on November 4, 2007
I also bought this to scan slides -- however, while the slides are the standard slide size in terms of the holder, the slide film itself is square instead of rectangular like most modern slides (mine are about 1.44" x 1.44"). For some reason, the default size of the cropping the 8800F uses when you select 35mm slides is not user-changeable. I wrote the company and got a standard answer back that basically said "we're not changing the software to make you happy". I think they misunderstood me, but whatever...
Fortunately, I found the answer quite by accident. It turns out that in order to make the scanner work for my situation (and maybe yours), I simply had to uncheck the "Switches On/Off the Thumbnails View Mode" button and that allowed me to manually create the right size crops. It also means I can use the 35mm strip holder instead of the 35mm slide holder and leave the old slides in their metal slide magazine holders, saving me even more time.
After figuring that out, I'm happy to say this scanner exceeds my expectations and makes me a happy camper now that I can no longer use my Konica Dimage Scan Dual IV with my Vista-based PC. The hardware is very sturdy and speed is great. 1200 DPI scans take less than a minute each.
If you want more information on how to manually set-up to scan older slides, leave me your email as a comment to this review.
Hope that helps.
on April 13, 2008
OUT OF THE BOX: The complete machine is much smaller and lighter than my previous scanner, with the same scan field dimensions. It comes with a USB connection and a separate power "brick" between wall socket and scanner. Three scan guides are included; a combo of 2 side-by-side 35 mm film strips (for 5 frames each) with latches that flatten curved strips, a guide for 4 standard size slides and a 120mm film strip holder. These guides fit into a specific place on the scan surface, so that they line up under the lid-mounted light source, which is covered by a removable shield. The lid is quite light, but it needs opening to almost straight up for it stay open without support. The thin latches on the 35mm film strip guide are very flimsy, and I already snapped one when trying to load curved negative strips. Software with scanner drivers etc., an advanced image editing program, as well as versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements (5.0 for windows, 4.0 for mac) are included.
SOFTWARE: I haven't tried all the included software yet, as I prefer to work in other programs for archiving and retouching images. Having said that, using one of the programs to drive the scanner (MP Navigator) I think that there are some unnecessary steps and windows between scanning and saving. Working from a mac, setup was easy and scanning using the scanner interface is very intuitive. Everything runs relatively smooth, but there are occasional software crashes, and I cannot queue a lot of images before the program's buffer is full (even with an excess of RAM). Automatic detection of the images within slide frames or negative strips is very accurate, but this can be switched off, as another reviewer noted, and you can select your own area of interest or a whole film-strip.
SETTINGS: There are numerous choices to make before you scan, such as Unsharp Mask and Remove Dirt & Scratches, which has different levels to choose from, as do "Grain Correction" and "Backlight Correction". While I generally see a beneficial effect of the Unsharp Mask (again; I work at high dpi settings), I notice that turning the dirt and scratch removal on only makes a mess of the affected areas, while leaving some specs or smudges completely untouched. I tend to turn the choices for removal of dirt & scratches and grain correction completely off. I am running the scanner completely from the scanner software and am not using the panel of buttons on the scanner lid, but it appears that these can be user-configured. Hidden in the preferences is also a setting to enable 48/16 bit output, but I haven't played with that yet.
RESOLUTION: As noted by other reviewers, at higher resolution settings scanning can take quite some time, but I actually like this when it gets to a point of 30 minutes (for example for 8 negatives at 3200 dpi), so that I can work on something else instead of tending to the scanner every few minutes. For a preview scan and scanning prints at lower dpi settings this scanner is reasonably fast.
FILE FORMAT & COMPRESSION: When I was running my initial tests to figure out optimal settings (optimal between image resolution needed and memory demand desired) I ran into some unexpected findings. For instance, I see a dramatic improvement in retention of details when I save scanned images as JPEG format rather than in full size TIFF. The compression actually seems to greatly improve contrast and sharpness, while taking up a lot less space! There are 3 levels of JPEG quality; High, Standard and Low (with inverse amounts of compression), but so far I have not noticed any (!) difference in final details when I choose "standard" over "high" quality, and again; the files take up less space in standard setting. A clear difference may be seen at lower dpi settings.
