What a dilemma on scanners (with printers, it is easy, if splurging and if you want archival quality, then it’s on to the Epson 2200, if it is everyday stuff, the cheaper Canon i950).
For scanners, it’s a different story. First there is the question of flatbed vs. dedicated film scanner. For flatbeds, the two to get seem to be:
* “Epson 3200”:http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Scanners/Epson_3200/page_1.htm. This particularly reviewer really loved the quality. No dust removal, but very high quality at 3200 dpi. USB 2.0 and relatively fast.
* “Canon 9900f”:http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Scanners/Canon%209900F/page_1.htm. He didn’t like it quite as much as the Epson.
For film scanners, a good “overview”:http://www.rit.edu/~cgs2794/scanners.htm by Carl Smith and a a “comparison”:http://www.rit.edu/~cgs2794/comparison.htm shows:
* Nikon Coolscan 4000ED has the features, but it’s expensive at $1400
* Canoscan FS4000US most folks think is close to the Coolscan, but it only has USB 1.1 so it is slow. It is in the $600 range.
* Nikon Coolscan IV has lower resolution but digital ICE and it is great at resolving shading (something called D-max). It is also about $600.
* Minolta Discan III is cheap, but low resolution and poorer dust removal at $300 and a good default choice.
* Minolta Dimage 5400 (see below). This sounds like a great unit that is coming out next month. So the idea is to wait.
Photo.net Canon Canoscan FS4000US Review by Bob Atkins might provide the answer…
Just for information, for people intending to buy a filmscanner but who can still wait a few more months: Partly based on this review and the appended comments, I had more or less decided to buy the Canon FS4000US plus a SCSI card. I found the Nikon 4000 ED too expensive and the Minolta Elite II maybe not having enough resolution. However, yesterday I heard that in June 2003 Minolta (Europe) will be releasing a new 35mm filmscanner: DiMage Scan Elite 5400. With 5400 dpi, 16 bit ADC, USB 2.0 and FireWire and a price of appr. 900 US$ this almost sounds like a dream come true. Therefore, I think I will hold on to my money for a few more months and until some reviews of this new scanner have been published. But just from the manufacturer’s specs, it is at the top of my list right now.
— Jos Roost, April 9, 2003