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CanoScan 9950F

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The CanoScan 9950F is an update to the winner of our recent scanner roundup, the CanoScan 9900F (   , August 2004 ), and it tops its predecessor in just about every respect—resolution, color accuracy, transparency scan quality and software interface—for the same $399 price tag.

The CanoScan 9950F bumps the optical resolution up from 3,200 dpi to 4,800 dpi. It supports both FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connections and ships with a stack of film holders to hold just about any common format.

On the 9900F, you had to install one application and then another, the order mattered, and it just wasn’t pretty. We didn’t make a big deal out of that because, frankly, all scanner installations for OS X left something to be desired. But Canon’s fixed that, and software installation is now handled by a single wizard. Canon should be applauded for making the installation, as well as the advanced-mode scanning software itself, much easier to use.

The CanoScan 9900F won our last roundup by producing the best overall scan quality even though its transparency scans were not quite as color accurate or as clean as those of other machines we reviewed. The transparency scan quality of the 9950F is much better across the board, without taking a hit in scanning time. The 9950F’s reflective scans were also improved in terms of detail and color accuracy.

Timed Trials

8x10, 600 dpi 1:29
4x6, 1,200 dpi 1:54
Transparency, 2,400 dpi 1:45

Jury Tests

Color Excellent
Clarity Excellent

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


Highest optical resolution 4,800 dpi
Maximum bit depth 48-bit internal/external color; 16-bit internal/external grayscale
Weight 12.4 lbs.
Dimensions (width x depth x height in inches) 11.4x20x5
Transparency adapter Built In
Maximum scan size (in inches) 8.5x11.7
Interface USB 2.0, FireWire 400
Included Software ScanGear CS, CanoScan Toolbox, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000, ScanSoft OmniPage SE OCR

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The CanoScan 9950F raises the bar for midrange scanners by offering high optical resolutions, improved scan quality in both transparency and reflective media, and more intuitive software controls.

CanoScan 9950F
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