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Bad software for the Mac
on January 23, 2011
After spending so much on this scanner, I expected it to come with professional-quality software, but it didn't -- at least not for the Mac. Epson Scan is less capable than the software that came with the Microtek scanner I'm replacing, which cost half as much.
Worse yet, color management is broken under Snow Leopard. This is acknowledged on the Epson Web site, and they say they're looking for a solution, but that's a year and a half after Snow Leopard was released. So, what you see on the screen is very different from what you get in the scan, even to a less experienced eye like mine.
Not only that, but the software still requires Rosetta, meaning it hasn't even been updated for the Intel Mac. In fact, unbelievably, rotating the preview window sends the bottom of it behind the Dock, so you can't read the stats at the bottom or resize the window. That means this software has not even been fully updated for OS X! Basically, you're getting an OS 9 app that's being minimally updated to keep it running.
The solution to this is to use SilverFast AI. That software comes with the Photo model of this scanner, which costs several hundred dollars more -- or you can buy the software separately from LaserSoft Imaging, which is what I'm having to do, again for a few hundred dollars more. Epson really should not be selling this Graphic Arts model at all.
Update -- Even with SilverFast AI and a brand new driver update, this scanner does not play well with the Mac on Snow Leopard. I almost always have to restart my Mac just to get SilverFast to find the scanner. I also have to restart sometimes when the scanner starts producing errors during a scan. And when the scanner's already on, sometimes the Mac doesn't start up properly! When that happens, the system is super slow and unresponsive, so that I have to shut off the scanner and restart the Mac again! Also, installing the driver apparently screwed up the permissions on my kernel extensions, which I discovered only accidentally through an alert by TinkerTool System. (DiskUtility doesn't fix these particular permissions, but TinkerTool System does.)
On top of that, SilverFast seems to be almost as outdated as Epson Scan. I have eight virtual cores on my Mac, and when processing the scanned image, SilverFast uses just one!
Update 2 -- It turned out I could get rid of the software errors described above by connecting with USB instead of Firewire. Maybe my adapting from Firewire 800 on the Mac to Firewire 400 on the scanner had something to do with it, or maybe my using a long Firewire cable, but neither was a problem with my old Microtek. In any case, I suggest you avoid using Firewire on this machine, at least with a current Mac. Luckily, using USB with SilverFast doesn't seem to slow things down noticeably -- though for some reason, SilverFast already scans considerably more slowly than Epson Scan.