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VINE VOICEon July 24, 2009
Updated again 12/14/14: This scanner is STILL WORKING PERFECTLY FOR OVER 5 YEARS!! I got it new for $112.98. DO NOT BUY FROM A SELLER that is a highway robber because if they are selling this for more than $150.00, if its even worth that since it was $113.00 in 2009. I would seriously look elsewhere if some greedy seller is asking for over $400.00 to $500.00 for this scanner especially when there are better and cheaper items out since this oldie came out over 5 years ago so don't get ripped off! Remember, what they were selling in 09' for $113.00 is now almost $500.00 for 5 year ancient tech.

See 1/10/13 update below. This puppy is still working just perfectly for 2 1/2 years now so far. I'm still very happy with this.

I wasn't planning on getting another scanner until I foolishly decided to clean the inside and outside of the glass on my old HP scanner because the underside was cloudy. I got rid of the smokey glass but added lint:( so I checked the specs on this scanner since there weren't many reviews on it and decided to take a chance on buying the LiDE 700F because of the image resolution and price.

I couldn't be happier that I messed up the old scanner. This one makes excellent scans and makes things very easy to enlarge when printing. It is also very lightweight and easy to store. One of the better things is that it all works with one USB cord. I really am impressed with the quality of the scan although I don't believe that it actually scans at the speed that is advertised. It does seem slower than what the specs list and that is at the default scanning resolution for me. That issue doesn't bother me though because it fits my needs perfectly. Resolution is easily adjusted but the higher the resolution the slower the scan.

I use it (and carry it) between 3 different computers in 3 different rooms. It works flawlessly on Windows XP, Windows Vista 32 bit, Windows Vista 64 bit, and Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit. It comes with its own software which works well although I prefer to use it through Adobe Photoshop.

Picture scans come out excellent and the color correction is great but not perfect. It has restored some old photos very well for me. Scanning text is easy and having the four buttons on the front make scanning for e-mail, .pdf, copies, and scans faster.

I do not have slides to scan so cannot comment on the quality of slide scans although I am extremely curious due to the very high maximum pixel count for slide scans.

I like this scanner immensely because of the light weight, portability between machines I use, that it requires only one USB plug, and the great scanned images. I do agree with another reviewer that the cover does feel flimsy and could be broken by someone not careful but that does not concern me much even thought I carry this from room to room depending on what machine I need to use. Just use the same care as you would with your laptop and you will be fine.

I would not hesitate to recommend this scanner for high resolutions scans for people on a budget. This is a great scanner! I have no regrets having purchased this scanner.

BTW: This is my first straying from HP scanners since 1995. Beware HP! Canon has won me over.

EDIT: (Addition 3/7/10) Works flawlessly with Windows 95, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.

I also have to retract my statement about color correction. This machine scans so well that the image of something I scanned, using this scanner, was better than the actual item according to the person who bought the item. I was accused of "Photoshopping" a picuture because the image was so much better than the actual paper money the scan was used to represent. It was only scanned (using the scanner software - not imported into Photoshop), cropped only, and not altered using software. Now that's an impressive scanner!

January 10, 2013:
This is still my only scanner and it still works perfectly. It has NEVER given me a problem and is so easy to stash. I still recommend this scanner unless there's something better for less. I wouldn't know because I've been happy with this one soon headed to year 3 of use.

January 25, 2013:
I guess this is now one of 2 scanners. I haven't tried the other scanner yet and it was not intentionally picked to replace this scanner. That was for a Vine review and I won't compare this scanner to that because this scanner is spectacularly slim and that one is not.
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on June 17, 2009
This scanner does a good job of scanning prints and documents. But the accessory film scan device is virtually unusable. My results were hopelessly out of focus. I contacted the Canon service center, and after they had seen my emailed scans, they agreed that something was amiss. I sent the scanner back (along with my test negatives), and they sent a replacement unit. This performed better, but the film scans still are woefully unsharp compared to what I got seven years ago with my HP film scanner.

