By Neil Bennett | on May 18, 2006
Pros: Produces excellent quality, high-resolutiuon scans.
Cons: Not as good as dedicated scanner for film.
It’s been a while since a scanner aimed specifically at professional creatives was released, so it’s a surprise that both Epson and HP are launching new models. Epson is first out of the gates with the Perfection V700 Photo. It will follow this up with the higher-end V750 Pro in time for our next issue – when we should be able to review it against HP’s new Scanjet 8300.
The Perfection V700 Photo is based around an innovative dual lens system. It has one lens in the roof of the scanner that scans film at up to a whopping 6,400dpi. This mechanism supports film up to 5.9-inches in width, or a tray with 12 35mm slides, four 35mm filmstrips, or two 4.5-inch medium format frames.
Scanning 35mm film at 6,400dpi produces large files – around 80MB when saved as TIFs – but this provides images that can be used A4 at 300dpi.
The lens in the base of the unit scans reflective media – or larger film – at up to 4,800dpi. This is again more than you’re ever likely to need.
The downside to these high scanning resolutions is that they take a long time. Scanning four 35mm slides took over 13 minutes – and over 29 minutes with Digital ICE clean-up applied. Support for up to 12 slides allows you to go off and do something productive while you wait 41 minutes (or over 90 minutes using Digital ICE) for them all to be captured. Scanning a full A4 photo at 4,800dpi takes over an hour, though a more realistic 600dpi scan was completed in a nippy 45 seconds.
The unit keeps you waiting, but thankfully the output quality is worth it. Reflective scans are top notch, and 35mm film came out impressively detailed. We scanned some film from 1976 to test the V700’s implementation of Kodak’s Digital ICE’s dust/scratch removal and colour restoration technology, and the results are great.