Epson 3170 vs. Canoscan 5000F

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Christopher Berinato, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Hi...

    Trying to decide which of those two scanners to purchase, so I figured I'd
    go to the experts. For me, right now, it's really a tossup, and I was
    hoping someone here could tip the scales.

    I know the 3170 is VERY new, and has a better hardware resolution than the
    Canoscan. But, I've read on this group that this scanner is a more cheaply
    built version of the Epson 3200. I've also seen a few postings about
    difficulty with installation. The 3200x6400 resolution seems hard to pass
    up, but on every review of Epson scanners in PCWorld online, they mention
    "we've seen better image quality."

    The Canoscan 5000F, right now, is the top rated scanner at the magazine,
    followed by another Canon model, and they write glowingly about the image
    quality that both Canon models produce. However, the hardware is only
    2400x4800, and I've had bad personal experiences with two other pieces of
    Canon hardware. I do not have confidence in their products, but if the
    reviews are true, I'd be willing to give them a try again.

    Oh yes... I'll mainly be scanning photos... and MAYBE some negs and slides.
    I'm only a hobbyist, so this is not for professional use. Just need a
    scanner to get photos in, and do the occasional OCR and "photocopying."

    Thanks for any advice!

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    Christopher Berinato, Sep 14, 2003
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  2. If you are scanning photos then why are you considering anything as
    expensive as either of these scanners? Don't get carried away by the
    hype! The most you will get from a photo is around 4-500ppi - anything
    higher is indistinguishable from interpolation unless you are interested
    in recovering the grain structure of the photo emulsion itself, dirt and
    fingerprints on the surface or other print defects. Also remember that
    the higher the resolution of the scanner, the worse your problems with
    dirt and blemishes will become. Even at 400ppi, a 6x4" print will
    result in a 23MB file, at the maximum resolution of the scanner that
    becomes 3GB - have you enough storage space to use this, even if there
    was information on the print to capture in the first place?

    You will get excellent results from photos with either scanner, although
    I personally have found slightly better results from the Epson range in
    terms of colour and tone. But you will get equally good results from
    photos with less expensive hardware from either manufacturer too.

    For occasional slides and negs there is a justification for getting one
    of these machines, but it depends how occasional you mean. You would
    get far better results from a professional dedicated film scanner and,
    depending on the number of slides or negs you want to scan, it could be
    a cheaper option in the long run - especially as most developing houses
    these days offer scans to CD of freshly processed film at far better
    quality than either of these scanners offer.

    As for OCR, most software will not cope with scans finer than 600ppi in
    any case.

    Truly, the resolution of these scanners is only justified by film, real
    physical objects and text (not for OCR), and they don't do film
    particularly well compared to dedicated hardware - everything else they
    offer is just marketing hype.

    PS. The physics involved in their scanning technique, whilst providing
    optimum anti-aliasing for the lower figures, prevents either of them
    achieving anything close to the quoted upper resolutions - those 6400
    and 4800ppi figures are indistinguishable from interpolation, in terms
    of the resolution of the scanner, although they are not as such
    interpolated data.
    Kennedy McEwen, Sep 15, 2003
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  3. Christopher Berinato

    Steve Guest

    I've been very happy with my Canoscan 5000F and I think it's a great value.
    Coincidentally, I've just finished experimenting for the first time with
    slide and film scanning -- and am impressed w/ the results.
    Steve, Sep 16, 2003
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