Epson's Perfection 2450 photo scanner is a consumer-oriented device that graphics professionals and advanced photographers won't hesitate to use. With fast one-touch scanning, great image quality and software that even novices will master in minutes, this 48-bit image grabber is a home or business user's dream. The Perfection 2450 photo scanner's price is justified by features that imaging professionals will love, too, including 2,400 by 4,800 dots per inch (dpi) resolution, a built-in transparency unit and an advanced image-capture driver with a multitude of fine-tuning controls.
Even first-timers will sail through installation using the Start Here poster. Click a few buttons to install the software for Windows 98, 2000, ME or XP, or Mac OS 8.5 through 9.x. Then connect the power cable and attach the unit to your computer via a USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) cable. Although the printed manual is a too-brief 54 pages, HTML-based documentation provides step-by-step instructions, scanning tips, answers to frequently asked questions, and detailed troubleshooting and maintenance information -- including instructions for cleaning the scanner and replacing the fluorescent bulb.
The Perfection 2450 is easy to use. This scanner's generous 4in. by 9in. transparency-scanning area and its 2,400 by 4,800dpi resolution make it a practical tool for grabbing scans of everything from 35mm slides to 4in. by 5in. chromes or positive film images. Three easy-to-use interfaces (and a daunting, professional scanning application) are at your disposal. Press the one-touch button on the front of the scanner, and the Epson Smart Panel pops up with wizards for optical character recognition (OCR); copying; and scanning to a file, an email, the Web or an application.
The Perfection 2450 also comes with a versatile software bundle. It includes a TWAIN driver used within compatible applications, such as the bundled Adobe Photoshop Elements. The software can operate in fully automatic mode, determining your original's size and type, choosing an appropriate resolution and capturing a colour-corrected image with no intervention. Those with a little scanning experience under their belts can also switch to another mode that lets you select many of the settings. Photoshop Elements retains most of Photoshop's more powerful features, including filters and sophisticated painting and retouching tools, but with simplified menus and abundant recipe wizards to lead you through the most common image-editing tasks.
The Perfection 2450's performance in capturing images is everything a consumer wishes for and a professional demands. In our tests, it scanned a full-page colour document in just under 21 seconds and a greyscale original in a little less than 19 seconds. Both times are fairly speedy for a scanner with this resolution, but both were slower than those of HP’s speedy ScanJet 5470c.
Output quality was impressive. Scans of colour prints had superb, fully saturated colours, with lifelike, neutral skin tones. The transparency and slide scans looked especially good, capturing detail in both inky shadows and luminous highlights. Our slide scans had excellent colour matching, abundant detail and notable sharpness, while avoiding the high contrast common to reasonably priced scanners that claim transparency capabilities.
Epson backs the Perfection 2450 with a one-year call-out warranty, extendable to three years and upgradeable to on-site. Phone support (at BT national rate) is available from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday. Support technicians will answer your questions by via direct chat or by email. More support documents, FAQs and downloads are available from the company's Web site.
With so many consumer scanners priced under £100 these days, the Epson Perfection 2450 Photo amply demonstrates how much you can get if you’re prepared to spend a bit more. As easy to use as any entry-level scanner, this device nevertheless boasts superior image quality, decent speed and advanced slide/transparency-scanning capabilities that will captivate business users and graphics professionals alike. Its chief shortcomings are skimpy printed documentation and a 216mm by 297mm scanning bed, rather than an 216mm by 356mm one. Overall, though, this is an attractive scanner for both home and business users.
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