The Canon 9900F scanner

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Just another scanner from Canon .... or is it more?

Canon seems to be launching new printers, scanners and cameras almost weekly. There are now 10 flatbed scanners in its collection, including the top of the range 9900F. Interestingly, Canon is also going down the route of producing very high specification flatbed scanners that can handle various film formats. Are we seeing the death of the dedicated film scanner? For professional and semi pro photographers the 9900F might just be the scanner that fits their needs. I will cover film scanning in great detail later in the review.

What's in the box?

1. The 9900F scanner
2. Power cable and AC adapter
3. Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable
4. Documentation and installation CD
5 Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
6. Warranty cards
7. Film holders for 35mm strips, 35mm mounted slides, 120/220 film format (6x12 max) and 5x4 inch.

As with most hardware, the 9900F is supplied securely packed with more than its fair share of cellophane and sticky tape. I am glad to see the AC adapter is not part of the plug, it's just that I can't fit any more adapters on my extension cable. I can't see why Canon couldn't have incorporated it within the scanner, there seems to be plenty of room and the adapter is a compact unit.

Driver and Software installation.

You should install the drivers before you connect the scanner to the computer. Under Windows the CD Autoruns and you are presented with a list of software you can install. A complete installation will occupy 379 MB of hard disk space. I am just going to install the minimum amount of software, ScanGear CS 25 MB (TWAIN driver) and the CanoScan Toolbox 5MB. This basic installation took less than four minutes and required the computer to re-boot. If the Welcome to the Found New Hardware Wizard appears, then press the cancel button.

Press Cancel on this screen

Choose the installation type

Select the software to install

There is a good selection of bundled software; ArcSoft PhotoStudio - an image editing application, ArcSoft PhotoBase - Photo Album software, ScanSoft OmniPage - OCR software, Presto PageManager - Digital document management program, Adobe Acrobat - PDF file reader. There is also an Electronic manual for the scanner which you can either install or read from the CD. On a separate CD there is a full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, (Mac & Win) this is an excellent application which replaces the usual Photoshop 5 LE. The selection of software is excellent and will get someone productive after unpacking the scanner. I will not be looking at any of these applications within this review.

The Unlock switch.

Before connecting to a computer the scanner unit has to be unlocked. Open the document cover and the switch is located at the rear.

L to R. The power socket, Film Adapter Unit, Firewire (IEEE1394) and USB 2.0

With the drivers installed you can now connect the scanner to your computer. I am going to use the Firewire (IEEE 1394) connection for most of this review. You can use the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed with an normal USB 1.1 connection, but you will not benefit from the faster speed. I will publish scan times for the Firewire and at some stage give times for USB.

Mac users should note that Firewire will work under OS 9.x, and Mac OS 10.2.X but not 10.3.

© Vincent Oliver 2003
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