hagiwara syscom HPC-FB40M (40MBytes ATA)	ng *8	-	-

SunDisk SDP-15 (15MBytes ATA)			ng *5	-	-

(Japanese version FAQ includes comment for each cards, denoted
by "*12", but they are not translated yet... sorry for troubles)
When you send me information about cards, please include *complete* product code and other information to identify the card. We have found many cards that behaves differently due to minor revision changes. Therefore, it is critical to know the detailed product code.

FYI: "SanDisk" and "SunDisk" are the same company. The company was originally named "SunDisk", but they changed name to "SanDisk" due to some trademark issues.

A: Another page summarizes the card information: http://parrot.pcsa.net.au/rdc2mem.html

Converting j6i/j6s files

Q: I got j6i file. Is there any way to convert it to jpeg/gif?

A: You can convert j6i file from DC-1/2 into jpeg file, by the following method: NOTE 1: Since j6i header has variable-length format, header part may not be 172 bytes. For completeness, you will need to parse the header. j6i files extracted directly from DC-1/2 (via memory card) known to have header sized 172 bytes. j6i files written by Ricoh tool (DU-2), or some other tools, may have header with different size. Yasuo Aoki describes how to parse it at http://www.kani.com/dcdataform/.

NOTE 2: DU-1/2 (Ricoh's official tool) includes color modification by default. Therefore, the resulting jpeg file may be different from the output of Ricoh tool, regarding to color.

(Thanks to: Hajime Bono Takezawa <takezawa@mahoroba.or.jp>)

A: Yasuo Aoki describes the j6i format: http://www.kani.com/dcdataform/

A: You can obtain a script written by perl, from the following location. Of course it comes with source code, so you can understand the logic: ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/unix/

A: There are several tools that understand j6i file. However, functionality varies by tools.

tools that knows j6i header
Regarding to the 3rd item, there may be a concrete reason not to automate aspect ratio change. Therefore, we can't say that "non-automatic tool is bad" regarding to aspect ratio change.
  1. parses the header/strips off fixed length
  2. preserve timestamp to somewhere/not preserve timestamp
  3. with/without automatic apect ratio change
tools that do not understand j6i header
  1. Some tools skip junk attached at the beginning of a jpeg file. In this case the tool will read j6i file by renaming nantara.j6i into nantara.jpg.
Marks used in "understands j6i header" column:
ooo: knows j6i header + parses j6i header
oo: knows j6i header, detail unknown
o: knows j6i header + strips off fixed bytes
x: do not understand j6i header
"Preserve timestamp" column:
oo: put timestamp into jpeg comment field
o: preserves timestamp by other method (write to separate file, and so forth)
x: do not preserve timestamp
"automatic aspect ratio change" column:
ooo: automatic + anti-aliasing of color between pixels
oo: automatic
o: automatic + no anti-aliasing of color
x: manual
understand	preserve	automatic aspect
j6i header	timestamp	ratio change
---		---		---
ooo		oo		ooo		dctools dc2extract (perl/mainly unix)
ooo		x		x		dctools j6itojpg (perl/mainly unix)
ooo		oo		x		j6itojpg 0.03 (Macintosh)
ooo		x		x		j6itojpg 0.02 (Macintosh)
ooo		x		ooo		ComeBackImage (Macintosh)
ooo		oo		o		GraphicConverter 2.7(Macintosh)
ooo		oo		x		GraphicConverter 2.5.1(Macintosh)
?		?		?		J6I->JPG 0.1.0(Macintosh)
ooo		x		oo		GV 0.73(Windows)
o		oo  		ooo		Let's DC 0.3(Windows)
o		x		oo		Kantan DC! 0.91(Windows)
ooo		oo		ooo		ricoh.exe(DOS)
o		o		x		j6itojpg(DOS)

x		x		x		GIFConverter 2.3.7(Macintosh)
x		x		x		GV 0.71e(Windows)
x		x		x		ThumbsPlus 2.0 or later(Windows)
x		x		x		VuePrint 4.7e Pro32(Windows)
Graphic Converter v2.5.1 and later can read j6i files. You can use "convert more" menu to change aspect ratio over multiple files. Since v2.7, aspect ratio will be changed at the file-open time.
Timestamp will be saved into jpeg comment field.

ComeBackImage 2.6d4 shows timestamp in "picture comment" window. However, it does not save that into jpeg comment field at save time.

j6itojpg(DOS) can record timestamp of picts into separate text file.

Let's DC v0.3 and above are capable of renaming files based on the timestamp of the picture. It is also capable of filling the jpeg comment field with timestamp.

