All-in-One printer/scanner/copier machines are all the rage at present, especially if you’re trying to run a home office or small business on a fairly limited budget. However, the frustration for dedicated amateur and semi-pro photographers is that most multi-function machines manage to do several tasks reasonably well but none of them to a high enough degree of excellence.
For this reason, a dedicated photo scanner or printer will always appeal to the keen snapper who demands high quality reproductions. Epson has been aware of this for some time and its Perfection Photo series has concentrated on meeting this need for those who don’t have huge amounts of money but have plenty of enthusiasm.
The main joy about the Perfection V500 Photo is that it caters for a wide range of standard and non-standard formats and it doesn’t keep you hanging around before it starts scanning. It’s designed to be visually cool in jet black with a silver strip around the middle. Controls are kept to the usual minimum: four one-touch buttons at the front for power and sending to PDF, e-mail and conventional printer, plus a USB 2.0 port at the back to connect to your PC.
The first thing you notice when you unpack the contents is that you have not one but two film holders. The first can contain up to twelve frames of 35mm film and a maximum of four 35mm transparencies, while the second will hold one frame of 6 x 12cm medium format film, a much neglected photographic format. Once inserted in the relevant holder, you align them next to the appropriate indicated letter on the document table and away you go. Using 6,400dpi optical resolution and 3.4 optical density, the results are impressive.
There have been two big improvements from the previous models in this series. The first is the use of ReadyScan LED technology (making it the first Charged-Coupled Device scanner to use white LED as a light source) which delivers faster scanning speeds, allows almost instant start-up (even when the machine has been idle for a while) and is low on power consumption.
The second is the upgraded software. Epson Scan has now reached version 3.2 and incorporates several new features, including Digital ICE Technology which removes dust and scratches from colour film (but alas, not mono), as well as advanced backlight correction and colour correction. The additional supplied software is the standard Epson Creativity Suite plus the well-respected Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 (for PC) and 3 (for Mac) and ABBYY FineReader Sprint 6 Plus 1 to import your scanned text documents into your favourite word processor.
Should you wish to use the scanner for multi-page documents then an automatic document feeder is an optional extra, although it will only hold 30 sheets of A4 and you have to replace the scanner cover to use it. Maybe use the All-in-One for that task then…
Contact: 08702 416900