12 March 2011

Epson Perfection V330 scanner review - YES!

[The following is the review I submitted when I installed and registered my new scanner.]
I have the Epson Perfection V330 connected by USB to a MacBook Pro Intel dual-core home computer running OS 10.6.6. Long delays during installation made me nervous, but my patience was rewarded. I let it do the full install and it went without a hitch. I registered it but left the final install screen open because it had the link to write this review. You can be glad I did.
I ran my cords but didn't plug anything in until the simple Start Here guide told me to. I had to dig a little in the Applications folder on my desktop once it was finished, but I found the Epson Scan icon and dragged it to my dock for every-day use.
I scanned one of my pen-and-ink sketches first, on full auto. It cropped it too closely, but the white paper had no border so I wasn't concerned. A photo next. Nice and clean and bright. Then for the test I had been waiting for for years. I prayed that some day I would be able to scan old negatives. I pulled out a strip at random and didn't bother to figure out what it was.
Be prepared: It took me four tries before I understood how orient the negative and slide holder. You remove the white panel that's built into the lid. You lay the slide holder onto the glass so that the negatives, if that's what you're scanning, are in the middle and will be against a frosty screen built into the lid when you close it. If you're scanning slides, which I will do too, then I assume you rotate the slide holder so that your slides are against the frosty screen instead.
I ran a preview. Omigosh! Four pictures I had taken with an old manual 35mm camera in the summer of 1969: three from the top floor of Siddall Hall at the University of Cincinnati at night and one daytime picture of a praying mantis on the sidewalk! One of the night pictures includes foreground details under streetlights and the full downtown skyline - good enough to use as the desktop image on my 17" monitor - this from a 42-year-old 35mm color negative. (I will post the image at http://woodburyyankee.blogspot.com.)
If you have the negative preview showing in the Epson Scan program, don't tinker with the dpi. Look at the proportional choices instead. When you click on each one (4x6, 5x7...), the thumbnail has an overlay to show you how each one will crop, and a line on the lower right shows you the length and width pixels and resulting file size. This is my best guide for final resolution and file storage implications.
When I had settled on, I think, 5x7, so the result would be about 1500x2100 pixels, I clicked scan, and that's when I was able to see the final results. I am impressed.
I haven't played around with the MediaImpressions, although ArcSoft PhotoStudio was my favorite user-friendly photo software on a Windows PC up until 8 or 10 years ago.
Be aware also that the slide/negative holder can be stored in the lid behind the white panel. There are plastic tabs on both pieces to guide you, and you really don't want to line them up wrong or break one off!
I read the reviews carefully before buying this scanner, wanted it for the slide/negative capacity, and am pleased so far with the automatic scanning features. As I understand it, the difference between the V300 and the V330 is that the latter will set you up in Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, while the V300 is just one step down in operating system readiness. I gleaned that from other reviews - so I can't say trust me on that one. Epson's own web site is not helpful on that.
The Epson Scan interface is a little eccentric, but I am a good learner. It works as advertised and will serve my needs splendidly. This is a great little scanner for the purposes I've described.
[A few days later... The software is odd, but it works. It has "modes" for scanning: Full Auto, Home, Office, and Professional. Full Auto works with the negative/slide holder. But if you need to crop before scanning or make other adjustments first, use Professional. You just have to try the other two modes to see how they're different, but they're essentially just pre-sets.]