contact us

© Vincent Oliver 2005


Buy the Epson 4990
clicking on the


Page 11

Creativity suite and other software

One of the new items of software is the Creativity suite. This is a one stop centre where you can set up the scanner to perform different tasks, from copying and printing to scanning for email. It is a versatile application, but basic. It will probably suit some users. The file browser is one of the fastest I have seen, but why do they always include an image enhancement feature? Most users will want to use Photoshop Elements 2.0.

Very fast image browser
Enlarged view

A copy of Abbyy FineReader 5.0 Sprint Plus is also included, normally I don't bother testing this type of application, but I thought I would see what this could do (it's over five years since I last used an OCR. I scanned in an old Epson brochure and it has produced a word perfect copy, but not only are the words correct, it has also scanned in the heading font and colour - both were lost when importing them into this page. I'm impressed, I think I might use this more often.

Taking control

Going digital puts the control firmly in the hands of the photographer, via the computer screen. Images can be manipulated in many ways and effects can be previewed, altered and reversed before committing them to print. Digital technology offers automatic colour management, ensuring that the final print will be a good match for the original. But if you want even finer control, it's easy to go into the on-screen printer menus and alter the characteristics by simply dragging the curves on the graphs to make subtle colour alterations and then test printing a small version or a section of the image in minutes.
Scanned text
Fully editable;le text via FineReader 5.0

Epson have also included SliverFast 6 (SE) with 4990 scanner, unfortunately this isn't the full version but nevertheless is still capable of producing excellent scans. There are many settings you can use, from curves through to levels and USM. SilverFast did produce some of the best colours from this scanner, but it also altered the files, if your scan has too much brightness applied then you will lose the highlight details. The best way to scan is by capturing as much information with the file as possible and then alter the image in Photoshop.

Silverfast SE interface
USM in SilverFast
Master shot
Using Epson Scan
Using Silverfast SE

Compared to the Canon 9950F

Although I have shown some sample images against the Epson 4870, the real competition for the 4990 comes from Canon. Having scanned in quite a few images on both units my conclusion is that there isn't much in it. Both scanners gave the best results at 2400dpi - which I feel is the optimum resolution. Epson has a better interface in its scanner software, but having said that, the Canon scanner will capture a lot of subtle details. Have a look at the samples below and decide for yourself. Don't pay too much attention to the colours, these can be tweaked for both units.

Master scan on Epson 4990 using SilverFast SE
Epson 4990
Canon 9950F
Epson 4990
Canon 9950F
Epson 4990
Canon 9950F


The photo-i forum is still down at the moment, I am working at it and hope to have them back later in the day. Sorry for all the inconvenience - thank the hackers for this.

25 April, 2005

© Vincent Oliver 2008 www.photo-i.co.uk
Please use the Forum to post your questions and views.
Support us and Shop at the photo-i shop