of 35mm color negatives made with the CanoScan FS 2710
provided an automatic interpretation to a positive image
displayed in the ScanCraft preview, that was uncannily
on target. Only minor adjustments, usually involving lightening
or darkening, were required to obtain excellent scan quality
from these color negatives even when the subject matter
was quite atypical in color content.
Photos © 1999, David B. Brooks, All Rights Reserved
of their new CanoScan FS 2710 35mm and APS film scanner covers every
edge of a very broad target of potential users.
CanoScan FS 2710 Features. The physical specifications
in all parameters for this new model are equal to, or extremely close
to, most of the models in the top rung of 35mm scanners costing half
to twice the price. The software provides ample support for the novice
with effective and easy automation, as well as quite professional level
manual color correction tools for the most demanding and experienced
· Resolution is an optical 2720dpi which is quite sufficient to
make 12x18" prints with the largest format photo-realistic desktop
ink jet printer.
· The scanning color depth is 12 bits per RGB channel, or 36 bits,
equal to all of the best slide scanners.
· A 3.2 dynamic scanning range combined with an effective scan
autoexposure adjustment assures making scans of E-6 chrome images free
of shadow noise.
· Scan speed is moderately fast and combined with rapid image
signal and auto adjustment processing provides some of the shortest
overall scan times for excellent efficiency in use.
· The choice of settings between 24 bit and 36-bit output provides
the Photoshop user the option of using professional level color correction
at the full scan color depth.
· Full CanoCraft software support is included for PC Windows and
Macintosh platforms with a stand-alone scan software application as
well as a TWAIN driver for Windows and a Photoshop plug-in for the Macintosh.
The software bundle that comes with the FS 2710 includes Adobe Photoshop
5.0LE, as well as NewSoft Mr. Photo for Windows and NewSoft Presto!
· The CanoScan FS 2710 computer interface is SCSI 2, with an Adaptec
compliant PCI SCSI interface card included.
ScanCraft software for the Macintosh OS has a different
design look, but contains the same essential tools and features
needed to operate the FS 2710 scanner. A single button mouse
click will automatically set histogram highlight and shadow
points. Individual eyedropper highlight and shadow tool
selection performs the same task manually and includes highlight
and shadow color caste removal. This Photoshop plug-in will
output 24 or 36-bit final scans directly to the Photoshop
work space. In addition, it provides a perfect color match
between the adjusted scan preview window and the Photoshop
display of the final scan.
The CanoScan FS 2710
In Use. As should be expected these days the installation and
setup of the CanoScan FS 2710 was truly plug-and-play, easy and quick.
I set up and installed the ScanCraft software on a Windows workstation
and an Apple G3 PowerMac. Both software interfaces are quite equal with
just a few differences inherent to the distinctions between the two operating
systems. With everything connected and installed I was ready to begin
This time, although I wanted to test the same range of media and subjects
that would be representative of what many users might ask of the scanner,
I chose a large set of images which had been archived on Photo CD back
in 1995. Rescanning this film would provide a basis for comparison, and
the bonus of seeing just what five years had brought in changes to the
technology as well as digital image quality expectations. These film images
included Koda-chrome and E-6 slides, color negatives, as well as silver-based
black and white film negatives. And, fortunately the subjects of these
images and their characteristics were also far ranging and diverse.
Scan Results From The Canon FS 2710 Film Scanner. I began
my scanning with the CanoCraft software preferences set on 24-bit output
mode and with the auto adjustment and Color Gear matching options turned
on. The first few images I selected were Kodachrome slides mostly exposed
in full sunlight. One of these was a Kodachrome 200 action shot of a wind
surfer on the Columbia River. Like the other Kodachrome selection they
all scanned to preview very close to how they looked on a light box. Then
in the CanoCraft software I opened the Adjust window and found the histogram
reflected a very accurate equalization of the tones utilizing the full
gamut (this remained consistent when the file was checked in Photoshop
later). Other than making slight adjustments to lighten or darken the
image based on personal preference, the auto adjust and color matching
functions of the CanoCraft software were right on target. When I checked
the files in Photoshop that had been saved by CanoCraft from my scans,
I only found I needed to tweak a couple of images using Color Balance
to warm the image due to the fact the scene had been photographed at midday
when the light color temperature was very high causing bluish shadows.
crucial test of a slide scanner for me is for it to be able
to scan a Kodachrome of a sunlit landscape with a full range
of values to hold detail in both shadows and highlights.
