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Epson Perfection V700 PHOTO scannerProfessional 6400dpi scanner
Desktop flatbed scanners are getting better and better at what they do despite the eventual demise of film cameras. While digital cameras have all but replaced film cameras, most people over the age of 20 still have a lot of photographs that were printed on paper or negative/positive film.
In addition to photographs, most scanners can also scan other physical things such as book covers, and paper documents, so the desktop scanner will still have its place. The Epson Perfection V700 PHOTO scanner is designed to give you a leg up when archiving your photographs, slides, and negatives to the digital domain. Surprisingly, the V700 has some nifty features that were unavailable just a few years ago.
The V700 has a lot of things going for it, including 6400dp optical resolution, dual lens system, easy set up and reasonable price. What makes the V700 an awesome archiving scanner is its speed and innovative use of film holders. While not new, film holders have been around since the mid 1990s, the way Epson's scanning software works with the film holders is what sets it apart. The film holders of the 1990s were just that, they would hold a negative so it scanned straight, and that was it. The scanner would scan the entire negative and it would be up to the user to separate each image individually by cutting and pasting to create new photographs.
|The V700 supports resolutions of up to 6400dpi|
Scanners today have eliminated this, and the V700 goes further. If you put four 35mm negatives on the film holder and each negative holds four images, Epson's scanner software will scan 16 images. The same goes if you loosely place four photographs on the scanner bed. The V700 senses there are four images on the bed and then scans each as individual images. If, however, the image edges are too close to each other, the scanner will scan two images as one, so you have to be liberal with the space between the images.
All you need to do is rename the images and add them to your collection. No cutting, no new documents, and if you place the film into the film holder properly and connect the film holder onto the scanner bed using the appointed holes, the scans will be straight every time.
The Perfection V700 Photo is a 48-bit color scanner with an 8.5 x 11.7-inch scanning bed that uses Epson's Dual Lens System, which sports double lenses that can scan 6400dpi (optically without interpolation) resolution of 35mm, 2 1/4, and 4x5-inch medium format negative and positive film. The second lens is capable of 4800dpi scanning of photographic prints and other reflective materials, such as a book cover. The scanner achieves an 4.0 optical density and uses Epson's Digital ICE technology, which Epson says automatically removes dust and scratches from film and blemishes from prints.
The V700 Photo ships with LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast SE6, Adobe Photoshop Elements, ABBYY FinReda3er Sprint Plus OCR software, Epson Copy utility which enables you to use the scanner as a copier, and the Epson Scan software interface which features Easy Photo Fix technology. It also includes an 8x10 transparency adapter, 35mm slide adapter that can hold up to 12 slides, 35mm filmstrip adapter that can hold four 35mm film strips, and a 4 x 5-inch medium format adapter. It connects to the computer via USB 2.0 or FireWire connections.
Epson Scan has three modes in which you can scan images; Full Auto Mode, Home Mode and Professional mode. Full Auto Mode is just that, there is a button that you press when your scan material is on the scanning bed. Press the Scan button and the software does the rest.
|Full Auto mode|
Home Mode includes adjustments for document type via a pull down menu, image type (color, grayscale, black and white), destination (screen/web, printer, other), adjustments for descreening, color restoration, and Digital ICE technology, and brightness. Professional Mode adds unsharp mask filter and descreening filter adjustments, as well as histogram, tone correction, and image adjustment. For even more control, you can use the LaserSoft SilverFast SE6 scanning software, a special edition version of LaserSoft's professional scanning software.
The Epson Perfection V700 PHOTO ($US549) is an ideal flatbed scanner for professional and advanced amateur photographers who are on a mission to archive photographs that are in photo, positive and negative form factors. This is by far the easiest scanner to use that I've reviewed in several years and the output is fantastic. The Epson Scan interface is full featured and makes the entire scanning process easier to deal with thanks to the slide holders and the scanning software's capability to detect not only multiple images in a negative, which Epson introduced several years ago, but multiple photographs laid out on the scanner bed. I've scanned more than 300 negatives and photographs with the V700 during the review process and I can safely say that the scanner is very fast at scanning them at 300dpi. Can the V700 replace a desktop film/slide scanner? I think so. The image quality is very good. While the V700 can scan film at up to 6400dpi and photographs at 4800dpi, the performance will take a hit to capture more detail, but the outcome is usually always the same, very good to excellent. The unit's build and film holder design is well thought out as well. Connecting the film holders via the recessed holes is a good idea that works very well. It ships with a collection of software that dovetails nicely with the V700. Highly Recommended. For more information, visit www.epson.com
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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