RESULTS: The proof of any scanner is in the final scanned image and judging by that standard this CanoScan performs really well. Scanned prints are easy, because their physical dimensions don't require a high dpi setting. For color or negative film, some colors come out perfect, while others need a little tweaking afterwards, but overall this scanner performs great. I have posted a few images of color slides scanned with the CanoScan 8800F where I compare certain scan or save settings.
Pros: High quality scanner with lots of professional options for a low price. Abundant choices in resolution and other settings. Produces amazingly detailed images from prints, negatives and slides.
Cons: Mostly related to software (only tested on a mac); small buffer for scanned images, occasional software crashes, some needles clutter in amount of windows and pop-ups (some, but not all can be turned off). Flimsy latches for 35mm filmstrip guide.
In spite of some software shortcomings the end results are fantastic for a scanner at this price, and I rate this scanner around four-and-a-half stars.
This is a review of the Canon CanoScan 8800F.
After enjoying my now old Epson Perfection 1650, I was assigned the family's task of scanning our old family slides. I first tried the dedicated slide scanner available at Hammacher Schlemmer. What a piece of c***! After researching dedicated slide scanners for a while, I came upon a review of the Canon 8800F. After further research (I think I reached the end of the Internet during this effort) I ordered one. Now, after having scanned about 500 old slides, and getting used to the new software interface, I'm in love with this scanner. It does a GREAT job scanning the old slides in super-high resolution (4800 dpi) and is also an excellent general purpose scanner. Just a footnote, it takes about 20 minutes to scan four slides at 4800 dpi.
on September 1, 2007
Bought this scanner to replace my 8400F that I bought two years ago. The price at $199.00 is about $130.00 less han the 8400F was.
First thing that I noticed was the lack of the 8400F's warm-up time for each scan- due to the new lamp Canon now uses. Yes the scans are sharper- significantly so.
The 8800F now is more intuitive to operate due to the new array of seven pushbuttons that select modes. The off/on switch is now on the top
lid rather than hidden way back on the left side at table level.
On the minus side, there are fewer slide/negative holders to work with. Canon supplies one for 35mm film and one for 120 film only.
Since the name of the game is sharpness and the ability to achieve
the final results that you expect from Canon I am more than well satisfied. The 8800F outperforms the 8400F in every way and the colors
are more true to the originals also.
on January 27, 2008
Good News, Bad News. I purchased this scanner based on numerous positive reviews. I was looking primarily for a negative/slide scanner, but I did not want to lay out the bucks for a dedicated slide scanner. I actually would have considered one of the higher-end Epsons, like the V500, but I was sold on the LED illumination and quickstart capabilities of the 8800F. For the record I have owned an Epson 1650 and an Epson 1240U, upgrading each time to take advantage of some new capability. None of my scanners, ranging all the way back to my first PlusTek has died on me.
First the bad news. Negative scanning is NSG (not so good). That is not to say that the Canon is not good compared to other scanners, but it takes about 1 minute to scan a single negative panel at 1200dpi, and it takes about 4 minutes to scan at 2400dpi, the math works. 2X linear equals 4X area. After doing a couple of test scans, I came to the conclusion that the incremental quality of 2400dpi was not worth 3 minutes per slide for a family photo archive project. I was also coming to the conclusion that 1 minute per negative panel would not really work for me.
On to the good news. I decided to scan 4 prints. I took them out of one of our family photo albums, and started the scan. WHOA! The machine scanned the photos in the amount of time it took my Epson 1650 to do a preview scan. The wonders of modern technology! I checked the default resolution, and it turns out to be 300dpi. I had experimented in the past with resolutions up to 4800dpi for family photos, and finally realized that 300dpi is sufficient for all normal (4x6 etc) size prints. I only use higher resolutions for smaller prints.
The Canon guys have fixed every problem I have ever had with a scanner. The negative holder does a GOOD job of flattening out curved negatives. The lid is HEAVY, which is good, so I don't have to dig out a fat book to help flatten curved photo prints. The LED illuminators come on instantly, so no waiting for the fluorescent lights to warm up. And finally, it's FAST.
Last but not least, if you use their scanning utility (with the zippy name of MP Navigator EX) it puts EXIF information if you store your images in JPEG. I have always thought that would be an excellent improvement to scanners.
