Top critical review
199 people found this helpful
No 3D scanning
on October 2, 2010
I bought this scanner to use with Windows 7, because HP has not made available a 64 bit driver for my trusty old HP 5470c scanner (in an effort to boost scanner sales no doubt). There can't be much of a market for straight scanners anymore because my local Staples has on display dozens of all-in-one printer/scanners and zero straight scanners.
Pro: I like that this scanner is small, low power, and uncluttered, but I won't dwell on these points as they have been discussed by other reviewers. Quality as far as I can tell from my limited use is good. I saw a detailed review of this scanner that concluded the quality was excellent. Speed is no problem, with no lamp warmup and the preview scan is quick (10 sec).
Cons hardware: As I now know (but did not know when I bought this scanner), all low power LED scanners with CIS sensors like the Cannon Lide family, have a big, big drawback. They have almost no depth of field. They can only scan paper, they can't be used for the scanning of 3d objects (scanner photography). I did a lot of scanning of 3D objects with my HP 5470c where by cranking up the resolution you could use it like a low power microscope and generate beautiful scans. To be able to do 3D scans with Windows 7, I am going to have to buy yet another scanner!
Document top is near the buttons. To avoid having to rotate the image each time you scan you need to remember to put documents on the glass 'upside down'.
Cons software: One weirdness is that even though this is 4,800 dpi scanner, the pull down resolution choices (even on the Advanced screen) stop at 1,200. Why? Apparently you have to type in higher values. I marked '4,800' on the cover to remember in future how high I can go.
The Cannon scan software is cluttered with beginner screens. The 'Advanced' screen, which an experienced scanner will want to use, is almost totally hidden. About three layers down there is tiny little check box on left that says "use the scanner driver". When you click this, the green 'Scan' button changes to 'Open Scanner Driver', and this brings you into the scanner screen with full controls (Cannon ScanGear). Access is so obscure, the first time it took me an hour to find it. As far as I can tell, there is no way to start directly in ScanGear, but I did find a way to bypass a couple of beginner screens (add shortcut to 'MP Navigator EX 4.0\mpnex40.exe'), and if you play around with preferences you can get ScanGear to automatically generate a preview scan as you enter.
Cannon ScanGear provides about the same level of scan control as HP's software, but I find the Cannon histogram (& VueScan's too) to be not nearly as good as my HP 5470c histogram, so setting the B/W points is more difficult. The histogram is quirky too. If image adjustments other than 'none' are selected, the histogram is either blank or compressed. A good feature of ScanGear is that it remembers all your settings.
One useful button is 'Copy', which does a scan and sends it direct to the printer. To get half decent quality in a Copy button scan you need to have preset the software to 'Auto'. An annoyance of the Copy button is that it opens a Canon screen that it doesn't close. I also have found that sometimes the Copy button is ignored.
I had to install the Cannon software twice on my Windows 7 machine to get it to work reliably.