The Greatest Low cost Scanner for 2019: Opinions by Wirecutter

The Epson Perfection V550 on a deskPicture: Sarah Kobos

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Epson Perfection V550

It’s not the quickest or most correct scanner for on a regular basis jobs, however in case you have plenty of movie to archive, it’ll pull double responsibility with strong outcomes.

For those who want a flatbed scanner for workplace docs and images, and likewise must scan movie negatives and slides, the Epson Perfection V550 is your best choice. We cherished the outcomes we received with each negatives and slides. Nevertheless, it falls wanting the LiDE 300 as a general-use scanner. It’s slower, taking about 16 seconds to scan a photograph or workplace doc at 300 dpi, and we’re much less enamored of its default picture high quality, particularly by way of colour accuracy and distinction. The V550 can also be bulkier than the Canon, weighs extra, and has some annoying software program points that make it lower than splendid as an workplace machine.

A color image from a slide film scan using the Epson Perfection V550 This 35mm slide movie scan (initially captured at 6,400 dpi) reveals the picture high quality you will get out of the Epson Perfection V550, with correct colour copy and wonderful sharpness. For this scan, we used each unsharp masks and Digital ICE. Picture: Rik Paul

As a movie scanner, the V550 works nice. The machine comes with a holder designed for each 35mm and medium format slides (aka constructive movie) and negatives. Quite a lot of picture corrections can be found, together with sharpening, grain discount, colour restoration, backlight correction, mud removing, and Epson’s proprietary digital ICE know-how.

A video of a person placing the film holder onto the flatbed face of the Epson Perfection V550 To scan movie, you merely load it within the holder, take away the white doc mat from the V550’s lid by sliding it up, open Epson Scan in Skilled mode, choose Movie from the Doc Sort drop-down, and select the suitable movie kind. Video: Sarah Kobos

We discovered by means of trial and error that whereas a few of these corrections are helpful, others typically have a decidedly damaging impact on picture high quality. Specifically, opposite to their said functions, backlight correction typically led to blown-out highlights, and colour restoration tended to unnaturally skew colours. Digital ICE know-how, alternatively, labored nicely to take away specks of mud, scratches, and fingerprints from movie. Generally, we’d advocate leaving digital ICE and unsharp masks turned on and ignore the opposite corrections.

A document scanned with the Epson Perfection V550 The Epson Perfection V550 performs nicely with workplace paperwork, producing crisp, contrasty textual content that’s straightforward to learn.A color diagram scanned with the Epson Perfection V550 Paperwork with graphics look good, too, although they’re a contact oversaturated at default settings.The pages of an open book scanned with the Epson Perfection V550 Epson’s e book scans look totally different from Canon’s, however which one is healthier might be a matter of desire. The yellowed paperback pages retain extra heat right here because of the V550’s tendency to oversaturate, however the textual content stays very readable.A color photo scanned with the Epson Perfection V550 This shiny photograph scan seems punchy because of amped up distinction and saturation, but it surely comprises much less element than the Canon LiDE 300’s scan of the identical picture. Picture: Ben Keough

Scans of images and workplace docs look fairly good, too, however they’re lower than the requirements set by the Canon LiDE 300. A minimum of, not on default settings. Photographs come out just a bit too contrasty and too saturated for our style, and there’s occasional posterization in solid-color areas like blue skies. Epson’s software program does much less sharpening by default, but it surely additionally appears to make use of noise discount that results in an unnatural-looking smoothness in pores and skin and different detail-heavy areas. The excellent news, nevertheless, is that Epson’s software program gives an enormous vary of adjustment instruments so you’ll be able to fine-tune the output to your liking.

The largest problem with the Epson V550 is the software program—particularly whether or not you’ll be capable to set up all of it. Whereas you will get the core software program required to run the scanner from Epson’s website or the included CD-ROM, the included OCR software program (the wonderful ABBYY FineReader Dash 9.zero) can solely be discovered on the disc. That will have made some sense when the machine was initially launched in 2011, however in 2019 it’s preposterous: Most computer systems merely don’t ship with optical disc drives anymore.

A view from the front showing the Epson Perfection V550's physical control buttons Getting the V550’s bodily buttons to work might be an train in frustration. Picture: Sarah Kobos

Equally, the software program required to arrange the V550’s bodily buttons (for one-touch scanning to electronic mail or saving a fast PDF scan) isn’t put in by default when you use the Net installer; it’s hidden in a separate, collapsed drop-down menu on Epson’s assist web page, and with out it the buttons merely don’t work. This hurdle is straightforward sufficient to clear, however when you don’t know that it’s a must to search for the software program (the handbook is of little assist right here), you’re going to be tearing your hair out. Even once you do get it put in, the buttons are gradual to reply, and the integrations are very restricted. As an example, there’s no strategy to get the e-mail button to ship a scan through Gmail or one other Net mail service.

The Epson Scan app is outdated-looking however works nicely sufficient. It has 4 working modes (full auto, house, workplace, ) that provide totally different ranges of fine-grained management. Whereas we recognize the thought of curating software program settings to totally different makes use of, we expect most individuals might be finest served by both Full Auto or Skilled mode. The previous is nice for once you want a fast and straightforward scan and don’t wish to fear about decision or colour profile; the latter helps you to tweak each setting the V550 has to supply, but it surely’s straightforward sufficient to disregard those which might be irrelevant to your utility. In contrast with Canon’s scanning suite, Epson Scan places extra management proper at your fingertips, with much less clicking required to entry essential controls.

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