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Canon CanoScan 5600F
I brought a scanner primarily because I wanted to be able to scan slides and prints from my predigital photographic efforts.
I had previously used a dedicated "Primefilm" slide scanner and been pretty disappointed by the results - the slides I scanned seemed to come out rather dull and despite using it carefully there was soon a build up of dog hair (which gets absolutely everywhere in my house!) within the scanner, which was pretty impossible to get out.
Having been underwhelmed by a dedicated slide scanner I thought I may as well go for a multipurpose flat bed scanner instead. Hence the CanoScan 5600F.
CanoScan 6500F Specs
Scans up to 4800x9600dpi resolution. You can choose to scan at a lower resolution.
Maximum document size - A4
Film strip - 6 at a time
Slidescan - 4 at a time
Scanning element - CCD 6-line colour
Scanning Graduation - 48bit
Power consumption - 19w whilst operating
Operating system requirements - Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, 2000 professionalSP4 / Internet Explorer 6.0 / CD-Rom drive / Display 1024x768 or Mac os X v10.3.9, v 10.4, v 10.5 / Safari / CD-Rom drive / Display 1024x768
I have to be honest and say that as a non-technical person, some parts of that are gobbledygook to me.
Comparison to Other Models
If you're looking at Canon scanners, you may be tempted to go one model cheaper or one model more expensive as an alternative. On Amazon at the moment you can get a good deal on the 5600F and get it for less than the lower spec 700F. It's a bit random, but that's retail!
The lower spec and usually cheaper model is the CanoScan LiDE 700F. As I see it the main differences with this are that you get a lower quality light source which presumably produces lower quality scans. It also only scans one frame of a film strip at a time and doesn't have slide scanning facility. I suspect it does a perfectly reasonable job if you just want to scan documents every now and then.
The higher spec more expensive model is the CanoScan 9000F. It has a CCD 12-line colour scanning element and can scan 12 slides at once and six frames of film and the software included for manipulating pictures once scanned includes elements of Adobe Photoshop (but it doesn't state what elements.) If you have tonnes of slides to scan it might be worth investing in this one, but what I can't tell you is how much faster it is per slide.
CanoScan 5600F Review
For scanning photographs and documents such as a driving licence the one stop button is very handy. The scanner works out for itself what sort of document it is scanning and saves it appropriately. Using other flatbed scanners before I've had problems with getting the scanner to recognise that a document is smaller than A4 and ended up scanning the item and the space around it.
Another good thing is the ease of cleaning. There are no crevices for dog hairs to get stuck in. A wipe over with a lint free cloth easily removes fingerprints from the glass, which do tend to build up if you are scanning lots of documents or slides one after the other.
Scanning speed is quite acceptable at up to 30 seconds for a single document to scan and save depending what resolution you scan at. Slide scanning is much slower - you can put in 4 slides at a time and these take 5 minutes to scan. If you've got a lot of slides to scan it is the sort of job you can do whilst watching TV or reading the paper.
- You can't escape the fact that flat bed scanners take up a fair bit of space - 23" x 14.6" in this case. The top is flat enough to put things on. You're probably not supposed to in an ideal world, but mine gets buried under books and papers and seems to survive the experience.
- When the lid opens it is 30" tall, so does need quite a bit of clearance room.
- You have to unplug it after use otherwise, when the house has gone quiet, even if you've switched the scanner's off switch off, you will hear a high pitched, remarkably annoying chirruping sound which is actually the scanner. The only way to silence it is to unplug it.
- I found the instructions quite unhelpful and got on better by trial and error.