Canon has unveiled an updated version of its Canoscan film scanner that first hit the market in 1999. Compared to the original version, the new scanner offers a much higher resolution and is capable of better colour reproduction. The FS4000US has a maximum resolution of 4,000 dpi (dots per inch), a big jump from the 2,720 dpi maximum resolution of the company's previous FS2710 model and ahead of most competing scanners from companies such as Nikon, Minolta and Olympus. A 42-bit scanning mode also means colour reproduction is several leaps beyond the 32-bit, 68.7 billion color scanning mode offered on the older model. Like its predecessor, the new scanner accepts both positive or negative 35-millimeter film, either as mounted slides or in strips of up to six images, and APS (advanced photo system) cartridges when loaded into an APS adaptor. The scanner is capable of batch scanning up to 40 images from an APS cartridge or six frames from a 35-millimeter film and is also loaded with an auto-focus system and Canon's own software which, the company says, can reduce the effect of scratches or dust on the film's surface. It can be connected to a personal computer via either a USB 1.1 or SCSI II interface. Film scanners have long been popular with professional photographers and publishers because of their ability to scan a much higher quality image direct from film as opposed to from a print. With advances in technology that help push down prices, the devices are now also gaining popularity with serious amateur photographers. The FS4000US is now available in Japan and is priced at around £600. Plans for an Asian launch are as yet undecided although it is expected to be on sale in Europe and the Americas by the end of June. Canon has set initial production of the scanner at 2,000 units per month.