A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.
18 September 2013
Epson has announced its $199 Perfection V550 scanner with very good technical specifications and one feature for which there is no known cure. Like Canon's latest multifunction devices and LaserSoft Imaging's latest version of SilverFast, the V500 is capable of social networking. In this case, it can share scans directly to social networking sites like Facebook.
But first the specs. For a $199 device, they're pretty sound:
- Resolution: 6400 dpi using an Epson MatrixCCD
- Dmax: 3.4
- Color Depth: 48 bit internal/external
- Transparencies: 35mm and medium format film scanning
- Light Source: ReadyScan LED technology
- Interface: Hi-Speed USB 2.0
- Software: Epson Easy Photo Fix, Epson Easy Photo Scan, ABBY Fine Reader Sprint Plus OCR
Three film holders are included for 35mm film strips, mounted 35mm slides and medium format film. Two six-frame film strips and four mounted 35mm slides can be accommodated. The medium format holder is illustrated below.
We've requested a review unit.
"Consumers and photo enthusiasts are not just archiving shoeboxes full of photos and slides -- they want to share them with friends and family on social media," said Stacey Tieu, product manager, Photo Scanners, Epson America, Inc.
The last few weeks, in fact, have seen both printer and scanner domains refreshed with social media initiatives:
- SilverFast now has a Share button on the left side of the menu bar. The documentation explains, "This share feature allows you to publish your images directly to some selected Web services without having to save them on your hard drive after scanning or SilverFast HDR processing. With this first step, SilverFast supports Flickr, which is an online image service. Further Web services such as Facebook, Pinterest or Dropbox will follow."
- Canon announced a new cloud-based Pixma Printing Solutions app with the introduction of its latest multifunction devices that also works on some other recent models.
The V550 butts heads with the CanoScan 9000F, which is also an LED scanner that can handle 35mm and medium format film. The 9000F boasts 9600 dpi resolution compared to the 6400 dpi of the V550, but in the real world that isn't saying anything.
More intriguing is the color bit depth specification. Epson suggests you can write 48-bit color and 16-bit monochrome data, while the 9000F internally converts its 16-bit channel scans to 8-bits before transferring them. The practical advantage is much like being able to work on a Raw file rather than a JPEG.
There's also a small difference in list price, with the 9000F set at $180 and the V550 at $200. The 9000F's street price is $150. The V550 isn't listed at Adorama or B&H yet.
It's too early to speak about SilverFast or VueScan compatibility, but either brings a multi-exposure feature lacking in the Epson software which greatly improves the range of tones you can capture from film.
But it is nice to see the package includes an optical character recognition package and one-touch PDF creation. So it's not simply a photo scaPhoto
Epson also touts the V550's photo restoration features. Using Easy Photo Fix, the company said, one click restores faded color. And with Digital ICE, dust and scratches as well as tears and creases can be repaired automatically, although this is another thing SilverFast does better than anyone.
The press release follows the comments.
Do you think the new v550 will trump your current mid-range desktop scanner champ, the Canoscan 9000f?
Looking to buy a scanner for my increasing 35mm and 120 collection.
Still waiting for a review unit (we just checked with them again), so all we can evaluate at the moment are the specs.
As we mentioned above, the higher resolution of the 9000F isn't of much importance in the real world. You just don't scan full frames at that resolution.
And we are intrigued by the color bit depth spec on the v550. But that, too, is a bit less interesting than it may sound. We can get 48-bit RGB from the 9000F using VueScan, for example, so there's no advantage there.
Apart from the price (the 9000F street price is a bit lower still), the only significant issue might be the software. We're no fan of Epson Scan, although we haven't seen the latest version. And we do very much like Canon's ScanGear (we often resort to it for Web-quality scans rather than wrestle with SilverFast or VueScan).
So the bundled software is the biggest difference we see in the specs. And that difference is easily negated if you prefer to use SilverFast or VueScan. Both of which give you calibration tools and multi-exposure (which we find essential for film work).
No conclusion yet, but we're not seeing in the V550 specs any reason not to go with the 9000F if you have an immediate need.
New Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner Offers Superior Quality Scanning and Sharing on Facebook and More
Scan, Archive and Share Slides, Negatives, Photos and Artwork to Facebook, Picasa and More
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Epson America, Inc. today introduced the latest addition to its award-winning line of Epson Perfection scanners -- the Epson Perfection V550 Photo. The Perfection V550 offers the versatility and performance for any project, delivering 6400 dpi resolution for sharp and vivid images, whether scanning film, slides, negatives, photos or everyday documents. In addition, the scanner makes it easy for photo enthusiasts to create enlargements up to 17x22, as well as automatically upload scans directly to Facebook, Picasa and other popular cloud services.
"Consumers and photo enthusiasts are not just archiving shoeboxes full of photos and slides -- they want to share them with friends and family on social media," said Stacey Tieu, product manager, Photo Scanners, Epson America, Inc. "Epson's newest Perfection scanner offers a complete scanning solution for a range of photo and archiving needs and makes it effortless to share memories, craft projects, school accomplishments and other keepsakes with friends and loved ones online."
The Epson Perfection V550 offers robust photo restoration solutions. With just the touch of a button, the color in old faded photos, slides and negatives can be restored to their original brilliance and color with Easy Photo Fix. Additionally, with Digital ICE technology, the ability to remove the appearance of dust and scratches from film, as well as tears and creases from damaged photos, is a simple process for photo enthusiasts and families alike.
Additional features and benefits featured on the V550 Photo include:
- Outstanding Resolution -- with 6400 dpi resolution, a 3.4 Dmax and 48-bit depth (internal/external), users can create extraordinary enlargements up to 17x22 with brilliant true-to-life colors
- Powerful Productivity and Versatility -- users can save time and easily scan multiple 35mm slides, negatives and medium-format film up to 6x22 cm, at one time, with the built-in Transparency Unit; additionally, auto-edge detection allows users to scan multiple photos at one time by cropping each image and saving each as a separate file
- One-Touch Performance -- users can instantly copy, scan-to-email and create PDFs with customizable buttons
- ReadyScan LED Technology -- enables fast scan speeds, eliminates warm-up time and decreases power consumption; ReadyScan LED technology is also mercury-free
- ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR -- converts scanned documents into editable text
- Connectivity and Compatibility -- supports all leading operating systems including the newest versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X
Pricing and Availability
The Epson Perfection V550 Photo (MSRP $199) is now available through major retailer stores nationwide and online at http://www.epson.com. The scanner comes with Epson's top-of-the-line service and support, including a one-year limited warranty.