The original Canon CanoScan 9000F was a semi-profession flatbed scanner with a versatile transparency adapter, which could handle slides, negatives and medium format film. The Mark II version appears physically very similar, with only the Mark II designation on the badge giving the game away.
This is a deep and unusually tall flatbed, which is hinged at the back and has a spring-balanced lid, so you can open it to various angles without risking it slamming down. Eight buttons are set into the top of the lid and these are the only physical controls on the machine.
Apart from the power button, which is now linked to an auto-off function, they’re all geared to fairly automated scans. The AutoScan function attempts to set all parameters for itself, based on the type of media under the lid. For most purposes, it does this pretty well. It may need to be told if a text document is for 200dpi archival or 300dpi OCR, but for day-to-day use, it’s helpful tool.
There are four specialist PDF buttons, for producing colour and mono PDFs, for using custom settings and for finishing a multi-page scan. Finally, there are buttons for producing a direct copy and for making an email attachment.
At the back of the scanner is a simple mains socket, no external power supply here, and a single USB socket, the only data connection provided.
There’s quite a difference between the software provision on the original CanonScan 9000F and on the Mark II. The original had copies of both ArcSoft’s PhotoStudio 6 and Adobe PhotoShop Elements 8. Both are excellent photo editors and can take you quite a way into the semi-pro sphere before they run out of clout.
Now you get Canon’s My ImageGarden which, apart from its silly name, is a pale imitation of either of these. The reflected L of its shortcut menu may keep it out of the way on the desktop, but controls and effects are basic and largely automated and it’s primarily for entry-level, home scanners, surely? It feels out of place here.
Both versions of the scanner offer ScanGear, which is an extended scanner driver, providing a good range of pre-scan image adjustments. It’s not the same though, as having quality bundled image editing software. Some customers will have their own preferred applications, of course, and they probably won’t mind the missing editors, but it has to reduce the overall value of the scanner package.