I'll keep the scanner for scanning flat copy, but I will not bother to scan any more films.
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on August 9, 2010
After 6 months of use, I feel that I have to give everyone my opinion about this little scanner. As many around, I was driven to believe that this scanner was able to process films and slides. It is true that in my mind, I could not imagine that a brand such as Canon would make a scanner able to scan films but not mounted slides. Nevertheless this is the case here. BEWARE THIS SCANNER CANNOT SCAN MOUNTED SLIDES!! This is probably the most stupid marketing concept of the year, but the engineers at Canon just stopped short when developing this scanner. They imagined nice ergonomics, an even nicer low profile making it easy to slide under a desk, created an ingenious lid able to open 180 degrees, not to mention the ability to have the scanner installed angled on a desk, thus limiting the footprint. The scanner works very nicely for everyday tasks, it is easy to use, gives great results scanning documents and normal prints. The software, although always limited, is correct and regularly updated. With little practice, you are able to make it do whatever you want. It installs very well with Windows 7 64 bits and works fine from there. IMHO the major drawback of the software is the way it handles files locations. You are always wondering what is actually happening when a file is saved as it lists processed files not by location, but by scanning session. It's a bit like managing a multi-k MP3 collection from iTunes... Quite annoying and almost impossible...

Now about the films. This scanner is able to scan films, B&W and negatives without too much problems, despite the fact that you must manually change the backlight plug-in device for every frame. By default the software crops the frame as it wishes, but you are able to disable this feature if you want borders scanned as well. Scan speed is correct up to 2400 dpi (about 1min 30s to 2 min). Above this resolution, it takes about 5 minutes at 4800 dpi frame and it becomes useless except for specific pictures. I have scanned several hundreds of B&W films (home brewed!) and after messing up at first, I managed to get good results. With the appropriate software such as Photoshop CS4 or CS5 you can save files with 48/16 bits color depth by TWAIN importing (beware CS4 64 bits does not allow this. You must use the provided 32 bits version for the TWAIN interface, another couple of hours lost to figure it out...). You're not able to use 48/16 bits color depth from the Canon software itself as it cannot handle these special files properly, but this is usually the case with most scanner makers. I believe you would probably get even better results with a more professional flatbed film scanner such as 8800f or Epson V500 as I always find that the pictures could be better resolved. But you also have a glass between the CCD and the film...
Another point of concern is the fact that you must calibrate this scanner quite regularly. I've found post in forums of users throwing out this scanner as they had horizontal lines when scanning films. This is normal and shows you must calibrate it. Overall from my experience, you must do so at every photo scanning session. It takes 3 minutes to do so, but you have to find where the functionality is hidden in the software. It took me 1 hour to find it. Thanks to the Canon developers... I am a very advanced user, and I believe that most users could not find the calibration functionality this easily... You have to switch the entire software to advanced mode (after you clicked scanning films), then go to the parameters menu, then you'll find in one of the tabs 2 tiny buttons for scanner glass and film calibrations. From there it is straightforward as it is all explained by pop-up messages. Another completely stupid ergonomics brought to you by Canon. Why to hide these absolutely indispensable buttons?
But my extra large concern and source of deep consternation is the total inability of this scanner to scan mounted slides. When you try to do so, although there are no reasons whatsoever why it couldn't technically do so, you get completely fuzzy images as the CCD captor is unable to focus the half height of the frame mount. I cannot understand what happened in Canon's mind when they gave their green light to the mass production of this device. Did they think that people do not have slides to scan in the 21st century? This is a proof of complete disrespect from Canon toward their photograph customers.

Overall, this scanner is nice for office tasks, but for films it should NOT be branded as a film scanner as it is misleading. It may scan a negative film from time to time, but do not expect to do more that this.

-Nice ergonomics, thin line, innovative structure
-Nice blend of scan quality, speed, ease of use and software for everyday office tasks
-Does not require a power supply (USB powered) Nice!!
-Ok to scan a film from time to time.

