Microtek Scanmaker 4

URL: http://www.microtekusa.com/item.zhtml?pid=28&cid=4

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Rating: Excellent!

Review:

First, this is not an inexpensive scanner, and it is SCSI, so it is going to require a SCSI card.

Having said that, if you want high quality scans of film and reflective art, this scanner is hard to beat without going to dedicated high-end units. The scans are fairly fast, and the Scanwizard drivers work very well. I do not use any of the software which came with the scanner, prefering to use Corel Draw 9 (I do most of my scans directly into Corel Photo Paint), Photoshop 5, and Omnipage Pro 9. Control is excellent, and the ability to control the hardware is more than adequate. The scanner must be on at boot for the SCSI BIOS to detect it, or you can refresh device manager to get it detected.

The only problems

1. The film drawer does allow for dust to get inside, so I use masking tape to keep it sealed since I don’t use it that often. When I do need it, I pull the tape.

2. 35mm and 2 1/4 film scans are very good, although a dedicated 35mm scanner will get better scans from 35mm slides. Scans from large format transparencies are more difficult, as the use of glass to keep them flat introduces a variety of potential problems.

Overall this is an excellent product well suited to anyone who needs to produce high quality scans from film and reflective medium, but not in enough volume to require dedicated high-end scanners for each. It is not for the average consumer. Any user should make sure they download the newest scanwizard for SCSI units from Microtek (although I had no problems with any of the three versions of Scanwizard I have used, the newest one seems a touch better).

Submitted by: Al

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