capsule review

CanoScan 8400F

At $149, the CanoScan 8400F flatbed scanner is a lower-end sibling of the $400 CanoScan 9900F. The 8400F offers the same 3200 dpi scanning resolution as the 9900F and the ability to scan 35mm slides and film, but it lacks the 9900F’s FireWire capability and some of the supported film types. But if you don’t need to scan a lot of different film formats, the 8400F offers a great combination of price and features.

Software setup is getting a little easier with Canon’s scanners. Although you still need to install several separate apps, you’re now guided through the process by a single installation wizard. The 8400F supports both high-speed USB 2.0 as well as USB 1.1. If your Mac doesn’t support USB 2.0, you might want to consider buying yourself an inexpensive upgrade card, as scans can take twice as long at the slower speed.

Using the high-speed port, the 8400F was impressively speedy. It beat the more expensive 9900F by 30 seconds in a 1200dpi, 48-bit scan of a 4x6 photo. It tied the same scanner when scanning a 35mm slide at 2,400 dpi and 48 bits.

As for scan quality, the 8400F is a solid performer. Its colors, though a touch on the green side, were more true to life than many scanners that we see trying to pump up the reds for a more saturated, though less accurate, image. The 8400F was also able to capture fine details well when scanning both our reflective and transparency test targets. The 8400F also integrates the same dust and scratch removing technology (dubbed FARE by Canon) as the 9900F, which can be helpful in reversing damage caused by time and mishandling.

Timed Trials

8x10, 600 dpi 1:34
4x6, 1,200 dpi 1:59
Transparency, 2,400 dpi 2:35

Jury Tests

Color Very Good
Clarity Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unsatisfactory


Highest optical resolution 3,200 dpi
Maximum bit depth 48-bit internal/external color; 16-bit internal, 8-bit external grayscale
Weight 10.6 lbs
Dimensions (width x depth x height in inches) 10.9 x 9.7 x 4.8
Maximum scan size (in inches) 8.5 x 11.7
Interface USB 2.0
Included software ScanGear CS, CanoScan Toolbox CS, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ScanSoft OmniPage SE OCR

Macworld’s Buying Advice

Though its film and transparency support is limited, the 8400F is a great all around scanner with some high-end features and a low-end price tag.

CanoScan 8400F
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