Review: Epson Perfection V100 Photo scanner

Inexpensive Scanner with Impressive Features (November 3rd, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Epson America, Inc.

Price: $99.99 US

The Good

  • Excellent priceg. Nice build quality. Full-featured Epson scan software.

The Bad

  • Film and slide scanning could be better. A little bit noisy.

Many users ignore low cost scanners because they think, how can such a cheap product produce anything worthwhile? Well, things have changed, and as technology improves, less expensive products are more advanced. Epson proves this point with the Epson Perfection V100 Photo scanner. The US price for the V100 is only $99.99, while the UK price is £69.99. This is a fantastic price-point, so let us look at how the V100 deliver the goods.

the hardware

The V100 is a nice slim line off-white unit, with silver plastic on the lid. It sports four brushed metal quick buttons on the front that provide access to the Epson scan software, or to scan directly to print, email or a PDF file. A hinge opens the lid along the long edge, which is a little different from other scanners. It is also capable of opening 180? for easy scanning of bulky items, like books. It connects via USB2 and comes supplied with a cable in the box. For film scanning, you get a carrier that holds 6-frame negative filmstrips and up to four 35mm mounted slides. Optical resolution is an impressive 3200dpi resolution, with 48-bit color.

the software

The scanning software comes in Windows, and Mac Universal flavors. Epson Scan is a standalone application, which is great if you need to quickly knock out a few scans. The device is TWAIN compliant, which means you can use it from within Photoshop or any other TWAIN compliant application. It offers three levels complexity and features.

Full Auto Mode pre-scans, selects the type of document (e.g. photo or document), scans, and crops the image to size. You can set the resolution, dust removal, and color restoration. Every time I used this mode, I was impressed at how well it performed the task.

Home Mode adds in manual selection for document type and descreening, which avoids scanner lines knows as moiré. It also adds a preview scan, so you can select the area you want to scan.

Professional Mode gives you access to all the bells and whistles. Some of the features include auto exposure, histogram, and image adjustment, plus the ability to save settings, to name just a few.

Output Quality

The Epson Perfection V100 Photo build quality is very good. It is light, but the unit feels solid. Preview scans are very fast and even full scanning does not keep you hanging around too long. Resulting images using all modes are very pleasing to the eye. Color accuracy and details levels are superb, comparable to what you expect to see in a scanner more than double the price.

Initially I scanned a good quality photo. This produced a scan with enough quality for reproduction work; I could use this for full color lithographic printing. Scanning from a filmstrip and 35mm mounted slide was easy to set up, but did not product the quality I want for professional printing though. The scans lacked the detail and required depth, but are good enough for home printing, on-screen use, and archiving. Text scanning was also fine, with good contrast, and any background marks picked up by the scanner were easily removed by using the threshold feature in Photoshop.

In summary, the V100 is a great value, which can be used for high-end work with a little care. Inexpensive scanners often do not deliver enough depth in image scans, but I am happy to say that the V100 did not disappoint here. It delivers quality far beyond its reasonable price tag.

by Dave Cryer


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