A Photo Scanner 

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While All-in-One or multifunction devices continue to be the flavour of the month with both retailers and consumers, there is still a place for various standalone devices.
Epson Perfection V200 scanner

If you have the work space and an interest in photography then you might well prefer the specific functionality that is provided by a dedicated scanner.  A recent example of this specific scanning functionality can be found in the Epson Perfection V200 model which provides the means to scan general documents, photos, film strips, slides and even 3D objects with a scan resolution of 4800 x 9600 with 48 bit colour.

Opening the box reveals the black and matt silver scanner; power and USB leads; plastic adapter for use when scanning film strips and slides; plus a software CD and Getting Started sheet.  No printed manual was supplied with the unit sent to me.  Fortunately there is an electronic version on the CD which is hardly the most convenient approach if you like to sit back and browse through the documentation at your leisure.

Before setting up the scanner, which involves little more than removing a small number of sticky tape strips and attaching the two leads, you will need to install the various items of software supplied on the CD.  Given a choice of Easy or Custom Install, I opted for the former which divides its content into required and optional items.  The required items include the User Guide, driver and the Epson EasyPrint Module.  You can cherry-pick from applications such as ArcSoft Photo Impression; ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint Plus; and Epson Creative Suite.  Some user interaction is required during the installation as you will need to accept various terms and conditions imposed by the software companies.  At the conclusion of the installation, the system will need to be restarted and then you can connect the scanner.

With the same measurements (43 x 28 x 4.3cm) as the earlier V100 model, this Epson scanner has that appealing look that cries out "Use me!"  Power and USB (2.0 of course) connections are located at the rear right corner next to the four control buttons designated for power plus direct scanning to email, printer and PDF format.  As with the Epson V100, three scan modes are provided.  You can select from Full Auto, Home or Professional with each one offering a degree of control over the scanning process.  Full Auto, as its name indicates, can take over all the decisions although it does allow you to turn on/off dust removal; colour restoration and auto photo orientation options.  Home mode  lets you select the document type and adjust the resolution setting while Professional mode includes options to switch between reflective and film source material; change colour settings; and allows you access to adjustments that include tone, brightness, contrast and saturation.  To take full advantage of these various adjustments I would suggest that you take time out to read the relevant sections of the online manual.

Speed of scanning is generally fine ,often taking around 30 seconds to produce a full colour, 300dpi A4 scan and place it in the Epson file manager feature.  Tackling film strips is slightly more complicated and time consuming.  You need to remove the document mat from the scanner lid and then place the plastic adapter with the film strip or slides already in position, on the scanning document table prior to starting the scan operation.  In this mode, the scanner does insist on carrying out a preview scan as the first step.  Once this has been completed, you can then scan the required image.  Including the preview, a scan of a film strip consisting of four images took just under 140 seconds.  This time did include saving the four images as separate files and displaying them in the Epson File Manager module.

Scanned image quality, whether using paper documents or film, was set up to standard I have come to expect from Epson.  While not the fastest scanner around, the Perfection V200 does not keep you waiting too long.  Epson has priced this scanner at £69.99.

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