Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual III
The Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual III is a high performance yet affordable 35mm and APS film scanner. It's been designed and priced for those that have never used a film scanner before but have the need to digitize negatives or slides for viewing and sharing on computers or the Internet. If you're like me you probably have several boxes or albums full of favorite holiday or vacation slides just sitting in the closet. I don't even own a projector or screen anymore but I'd sure like to view and enhance those pictures on my computer, wouldn't you?
In the past you had to chose from either a low resolution and inexpensive scanner or a high resolution and very expensive scanner. The DiMAGE Scan Dual III is a high resolution scanner (up to 2820dpi optical) with fast USB 2.0 performance, automatic dust removal and color reconstruction capability and sells for less than $400 including the software.
This scanner will satisfy the needs of beginners as well as advanced users. It comes with the Easy Scan Utility program that features two scanning software interfaces. One that simplifies the entire scanning process and prompts the user through every step and the advanced interface where that lets you take complete control. You can manually focus by selecting the exact AF point or let the scanner perform its own very reliable auto focus function. The Pixel-Polish feature handles color correction, sharpening and other image enhancements. You can preset all the parameters and then save it as a "job" and reapply them to any or all future scans. Automatic Dust Removal can eliminate a lot of "specks" that would otherwise require a lot of time-consuming manual editing.
The DiMAGE Scan Dual III has a dynamic range of 4.8 that allows it to reproduce all the colors in your slides and negatives and preserve the shadows and highlights. The Multi-Sample feature greatly reduces the occurence of random noise by taking the data from successive scans (up to 8x sampling) to generate the final image. A 16-bit A/D conversion gives you 65,536 tonal gradations per color channel. Color matching lets you specify the color space and use your monitor's ICC profile. The DiMAGE Scan Dual III employs a state of the art Negative-to-Positive conversion process to faithfully produce images from color negatives.
Using the scanner is quite simple. Just load up your slides or film strip in the carrier, push it in until the scanners "grabs" it and then start the Easy Scan Utility software. The scanner automatically feeds and moves the carrier as needed. This keeps the actual handling of film or slides to a minimum and avoids fingerprints and scratches.
We'll cover the Easy Scan Utility software on the next page.
Both a 35mm film strip holder (FH--U1) and a mounted slide holder (SH-U1) are supplied with the unit. The APS Adapter (AD-10) is an optional accessory. The 35mm film strip carrier can handle up to 6 frames, the slide carrier handles up to four slides.
The DiMAGE Scan Dual III's USB 2.0 interface and batch processing allows you to quickly and efficiently scan large numbers of slides or negatives. And it's no problem if you don't have USB 2.0 on your computer, it's also backwards compatible with existing USB 1.1 interfaces.
And the DiMAGE Scan Dual III is a very compact (5.7 x 3.9 x 12.6 inches) unit that requires very little desktop space. It's hot-swappable so you can unplug it and put it away when it's not needed and when you do want to use it, plug it back in, no restarts necessary.