Canon Canoscan FS4000 Film Scanner
The CanoScan FS4000US is a high performance, desktop film scanner that offers 4000-dpi optical resolution at 42-bits, the highest specifications in its class. The new scanner accepts 35mm and Advanced Photo System films, including slide film, and helps consumers bridge the gap between analog and digital imaging by providing a means of downloading conventional photographs into a computer for creating prints, Photo CD's, e-mail and personal web sites at a suggested retail of $1099.
The scanner offers a number of new and improved features including 4000 dpi optical resolution for outstanding clarity plus 14-bit A/D conversion for exceptional gradation and accurate color reproduction; two built-in interfaces - USB for easy connection to personal computers and SCSI-2 for high speed data transfer; FARE, a Canon-developed dust and scratch "detect and correct" function; Automatic film type detection; Auto focus; and a full range of scanning functions using FilmGet FS for Windows and Mac.
It provides 42-bit scanning capability which supports recognition of literally trillions of different colors. The result is extremely accurate color rendition areas of the scanned image. In addition, the new scanner features optical resolution up to 4,000 dpi as well as an improved color tone algorithm for more accurate color reproductions from original art. The CanoScan FS4000US's dynamic range is 3.4.
The FS4000US performs primary scanning using a 3-line color image sensor. This sensor is a 1-chip photoelectric conversion element with an array of three lines of receptor elements, each with a built in filter for RGB (Red, Blue, Green), along with scanning function circuits. Primary scans are at a 4,000-dpi resolution, and use 4,000 of the CCD's 5,400 pixels in the vertical scanning direction. Light passing through the film is formed into an image on the CCD, converted into voltages, and output to the signal- processing circuits as signals in each of the RGB colors. Each of the RGB colors is controlled independently by the CCD, which has a built-in electronic shutter for correct exposure so that it can acquire optimal exposure data for both negative and positive (slide) film.
The scanner uses new hardware and software independently developed by Canon to detect dust and scratches on the film and correct those defects in the resulting image file. FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) detects flaws by comparing an image scanned by infrared light to one scanned by visible light. While the scan made with visible light includes dust and flaws on the film's surface as part of the color data, the infrared scan shows image defect only. By superimposing both scans, the scanner can determine the exact position and size of the flaws, and correct them. FARE can be manually turned on and off by the user.
The scanner advances film automatically using both a film holder advance and film advance housing movement. The 35mm filmstrip holder or slide mount holder is advanced by meshing the flat gear on the bottom of either film holder with the feed gears located on the scanner. The film advance movement, in contrast, moves the film holder (35mm filmstrip holder, slide mount holder, or APS (IX-240) film cartridge holder) that is set in the film advance housing, providing a secondary scan in the main scan sequence.
The film advance housing is capable of minute movements using a high-precision feed screw rotated by a stepping motor. This makes possible high-precision 4,000-dpi secondary scanning that was impossible with previous gear-driven film advance mechanisms.
This new scanner also includes a built-in autofocus that adjusts the focus if the film surface is not at the designed distance to the scanner. This step is performed before pre-scanning, assuring the sharpest scan possible. Manual override of the autofocus is also provided.
This CanoScan is fully compatible with PC's that support Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows Me. The Scanner is also compatible with iMac, iBook, Powerbook, Blue/White G3, all G4's and Mac OS 8.6-9.1 (when using the USB connection). When using the high speed SCSI 2 interface, the scanner is compatible with Power Macintosh and Mac OS 8.1 or higher.
A comprehensive software bundle including Adobe's powerful Photoshop LE image editor and Canon's FilmGet FS driver software is included with the scanner. Windows and Mac users can create quality images for immediate use with FilmGet FS. When used with popular twain-compliant image editors like Adobe Photo-shop and Photoshop LE, FilmGet FS allows windows users to access the scanner directly from the application and perform basic image-editing functions such as setting resolution and bit-depth for input and output, color balance, tonal curves, levels, and contrast. An Adobe Photoshop-compatible built in module provides similar functions for Mac users. Installation of either driver can be accomplished by using the setup CD-rom provided with the scanner. Adobe Photoshop LE offers a wide range of image editing functions which allow users to alter the size, color, brightness, contrast and cropping of digital images. Users may also select, rearrange and superimpose elements from scanned images, and add special effects. The finished image can then be imported into web pages or desktop publishing documents. Photoshop LE runs on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.
