Friday, March 18, 2011

The Most Affordable Large Format Scanner

The Mustek ScanExpress 1200 is probably the cheapest large format scanner for sale. But cheap isn't necessarily bad.

Instead of the normal CCD (Charge Coupled Device) used by other scanners, the ScanExpress 1200 is one of just two units that use a CIS (Contact Image Sensor) to scan documents. More features about its capabilities will be revealed in this review of the Mustek ScanExpress 1200.

A useful component for any office using scanners for business, this large format machine will be an invaluable asset. Documents with dimensions of 297 by 420 mm will fit in the flatbed tray and can be scanned with a 9600 dpi (dots per inch) resolution in full color. The machine is connected to a PC via a USB 2.0 interface cable. The most popular of Windows operating systems such as 2000, XP and Vista can be accommodated as well as the Mac OS X.

Quality copies can be made then faxed or E-mailed using the software included in the package. Also part of the bundle are OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programs and image enhancement programs which may be of interest to graphic designers. A 48 bit color depth coupled with a 24 bit gray scale is supported for printing on A3 sized plain paper.

The minimum system requirements for the scanner are a PC with a 500 MHz Pentium cpu, 220 MB free space on a hard disk drive and 128 MB RAM in system memory. There should be an available USB 2.0 port and an SVGA color monitor for viewing the images. The USB port does not supply the power, this comes from a supplementary 12V mains power adapter supplied. The scanners light source are LED's which do not require a lot of power and enable quicker cold starts.

The scanner does not have any outside switches or keys. There is no on/off switch. The machine is controlled entirely via the operating software. This controlling software has not been upgraded in the last five years. The drivers, however, are very much up to date and offer support for 64 bit Windows XP as well as Vista.

Scanners can use up a large amount of space due to their large footprint. The ScanExpress, being an large format scanner has this problem. Placing it in the office could cause problems. One of the more useful features, however, is being able to remove the cover from the base. This enables books and multi page documents to be scanned with ease. The two wedges holding the cover on to the base may be removed, allowing the cover to be lifted off.

Optical resolution is important to a scanner, but interpolated resolution claimed as an enhancement by some scanners should be treated with caution. This is a trick by the software to enlarge an image using less data. No clear picture can be produced by any machine with little or no data. The machine can produce an image with 9600 dpi resolution but it only requires 75 dpi to display the image on a color monitor. A color image will print clearly at 300 dpi and black and white images would be crisp at 600 dpi.

The information above assumes images are to be printed using their original dimensions. When printing enlargements, however, higher resolution is needed. This is because when printing of the final picture takes place, the higher dpi is retained after the enlargement. Hopefully the information contained in this review of the Mustek ScanExpress 1200 will have been of use to everyone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Epson Expression 10000XL

This review of the Epson Expression 10000XL graphic arts scanner is intended to give the potential purchaser some relevant information regarding this scanner. Professional graphic artists or photographers who produce a large volume of high quality digital images will be well served by the Expression 10000XL. The 10000XL has received high marks from those professionals already using it. The 10000XL has many features included that will improve the productivity of the professional graphics studio.

The Expression 10000XL has a retail cost of up to $2,500. It is not an inexpensive scanner. The Expression 10000XL was designed for the professional graphic arts or photography studio. The 10000XL is compatible with both the MAC or Windows operating systems. A limited warranty for a one year is included with the purchase.

The Expression 10000XL is a large-format flatbed scanner with 2,400 dpi scanning resolution, 48-bit internal color depth, and 3.8 optical density. The scanner features a sophisticated six line alternate color CCD and an auto focus optics system. A zoom function provides a zoom in 1% increments from 50% to 200%. The scanner operates at high speeds of 2.7 ms/line at 1,200 dpi. There is an optional automatic document feeder available.

A software bundle is included with the 10000XL. The Expression 10000XL connects to either the MAC or a PC via standard USB or Firewire ports. The 10000XL is network compatible and be connected to a computer network. A network adapter is included. The MonacoEZcolor with reflective IT8 Target is a part of the software bundle. The bundle comes with Photoshop Elements 2. Included is the ABBYY FineReader Sprint OCR software application. Accurate high quality image duplication will be attained with the powerful software applications included with the Expression 10000XL. Old photographs with faded color can be have their original colors restored. Dust can be removed and grain reduced when film is being scanned.

The 10000XL will consume fifty-five watts or less when in normal use. In sleep mode it will consume around six watts. It uses an AC 100-120 volt power supply, which is included.

When in normal use, this scanner will use approximately fifty-five watts or less of power. When operating in sleep mode, the Expression 10000XL uses only six watts of power. The Expression 100000XL requires an AC 100-120V power supply which is included.

Among the more popular features of the 10000XL is the batch scanning functionality. With batch scanning the artist can scan several images at one time. Batch scanning functionality is a great time saver. In one scan you can do the work that several scans would have taken. There has been some feedback about the noise level. However, this is a minor complaint when compared to the increased productivity the owner will enjoy. Buyers have high expectations because of the high price of this scanner. Comments from users indicated that these expectations have been met.

This review of the Epson Expression 10000XL makes it clear how the professional photographer or graphic artist will improve their productivity when they add it to their studio. It can scan a maximum of thirty 35 mm slides, forty-eight 35 mm negatives, and eight 4 inch X 5 inch transparencies. A transparency unit is available as an optional accessory. This scanner will help the professional artist to realize gains in their productivity.