-CANNOT SCAN MOUNTED SLIDES!! This is more than annoying, it's REVOLTING!!
-Strange software ergonomics, maybe Ok if you have major brain damage, but otherwise requires a lot of search for basic functionalities, calibration in particular
-Requires regular calibration for films scanning (every session). It's Ok once you know how to do it.
-Impossible to clean the glass from below except if you know how to deal with plastic tabs. A fast remove structure would have been nice as it is necessary to clean the glass from below from time to time
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on July 23, 2009
The scanner does a good job and it's great that it doesn't need a separate power cable. The main drawback I've found is that the hinges for the cover depends on a tiny little plastic nubs that are easily broken off.
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on March 6, 2011
I have used an HP Scanjet 4670 for years, and really loved the thing. It was the rare flatbed scanner that did not take up a lot of desk space, having the unusual vertical picture frame design. My particular unit was faulty in some way (I never determined whether it was a hardware fault or something with the driver); sometimes in the middle of a series of scans it would crash, requiring that I close the HP software and cycle power to the scanner, then relaunch the HP software. And it was not a very good slide scanner. But because of its form factor, build quality, flexibility in use, and small desktop footprint, I kept using it.

Enter the new computer with Windows 7 (64 bit). I checked all my equipment with both the manufacturers and with the Microsoft Windows 7 compatibility webpage. With the exception of my Scanjet 4670 and my trusty Color Laserjet 2600n, all equipment was Win 7 x64 compatible (HP said there was no Win 7 driver for the 4670 and the compatibility chart did not disagree. I heard that HP has since added a driver but I have not verified this. Some web blogs suggested that it could only be used via TWAIN from other graphics software, perhaps Photoshop or similar). I decided that it was time for a new scanner, assuming I could find a comparable one with the vertical design and Win 7 compatibility and good reviews.

The ONLY scanner that fit my requirements was the Canon 'CanoScan LiDE 700F. It is very comparable to the old 4670. Since I am writing this review from the perspective of a 4670 comparison, I will mention the major feature points.

- Both can be used vertically by opening the cover and dropping in documents or photos.
- Both can be used horizontally with the cover out of the way to scan over-sized items and books.
- The Canon is not as good as the HP for scanning when you need to place the scanner face down on the item to be scanned, or when you need to hold the scanner up to an object (such as a wall or a sign) to scan it. The 4670 was the only scanner I ever saw that was really good at these odd scanning situations. The Canon can probably be used, inconveniently, upside down, but I am sure Canon does not recommended it and the non-detachable cover would certainly get in the way. I think trying to use the scanner in a 'free-orientation, hand-held mode would be ill advised.
- With the HP, you could see through the scanner to the object you were scanning (applicable only when used upside down or in free-orientation mode); the Canon does not have this feature.
- Both have detachable light-source units which fit onto the scanning platen, allowing the light to be sent through a transparency to the scanning element. So, both machines handle the scanning of slides and negatives in a very similar way.
- Both have a set of buttons on the scanner for quickly performing common scanning tasks without opening the software.
- Both scanners take about the same amount of time to perform the actual scan, not counting warm-up time.

Some areas where the Canon is superior to the HP:

- The Canon does not have a 'wall wart' power supply. It uses only a small amount of power and therefore can be powered solely from the computer via the USB cord. For this to work, you need to make sure that you use either a full-power USB port on the computer (some computers do not provide full power to all of their USB ports...usually the ones on the back are full powered, but on some computers the ones on the front are not full powered....OR you can use a USB hub if it is a powered type and the hub port you choose is fully powered.
- The Canon uses LEDs for the light source instead of a fluorescent lamp. This means there is NO warm-up period, and the scanner starts immediately. This is a huge improvement.
- The Canon software is better than the HP when it comes to automatically detecting the boundaries of the item(s) you are scanning. I found that the HP software routinely placed scan crop boundaries in scanned items.
- The Canon software automatically allows scanning of multiple small items such as photos. Just make sure they have enough separation, perhaps almost 1 inch, and the software identifies them as different items and saves them to different files. The HP software allowed multiple items on the platen, but you needed to manually select them and save them.

The HP was a heavily built scanner, and the Canon is lightly built. I would not say that the Canon is flimsy, but it does not have that solid feel that the 4670 had. I think the Canon is indeed a quality product, but is made with a different philosophy. I think if the two in the same way I compare and old American car that weighed twice as much as modern cars, yet the new ones last longer, don't rust out as badly, are safer in crashes, are more efficient, and generally work better in many ways.

OK, how well does it scan? I don't have a color chart, but the photos I have scanned come out looking good. The scanned results might be slightly lighter than the same photos scanned with the old HP 4670. I actually have a handful of photos where I still have the prints, and also have scanned versions done on the HP, for comparison....but have the original prints faded over time? I cannot say for sure if there is really any difference, but in any case the results are very good.

