PMA 2001 Show
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Most interesting SCANNERS at the show: Canon's new flatbed units!
By Dave Etchells, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 16:09 EST)

Kim reported on this item back on Monday, but I wanted to call attention to it again and add my own two cent's worth, since I see the products involved as being so significant for many photo enthusiasts. Check out the earlier item for more specs on the units, or see the full text of Canon's press release in this posting...

At the show, Canon unveiled two new flatbed scanners with some rather unusual specs, suiting them for non-professional use as film scanners. One of the most-asked categories of questions I receive in my in-box has to do with readers wanting to scan both film and prints on the same device. HP's excellent little PhotoSmart S20 scanner does this, but only handles prints up to 5x7, and lacks the flexibility of a flatbed unit. (The PhotoSmart's print scanning involves feeding the photo print into an opening on the front of the unit. It thus cannot scan bulky objects like books.) Thus far, I've always had to regretfully advise readers that flatbed scanners really weren't at all suited for film scanning, even the ones that made some provision for it.

The CanoScan 1230UF - $299
The CanoScan 2400UF - $499

Until now, that is.

The new scanners by Canon are unusual several respects, and (withholding final judgement until we can get our hands on some test units) certainly seem like just the sort of dual-purpose scanner our readers have been asking for. Whereas most flatbed scanners have a top optical resolution of 1200 dpi at best, the new Canon units go as high as 2400 dpi. (Maximum optical resolution on the 1230UF is 1200x2400, while the 2400UF goes to 2400x4800. Both units can interpolate up to 9600 dpi, but the optical resolution is really the only relevant measure for photo use.) The second unique characteristic is that both units boast full 16-bit per channel (48 bits total) digization accuracy, for unprecedented tonal range in flatbed models. (Dynamic range is not specified for the 1230, but the 2400 is rated at a Dmax of 3.3) Both units also include a built-in transparency illuminator, so no additional accessories are needed to scan negatives or slides. Besides the greater resolution and possibly greater Dmax capability, the 2400UF also includes Canon's new FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) technology. This technology is apparently very similar to Digital ICE technology by Applied Science Fiction, used in some film scanners: It uses an infrared light source in the transparency illuminator to develop a "defect map" of dust and scratches on the film, automatically interpolating surrounding image info to remove the effects of the dirt and scratches.


We saw a number of photos at Canon's booth, made from 35mm negatives scanned by the two new units, and have to say that the results were very impressive. There was a lot of detail, and tonal range looked very good. Of course, these will be no substitute for a dedicated slide scanner if you need truly professional results, or have a lot of scans to do, but they look very, very promising for the home user who wants to get old family photos into digital form. (And their ability to scan film as large as 4x5 means that all those really old medium-format negs in odd formats are now scannable!) Given the 3.3 Dmax rating of the 2400UF, we also predict that results on dense slides won't be too stellar: Even high-end film scanners have difficulty extracting tonal detail from dark slide film, and the 2400's specs are well down from the state of the art in that respect. Still, we suspect these new scanners could be what a great many of our readers have been looking for. Stay tuned, we hope to have test units on these shortly. (Perhaps by mid- to late-March?) Very slick looking products, answering what seems like a big need amongst our readers!


Original Source Press Release:

CANON BROADENS ITS FOCUS IN THE PERSONAL DIGITAL COMPUTING MARKET

ORLANDO, FL, February 12, 2001 (PMA) - Canon announced three new products here today at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) tradeshow which address the higher end of the personal digital computing market. The S800 Bubble Jet printer for fast photo printing packaged with a CompactFlash (CF) Card Reader, and the CanoScan 1230UF and CanoScan 2400UF color flatbed scanners for high-resolution scanning with large format built-in film adapters are the newest products from the recently created Digital Home and Personal Systems Division of Canon U.S.A. Inc.



"For over 60 years Canon has been delivering technology that makes sense when its comes to imaging and printing solutions," says John Arnos, senior vice president of sales for Canon U.S.A. Inc. "As the personal digital imaging market has grown due to increased sales of digital cameras and increased usage of the Internet, our customers require products which offer improved performance and professional results. We believe these three new products we're introducing today are 'best in class' and deliver amazing performance for the price."



S800 Bubble Jet Printer

The S800 Bubble Jet printer replaces Canon's award-winning BJC-8200 printer. At 2400x1200 dpi resolution the S800 has 38 percent higher resolution than most competitive printers which boast only 2880x720 dpi while also delivering one of the fastest speeds in its class. An 8x10-inch photo image prints in approximately two minutes through Canon's improved technology of firing the printer's 1,536 nozzles 1.5 times faster than its predecessor. This improved print speed makes the S800 printer one of the speediest 6-color printers currently available and approximately one minute faster than its predecessor, the BJC-8200 printer



With more than 49 levels of color gradation, the S800 printer uses Canon's exclusive Advanced Microfine Droplet Technology which creates a 4-picoliter size droplet on the page with Canon's unique "star-shaped" nozzle. This printing technology breakthrough ensures that the drop placed on the page is center-weighted so that when the ink bonds with the paper there is no bleeding or feathering as the drop settles. This allows Canon to achieve superior photo quality even on plain paper. Canon has also achieved a fade-resistant rating of 25-28 years when printing on Canon's Photo Paper Pro specialty paper. This industry-leading rating is based on internal Canon archivability testing as well rigorous testing conducted by Henry Wilhelm of Wilhelm Imaging Research**.