The reproduction of this fall high Colorado Rockies scene
captured all the values in the slide to make an excellent
reproduction of the scene.
While still using the stand-alone
version of CanoCraft in 24-bit mode with auto adjust and color matching
turned on, I switched to scanning some color negatives. Unlike some scan
software CanoCraft does not use film terms for a selection of different
brands of color negative films, just one setting. This approach, based
apparently on an analysis of the negative image, worked better than any
35mm scanner I've tested so far. For all of the negatives I scanned
with the 2710 the only significant major adjustments needed involved reducing
or increasing the mid-tone brightness of the image. And, post-scan tweaking
was also minor; similar to scans of the previous chromes involving minor
adjustments more for compensations needed by the original photography
than to correct for any shortcomings in the scanners processing.
The remainder of my scanning was equally divided between my Windows machine
and my Mac G3, scanning from within Photoshop 5.0.2 with the CanoCraft
software set for 36-bit output. I was particularly interested in seeing
how much success I could achieve scanning images which had essentially
been failed scans when recorded on the Photo CDs made in '95. This
challenge was met so successfully that my scanning continued far beyond
my need to evaluate the performance of the 2710. The experience was convincing
proof that besides being an effective tool for the novice digital darkroom
user, the Canon 2710 will also meet the demands of the most discriminating
and experienced user.
It is rare an affordable scanner will output the full 36-bit color depth
as the CanoScan FS 2710 does. There are at least two advantages. For instance,
with difficult images to scan like a slightly overexposed high key subject,
or the opposite, an underexposed low key subject, some of the compensation
for the peculiar image attributes can be made with the scanner software's
color correction tools. Then after the final scan Photoshop's more
extensive color correction tools can be used to finish the correction
to provide a precise digital interpretation of the image characteristics.
Then when the image mode is switched to the standard 24-bit color depth,
which is the usual output mode of many scanners, the image data is fully
equalized and optimally utilizes the full gamut of the 24-bit colorspace.
In other words, there is no loss of data that would detract from image
reproduction quality, which often happens when post-scan color correction
is applied to 24-bit scanner output.
Evaluation And Recommendation.
Quite a few of the scans I made with the CanoScan FS 2710 were proof printed
with an Epson Stylus Photo 1200 ink jet printer. Most were letter size
prints, but some were super tabloid size with 12x18" images printed
on the 13x19" paper. The reproduced image quality without exception
was a better quality picture than I would have suspected possible looking
at the original slide or at analog proofs of the color negatives. I would
want to hope for this kind of performance with any scanner of course,
and would feel it should be expected with a high-end professional scanner.
That I could achieve such results with an affordable desktop consumer
scanner like the Canon FS 2710 says we have come a long, long way since
I was having my images scanned to Photo CDs in '95.
Is this new Canon 35mm scanner without fault? No, I believe they made
a mistake putting the monitor gamma setting in the Adjust dialog window
because if you use the reset for all of the tabs returning the values
to zero/default, it also resets the monitor gamma. If you are using a
gamma other than the default then you must reset it manually for every
scan, a real pain.
Other than this minor annoyance, the CanoScan FS 2710 is an easy to use,
efficient scanner that requires minimal effort to output accurately adjusted
scans of exceptionally high quality. At the affordable street price of
under $1000 it is a real bargain which should satisfy all but the pickiest,
and most demanding with special requirements. I'm personally quite
sensitive to scan image quality, and am very satisfied with the 2710 performance.
So much so I hope Canon will accept a check in lieu of getting their scanner