The Epson Perfection 3200 scanner

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The Epson Perfection 3200 heralds a new era for scanning. It promises to satisfy the needs of photographers who have a collection of negatives and who also need a flatbed for day to day scanning. The 3200 scanner comes complete with a 4 x 9" Transparency Unit and film holders that accommodate film formats from 35mm to 5 x 4". Previously, on most scanners the transparency units were sold as an optional extra and could cost as much as the scanner. With an optical resolution of 3200 x 6400, the 3200 is perhaps one of Epson's most eagerly awaited items since the Epson Stylus 2100 printer.

What's in the box?

1. The Epson Perfection 3200 scanner
2. Setup guide
3. Silverfast 6.0 (SE)
4. Power cord (will vary according to country)
5. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
6. Scanner software Disk (software contents may vary according to country)
7. USB 2.0 Hi-speed cable
8. 3 Film holders, 35mm strip, 35mm mounted, 120/220 (6x9 max) and 5 x 4 inches. (inset photograph not to scale)

The scanner is securely packed with plenty of protective film to protect the glossy surfaces from scratches. At the side and rear there are two bright yellow caution stickers. The side label tells you to unlock the Transportation lock, this locks/unlocks the scanner's carriage which should be in the locked position when you unpack. Unlocking is a simple matter of turning the lock 90' clockwise. The label at the rear tells you to install the scanner software before connecting the unit to a computer. As this label covers both the Firewire and USB ports you shouldn't miss it. So far so good.

Turn to unlock

Scanner should not be connected to computer just yet.

Driver and other software installation

Under Windows XP just insert the Software CD and choose Install Software. Four components will be installed under the Easy install; Epson Scan, Epson Smart Panel, Presto PixExpress and Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't want any of these items then click the Advanced button and unselect the items not required. I chose not to install Acrobat, but the PixExpress gave me a message saying "Please install ActiveSync or Palm Desktop 2.0 before installing Presto Pix Express". The documentation supplied with the 3200 is sparse at this point, where would the average user find these two items?

I have also chosen to install the Silverfast 6 software at this early stage, although I will not use it until later. You have the option to install the software as a Photoshop plugin or as a Twain Plugin, I have installed it under both options.

The full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 1.0 for both Mac & PC compatible computers is included. Mac OS X users cannot access EPSON Scan from applications other than Adobe Photoshop, this means you will not be able to scan images using Elements. However, you can use Epson Scan as a stand alone application and save the scan as a file (BMP, TIFF, JPG, EPS or PICT).

Click the items to install

The Silverfast install screen

Getting connected

You have a choice of using either the Firewire (IEEE 1394a) or USB 2.0 port, a Hi-speed USB cable is included with the scanner but not Firewire. It should be noted that you should not connect the scanner to two computers at the same time using both the USB and Firewire cables.

I am going to connect the scanner via the Firewire (IEEE 1394a) port and will publish the review timings using this connection. At some stage I will also include a comparison between USB and Firewire scan times.

© Vincent Oliver 2003
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