In addition to superior photo quality and print speeds, the S800 printer offers customers Canon's unique individual ink tank system with genuine Canon inks. This "no waste" system is a hallmark of Canon's Bubble Jet printer line where users only replace the color ink that has run out rather than having to waste an entire ink cartridge, something they experience with most competitive printers. The Canon ThinkTank System also includes an on-screen warning so that users are alerted when the ink is running low.



Since many of Canon's BJC-8200 printer customers use CompactFlash or other photo direct cards for printing their digital images, Canon has included a CompactFlash card reader in the S800 box. Compatible with all Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards used by all Canon digital cameras available today, the included card reader allows users instant printing of their digital prints. Shipping in late March for both Windows and Mac customers, the S800 printer has an estimated street price of $299*.



CanoScan 1230UF, CanoScan 2400UF Color Flatbed Scanners

As the world's leading imaging solutions company, Canon continues to expand its offerings in the color flatbed scanner market. Since Canon debuted its first CanoScan model in 1997, the company has leapt to Number 3 in the personal flatbed scanner marketplace. Two new models join Canon's current line-up for a total of six CanoScan products for PC and Mac users. Both the CanoScan D1230UF and CanoScan D2400UF scanners address a more professional digital imaging/scanner customer with Charge Coupled Device (CCD) technology featuring Canon's new Galileo Lens system, built-in large-format film adapters, 48-bit color scanning and improved resolutions and scanning speeds.



Both the CanoScan D1230UF and the CanonScan D2400UF boast a built-in large format film adapter that allows users to scan 35mm, medium format and 4x5-inch slides, transparencies and negatives. Dual-scan buttons, for regular scanning or film scanning, on the scanners' lids allow for ease-of-use operation. In addition, these two scanners use a new lens developed by Canon's world-class R&D team. The Galileo-class Lens system is a larger lens that creates brighter illumination, up to 2.7 times brighter, than other scanners in its class. This Canon lens technology allows more light to the CCD for faster, higher quality scanning.



While both new CanoScan models have built-in USB capability providing PC and Mac users easy connectivity and compatibility, USB can slow down file transfers compared with other technologies such as Firewire. Canon has addressed this by creating its new Data Compression Transfer technology that allows for scanning times that are 30 percent faster than previous CanoScan scanner models. After the scanner digitizes the scanned image, Data Compression Transfer technology automatically compresses the data in the scanner and then completely restores it when the file is opened on the user's system - all without losing any image information. This allows users, especially graphics professionals, to work with larger image files with greater confidence than ever before.



The CanoScan D2400UF offers 2400x4800 dpi up to 9600x9600 dpi for ultra high-resolution color scans. With 48-bit internal/external scanning, this scanner model can create a color gamut of over 281 trillion possible colors - the most colors for any scanner. In addition to its high-resolution scanning capability, Canon has created another imaging technology breakthrough to improve scanned image quality for its CanoScan 2400UF customers -- FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) technology. This technology feature offers users the ability to automatically conduct professional retouching right on their desktop - removing scratches, dust and other imperfections that appear on the original image helping to create a more pristine scan. By using an infrared light source in the film adapter in addition to the white light source, FARE interpolates the data to fill in the blemishes found on the original image.



The CanoScan D1230UF offers 1200x2400 dpi resolution with a 48-bit internal and 42-bit external scanning capability. Both the CanoScan 1230UF and CanoScan 2400UF scanners will ship in April with estimated street prices of $299* and $499* respectively.



About Canon U.S.A. Inc.



The Digital Home and Personal Systems Division, formerly known as Canon Computer Systems Inc. (CCSI), was created by Canon U.S.A. Inc. in January 2001 to address the company's commitment to the digital imaging customer.



Canon U.S.A. Inc. is an industry leader in professional and consumer imaging solutions and, through its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), is a top patent-holder of imaging technologies. The company's comprehensive product line includes networked multifunction devices; digital and analog copiers (color and black and white); printers; scanners; image filing systems; and facsimile machines, camcorders, cameras and lenses; and semiconductor, broadcast and medical equipment. Canon employs 12,000 people at more than 30 facilities throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.



Note to editors: For more details and information about the three Canon products in this release, visit our Web site at www.ccsi.canon.com/press/2001/index.html.



*Prices are estimates only and may vary. Final prices are determined by individual dealers.

**Based on Canon and Wilhelm Imaging Research studies conducted using Photo Paper Pro under glass with a layer of air, and industry standard fluorescent lighting conditions. For more details see the Canon Web site at www.ccsi.canon.com

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