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Canon CanoScan LiDE 700F review

Kat Orphanides
13 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
83
inc VAT

Excellent document and photo quality along with a transparency scanner make this a versatile scanner.

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Specifications

Canon's CanoScan LiDE 700F is a USB flatbed scanner with a specialised film adaptor unit that enables it to scan 35mm transparencies.

Its maximum optical resolution of 9,600x9,600dpi is great if you want to make massive enlargements. Scanning larger items is restricted to 4,800dpi. Canon says this is because scanning an A4 document at 9,600dpi would produce files over 1GB in size.

The adaptor is a tiny light box that sits on top of the transparency frame containing your negatives. This achieves the same effect as a backlight housed in the scanner's lid. The lid has a 180° opening mechanism, which allows it to be opened until it lies flat on the table. This makes it much easier to scan large objects. The hinge design also means you can close the lid over thicker items, such as books, up to 40mm in height.

Canon's ScanGear driver interface is excellent, with a huge array of options for colour adjustment and image correction. Its multi-crop option correctly auto-detected the size of objects when we performed a preview scan, even when we placed multiple documents on the plate and scanned each as a separate image. A pull-down menu lets you choose from a selection of pre-set resolutions, but you can also type in a resolution of your choice.

ArcSoft's PhotoStudio image touch-up suite and Canon's MP Navigator EX are also included. The latter makes it easy to scan transparencies and has a guided calibration process that it initiates the first time you attempt to do so. Once calibrated, Navigator helpfully inverted the colours on our negatives as we scanned them. This approach produced warmer, more realistic colours than simply scanning the negative and inverting it in Photoshop Elements. However, unlike the ScanGear interface, there's no way of entering the maximum resolution of 9,600dpi. We preferred the colours of our Navigator scans - they're ideal if you want to print or upload the results immediately. However, if you're happy to tweak your scans, it's best to scan at 9,600dpi in ScanGear and correct the colours by hand.

This is one of the fastest flatbed scanners we've seen. A 300dpi A4 scan took just 12 seconds, a 600dpi 6x4in photo scan took 16 seconds and a 1,200dpi scan took just under a minute. However, you'll have to wait for high-resolution negative scans. Even at 2,400dpi a single frame took two minutes and 12 seconds.

Image quality was excellent. Colours were accurately reproduced and shading was smooth and precise. Fine details were rendered exactly in our high-resolution photo scans, while even our low-resolution document scans produced clear, sharp copies of text at small font sizes. Negative scans looked a little dull, even after contrast adjustment. They won't impress professional photographers, but were good enough to delight friends and family. Despite this one failing, it's a good buy for those who want an all-round scanner.

Details

Rating*****

Specifications

Scanner technologyflatbed scanner
Film formats acceptedYes

Physical

Sizesize

Buying Information

Detailswww.canon.co.uk

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