- Digital ICE dust removal
- Excellent OCR results
- Good range of transparency holders
- Substantial footprint
- External power supply
- Noisy head drive motors
- Review Price: £185.00
- Maximum 6,400ppi resolution
- 48-bit colour depth
- 4 Easy-scan buttons
- Quick start LED lamp
- 3 level EpsonScan software
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.
The Epson Perfection V600 Photo is a quick scanner. Starting from the simplest 200ppi A4 black and white scan, which took just eight seconds, it takes very little time to start scanning, thanks to its white LED light source. LEDs, which used to be found only in cheaper scanners where cost is key, used to suffer from peaky light output, which wasn’t as white as it should be.
Things have changed and LED light sources are well up to use in all but the most exacting, professional scanners. Their key advantage is that they take much less time to turn on and reach a stable light than cold cathode tubes. Cold cathode lights, although cold, still take time to start emitting steady light.
A 300dpi greyscale scan of the same A4 page took 13 seconds to scan and OCR, which is fast. This is due in part to the efficiency of the Abbyy software, which also managed a perfect conversion. Although the layout of our test page isn’t that complex, there’s a lot of non-standard text, such as filenames in all-caps. To produce such a clean editable page so quickly makes this a very handy archival scanner.
Our 15 x 10cm photo print, scanned at 600ppi and in 48-bit colour, took a nippy nine seconds Meanwhile a 35mm slide, at 2,400ppi, completed in 38s, which again is a good result.
Scanned colours are generally accurate, with equal fidelity to natural and artificial subjects. There are no appreciable casts and the scanner’s quick response to changes in hue, as demonstrated by the clean blacks and whites of the AI target gratings, produces scans with good dynamic range. Given the high resolutions of which the scanner is capable, detail levels are also finer than from some competitors.
Digital ICE does well at removing dust from prints, though it doesn’t do much for scratches, which can arguably be more unsightly. It extends scan time, too, with our test print taking 10 times as long.
The Epson Perfection V600 Photo is a very good scanner for anybody who regularly works with traditional photographs. Whether it’s prints or transparencies, whether they’re 35mm or medium format, and pretty much whatever condition they’re in, the scanner makes a good job of converting the images to their electronic equivalents. It’s fast and accurate, and offers better quality results than many scanners at a similar price.
Score in detail
Scan Speed 9
Scan Quality 9