The Canon software opens with a simple interface for quick scanning of everyday items. If you click a check box, the software opens an alternate scanning interface with many, many more options and controls. It looks like a very comprehensive set of scanning controls and adjustments can be made here, but I have not played with them yet. By default, the software auto-detects the crop borders of items on the scanner platen, whereas the HP always showed the adjustable crop borders. In the Canon, you need to select the advanced mode interface to get the adjustable crop borders.

I have to confess that I don't have any slides or transparencies any more, and therefore cannot easily test the Canon's slide scanning quality and features.

I have read other reviews where people have wondered about this scanner's compatibility with the newer Windows 7 operating system, especially with the 64 bit version. I have had no problems at all with the installation or use with Win 7 x64. BUT, I did have problems with many other printers and such, most of which were supposed to be Win 7 x64 compatible. I eventually got them all working fine, but in some cases long tech support sessions were required. I actually spent almost three hours on the phone with an HP 'level three' tech support guy getting my color laserjet working (I never did get the old 2600n working, and the new CP1525 I bought to replace it is the one that took three hours to get working); after this I received a phone call from an HP software engineer who wanted to know the exact steps I took when trying to install the CP1525 the first time (I had followed the instructions exactly), and he told me something interesting about Win 7. Apparently, even if you are the administrator and think you have administrator privileges, Win 7 still restricts certain kinds of changes that driver installation software often tries to make. This can mess up an otherwise good installation. Repeated attempts at installation can leave a mess in the registry and in other places, hence the need for long tech support remedies. The HP engineer told me that when popping an installation CD into the drive, Win 7 opens a dialog box that identifies the executable installation file, asking for permission to run it. Instead of letting it run, take note of the filename, abort the installation, then use Windows Explorer (or whatever that feature is called in Win 7) to open the CD drive folder, find that executable installation file, right click it and select 'Run as Administrator'. This is in fact what the tech support guys did to get other equipment working after they had undone the damage caused by the messed up first installations. So, I tried this method when installing the Canon software, and everything went perfectly. I will certainly use this method for any other drivers I install in the future. Also, with Win 7, it is a good idea to define a system Restore Point just before making any new installation of a driver or other software. If it goes wrong, it it easy to ask Windows to revert to the system status before you made the change, thereby hopefully avoiding long tech support sessions.
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on September 14, 2009
I dont have a lot of space... and I hate scanners that have beveled edges on all 4 sides of the scanning area-- simply because, most of the time I have to scan in 11x17 pieces of art and have to later, put them together ... and that beveled edge makes a shadow on the art where the art is hanging off the side of the scanner-- making it twice as hard to match up the two halves of the art properly--

This scanner is small-- light weight-- and has a clean edge where the over sized documents can hang off with NO beveled edge-- perfect! Its also powered through its USB connection, so no extra power cord, making it that much cleaner and easier to use-- plus, technically, it makes it pretty darn portable.

The UI for setting your preferences are nice and easy too-- I got Vista on my new laptop and lost the ability to use the easy scanner wizard that I loved so much in XP... and I hated the hard to use software that came with my old scanner... but this one is great-- pop up window allows me to change DPI, file name, destination and other settings quickly and easily, so life is ok again:)

Scans come out great-- clean and noticeably better all around than my old one (which wasnt that old, to tell you the truth... Im comparing this scanner to something in the same ball-field here-- an HP if you must know) but Im 100 % happy with the trade up-- does the job and looks good on my desk.

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on September 13, 2010
With my new Kindle (and I know this sounds stupid) I was looking for a faster scanner to scan some of my older books very quickly into the computer. Previously I used the Canon CanoScan LiDE 25 scanner which took around 20 seconds for a scan an 15 seconds after the scan to reset the lamp to the start position. I liked that scanner because it did not needed an extra power cable but I was looking for something similar just faster.

Then I found this scanner and after reading the reviews I gave it a shot. And yes I have to say I was very impressed and did the right choice. It scans a page with 300 dpi (and that or lower resolution is the fastest setting) in only 10 seconds and it takes as little as around 8 seconds to reset the lamp after the scan. For me that is just enough time to flip the page of my book for the next scan and that is how it should be!

