|Item Weight||1 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||5 x 9 x 11 inches|
|Item model number||VUP FSC1VP|
|Manufacturer Part Number||VUP FSC1VP|
VuPoint FS-C1-VP Film and Slide Digital Converter
|Price:||$24.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details|
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- Scan images at 5.0 Mega pixel quality
- Automatic color balance and exposure control
- Built-in back light
- Scan color or monochrome film and mounted slides
- 2.0 USB Interface
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This item VuPoint FS-C1-VP Film and Slide Digital Converter
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Savvy Electronics||Sain Store||ClearClick||GenCoDeals|
|Item Dimensions||9 x 5 x 11 in||4.38 x 3.47 x 3.4 in||3.5 x 3.5 x 4.4 in||3.5 x 4 x 4 in|
|Computer Platform||Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista||Support Win 7, XP, Vista, Mac||PC, Mac||SD Card, PC, Mac|
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Top Customer Reviews
Since the 500f's slide attachment only supports film strips, the new device had to support mounted slides. Also, the new device had to be simple to operate, allowing me to get negatives and film strips mounted as quickly as possible, while also having facilities to secure srips curled from low humidity. That's when I saw the VuPoint FS-C1-VP 35mm scanner. It was cheap, simple, and appeared to do everything I needed.
The VuPoint 35mm slide scanner is exactly what it appears to be, a 5 megapixel low-mid range CCD in a plastic housing. The housing contains a mini lightbox at the bottom to illuminate 35mm slides/negatives for scanning by the CCD. Simply take your slides or negatives, mount them in the included trays, and slide the trays into the scanner unit. Each tray window snaps gently into place, helping you to align slides/negatives under the CCD. The trays are VERY GOOD at holding curled negatives securely. (Extremely curled/rumpled negatives may introduce shadows into the scan. To relax the slides fully, try holding the tray over a steaming pot for about 10 seconds.)
The build quality of the VuPoint scanner is quite high. Although made of plastic, it has a very nice feel (akin to a 'satin finish' cell phone) and the mounted slide and filmstrip trays appear durable and fit firmly into the unit.
The unit gets power from an attached 4 foot long USB 2.0 cable, so it has an extremly small desktop footprint. The scanner is also insensitive to attitude, allowing usage virtually anywhere, from any angle (sideways on your lap, in bed, etc) making it much more likely you'll get that scanning job done.
I installed the scanner drivers ONLY, ignoring the image editing software that came with the unit (Photoimpression 6) and instead chose to scan directly into PhotoShop CS3. Using this method I was only able to 'dumb scan' at the highest resolution of 2592x1680. For negatives, this means you will need to invert the image after scanning and then perform color correction/level adjustment/unsharp masking/etc. Mounted slides or film stips will scan positive but will still need additional filters applied for best results. If you're scanning into CS3, create ACTIONS to handle typical slide archetypes (negative, positive, blurry negative, desaturated positive, scratched and dusty slide, etc).
In practice, the scan driver shows you a low framerate preview of the image under the CCD. If you wait between 5 and 15 seconds, the light levels in the image will balance and be ready for scanning. A sequence of positives with extremely different light levels will push your waiting time towards the maximum. In extreme cases you can wait 45 seconds+ for decent balancing.
To initiate a scan you either press the 'copy' button on the unit, or click the 'snapshot' icon via the scanner software driver. Snapshots are quick, but once you have a snapshot you then need to 'transfer' the image to CS3. This can take as long as 30 seconds per image.
The driver holds 12 snapshots. Once this 'buffer' is full you need to transfer the snapshots to CS3.
The driver grabs a decent amount of CPU while its previewing - taking 60% CPU on a 1GHz Pentium M laptop, and 40% CPU on a 2GHz P4. I'd imagine CPU usage would be around 20% on a dual core (will test this out later).
This unit will win no awards for image quality. I scanned in three 35mm mounted slides and viewed them onscreen while simultaneously also using a backlit slide viewer. The raw scans were fairly grainy, with blown out highlights.
I am linking to the RAW scans (with light JPG compression) for your review. Try cleaning up these photos yourself to get an idea of what the scanner is capable of.
