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10 August 2015
Last week LaserSoft Imaging updated SilverFast 8.5 to Release 7, addressing several problems we reported with earlier versions.
In a comment to our original story, Jan-Willem Rossée of LaserSoft Imaging confirmed the issues and described the fixes that would be available in Release 7. We'll use his list to highlight the improvements.
"Error message from find frames with no preview: Confirmed, SilverFast will now ask the user to perform a prescan, if flatbed is still empty."
If you load the scanner but don't execute a Preview, SilverFast can't perform its Find Frames function. The previous version reported a misleading error: "A filmholder is not properly placed in position on the flatbed. Please adjust."
In Release 7, SilverFast explains frame finding requires a prescan and offers to start the prescan for you. Bravo.
We had some trouble with the new frame finding. We noted SilverFast 8.5 was "much better than previous versions of SilverFast" but it "was confused by elements in the image that resembled the edge of a frame (a tree trunk bordering on the edge of a frame, for example)."
Rossée confirmed our experience and added "a bug was found in the search algorithm and fixed."
Release 7 did a much better job of finding frames our black and white negatives loaded in a CanoScan 9000F. In fact, we didn't have to adjust a single frame.
We did use the default safety margin to include a few more pixels but we may tighten that up next time around.
Release 7 also improved high-resolution frame finding.
SilverFast Studio Ai, which is an upgrade from the basic version supplied with many scanners, includes JobMonitor, which can notify your iOS device as each scan in JobManager is completed.
We haven't been able to review it until now but we were happy to put it to work. Scanning can take a while, particularly with multiple passes, and being able to leave the workstation without worrying about when to return is a big help.
To use it, you have to install the free Job Monitor app (the spelling includes a space) from the App Store. You also have to set a four-digit PIN code in the Service Dialog that appears when you launch SilverFast. And click a check box to enable the feature.
JobManager will then send a thumbnail and notifications to your iOS device as each scan is processed and after the JobManager list of scans has been completed.
We found that very helpful as we scanned a few negative strips at high resolution. We were able to leave the room to attend to other matters while monitoring the scanner's progress.
Release 7 provides important improvements to SilverFast 8.5. We appreciated the greatly improved frame finding especially and we were also very impressed with the monitoring app.
Both represent significant productivity enhancements.