There are several classes of flatbed scanner, from cheap and cheerful top-of-an-all-in-one class to multi-thousand pound professional art capture devices. Epson’s Perfection V600 Photo is aimed at the photo enthusiast, either keen amateur or semi-pro. Coming in at under £200, it includes the photo restoration software, Digital ICE.
This is a tall, deep scanner, all black but for a silver keyline around the edge of its lid. The lid is deep, as it includes the backlighting for the transparency scanner. It’s spring counterbalanced to stay open at 45 degree and 90 degree angles, and has extending hinges, so you can scan from bound documents.
At the front, four scanning buttons, set by default to tasks such as copy, scan to e-mail and scan to PDF, can be programmed to start other applications, too. At the back, the only sockets are for USB connection and for the scanner's external power supply. In a device the size, it's a shame the mains supply can't be built into the body of the scanner.
Under the Epson Perfection V600 Photo’s lid you can slide off the document mat to reveal a light source for the transparency scanner. Two reversible templates are provided to lay on the flatbed, which between them enable negatives and slides, both 35mm and medium format, to be easily positioned for scanning.
The bundled software includes a full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 (Mac, version 6) and Epson’s excellent Scan utility, which works in four different modes with increasing levels of control.
Full Auto does what it says and using default settings, scans whatever's on the flatbed. Home mode gives a little more control, while Office mode offers extra settings again, though still with an eye on productivity. Finally, there's Professional mode, which gives you access to all the available setting choices.
Also bundled are Abbyy FineReader 9 Sprint, for Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Digital ICE, which automatically removes dust marks from scanned originals.