Choose between the convenient USB interface (cable included) and the speedy SCSI interface (no cable included) using an Adaptec Ultra SCSI card 2940AU or 2930AU for your Desktop/Tower or in your Laptop use Adaptec Slim SCSI 1480 or 1460. These are the Windows application SCSI cards and none are included with the unit. Mac specs are also available.
The Automatic advance IX-240 (APS) Film Holder is included in the Box. It accepts any APS cartridge; 15, 25 or 40 exposure. It is shown in the scan position inserted into the open front panel of the scanner.
The Film Strip Holder inserted into the power drive slot of the front panel.
The motorized APS film cartridge holder. It is compatible with all brands of APS film cartridges, Advantix is Kodak's name and seems the name most associate with the IX-240 film format (relentless marketing pays).
Also included with The CanoScan FS4000US is the clip-together Film Holder that can hold up to Six 35mm frames (above) and the Mounted Slide Holder that can hold up to Four mounted 35mm slides (below).
The scanning software is clean and simple with all the usual tools to change the type of media being scanned (color positive, color negative, monochrome negative), color depth (42-bit color, 24-bit color, 14-bit gray scale, 8-bit gray scale, b&w), scanning resolution (125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000dpi), and to manually adjust the color, brightness, contrast, curves, and etc.
Here are two scans from the FS4000. The one on the left is without the FARE turned on and the one on the right was scanned with the FARE enhancement. These images are both about 2800 x 1800 pixels in size and about one megabyte in size. Click on the thumbnail to download the full size images but examine them with a graphics program not your browser - they are big!
The FARE enhancement works fairly well at removing large scratches and dirt spots, it isn't perfect but it can save hours of manual editing in PhotoShop.
Let me start my conclusion with a quote from the Guru, Steve, on his Coolscan 4000 review; "...Just to make it clear from the start -- I am not a film scanning expert." and I am NOT either! If you are taking time to read this, you have need of a film scanner. I do too! Researching the CanoScan FS4000US was part of my decision making process.
I jumped in with both feet and started loading the software...not the pleasure it could have been. Some of the steps could have been automated but it was not that cumbersome. I really needed to load only the specific driver for the scanner and not all the packaged software. There was no menu selection in the "pop-up" start menu when I loaded the disk. It left me wondering; Was I going to be left in the abyss...called Windows Error Blue Screen? But i wasn't. The "FilmGet FS" driver software worked fine.
I used Photoshop 5.0 on a Pentium III 700mhz and 64mg ram unit. Scan times, using the USB connection, I experienced in a real life use of the unit are as follows:
- Calibrating (loads a strip and then looks at it) - 20 secs
Thumbnail scan of four 35mm negatives - 28 secs
Preview scan of 1 image - 32 secs
4000dpi/24-bit/FARE and color matching off (5711 x 3880 pixel image) - 5:41
4000dpi/24-bit/FARE on - color matching off (5711 x 3880 pixel image) - 67.4MB file size - 12:58
4000dpi/24-bit/FARE and color matching on (5711 x 3880 pixel image) - 67.7MB file size - 17:10
I was impressed by the quality of the scan, though slow. Manufacturers need a little prodding sometimes to understand the need for slick, smooth application software that makes it a dream to use the wonderful equipment they bring to market. Don't misunderstand me, this is a very usable driver application, but, like they are in the film camera design, once you understand the way Canon does things you get along fine.
The FARE(Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) technology is designed to remove dust and scratches by using an infra-red illuminated scan to detect imperfections on the film surfaces. It them samples ambient colors around the damaged or dusty area and restores the image. It works well but not all areas were Auto-corrected. It seems to be fooled by lower contrast areas of imperfection.
The unit is priced well below some of the competition (about$999.00 USD) and if your use is home with short strips of film to scan this could be the unit for you. Canon doesn't have a long roll attachment, an auto feed film strip or auto slide stack unit available for the FS4000US so production on any scale would be rough.
Canon does have a very nice scanner in the CanoScan FS4000US and a value in the under $1000.00 niche.