MFDigital CD DVD Information Library
Friday, June 11, 2004
Photo CD
What is Photo CD?
Kodak announced Photo CD in 1990 and launched it in the summer of 1992. Photo CD discs contain photographic images in a range of image resolutions to suit a wide variety of applications.

Format Max size (pixels) No images Application
Photo CD Master 2048 x 3072 100 Consumer 35mm films
Pro Photo CD Master 4096 x 6144 25 to 100 Professional
Photo CD Portfolio 512 x 768 or
1024 x 1536 up to 700 Interactive presentations
Photo CD Catalogue 512 x 768 up to 6,000 Catalogues
Print Photo CD 2048 x 3072 100 Printing industry

Photo CD Master

Photo CD discs conform to the CD-ROM XA and CD-i Bridge specifications and are intended to play on CD-i players, Photo CD players and other hardware with suitable software.

One Photo CD Master disc can hold about 100 high-resolution images, or four 24- exposure rolls of 35mm film. These discs can be Orange Book multi-session CD-Rs allowing photos to be recorded to the disc in more than one session.

The discs offer image resolutions from thumbnails (to facilitate selecting the required picture for viewing) up to 2048 x 3072 pixels used for making prints.

Pro Photo CD Master

This is used by professional to store images from the larger film formats including 120, 70 mm, and 4 x 5-inch, as well as 35 mm. Pro Photo CD includes Base*64 (4096 x 6144 pixels) to the resolutions stored on a Photo CD Master disc. Depending on the film format, the discs can hold from 25 to 100 images.

The Pro disc format also offers security features such as ownership and copyright notices.

Photo CD Portfolio

The Portfolio system allows interactive sound-and-picture presentations to be created for playback on TV or computers. Along with traditional CD-ROM publishing applications, the discs are being used for business presentations, informational kiosks, trade show displays and educational programs.

Because the highest resolutions are not required on this format, users have more space available for other content, such as audio and graphics. Up to 700 images can be stored on a Photo CD Portfolio disc depending on how much other material is included and the maximum resolution required.

A Portfolio disc can be played on a Photo CD player, a CD-i player or a computer equipped with a CD ROM drive and suitable Software.

Photo CD Catalogue

This is designed for organisations that want to store large numbers of images on a disc and distribute these images widely, such as mail-order retailers, tourism associations, or art galleries.

As many as 6,000 images can be stored at video resolution on Photo CD Catalogue discs for soft display on TV sets or computer monitors. The images are of lower resolution than standard Photo CD Master discs or Pro Photo CD Master discs and cannot be used to make photo-quality prints.

Print Photo CD

Print Photo CD has been optimised for customers in the printing industry.Print Photo CD discs allow three kinds of image data storage.

16*base Photo CD Image Pac files (see Image Pacs) accessible in the same way as conventional Photo CD images.
Platform-independent CMYK format based on the TIFF/IT file (tag image file format for image technology, a standard defined by the American National Standards Institute) to allow graphics files to be easily shared among systems from different manufacturers
Vendor-specific data to allow Print Photo CD discs to accommodate all the resources necessary for production.

Photo CD Image Pacs

Images are stored using the PhotoYCC encoding format, developed by Kodak, which stores data at up to six levels of resolution in Image Pac files.

Base Hor x Vert Comment
x 64 4096 x 6144 Pro Photo CD only
x 16 2048 x 3072 Print size
x 4 1024 x 1536 HDTV resolution
x 1 512 x 768 TV resolution
/ 4 256 x 384 Thumbnail
/ 16 128 x 192 Thumbnail