To scan a book of 200 pages needs 100 scans which you can accomplish with this scanner in around 30 to 45 Minutes. I'm using the latest OmniPage program for text recognition which also keeps scanning without pressing any button. So I just have to flip the pages.

This scanner also does not need any additional power cable. It gets all the power from the USB cable. I love that because I don't like cable.

I did not try to scan negative or slides with this scanner and I expect that the result is not that impressive. But this is not what I need the scanner for.

For my purpose this is the best choice and I can't wait to preserve all my old books and load them into my Kindle for my next vacation.
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on April 29, 2009
This is my second Canon scanner purchased through Amazon. This one is great and a great price! In fact, if I had waited just one more day I would have saved an additional 8 bucks off :( Oh well, no gripes because I am very happy with this gem. It is powered by USB and I am happy with the scanning time- very fast. This puppy powered right up and the installation and set up was quick and easy. So far I have tried scanning everything, including 35 mm and it is awesome- Canon seems to have the edge on low priced, high quality scanners- they have set a high bar to beat. Highly recommend this scanner!
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on January 23, 2011
I read a lot of reviews in PC Magazine before I bought this scanner. This one was rated very high across the board. There were cheaper models that also got high ratings. As I researched further, though, I found that they were much slower. As I am scanning all the pictures from my three children's baby books speed is a huge consideration. I did install the software that came with it (many of the older posts said not to). Anyway, it works great. Color, clarity, speed, ease of use. My digital photo albums are just as beautiful as my 35mm ones.
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2012
Last year, when my belovéd HP 4600 scanner bit the dust, I replaced it with the Canon CanoScan LiDE 700F. I've since received an Epson Perfection V370 Photo for review. Because they have similar features and pricing, I've decided to write a single review comparing and contrasting them. This review replaces the previous review of the Canon 700F.

IMPORTANT This printer originally cost $60 to $120. (I seem to remember paying $75, including shipping.) As good as it is, it is not a $400 printer.

The HP 4600 was a classic scanner. You could lift the scanner from its base and lay it on whatever you wanted to scan, viewing the "whatever" >>through the scanner<<. I know of no other scanner that offers this feature -- it is sorely missed (especially as stitching software makes large-area scans practical). (I recently tried to scan a book with the Canon. It was close to impossible to get a well-aligned scan without a gutter shadow. This would have been little or no problem with the HP. I'll probably put the book in holder and photograph it, page by page.)

The HP 4600 also set a standard for compactness >>and<< sturdiness. You couldn't pound nails with it, but there was no sense of flimsiness.

Neither the Canon nor the Epson reach this standard. The Canon's lid (which, in fairness, is not a structural element) seems decidedly flimsy. It bends too easily. "First impressions" count, and Canon should have made it thicker and stiffer. (My NSECTs are made of thicker plastic.)

The Epson comes across as a heavy -- and not well-balanced -- plastic box. The lid has an articulating hinge to accommodate thick books, but lifting the lid to do so is actually a less-prepossessing experience than it is with the Canon -- the hinge wobbles. (In compensation, the Epson accommodates thicker books than the Canon, before additional mass is needed to flatten them.)

If I were buying an inexpensive scanner for a small office, I'd go with the Epson, as the Canon seems more-likely to be damaged by careless users -- especially by being knocked off the desk. (I did not perform the obvious drop test.)

WIA Compatibility
I've put this near the top because it will be the deciding factor for some buyers. Windows Image Acquisition (or Windows Imaging Architecture) is a standardized interface for imaging hardware (including cameras and printers). Programs that support it can scan and import images directly from a scanner.

I tried it with Photoshop CS6. There was no problem with the Canon. A few mouse clicks, and the photo on the platen was scanned and loaded into Photoshop, ready to edit. With the Epson, the V370 was recognized, but no WIA interface was available.

WIA is important if you want to edit photographic prints, negatives, slides, etc, >>with advanced software like Photoshop and PaintShop<<. There's no need to separately scan, save, and import. Of course, if you're happy with the editing utilities that come with these scanners, you don't need WIA.

In my original Canon review, I paraphrased Oscar Wilde: "There is no such thing as a good scanner or bad scanner. There is merely good or bad scanner >>software<<." One might also paraphrase Hamlet: "Scanners are neither good nor bad, but their software makes them so."

