Pros:It gets the job done and the Digital ICE feature is great.
Cons:Very bad software. I don't know of anything better. Slow when using the infrared ICE feature
The Bottom Line: This is probably the best choice on the market for the amature who wants good results. The Digital ICE feature sets it apart from cheaper scanners.
Epson V700 Settings
For 35mm slides, about 30 years old.
· To start, I use a 6 digit numbering system and number each slide. I also have a document for each set of 80 slides and it describes what each slide is and the date it was developed. This actually makes things easier in the long run with 4000 slides to scan. Most slides have the date on them. I don’t think 35mm negatives have a date anywhere. For this review I have only worked with 35 mm slides. (positives)
Epson Scan software Version 3.83US
· This is not intuitive software. It is not organized well. Keyboard shortcut keys exist for some items and not for others. Some items are readily visible and other important settings are elusive. I think the brilliant programmers started counting their money and celebrating too much before they finished the software program.
· Applies to the whole job and all pictures in the job.
· Film (with holder)
· Positive Film
· 24-bit Color· 48 bit is not any better according to other reviews
· Provides a very small speed increase for my system.
· 2400 dpi.· This is an optimum setting for good preservation. You can zoom in on a finished picture and see when pixilation occurs. 1200 dpi would still produce a decent picture. 4800 dpi would be for the perfectionist.
Target Size, Trimming:
· Off or On according to your preference. It looks like you can only turn it off for individual pictures. When “All” is selected the Trimming control is grayed out. The layout and control of this software is totally illogical.
· A Preview is essential for every load of slides to be scanned. A preview is required prior to setting Adjustments.· You cannot scan a 2nd set of slides without doing a Preview on those slides. Adjustments from set #1 applied to set #2 will be disastrous.· You cannot do a one button click and walk away. You must do the Preview first and then activate the scan. The preview takes about 1 minute. Then you click the All button and turn on the Adjustments. Then fine tune as needed and Scan. Now you can walk away for about 1 hour.
· Adjustments are applied to each individual slide, even when “All” are selected.· After the Preview, the Preview window will be open showing all slides.· You can view the slides as large, small or individual by clicking on icons in the Preview window.· You can click on the “All” button so each Adjustment function selected applies to all slides.· You can click on one slide or Control Click to select additional individual slides. Then the adjustment you select in the Adjustments panel applies to those you have selected. · For most applications I set the Adjustment to Allslides.
Unsharp Mask: Useful for some pictures.
· The default is turned on and set to Medium. It works well with some pictures. Not for all.· The term Unsharp is misleading because it does not decrease sharpness. It uses a special technology to sharpen pictures. Look up “unsharp” in Wikipedia.· You may want to remove Unsharp to keep a picture soft.· A chrome rod on a smooth black cloth will be severely distorted with the Unsharp Mask. A shiny car will have jagged edges.· I would advise using the Unsharp Mask set at Low or turn it off.
· I have never seen any need for Grain Reduction for my slides.
· This is an amazing tool and it adjusts color for each individual picture when All slides are selected.
· This is useful for some pictures.· The default is Medium but too much color is lost. I would suggest Low or only use it when really needed.
· I never use this function because Digital Ice technology is much better.
DIGITAL ICE Technology:
· This is the tool that separates the Cannon V700 from all other scanners. It is amazing but it is not totally infallible. You still need to check the results of your pictures.· Quality and Speed settings are available. The Speed setting did not work well for me. I have had no failures using the Quality setting.· The ICE, Quality setting will increase the time of a scan from 1 minute to 5 minutes per slide. · The scanner uses an infrared scan to detect things “on” the film as opposed to “in” the film.
File Save Settings
· In the lower right corner of your Epson Scan window is an unidentified icon and it says File Save Settings if you hover your mouse over it. You need to enter this area.
· I always create my own personal location on the D: drive and then click on Other and Browse to this location for file saving.
· A 6 digit number can be used for each picture.· Take the number 234056 for example.· The 2 could represent the picture is from a slide. A 1 could means it is from a negative, etc.· The 34 means it is from slide set 34.· The 056 means it is slide #56 out of a set of 80 slides. I keep my slides organized in sets of 80 but you can organize as you please. In my system the 0 is never used but it is impossible to eliminate it since Epson applies a 3 digit number to represent the picture number.· So in this scenario I would enter 234 in the Prefix box. Epson would apply the last 3 digits.
· When you start a new set of slides you need to reset the Start Number to 1.· When you start another 12 slides this number will automatically start at 13, etc.· After completing a set of slides be sure to reset the number back to 1.
