Monday, March 09, 2020

Product testing: the Epson FastFoto scanner

Is this blog an influencer? Some media connections recently asked if I would accept a loan of a high end Epson photo scanner, just to see what I thought of it. Sure.

Historians (and local history researchers and genealogists and anyone with boxes of old Kodachrome images) do regularly enough access old photographic prints that have not been put out there at the other end of a google search. So, a hyperspeed photo scanner with built-in software to catalogue and organize your images, even  correct (if you want to) red-eye and colour-fade and overexposure and the rest.... that might be interesting.

So I have been playing a little with a loaner Epson Fastfoto FF-680W. It claims to be the fastest personal photo scanner in the world. It says it will scan, restore, organize and share any image you give it, will link wirelessly to your computer and let you to share jpeg and tiff images with all your social media. 

How's it do? Well, it was fun to see the scanner pull in and spit out prints at something just short of lightspeed, where our old scanner would be wheezing and grinding for a minute or so. It did link effortlessly and wirelessly to my laptop, so scanning and filing new images was pretty much a one-click operation. And the photos look great to me.

If you need high-volume, high-quality scanning of printed photos, it does the job. I was glad to have one to play with.  

But the 680W retails for between $650 and $700. And you know, I'm not sure many of us need one that much when we all have access to not-bad scanners that come virtually free with whatever printer we have. Particularly when for most of us, the supply of already digitized photos is what most of us spend much of our time working with.

Still, gotta say I kinda love having a nice digital copy of this family photo, the golden anniversary portrait (in a lowland Scots setting) of some ancestors of mine who were married in 1855. That youth toward the rear, right behind and between the happy couple, is my grandfather.  And the software did improve the condition of the image a bunch.
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