I have been scanning family type photos for about 10 years now, and I have to say that the Canon CanoScan 8800F addresses every improvement I have dreamed up on my own for flatbed scanners. Now if they can make a scanner that will scan 4 negatives in 7 seconds, I will deem them perfect. In the meantime, I have to rate them as 'almost perfect'.
The only reason I give them 4 stars is that I technically purchased the unit to scan negatives and found 1 minute per negative panel to be a slight disappointment. For normal print photo scanning I would give them a 5 easily. The control panel for Amazon does not let me select 4.5
2008-02-02 I have used this scanner to scan some more slides. They still take a while, but I have the slides, what am I going to do? The only way to get the EXIF information is if you use the MP Navigator program. I have tried using the TWAIN facility with both Irfanview and Picasa. The scans are fine, but no EXIF information. I was concerned after scanning some Whale Watching slides, as the 2nd-4th panels would not have the edges of the slides detected well. The water was deep blue. After scanning slides with landlubber type backgrounds, grass, dirt, etc., all of those had slide edges detected properly. All I had to do with the Whale Watching photos was crop to edit out some black borders.
My Epson 1650 would sometimes screw up the orientation of the slide. It would decide that a landscape slide should be portrait, cutting off the sides, or a portrait slide was landscape, cutting off the top and bottom. It was a major nuisance when that happened, and even if I attempted to preview the slide multiple times, rotating it, for some slides it would never get the image right. So far I have not had that problem with the 8800F.
on October 27, 2007
After reviewing several scanners - I decided to try the Canon CS8800F as a replacement for a broken Epson 1670 scanner. It was difficult to decide because none of the brick & mortar stores had one to look at, but I chose the Canon for several reasons: ability to scan 35mm film (we have a large library to begin putting on the computer), quick with the LED/no warmup tmes, and reported ease/stability with OS X (Mac).
Ease of Use: I'm very pleased with it's ease of use - my 9 year old sons can (on their own) copy/print documents using just the buttons on the scanner and not having to do anything on our family computer. My mother-in-law can as well.
Quick: it's quick. For intermittent use, and it's no-warmup time. My wife complained about the previous scanners warmup time, so this was a reason to look at/buy it. I haven't used it enough for regular work to determine how fast it is for higher resolution work, but so far it is seems fast on the default scans.
I can easily make multipage pdf documents for emailing and/or faxing to friends/family - this feature has come in handy - although that wasn't initially a reason why i looked it it.
So far, the software has been everything that it should be - doesn't slow down or crash our OS X 10.4.x like the Epson software would. Run in native Intel mode (iMac Intel).
The cons i can think of at the moment is it would be nice if it had a LONG usb cable adaptor, but considering i placed the unit about 10 feet away, that's longer that probably any product has a cable for. And the most annoying issue is the noise it makes while scanning. We do a lot of scanning work after my 9 year olds are in bed and if they aren't already asleep they can easily hear the scanning down the hall. It tends to be a high pitched whine. If this unit could be improved, that is what could be improved and why i'm giving it only 4 stars out of 5.
I haven't had a chance to evaluate the film scanning just yet, i may add that to a later review and there may be some minor issues with OS X 10.5 and the software. The scans work, but the software crashes after the scan. It worked fine with 10.4.10 that i'm looking into right now, so i suspect an update soon should be forthcoming from either Apple or Canon about that.
on October 12, 2007
My CanoScan 8800F arrived from Amazon earlier than anticipated which is usual for Amazon and great for me. Setup was very easy. This scanner and its software is definitely made for VISTA. It comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements ver 5. (Yesterday I saw a copy of ver 6 on the store shelf). The included software is easy to install and performs well. However, there are no printed manuals other than the Quick Start Guide. In addition to Photoshop Elements, it comes with ArcSoft PhotoStudio ver 5.5 and ScanGear which must be installed and used if you want to scan 35mm film, slides or 126/620 film.
I was impressed by the fact that it would automatically crop different size images being scanned. However, I soon discovered that it did not always do the autocrop and when I manually cropped, it did not save the cropped image. Hopefully the help screen will tell me what I did wrong.
I scanned some 35mm negatives and it will do up to 12 images in one session and take about 8 minutes. I also tested the scanning of some 35mm color slides and it will do 4 in one session and take about 2 minutes. The slides just drop into the holder. I figure that if I sat at the computer and paid attention, I could scan about 60 color slides an hour, giving time for placing them in the holder and then saving the images. This does not include time for the auto retouch software to work. My saved unretouched color slides are about 1.5 MB in size when saved as a JPEG.
