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103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2004
I bought the Epson 4870 scanner to scan my old pictures and negatives. I read many reviews on different scanners. I chose Epson 4870 mainly for the high resolution. I also, liked the firewire option and the speed seemed to be reasonable.

I managed to scan hundreds of films and pictures in the last few months with no problem. The product works excellent, but that itself could be the problem. It is just too good for my needs. The very high resolution would produce files about 100 MB; way too big to adjust the lighting or the color on it. My Intel P4 machine with 256 MB RAM had hard time managing those files. The resolution was much higher than anything my $1000 digital camera could ever produce. Unless you are a professional photographer or you need to make large posters of your pictures, you will never need such a high resolution capability. I ended up using the lower resolution settings and still have very good quality scans. Save your money and buy the Epson 3170.

Here are some technical notes:

The setup on my XP machine was very easy and took only few minutes. I used both firewire and USB with no problem. I noticed absolutely no "stability & reliability problems" as other reviewer has reported. I wonder if that reviewer's machine did not have the muscle to handle the large files. You need at least 128MB of memory. Also, if you use Windows, make sure you have set enough space for your virtual memory (on XP: Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System ->Advanced -> performance ->Virtual Memory).

The black & white setting of the software does not work, but you can use the color setting for scanning the black and white pictures with no problem (you will get a good quality B&W scan).

The Adobe Photoshop LITE included with the package is definitely needed to adjust the lighting and the color. For more repair work on damaged films or for applying special filters, I would recommend the full version of the Adobe Photoshop.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2004
The "Digital Ice" technology ONLY works with color film--even on a dedicated film scanner, so this is normal. As an inexpensive flatbed scanner that can also handle film scans, Epson has done an incredible job. (Inexpensive compared to high-end scanners) All this in a sub-$500.00 package, with a D-Max of 3.8 is really outstanding and worth the investment if you are an artist or photographer on a shoe-string budget. Worth the price, if you're also willing to tinker with the software settings before making your scans, and you're using Adobe Photoshop to finish the job when the scan is complete...
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2004
This is my 4th color flatbed scanner, the others were UMAX, HP and Canon and I must say this is the best so far. Out of the box, setup was a snap, very easy to use, excellent color rendition and solidly built. Photography is my hobby and I scanned a 6X7 negative with scratches and applied the Digital ICE technology and I was amazed at the results, It saved me about 20 minutes of touch-up work. The quality comes very close to a dedicated film scanner.
If all you need is a document scanner then this unit is overkill but if you are doing photography or just want the best scanner you won't be disappointed. I am not sure about the editing software that comes with it since I already had Adobe Photoshop 7.0 but the Digital ICE technology is amazing. This unit has USB 2.0 and IEEE/1394 Firewire interface. This is the first unit I have owned with a Firewire interface and it is so much faster than my old units. Epson has made my hobby fun again!
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I researched this scanner very carefully as my options (I live in Taiwan) were limited and the only other option was to order a dedicated film scanner from the U.S..

Epson said "Will rival dedicated film scanners." In my opinion, it not only rivals them, but outperforms some of 'em.

I read some reviews that listed an 8 minute scan time for a 35mm slide with ICE enabled, that is about right if you save as .jpg. I save as .tif, so the scan times are closer to 12 minutes. However, I save double that just by not having to do dust and scratch removal manually. I have it connected to a USB 1.1 port (Pentium 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM) and am planning on putting a USB 2.0 card or Firewire card in and upping the RAM to 1GB. However, I don't really expect huge performance increases (I do a LOT of scanning, so if I can shave a minute off of each scan, that will add up to a lot more productivity over a month).

I have noticed that this scanner does a little better with negatives than with slides, go figure. Both work well with some post processing in Photoshop (all scans need that, the only possible exception is if you are using Silverfast Ai, which I am not and which is, in my opinion, well worth the investment of US$100 to upgrade from the included Silverfast SE).

Overall, I found Epson Scan to be barely adequate. The professional mode needs more tweakability. I do final color balancing in Photoshop, and usually resample the images down from 4800dpi to a maximum x or y of 5000 pixels for archival images. The grain removal feature seems not to work at 4800dpi on any machine, Epson's response seems to be "tough." If it is a real problem (on some push processed B&W I have), I simply use Silverfast SE to do the grain removal (SEs non-ICE defect removal is FAR better than Epson Scan's).

