Scanners; Film To Digital Devices

Epson is really pushing the limits with desktop scanners, bringing near drum-scanner quality down to the sub-$800 price range. With two new scanners on display at PMA, Epson had the major news in this category. First up is the Perfection V700 PHOTO. With an estimated price of $549.99, the scanner uses Epson's Dual Lens optics. The Dual Lens System automatically selects one of two lenses based on the desired resolution of the scan. The central scanning area is capable of 6400dpi optical resolution while the outer scan area is able to handle up to 4800dpi optical resolution. Along with the high resolution, a Dmax rating of 4.0 gives you a very high tonal range with more shadow detail than a traditional flat-bed scanner.

Epson Perfection V750-M PRO

The second model is the Perfection V750-M PRO. With enhanced optics over the V700 model, the $799.99 V750-M PRO also includes a fluid-mount accessory for wet mounting film, said to improve scan accuracy and scratch removal as well as reducing grain when scanning black and white film. The enhanced optics are comprised of anti-reflective coatings on the lens and a high-reflection mirror. Although both scanners offer the same hardware resolution, the enhanced optics should provide better results, especially with images containing denser shadow detail.

Both scanners feature Digital ICE from Kodak for dust and scratch removal during the scan, film holders for 35mm negatives, 35mm slides, and medium format and 4x5 film. Software includes Epson's Scan TWAIN driver, Adobe's Photoshop Elements, and LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast Ai 6.

Microtek's new ScanMaker i800 is a $399.99 scanner with 4800dpi hardware resolution and a full set of film holders for 35mm slides, 35mm negatives, and medium format and 4x5 film. Unlike the more expensive i900 model, this scanner does not offer the dual-tray feature. Included is Microtek's PictuRescue photo and film restoration system. This includes Digital ICE for dust and scratch reduction and ColoRescue to restore faded film to its original colors. A full set of software including Adobe's Photoshop Elements, LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast SE, and Microtek's own ScanWizard rounds out the package.

Manufacturers/Distributors' addresses can be found on page 174.