Unless you're content with fully automatic scanning, you'll have to get familiar with the supplied software. Both have the same basic features -- the ability to select image type and size, resolution, brightness/contrast, directory and file type, and so on.

Generally speaking, the Epson software is organized by the type of image you're scanning -- photo, letter, negative. The Canon software organizes scanning by the destination -- screen image, JPG, PDF. Both, however, let you switch to a "professional" mode that lets you set almost everything manually. (The Canon's pro mode isn't available until you click the "use printer scanner" checkbox.)

Much to my surprise, the Epson software provides more, and a wider range of, image-editing features. (You'd think Canon would lead in this area.)

For example, Epson lets you set JPEG compression from 1 to 100 (least to most), while provides gives only three levels (least, average, most). Epson lets you select the degree of unsharp masking and the dpi of the descreening. Canon gives only one setting for each.

Canon's color-balance adjustments are made with a "ring-around" display that shows the scan at the center, surrounded by "corrected" versions of different hues. Epson, on the other hand, offers a more-powerful system that lets you fine-tune the correction -- but without any reference (other than seeing the change on the original scan). The Canon system is inherently obvious, while the Epson arrangement was thoroughly confusing -- and Epson's help was not very helpful.

Canon lets you reorder your scans before placing all of them in a single PDF file. Epson does not permit reordering -- you have to delete and rescan.

Regardless... The software for both products has a lot of features, not all of which are intuitive. Don't wait until you have a major project to learn how these programs work.

Image Quality
I tested the scanners with two color images. One was the cover of "Make: Lego and Arduino Projects" I just reviewed, plus a highly detailed 8x10 photo of a friend. My monitor is a factory-calibrated ASUS PA 248Q. To compare the scans with the originals, I turned off the room lights and illuminated the originals with a Lowel ego light.

I used manual settings for both scanners to make sure the images were scanned and processed the same way. Both were scanned at 100%, with the scan area limited to the actual object size. Unsharp masking and descreening (for the book cover) were enabled. All images were saved as JPEGs with minimal compression.

Out of the box, both scanners showed a slight shift to the blue, with Canon's error slightly greater. Both very slightly overexposed both images.

To judge sharpness and detail, the scans were viewed in Windows Photo Viewer at high magnification. They were essentially indistinguishable.

Both descreened the book cover perfectly, even though the Canon doesn't have an adjustable setting. Unfortunately, the Canon software doesn't permit using unsharp masking and descreening at the same time.

User Manual
The Canon manual is "classic Japanese" -- it explains all the details (the what), while ignoring the broader view (the why). The Epson manual is surprisingly weak on details -- I often found its Help confusing or seemingly incomplete -- but it has step-by-step procedures for most scan types.

Regardless, if you plan to perform anything other than automatic scans, be prepared to get familiar with your scanner's features and functions.

Real-World Considerations
In terms of daily use, the Canon wins in almost every department. It's slightly shorter and much thinner than the Epson. It's easy to pick up with one hand. (I keep the it on a rack next to my desk and grab it when needed.) The Epson is much heavier, and not well-balanced for single-handed pickup.

The Epson's platen sits within a four-walled well. The Canon has only three walls; the long left-hand "side" is flat. This means that, in some cases, you'll have less trouble "flattening" books.

The Canon is powered by the USB port; a power supply isn't needed. It works fine with my notebook computer running on its battery. If you want to copy documents at the library, the Canon is absolutely the way to go. The Epson has an external power supply which, as other reviewers noted, is so wide it's likely to overlap the adjacent socket.

In imitation of the HP 4670, the Canon has a kick stand that lets it stand almost vertically, saving desk space. If you use the Canon mostly to copy letters, you need only drop the letter in, close the lid, and click Copy or Scan.

The Epson scans both 35mm negatives and slides. The Canon scans only negatives.

The Epson doesn't support WIA, so you can't scan directly to image-editing software. On the other hand, the wider range of Epson's software adjustments might minimize the need to use such software.

It's a toss-up. The image quality of the Canon and Epson are essentially indistinguishable. If the Canon had the software features of the Epson, or the Epson had the physical elegance and WIA functionality of the Canon, it might be possible to declare a "winner". (My own preference is for the Canon.) You'll have to decide on the basis of hardware function and software features.
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