Scanner Recomendations

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003 @ 1:07 am | Mac

I’m going on vacation this weekend and plan on taking more than a few pictures. The thing is, I don’t own a digital camera. I have a really nice Pentax 35mm SLR, but since my only scanner is a 5 year old Umax that uses SCSI and has no OS X drivers, I have no way to get my pictures into digital form. I could plunk down the money for VueScan, but I’d rather get a scanner that works with my PowerBook G4.

I’ve looked at a few models recently and I’ve worked it down to one of four models: the Canon CanoScan LiDE 30, the Canon CanoScan 5000F, the HP Scanjet 3570c, and the HP Scanjet 5500c.

My parents have the CanoScan LiDE 20 and it seems to work rather well for them. It’s small and receives power via the USB port. Unfortunately, neither the LiDE 20 and 30 models offer negative scanning, which is something I definitely want.

Both the CanoScan 5000F and the HP Scanjet 3570c offer negative scanning. The 5000F has a higher resolution, but those figures can be warped to read almost anything by the time the marketing department is done with them. The 3570c is slightly less expensive, coming in at a list price of $149.99, versus the $199.99 list for the 5000F.

The Scanjet 5500c seems to be the highest end scanner, with the price tag to match. Along with the ability to scan negatives, the 5500c also includes an automatic photo feader for 3″x5″ and 4″x6″ photos. While I would like to mostly scan negatives, I know I’m going to have some pictures where the negatives just aren’t accessible — photos from others, standard-sized photos from APS cameras (yes, I have a small one of those), and those negatives that are annoyingly wrapped in “protective” plastic come to mind. The question is whether this occassion need justifies spending nearly $300 on a scanner. At that price, I can get a passably digital camera, though I won’t have it for my upcoming vacation.

So, dear reader, I ask if you have any experience with these scanners under OS X. Are the included drivers useable? Does any of the software work with OS X? Is one particular model a flaming pile of dung? If you know the answer to any of these, I’d really appeciate if you could share your knowledge in the comments section.

Comments are closed.