The Perfection V700 Photo scanner is a mid-range flatbed scanner with a split personality. It offers up to 4,800 dpi (dots per inch) scans for reflective media, like magazines and photographs, but it also features a second, fixed-resolution lens for capturing 6,400 dpi scans of film or slides. While the larger files you get from high-resolution scanning allow you to create larger prints from your transparency scans, in our tests the scanning quality of transparencies was good, but not great.
The silver and black V700 scanner is a few inches taller than most desktop, flatbed scanners, and it has a boxy, angular design when compared to the rounded corners of most scanners. It can connect to your Mac via USB 2.0 or FireWire, but we used FireWire in our tests. It comes with four film holders to accommodate a wide variety of transparencies, from 35mm slides to four-inch-by-five-inch film. It also includes an assortment of software, including Epson’s own Epson Scan software, ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR (optical character recognition) software, Photoshop Elements, and an alternate scanning program, SilverFast SE 6 from LaserSoft Imaging.
In our tests, using Epson Scan software and Photoshop CS, we found the V700 to be among the fastest scanners we’ve tested, especially when scanning transparencies. Our scans were of good quality, capturing plenty of detail in both transparency and reflective modes. The colors were pleasing, but our images were a touch on the red side with the default settings. Turning off the automatic color correction toned down the reds, but then the scans had a slightly muted and murky look. The transparency scans benefited from the pumped up colors of Epson Scan’s default settings, and they looked better than those scanned with SilverFast SE, which I also tested. With the SilverFast software, I found that the colors on reflective scans looked better.
Using the default settings of both Epson Scan and SilverFast produced images that were not as sharp as other scanners I’ve tested, but the images still had a lot of detail. Higher levels of sharpening are available to you from both of these applications, but I prefer the scanner’s conservative approach to sharpening.
The Epson Scan software can be used in three modes: full auto, home, and professional. It features automatic color restoration tools, as well as built-in dust removal technology. The dust removal technology worked well, but beware: I found that it also removed other elements from my images, like punctuation.
I also used the scanner’s second lens, which is designed for use with transparencies, and I found the scans to be very similar in terms of quality. If you scan a 35mm slide at 6,400 dpi, you can print a photo nearly 60-by-40 inches at 150 dpi. Many mid-range scanners like this one offer 4,800 dpi transparency scans (which results in a file that can be printed 43-by-29-inches at 150 dpi), and they generally cost $100-$200 less. So, be sure to consider whether or not you’re likely to need prints that are extra large. For most folks, scanning at 6,400 dpi may be overkill.
Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable
|8-by-10-inch photo, 600dpi scan||1:19|
|4-by-6-inch photo, 1,200 dpi scan||2:23|
|Transparency, 2,400 dpi scan||0:52|
Times are in minutes:seconds.
|Highest Optical Resolution||6,400 dpi|
|Max Bit Depth||48-bit color/16-bit grayscale|
|Dimensions (width x depth x height in inches)||12 x 20 x 6|
|Max Scan Size (in inches)||8.5 x 11.7|
|Interface||FireWire 400/USB 2.0|
|Included Software||LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6, Adobe Photoshop Elements, ABBYY FineReader Sprint Plus OCR, Epson Copy Utility, Epson Scan|
Macworld’s buying advice
The Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner is a fine choice for those looking for a mid-range scanner for both photos and high-resolution transparencies. Its dual lens system allows you to scan slides and film up to 6,400 dpi, but unless you’re planning on making very large prints, a 4,800 dpi scanner—like our top rated Canon CanoScan 9950F ( )—can be cheaper.
[ James Galbraith is Macworld ’s lab director. ]Epson Perfection V700 Photo