Scan printed documents, pictures, negatives or slides
Canon’s new Canoscan 9000F is a replacement for the excellent 8800F scanner, which has been in our Best Buys list since we reviewed it back in 2008.
It’s a flatbed scanner, which is quite rare nowadays (most people opt for the combined printer/scanners that save on desk space) but like its predecessor it has one trick up its sleeve: in addition to scanning printed documents and photos it can be used to scan film negatives and slide transparencies.
Specialist slide scanners such as the Plustek Opticfilm 7600i are also good for this job, but they cannot be used to scan printed documents or pictures – only film and slides. Also, the 9000F can scan your pictures in a batch (see below).
It has the same looks and similar size of the 8800F, which is to say that it’s about the size of an A3 sheet of paper (though it only scans to roughly A4 size) and quite bulky. Some of the electronics have been moved from the hinge of the lid, where they were on the 8800F, into the lid itself, which makes the design a bit neater.
The only sockets on the back panel are for the USB connection to the computer, and for power (the supplied power adapter must be used – unlike smaller scanners this one can’t be powered via USB connection). The device has buttons on the front for simple access to scanning features.
The big change, technically, is that the scanning engine has been upgraded to a higher resolution: it now scans at up to 9600 dots per inch which is slightly better than both the 8800F and the Plustek 7600i. It’s not much use for documents, but it can be useful if you plan to make very large prints from your slides. For most people the difference is neglible, though.
As well as the Canon drivers, the device is also supplied with Adobe Photoshop Elements and the Silverfast SE 6.6 scanning software, for Windows and Mac computers.
Scan quality was excellent and scanning times were very good for documents – it took about 15 seconds for a colour A4 page at 300dpi and only 25 seconds at 600dpi, which resulted in a large 102MB file.
To scan film and transparencies you need to use the supplied adapters and remove a piece of plastic that covers a light on the scanner’s lid. Once this had been done, scan times for film were comparable. It can scan 12 negatives (in two strips of six each) or four mounted slides at once, and this took around a minute.
We found the Silverfast software for image scanning very flexible but a little hard to follow. At first we couldn’t get it to work correctly and only the first scan in a batch would come through in high resolution with the others in very low quality. But it turned out there is a button to ‘copy settings to all frames’ which did the trick.
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The RRP is high but it’s available for less online and scan quality was very impressive Good points Superb scan quality; can scan in batches; easy to operate Bad points Quite bulky; expensive compared to standard scanners
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