Those tools can be obtained from:

perl/mainly unix
dctools j6itojpg: ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/unix/
dctools dc2extract: ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/unix/
j6itojpg: ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/mac/
ComeBackImage: http://www.kani.com/software/cbi.html
GraphicConverter: ftp://members.aol.com/lemkesoft/index.html
GIFConverter: ?
J6I->JPG: http://www.kani.com/software/develop.html#J6I->JPG
GV: http://www2h.meshnet.or.jp/~tobita/gv/gv.htm
Kantan DC!: http://www.kiwi-us.com/~kawano/
ThumbsPlus: http://www.cerious.com/
VuePrint: http://www.hamrick.com/upg.html
Let's DC: NIFTY-Serve FPHOTOD station data library #4, or ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/windows/
ricoh.exe: http://www.bsb.me.uk/software/image-converter.html
j6itojpg: NIFTY-Serve SRICOH station data library #3, or ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/msdos/
(Thanks to: Keiji Shiba <shiba78@cyborg.or.jp>)
(Thanks to: "JK" Junko Kawaguchi <jk@artemis.sig.or.jp>)
(Thanks to: Masahiro Matsuda <matsu@ibm.net>)
(Thanks to:
  • Ben & Mike)

    Q: Let's DC for Windows seems to be nice, however, it has Japanese menus. What are the meanings?

    The three top boxes are
    (Left)	"J6i file folder" with "browse" button.
    (Mid)	"Folder to which the converted files are saved"
    	with "browse" button.
    (Right) "Initial letters of file names".
    The three boxes above the file list are
    (Left)	"Image correction"
    	"On"(top) and "Off"(bottom) switches,
    	"Sharp" window and three windows for "Gamma(RGB)".
    (Mid)	"Image format"
    	"BMP"(top) and "JPG"(bottom) switches,
    	Select box for "High quality", "Mid qlty", "Low qlty"
    	and "Auto"(default), in order.
    (Right)	"Image size"
    	"760x570" and "640x480" switches.
    And "Execute"(top) and "Exit"(bottom) buttons at left side
    (Jun Yazawa <jun-yazawa@nts.ricoh.co.jp>)

    Q: Ricoh tool seems to paint the rightmost and leftmost 4 pixels by white. Why it has to do this?

    A: On cameras with single CCD, CCD's pixels have the color filter as below:

    When a picture was taken, RGB values for each pixel will be calcurated by complementing values of the adjacent pixels. Actual way of doing this may vary by CCD's design.
    Anyway, it is not possible to make a complete calcuration of RGB value, if there are no adjacent pixels (rightmost/leftomost pixel do not have adjacent pixel). It will make a incorrectly colored pixel. Ricoh programmer hates that and decided to paint those pixels white.

    FYI: In the above diagram, number of pixels for each color is R:G:B=1:2:1. This is because human eyes are more sensitive to green than other colors.

    (Answer from: Koji Kumagai <k-kuma@tky0.attnet.or.jp>)

    Q: I got j6i files. How can I know the timestamp of the picture?

    A: timestamp is recorded on j6i file generated by DC-1/2, from 68th byte to 74th byte, by BCD.

    A: There's a tool written by perl. Of course, it comes with source code: ftp://ftp.csl.sony.co.jp/pub/DC-2/unix/

    A: Yasuo Aoki describes how to decode: http://www.kani.com/dcdataform/

    Q: If I take continuous picture with DC-2*, they have identical date/time stamp. Is it ok?

    A: Yes, absolutely. DC-2* interprets that pictures taken by continuous picture mode is single picture---not a set of pictures.

    (nari <gdh00033@niftyserve.or.jp>)

    Q: I have j6s file to convert to au/wav format. Is there any tool available?

    A: Yasuo Aoki describes j6s file format. There's also a source code for translation tool: http://www.kani.com/dcdataform/

    A: There are tools available:

    Q: Is there any differences between conversion tools?

    A: Of course there will be. The reasons for difference in color/quality are listed below: Because these items are subject to change by tools, color/quality may vary.

    Here's a sample pict taken by DC-2L. From left:

    Thumbnail was made on UNIX box with netpbm, in the same condition. However, it is quite meaningless to compare thumbnails. Please download full-sized picture for comparison. (click the thumbnail to download)
    PhotoShop3.0+Plugin-2 ComeBackImage 2.4-2 DU-2 mac DU-2 win GIFConverter ThumbsPlus Kantan DC! netpbm netpbm+djpeg/cjpeg 100% netpbm+djpeg/cjpeg 75%

    ("JK" Junko Kawaguchi <JK@artemis.sig.or.jp>)

    A: This example uses picture taken in the night, by DC-2L. From left:

    Taken at Ikebukuro Sunshine Complex, Tokyo on 97/9/3 19:30.

    PhotoShop CBI DU-2 mac DU-2 win GIFConv ThumbsPlus Kantan DC! unix raw unix 100 unix 75 j6i file(source)
    PhotoShop CBI DU-2 mac DU-2 win GIFConv ThumbsPlus Kantan DC! unix raw unix 100 unix 75 j6i file(source)
    PhotoShop CBI DU-2 mac DU-2 win GIFConv ThumbsPlus Kantan DC! unix raw unix 100 unix 75 j6i file(source)

    ("JK" Junko Kawaguchi <JK@artemis.sig.or.jp>)