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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Epson Perfection V370 Photo review: good quality budget scanner

The V370 here is a fully-featured A4 scanner that comes with a transparency unit. Or the otherwise very similar V37 is available without a transparency unit for £20 less.

It's a fairly plain-looking model, with rather blocky brushed black casing, and a functional four-button control panel. It certainly lacks the glamour of Canon's silver and svelte models.

Another surprising aspect of the design is the positioning of the hinge. Whereas most flatbeds have the hinge at the rear of the scanner, the Epson has its hinge placed to the right, so the V370 opens to the side like a back-to-front book. This design feels rather unnatural, and also seems to result in the cables protruding from the right side of the scanner, rather than being tucked away at the rear where they can slide away unseen. In practice, this design means it’s likely you'll have unsightly cables trailing over your desk.

Visually then, the V370 is not impressive. Luckily, it does get better from here: the hinge itself is quite versatile, and can extend to 180 degree, allowing you to create space underneath the lid for large items. From this point of view, the side-mounted hinge is a solid choice for those needing to scan books and other sizeable materials.

You don't get any sort of book-edge feature, though, so you'll still have problems with book spines tending to distort scans. However, the V370 worked well in most situations we tried. It was very fast to get started, ready for scanning within a few seconds.

The V370 uses CCD (Charge Coupled Device) in preference to CIS technology. This makes the Epson perhaps less adept at rendering fine lines, but it is able to create superior colour reproduction and fault-correction.

Considering the modest price, the specifications are impressive, with the 4800 x 9600 dpi resolution paired with 48-bit output, and a wide optical density of 3.2 DMax.

Scan times are decent but not outstanding given the grade of scanner, taking 10 seconds to create an A4 image at 200 dpi, and 17 sec at 300 dpi. With 600 dpi scan time was pushed up to a more long-winded 37 seconds.

Photos take less time, and are generated at the three resolutions in 7 seconds, 11 seconds, and 23 seconds respectively.

Quality is very good, and even 200 dpi images are faithful and packed with colour. Push it up to 600 dpi, and images are finely rendered, with a deep palette that pays great attention to detail.

A document mat on the underside of the scanner lid can be taken out, and up to four 35mm slides, or a strip of 35mm film can be fed into the adaptor, producing clear shots even when we were using old and slightly damaged slides. Colours looked accurate throughout.

The Epson isn't perhaps the most user-friendly model we've tried, but the software does come with a choice of modes, ranging from auto to professional.

The scanning application is extremely versatile, allowing you restore colours, remove dust, and administer basic retouching. You may still need to resort to Photoshop for the most professional results, but this offers a very decent set of tools, and the interface makes it easy to scan multiple pages in quick succession.

Images can be turned into searchable PDFs, and you can also send files to cloud services. Accurate OCR is offered through ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Sprint.

View the original article here

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