Overall I am very pleased with my 8800F purchase. One note of displeasrue was the fact that the Canon website would not allow me to register my purchase as part of the setup/install process. It took all of the information, but then rejected it.
on March 15, 2008
This scanner is fantastic. I just got it as an early birthday present from my wondeful wife and parents and it's been a spectacular gift - as another reviewer has noted, "far exceeding my expectations."
I had planned on getting this scanner initially, but ended up getting an HP G4050 because it could scan 4x5 negatives (this one does not). I regretted the G4050 decision as soon as I tried it out: because it does NOT truly work with Windows Vista (the 8800F does). I took the G4050 back the day after I got it and immediatly ordered the 8800F.
As so many people have noted, the software and interface for this scanner is amazingly easy to use and very intuitive. You can choose between "simple" and more advanced modes of scanning which makes it all a snap. The scanner is also very fast: previews of images only take a few seconds and the actual scans are quick as well - yet the quality remains beautiful.
The scanner comes with 3 CD-Roms. One contains the scanner software, and then there's two CD-Roms with Photoshop Elements: one for Vista and one for Mac OS - that alone is a roughly $80 dollar value (what I paid for my copy of Elements). Also included are the power cords (of course) the USB cable, and holders for 35mm, Slides, and Medium Format film.
Although Canon doesn't advertise that the 8800F can be set to scan black and white negatives, it does have setting to do so: and I must say that the scans of my black and white negatives look suprisingly good, all things considered. If you get a professional scanner for b/w negatives you'll have to actually put the negatives in a mineral oil which helps with scratches, etc., but for simple b/w scans that will certainly work well enough for snapshots and memories, the 8800F produces excellent results.
As much as I'm enjoying this scanner, I'm curious about some of the decisions that Canon made with it (hence the 4 star rating instead of the 5). I wish that they would have given this scanner 4x5 capability as well as 35mm and medium format. Not only would being able to do 4x5 be a great feature, but it would allow more than two rows of 35mm negatives and one row of medium format or slides - it'd be nice to be able to scan larger batches.
Overall this is a great scanner and I'd recommend it to anyone...thanks for another great product, Canon!
on January 25, 2008
I've owned many scanners. I recently purchased this item to replace a Canon 8400F that I wore out ( scanned 15,000 photos)over a period of 15 months.
I've used the 8800 for a week now ( about 300 scanned items), and I am
so impressed with the quality of the scans, that I am planning to RESCAN
most of the photos again. Yes, the sharpness and color fidelity imparted with this scanner are so good I consider it worthwhile to REDO about a years work of archiving.
I started by rescanning some of the photos to see how the new scans compared with those from the 8400 I had used for my archives. Most comparisons showed the raw scan of the 8800 to be superior, and never less than equal to the 8400. I really liked the 8400. I LOVE the 8800.
The scanner is very fast. The final scan of a 4x6" photo takes about 3-4 seconds.I do about 100 pictures in an hour, even with the need to tweak some using the Canon Navigator software. You can do multiple pictures in one pass, but I like to look at each picture individually and crop it as I scan.
One useful tip is to use the Advanced mode and set the "Paper Size" to fit
the most common size of your photos. My typical photos are 4x6 or smaller so I use the "2 L Landscape" that creates a 7"x5" scan template (i.e. the scanner only travels about 1/2 way down the platen each scan both saving
time and potential wear , and also eliminates the need to "zoom" to get
a good size picture displayed for tweaking and cropping.
Did I mention that I LOVE THIS SCANNER?
on October 7, 2007
I've now had the scanner for several weeks, and I'm really impressed with how well the scanner works. It gives consistent results every time. I haven't played with the software that came with the scanner, but it imports just fine using Photoshop Elements 5. I'm running Vista and it hasn't caused Vista to hiccup once.
I've tried several settings, and I get the best results if I scan at 4800, and each slide takes around 2-3 min.
For regular scanning it is quite fast. I can do a copy from the scanner to the printer. In fact my printer is one of those all in one jobs, I can do a copy from the Canon to the printer, faster than I can do a copy with the printer alone.