I was subsequently able to clean the slides up in CS3 but couldn't recapture the lost details in the highlights. In some cases the loss of detail was so extreme that the photos were virtually worthless. High contrast photos seem to suffer the most (ex: a person in an unlit room sitting framed in a sunny window). However "normal" photos will occasionally suffer the same fate (a person sitting at a cafe with black shirt and creme colored striped pants = dramatic loss of detail in the pants).
The source photos provided were taken by my father and grandfather, using low-midrange SLR cameras - I have no idea of the lens or settings used. I assume these types of images represent typical inputs for this scanner. Higher quality slides with large, in-focus subjects should provide comparatively higher quality scans.
As just a raw USB slide scanner, the VuPoint is arguably worth the US$99 purchase price.
The hardware is well designed and very user friendly, looking like something worth at least $99. However, the driver software is horribly amateur compared to the likes of Canon and HP and seems cobbled together AT BEST. It cripples the hardware side of things, turning a potentially quality product into a questionable purchase. Until the driver software is vastly improved, allowing you to switch off the 'auto' adjustment functionality and set your own parameters, there will be no way to scan high contrast imagery.
[NOTE: The AMSHOW direct capture software that is installed along with the driver allows you to access some scan parameters. But I have been unable to make these changes persist or affect my scans into PhotoShop. I eventually installed the PhotoImpression software suite that came with the scanner, hoping it would provide me with a few more scanner control options. Sadly, this is just a consumer level app for rotating/sorting pics and applying canned image effect.]
The physical scanner looks and feels quite solid. The "scanner" is a 5 megapixel video camera with a close focus lens and LEDs for illumination.
The slide carrier and negative carrier have "locks" on the sides and in the middle that make it difficult to easily change the contents. I filed them off and much prefer it that way. In addition the slide carrier has a ridge all the way around the slide making it difficult to get a slide out after scanning. I filed away the center part of the left and right edges. I could then slide a finger nail in to lift up the slide. The carrier only moves through the copier from the right side to the left. I would have preferred a carrier that could toggle left then right so that you could fill the one side while the other side was being transferred.
It turns out that the hardware takes a lot of power from the USB port. I had 1 computer that the "live image" would not work on (it only provided a partial (20%) image then streaked). A call to the company gave a quick answer that my USB port was not providing enough power. Switching computers confirmed that because it worked in the new computer.
There are 2 parts. The driver allows the scanner to function with any program that can take scanner input. I used it with ACDSEE, HP photo manager, ArcSoft Photo impression. I understand it could be used with Picasa but didn't try it. The driver appears to be pretty primative but functional.
The "live view" is basically a video feed. When you click "snap shot" or press the copy button you freeze the image for later transfer. You can see the compensations for lighting as the live image changes. You may accumulate up to 12 images before doing a transfer. The annoying thing is that you cannot easily select multiple images. I found I had to control-click on each one. The transferred images looked good. Sometimes the color was a little off, but the detail of the slide was there. Color can be tweaked, detail can not be added to a picture.
I tried it on 3 computers. All were XP SP2. One failed with a BlueScreen of Death. I tried the driver from the manufacturer website but got the same results.
All in all, I think this will do exactly what I want -- scan the boxes of slides that my parents and I have accumulated over the years.
I would like to have had some more options to control the lighting and contrast in the driver.
The 2nd part of the software is the PhotoImpression program. It is OK. If you already have a photo catalogger/editor program you can use it to acqquire the images. You don't have to install anything but the driver from the disk. PhotoImpression was OK.
All in all, worth the money.
However, as other reviewers have noted, it was more of a nightmare than a dream. First, the software. You are forced to use the PhotoImpressions software that comes with it. I guess it isn't TOO bad if you have one or two slides to convert. But for more - what a pain! First, there are no options on color correction. The process for acquiring images (scanning) and saving them to your hard drive (or whatever) is laborious and error-prone. And the resulting images require a LOT of Photoshopping to finish the color correction and brightness/contrast.
The hardware looks neat. But woe betide you if you don't get the slide carrier clicked all the way closed (as I did - its easy to slip up here). I pushed the carrier into the convertor about the first time I used it, and broke a TINY plastic pin that holds a flap in place. I had to disassemble it and remove the flap (works ok without it). But, being an engineer, I was negatively impressed with the design.
The bottom line, I'm slowly working my way through my slides using the Film Scanner. But its a painful experience. Stay away from this, if you can find something better!!