The CanoScan LiDE 80 is sleek, compact, light, and portable.
Photos © 2003, David B. Brooks, All Rights Reserved
When I read this press release
headline, "Canon launches world's first film scanning capable,
bus-powered 2400x4800dpi CIS scanner," I was intrigued. Then learning
that the CanoScan LiDE 80 also features 48-bit color depth, only requires
power from a USB connection, is only 1.5" high, and weighs just
4 lbs, I twisted our editor's arm to get one for review. I am
glad I did because this new Canon scanner combines portability with
competitive performance in a scanner with a list price of just $179.
Some Shutterbug readers, who have been in contact with me by e-mail,
use laptop computers for at least some of their digital activities.
Others have expressed the fact that they have only limited space for
their digital darkroom and still need to do some photo scanning. And
there are always budgetary considerations. If you're among the
above groups the CanoScan LiDE 80 may be just your ticket.
scans with the CanoScan LiDE 80 were just as easy as print
scans, even with color negatives. Some subjects, like this
portrait, did require some manual adjustment to the automated
interpretation of the LiDE 80 driver software, but the majority
of more typical subjects did not, making this one of the
most effective and easy to use scanners I've tested.
Contact Image Sensor
This new Canon flat-bed scanner with 35mm film scanning abilities is unusual
because it is based on a different kind of light source and integrated
optical and sensor array referred to as a Contact Image Sensor (CIS).
This small, low-power, tricolor LED light source lowers the scanner's
power requirements and within the range supplied through a USB bus. The
power requirement can also handle the accessory film scanning attachment,
which plugs into the back of the scanner.
The CanoScan LiDE 80 has a full letter-size flat-bed scan area and provides
a full complement of print and document scanning capabilities in addition
to 35mm film scanning. This is supported by a generous and effective software
bundle for both PC Windows and Apple Macintosh computers, including Canon's
ScanGear, CanoScan Toolbox, ArcSoft's PhotoStudio and PhotoBase,
and ScanSoft's OmniPage SE OCR, not to mention Adobe's Photoshop
Elements 2.0. The scanner driver from Canon includes automated dirt and
scratch removal, grain reduction, and color restoration option capabilities
as well. All of these features are designed to support easy to use operation
with automated image adjustments.
ScanGear CanoScan LiDE 80 user interface is clean and straightforward
providing easy, automated adjustments. This portrait of
your author in my "rock-and-roll" days reproduced
superbly without any manual adjustment to the image values.
(Photo by Frank Bez).
Working With The Canon
CanoScan LiDE 80
Rather than use one of my Mac G4s, which was being used for a concurrent
test, I used a PC with Windows XP Pro for this report. The 35mm film scanning
setup of the CanoScan only works with unmounted film in strips, and many
of my best images are cut and in professional slide mounts, even negatives.
So I ended up digging pretty deep into boxes to gather a selection of
photographs. I also scanned documents to make copies and run the OCR to
turn pages into text files to get a feel for using the LiDE for the many
non-photographic uses it may be put to.
I scanned quite a few good quality black and white photographic prints,
and was gratified how easy it was to get very good results. Then I got
into film and color, both transparency and negatives. I found that although
the preview of the image in ScanGear is not very big on a large high-resolution
monitor, it was sufficient. Canon software's auto adjustment abilities
are as good as I have seen in consumer products. In addition, the ScanGear
Fare Level 2 retouching and enhancement option cleans images and smooths
out grain surprisingly well while preserving good detail sharpness.
The only exception I should note is that when scanning film with less
usual subject content, like a close-up portrait against a white or deeply
colored background, that some manual adjustment for brightness and color
fidelity in complexion tones is required. Unfortunately, the manual adjustment
tools in ScanGear are not user friendly enough for most users and lack
an effective graphically intuitive interface. Something like Variations
in Photoshop or the equivalent in Adobe Elements would be an advantage
for most users.
This color negative of a scene typical of the Canadian prairie
where I grew up was dramatized by a very foggy atmosphere.
Even with this difficult image, the CanoScan LiDE 80 performed
well. The Fare retouching and restoration software options
in the driver also produced a very clean and accurate reproduction
of the scene.
Evaluation And Recommendation
Any photographer needing an inexpensive but good quality multipurpose
scanner that also scans film quite well, will see advantages in the Canon
CanoScan LiDE 80. For on-the-go laptop users, the CanoScan LiDE 80 is
an ideal solution. Even if you just want the latest, coolest technology
gadget, this scanner will not disappoint.
For more information, visit Canon's website, www.usa.canon.com.
Scanner Type: Flat-bed, aluminum with spin-carved finish
Scanning Element: Contact Image Sensor (CIS)
Light Source: Three-color RGB LEDs
Maximum (Optical) Resolution: 2400dpi
Maximum (Hardware) Resolution: 2400x4800dpi
Maximum (Interpolated) Resolution: 9600x9600dpi
Scanning Mode: Color--48-bit internal/48-bit external;
Gray scale--16-bit internal/16-bit external
Document Size: 8.5x11.7" maximum
Film Size: 35mm x 1 frame (negative)
Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Power Requirements: Powered through USB port; no AC adapter
Weight: 4.0 lbs
Software: CanoScan Setup CD-ROM including: ScanGear CS
(Windows/Mac), CanoScan Toolbox (Windows/Mac), ArcSoft PhotoStudio (Windows/Mac),
ArcSoft PhotoBase (Windows/Mac), ScanSoft OmniPage SE OCR (Windows/Mac),
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (Windows/Mac), and NewSoft Presto! PageManager
List Price: $179