Home Search Gallery How-To Books Links Workshops About Contact
D2400UF Scanner Test Review
You can see and buy it here.
This is a very nice little $500 flatbed scanner that scans many formats of film from 2002.
To make a long story short, if you want to scan 35mm film don't buy this, buy a film scanner, and if you want to scan flat art like paperwork and photo prints you can get the same results with a $39 scanner.
If you need to scan medium and large format film and only have $500 then keep reading, although the EPSON 2450 is the one I'd get if I were you.
This Canon uses an idiotic AC adaptor insterad of a real AC power cord.
8.5 x 11.7" flat art scanning area.
Made pretty well in some oriental country (not Japan), I think it was China.
Film holders included for a single 35mm mounted slide, 35mm and 120 film strips and 4x5 film. 120 holder works up to 6 x 12 cm format, a nice surprise.
Up to 2,400 DPI, up to 3.2 DMax.
This is a nice, friendly scanner that does a lot of very different things fairly well, although the speed and color accuracy for scanning slides is poor compared to real film scanners.
The light source for the film scanner is integrated into the cover; you do not have to screw around changing scanner lids depending on what you want to scan as you do with the Epson 1640.
Film holders are important. Good ones give sharp, straight scans and are easy to use; poor ones damage your film, are difficult to use and give crooked and soft scans.
The Canon film holders are pretty good. They are of course all cheesy glassless plasticy things.
The 35mm slide holder isn't: it just is a hole where you put your slide and hope it stays aligned to the edge. It usually gave square results if you didn't rush. It has no spring loading to ensure straight alignment.
The 120 holder is very good. It does not require cutting the film and works for all 120 formats up to panoramic 6x12 cm. You're dead if the film isn't reasonably flat; the film can move under the heat of the light and give Newton rings against the scanner glass plate. It isn't always in focus. Tough, that's what you get for trying to scan film on top of a flatbed scanner.
Shadow Detail (transparencies)
This is very , very good. It might even be better than the Nikon 4000, since the Nikon 4000 (a $1,500 scanner) clips the blacks.
The levels are set perfectly, better than the $1,500 Microtek Artix 1100
The noise levels were typical for a flatbed CCD scanner, meaning sharpening will really bring out the scanner noise.
This is poor for scanning transparencies compared to real film scanners. You can get good color, but that's only after tweaking things in Photoshop each time for each scan. A good scanner will give you colors that match your slide, this Canon does not. I'm rich enough to be able to afford scanners that don't require color tweaking for each scan; if you don't mind this twiddling you will be a lot happier with this scanner than I was.
Use the Color Sync mode on Mac. At first I used the preset default mode because the colors looked better on the preview, however the actual scans looked bad. The preview looks bad when you choose the Color Sync mode, however the actual scans looked much better.
You'll have to try this yourself. What I consider poor and unacceptable is color that is still accepted by amateurs every day. With this scanner the preview colors do not match the scan and neither matches the original slide. On most dedicated film scanners like my Minolta Multi PRO or any of the Nikons the preview matches the slide which matches the original.
Exposure is excellent for transparencies. The highlights and shadows were right where they should be. I did not have to reset the black and white points in Photoshop as I did with the Microtek Artix 1100.
It is powered by an always-on AC adapter. It has OK power management; it turns on when needed and turns off automatically when you ignore it. There is no power switch. This is nice.
I installed only the driver and Photoshop import filter and it fired right up on my Mac.
I did not play with any of the other bonus software. It does come with Photoshop 5.0 LE, an obsolete light version of Photoshop that is useful if you don't have real Photoshop or the current and much better Photoshop Elements which should have been included instead.
The software crashed my Windows 2000 PC many times until professional help had to be called in. It crashed so hard that I had to pull the battery out of my new $4,000 Compaq laptop to get it to reboot, many times. Not that anyone should have to understand this science experiment stuff, but we increased virtual memory size to 750 meg, cleaned out my temp directories, and also removed directCD from my startup. After that it worked. Honest, if this stuff is familiar to you, for just $799 you can buy a complete iMac system including calibrated monitor and just get work done instead of updating and reloading operating systems all day as people on windows PCs have to.
It worked perfectly my Mac. This is good, because except for EPSON and Minolta products, most other scanners have also screwed up my Mac.
There is an indication in the scanning program showing how big your scan is going to be and how much free memory is left. I don't understand this. Out of the box I was always told I had 115mb free. If I tried to make a scan bigger than that it wouldn't let me. I did not try to see if this can be changed.
It comes with no manuals. This OK, it is a very easy scanner to use. I suspect it has documentation on the CD; luckily I did not need any.
It works great. Colors are good, scan speeds are fast enough and it doesn't make too many funny noises.
This is all good, except that you can get the same performance is any modern $70 scanner.
The high 2,400 DPI resolution is something you will not use for flat art. Unless you are counterfeiting bank notes, stock certificates, US currency or have some other need for absurdly high resolution and have workstation class computing power and have hours to wait around for scans to deal with the multi gigabyte files sizes you'll get at 2,400 DPI, you don't need to pay for this resolution. 300 to 600 DPI is all that's ever needed for real scans and you get that on any $39 scanner today.
The images are OK for bigger film formats, but poor for 35mm compared to a real film scanner.
They are not very sharp at 2,400DPI compared to a real film scanner and the colors are so-so for scanning slides. So-so means about the same arbitrary automatically "corrected" colors about as good as you get at the drugstore with print film. Many people are perfectly happy with this quality, and artists hate it.
FARE (a poor copy of ICE dirt and scratch removal)
This is poor. It replaces dirt specs with blobs of the same color as the surrounding area.
In the sky or an area of flat color this is fine, but in an area of any detail it looks nasty! ICE does a pretty good job of painting in the scratches; Canon's FARE just makes nasty blobs out of it all. It seems Canon was too cheap to pay the innovative American company Applied Science Fiction to use real ICE (the good stuff used by Nikon and Minolta), and just tried to copy it and called their poor copy FARE.
Therefore you'd need to make two scans, one with and one without FARE, and composite the two using the FARE scan for the flat areas where you would see dirt and use the straight scan for the busy areas loaded with detail where hopefully the dirt would not be distracting. No, I'm not going to explain that here because it's an advanced technique that if you are hot enough to know how to do you deserve a better scanner than this one.
Therefore, the main feature that sets this scanner apart from every other flatbed scanner isn't worth it.
It's always adjusting the lamp. That means that you often have to wait around for it every time you ask it to do anything. I'm unsure if this is a power-off setting that was set too short, of if the scanner is just so unstable that it requires constant self adjustment. In any case, this was a pain. These scan times don't include this.
MAC 450MHz dual G4, OS 9.2, 1GB RAM allocated to Photoshop 6.0.1:
@1200DPI FARE USM
04:30 @1200 DPI USM no fare
20 minutes @ 2,400 DPI FARE USM
minutes @ 300 DPI USM FARE
If you want to scan film don't buy this, buy a real film scanner. If you want to scan flat art like paperwork and photo prints you can get the same results with a $100 scanner. I returned this scanner to the store and bought a real film scanner instead for six times the price.
Specifically, forget this for 35mm film. You can get 35mm scanners for less money that do a better job. (See bottom of this page)
It may be nice for 4x5 film, but the lousy color makes the scans unattractive. For large and medium format B/W this could be a good way to go.
Home || <<Back || Gallery || Tech || Links || About || Free Trips || Contact