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Lines, Lines, Lines- can't get them to go away
on December 31, 2010
I bought the Pandigital Photolink One-Touch scanner after reading many other reviews, so I was aware of the possibility of lines showing on some of my scans. But many others reported no lines or found that by periodic cleaning, they could be eliminated. With all of the positive reviews about the portability, speed and ease of use, I figured I'd try it.
The product was delivered promptly and was very easy to setup. I ran the install software that came on the MicroSD for my MacBook so that I could scan directly to a folder on my hard drive, bypassing the MicroSD. That worked fine.
Then I proceeded to scan at 600dpi. I looked at some of the pictures in Preview, and they looked fine. I scanned a bunch more, then did an import into iPhoto. Generally, they looked good. Now, I'm pretty much a novice at iPhoto and photo editing in general, but I'm a pretty savvy computer user by profession. There were two things about the photos that I wanted to change: First, it looked to me that the backgrounds in the pictures were pretty dark when compared to the original photo. These are all pictures of people. The people looked bright enough, but the backgrounds and looked too dark. Second, the images were "soft" or a little fuzzy/out of focus compared to the originals. They didn't look bad and if I wasn't comparing side by side, it probably would have been acceptable.
However, I started playing around with some of the settings in iPhoto. First, I adjusted the sharpness setting which returned focus quite nicely. It also seemed to bring out a few of the scan artifacts (dust?) which looked like white particles here and there. Not bad, really. Then I adjusted the shadow setting which brightened up the background nicely. That's when I saw the lines. (I actually played with all of the settings, but these are the two I ended up wanting to adjust). There were typically 5-15 lines on each photo, and on virtually every photo I had scanned. You can't see them in the bright areas of the photos, they kind of blend in. And they are there in the background, but the scan darkens the background so that they don't show.
I tried to recalibrate using the directions provided, and I also used the cleaning tool several times, but neither seemed to make any noticeable difference.
Then I tried using the retouch tool. It was pretty good at eliminating the lines, blending them back into the background. If I want to spend 4-5 minutes per picture, I can sharpen it, brighten up the shadows and then retouch it to where the scan artifacts and lines are gone, and it looks pretty good. Also, when zooming in to retouch, I noticed that there was a horizontal "fault crack" about 1/4" from the bottom along most of the pictures. It's as if the feed mechanism had a hiccup at the same place on each photo. It was not real noticeable unless you zoomed in, but it was there.
It probably would have been OK if I had not made any adjustments and left it soft with a dark background. For the purposes of experiencing the photo, I would have been satisfied. However, once I saw that the lines appear when I try to make the photo look more like the original, I was unhappy with the value I received for my money. I am returning it now and looking at a flatbed scanner.