· I prefer JPEG (*.jpg)· I always select the Options button.· Compression Level = 1 or High Quality. This leaves room for adjustments in PhotoShop or another editing program. The file size is still small compared to the size of hard drives.· Level 10 would be good if you are emailing many pictures.
Encoding = Standard:
· Progressive only applies to the way it appears on screen as it is being scanned.
Embedded ICC Profile:
· This is some type of profile created in another file in your picture location folder that applies to that Preview job.
Overwrite any files with the same name:
· I leave this on but that is because I always move the files from the scan folder to the permanent archive location after each job of 80 slides is complete.
Show this dialog box before next scan:
· Leave this on. It is a good reminder of where you are at and to see if your numbering settings are on target.
Open image folder after scanning:
· Leave this on so the temporary picture holding folder pops up on screen to let you know the 12 slides have been scanned. Now you can check the results.
Show Add Page dialog after scanning:
· I have no idea what this is for.
On subsequent scans you have to reset the Adjustment settings since there is no way to save your settings for the next set; another design flaw.
Click on the Configuration button in the lower center of the Epson Scan window.
· Turn on Quality Preview· I don’t use any other settings here.
· This is very important. This controls the settings for Adjustments, Color Restoration you turned on earlier.· Select Continuous auto exposure.· I prefer Display Gamma: set to 1.8.· I definitely prefer Auto Exposure Level set to Low· Remainder of settings are turned off.· You may need to experiment in this area with your slides.
· Mine is set for 6 x 4.5 and probably done automatically.
· I have not needed the Correct Document Skew· Save Settings is turned on and the Work Area: is set for drive D: for my system. However, you don’t set the exact folder here. The exact file save location is done in File Save Settings, Location. Once again we have significant design flaw in the software.
I have a Canon Canoscan 8800F and it is a better scanner for the price paid. The Epson V700 takes precedence based on 12 slides at a time rather than 4. It will make individual adjustments for each of the 12 slides. The DIGITAL ICE Technology is beyond anything I’ve seen for removing problems on the slide. I got the impression the picture was sent from my scanner to a professional photo editing studio where they fixed it and sent it back to my destination folder. I just don’t think a program like PhotoShop could do this in less than 30 minutes of very hard work per picture.
Despite the success of my Epson V700 there will still be plenty of editing with PhotoShop for the more important pictures. There might be a few pictures that need to be rescanned.
The CPU usage meter on my 3 GHz, 4 core, 8 thread computer does not show much activity during scan. Between individual picture scans it has 3 or 4 microprocessor threads jumping up to about 40%. On an older single core computer this might slow the scanning time down a little. I use a Firewire connection but a test using the slower computer with a USB 2.0 connection was the same speed as Firewire. I suspect USB 2.0 is nearly as good as Firewire.
On an old AMD2800 single core processor it takes about 60 minutes to scan 12 slides with ICE Technology set to Quality. The more powerful computer completes the scan in about 40 minutes. By turning on “Speed Priority”, scanning is done in 38 minutes. If ICE is turned off the complete scan is done in about 7 minutes.
The on-screen time indication is fairly accurate. Often you might see the Progress meter indicating the system is not responding. Ignore it and wait a minute.
Often times you will see the scanner with a “Warming Up” indication. This is a serious flaw in the design. There is no reason the computer could not do calculations while the scanner continuously scanned; once again, incomplete software.
After 60 or 80 scans, be sure to organize your files into folders and then backup everything to another location.
Negatives will produce a much better reproduction than a picture.
Scanning old pictures, negatives and slides is a major job but why did you take the pictures in the first place? In our new digital world they need to be digitized for better viewing, distribution and preservation.
It is convenient to order several slide or negative holders so when one is finished you have another ready to go. There is also the possibility of breaking a tab on the holders.
You can order extra holders and supplies at http://www.compassmicro.com/parts.cfm
Get the latest drivers and software at the Epson web site. Epson contact is also there but don’t expect much advice. They will advise 600 dpi for the scanning of slides and negatives. Based on the quality of the software and the complexity of your needs there is little advice to be offered at any level. Just read the success and failure of other people on various forums. Then scan and tinker with 4 slides with various problems to learn how to set things up.
There is not much more available at a price lower than the V700 to get the job done reasonably well. I understand the V750 is nearly the same scanner with better software. I have no idea what better software consists of.
Digital ICE for Film uses an infrared sensor to detect dust and scratches on the surface of the film. In a multi-pass process, the dust/scratch is mapped out and carefully removed from the scanned image, leaving the composition and quality intact.
Use a very soft bristled brush to remove debris from the film. Touch the film very lightly. Don’t try blowing the dust off. You will eventually spit on the film and damage it.
VueScan software is worth looking into but I don’t think it recognizes the film holder and its preset positions. I will look forward to reviews on VueScan.