CanoScan 2700F 35mm/APS film scanner.
Of all of the devices you
can connect to a computer to make digital photography possible, I find
a scanner is the most essential if existing film images are to be used.
Like many individual photographers, I want a scanner that will digitize
my images to reproduce with the best possible quality, yet at an affordable
cost. I also think I am somewhat typical, having more images recorded
on 35mm film than any other format. This almost demands a scanner dedicated
to 35mm and other small film formats, as only more expensive flat-bed
scanners with transparency adapters or professional level film scanners
have the optical resolution necessary to scan a 1x1.5" film frame
Canon's camera division recently ventured into this computer photography
arena with what I consider a near ideal package; an affordable 35mm
and APS format scanner with a 2720dpi resolution that sells for just
under $700. The Canon CanoScan 2700F also has many other quality features
in its favor, including capturing image information at 30-bit RGB color
depth using a Xenon fluorescent lamp, and doing so quickly at speeds
as high as 26 sec per frame of 35mm film at full resolution. The CanoScan
2700F is sold with a plug-and-play SCSI card for easy interface connection
with a PC and software for Windows is provided on a CD (Mac software
is also available as a download from Canon's web site).
CanoScan ScanCraft FS software provides easy to learn and
use controls to crop and select different Tone Corrections
by clicking on variation thumbnails, or by
selecting the "custom" button providing a manual
curve adjustment dialog.
Photos © 1999, David B. Brooks, All Rights Reserved
Using The CanoScan
2700F. Although I did not require the use of the included SCSI
card that comes with the CanoScan 2700F, that installation and setup,
is however, what is now referred to as a good out of the box experience.
That's a far cry from what getting a scanner going was all about
just a very few years ago. Once the scanner is installed and the CanoScan
ScanCraft FS software is loaded into your computer, the driver supports
making scans with the ScanCraft stand-alone application or by activating
the TWAIN driver from within a supporting graphics application like Photoshop,
Picture Publish-er, or PaintShop Pro. Using the stand-alone Canon software,
you can direct the final scan to be saved as an image file in several
standard file formats, or you can also direct the image to be reproduced
by a printer connected to your computer making the scanner function like
The physical attributes of the CanoScan 2700F are quite straightforward.
In fact, the outward design appearance is not that dissimilar to several
other 35mm film scanners. What distinguishes it physically is a well executed
film handling design for mounted slides and strips of 35mm film. A special
adapter insert provides access to scanning APS film. The 35mm film strip
holder, in particular, I found is efficient to use, allowing easy access
to different frames on the strip, and transports the frame secularly.
The Xenon fluorescent light source, besides being sufficiently diffused
to make scanning silver-based black and white negatives viable, provides
a very constant and even source compared to some scanner light sources
which deteriorate in time. This is significant to obtaining consistent
image color qualities in relationship to output, avoiding the need to
manually reprofile the scanner every so often, as is required with some
The high 2720dpi optical resolution of the CanoScan 2700F assures all
of the image information in film images will be captured sharply. In addition,
if very large reproductions of scanned images are required, the ScanCraft
FS software supports interpolated resolutions up to 6000dpi. Good color
fidelity and the preservation of subtle image tonalities is assured by
the scanner's 30-bit color depth. Consistent WYSIWYG color quality
is assured also when a Canon photo-realistic BubbleJet printer is used
in conjunction with the scanner by Canon's ColorGear color matching
incorporated in the ScanCraft FS software.
and contrast may be adjusted by means of two sliders providing
an interactive change in the image in the preview window.
CanoScan 2700F Evaluation
And Recommendation. The Canon CanoScan 2700F 35mm and APS scanner
has been introduced into a market category where there is already a number
of competing products.
Obviously to meet a competitive price objective, Canon could not include
a level of performance specifications comparable to professional level
scanners. What they chose to provide first of all is a scanning resolution
that is at the professional level. This feature, added to an extremely
well designed and well constructed scanner, makes an ideally balanced
package. The test scans which I made with the scanner, including some
scans of very full range Kodachrome images, indicated in the results all
of the other dimension of performance are also of a quite high caliber,
including I would estimate, a very respectable dynamic range.
For most, using the ScanCraft FS software will be found quite easy as
any adjustments that need to be made on the basis of the large pre-scan
preview display can be accomplished by selecting between thumbnail variations
of differences in brightness, contrast, and color balance. However, accessing
all of the adjustment facilities involves going to three different controls,
which I found a bit annoying. Otherwise the ScanCraft FS software is ideally
designed for easy learning by novices as well as efficient control by
advanced users, including manual adjustments to the image curve. My impression
was however, that the scanner is so good it really justifies having a
truly professional manual color correction capability that also offers
access to a raw scan, and the ability to custom profile the scanner for
use with a color management systems like ColorSync 2.5 on the Mac or ICM
2.0 in Windows 98.
As usual, Canon has waited to introduce this scanner product until they
could offer something with an unusual level of quality. In its price and
performance category, the CanoScan 2700F is definitely a top choice. For
more information visit Canon's web site at: www.usa.canon.com.
Scanner Type: Desktop, moving film carriage
Scanning Element: Charge-coupled device, 3-line color
Light Source: Xenon fluorescent lamp
Scanning Resolution: 2720dpi
Scanning Modes: Color, gray scale, black and white
Scanning Gradation: 10-bit scanning to 8-bit output RGB
Scanning Speed: 35mm--positives 26 sec, negatives 26/52/78
Scanning Area: 35mm--24.2x36.3mm, APS--15.8x27.7mm
Focal Modes: Auto/manual
Interface: SCSI 2, with 50-pin full pitch and 25-pin
Dimensions: 3.3x12.6x5.8", 5.3 lb weight