All in all, I have had virtually NO problems with this scanner and I've plugged it in (while trying to figure out why the grain reduction didn't work) into 5 computers, including 2 running Chinese Windows XP (a notoriously buggy environment).
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2004
I scan only 35 mm black-and-white negative film (including C-42). Scanning at 4800 dpi, 16 bit I get beautiful scans with great detail (about 58 MB files). Love the automation of scanning 24 negatives at once. It takes only about 70 minutes. Scan quality better than a pro-photo cd and close to the quality of a drum scan.
Setup was easy. Build quality is good. I'm quite happy. Would highly recommend.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2004
Just a few thoughts after my first couple days with this scanner. It generally does an amazing job for a flatbed, but it does have its limits. For instance, digital ICE will NOT function on normal black & white film. It will only work if you use chromogenic black and white film (film that can be developed using color C-41 processing). As the keeper of thousands of b&w negatives and slides, this is a serious limitation for me. It was the main reason I bought this scanner. It's probably not a limitation for you. Also, when you are using digital ICE on any film format larger than 35mm at the higher resolutions (1200ppi and higher), the scan times are almost unbearable. Try 30 minutes to an hour! And this is on a Pentium 4 2 GHz machine using the USB2.0 connection with 1 Gig of memory. Lastly, I have Photoshop Elements 2.0, and Photoshop 6.0 and 7.0 installed on my computer, but the scanner at this point in time only seems to be able to import images into Photoshop 6.0. This occurs using the Epson Twain acquire software. I have not yet tried the Silverfast software, it may function properly. Overall, very high build quality, and it seems to do a great job on 35mm slides, but it just wasn't quite what I was expecting for my medium/large format b&w work.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2005
I have had this scanner now for several months and have had quite a bit of experience with it. I chose this scanner, although in some reviews I read it didn't get the highest marks, because it had the film adaptors I needed for my negatives - specifically 2 1/4" negatives. I couldn't find another good scanner with that particular size. But I have been very happy with it - couldn't be happier. I didn't have any problem with software, hardware or speed. Nothing has gone wrong. I use a top of the line iMac with 1 GB of memory and I'm sure that helps speedwise. I have found the software that is supplied with the scanner to be more than adequate (the Epson driver, Photoshop Elements 2, and Silverfast), though I eventually upgraded to PhotoShop Elements 3. I haven't used Silverfast much at all because I found the combination of the Epson driver and PhotoShop Elements to be able to do everything I needed on my 65 year old negatives. One reviewer said this scanner is overkill. It is if you are only going to scan photos. Its strength is in being able to get good resolution on negatives and slides for a moderate price. I have used the scanner with both Mac OSX 10.3.8 and 10.4.2 and there are no problems on either one.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 25, 2005
I just received the scanner today. It was easily installed and worked great out of the box. This scanner is identical to the PRO version (the only difference is the additional software in PRO). For home and family photo scanning this version is more than enough. If you are a serious photography hobbyist or professional, the extra software (upgrade in Silver Fast from the LE version plus Monaco EZ Color calibrating system) in the PRO version more than makes up for the price difference. After much thought, I went with the PRO version. The software does have a slight learning curve, but even winging it on my first scan I got great results. I have been very happy with all my Epson products over the years and this scanner, I can tell, will fall into the same category.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I rate this at 4 1/2 stars...

Bought this over the weekend specifically for scanning 4x5 transparencies (taken during the 1950's) and so far very impressed with the quality. I've also scanned 35 mm film strips with equally amazing results. I'm new to this aspect of computer use and my laptop may not be powerful enough at this juncture and so it seems slow when I scan - converting it to 2400 dpi, but the results were definitely worth the wait. This was an upgrade; had an epson 3170 and was very pleased with it but wasn't getting clear results...saw dots all along profiles.

The only difficulty I've had is when I use both 4x5 frames it will only read one frame - here again it may be because my computer needs to have more power. I also had difficulty with 2- 1/4 x 2-1/4 negative but didn't have that problem with the 35 mm strips.

I did try and scan a very old 8x10 color proof and used the ice aspect - might be my inexperience with computers and such but the outcome was better than the original, however, don't think the 8 minute wait was worth the effort; if I used the photoshop software I may have been happier but as I really intend this for negatives and transparencies I'm one very happy customer.

Haven't had a chance to use any of the accompanying software so I can't comment but for straight scanning what a wonderful machine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2007
I use this with my Apple G5 computer with the SilverFast software. I bought it to scan my large collection of 35mm, medium format (645 and 6x7) and 4x5 negatives. I found the software and computer very easy to set up and run with Adobe Photoshop or just by itself. Scanning at very high resoltions gives me print quality equal to what I can get printing the negatives in the darkroom and printing out to sizes 23x 30 inches with superb quality.
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