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© Vincent Oliver 2005

VueScan Professional edition
Page 1

 

VueScan review

Regular readers to the photo-i scanner reviews will know how I expect the best from any scanner, and good scanning software is essential to getting the best quality from a scanner. I will always review a scanner with the manufacturers bundled software, I know this may not always do full justice to the scanner being reviewed. A prime example of this is the Canon 9950 scanner, a superb machine which is let down by, putting it bluntly, awful scanning software (ScanGear). LaserSoft, publishers of SilverFast, has a version for the Epson range of scanners and continues to promise a Canon version, this may arrive at any time before 2008. Another scanning application that is well worth considering is VueScan.

VueScan supports over 400 scanners (I didn't know there were that many) and 157 digital cameras. This immediately gives VueScan the leading edge on SilverFast - you have to buy a scanner specific version of the software. OK, so how good is VueScan?

The interface

I must admit when I first loaded up VueScan I wasn't impressed. The interface was totally alien to me, where are the colour correction sliders, curves, Hue Saturation Levels etc. This software looked like it was seriously lacking in features. Having now used VueScan for a while my opinions on VueScan have totally changed.

On launching VueScan for the first time the scanning options are in Basic form, however, there are two further options; Standard and Advanced. When Advanced is selected you can see there are many more options for you to tweak the scans. Looking at a few of the options; Task - lets you scan to file, San to printer, Profile scanner, Profile printer, Profile film, Make IT8 target. Selecting one of the options will change the other values in the Options list. Source - automatically selects the connected scanner, unless your using the "HoHoScan" model, if you have more than one scanner connected then the drop down list will include all the scanners. Mode - Flatbed or Transparency. Media - Color photo, b/w photo, magazine, newspaper etc. Media size - set this to Auto (default) and it will locate the picture on the scanner. Quality - use this to automatically set the output resolution for Print, e-mail, Web, Archive. Bits per Pixel - 1 (b/w) , 8 or 16 (grey), 24 - 48 or 64 (RGB). Preview resolution - this is for the preview image quality and can be any resolution that your scanner supports. This will produce a high quality preview, which can also be used for the scan. Scan resolution - set the output resolution. Rotation - spin the preview image; left, right or flip 180'. The Mirror button flips the image on the horizontal axis (handy for film scanning). Auto Focus - if your scanner supports manual focusing then you can refine the sweet spot. Auto Save - scan or preview can be saved. Auto Print - print the preview or scan or neither. Number of Passes - some scanner have a multi pass function whereby the scanner will scan the image a pre-defined number of times and then average out the values to produce the best scan. This feature on VueScan will do the same with scanner that do not have a multi pass function. Scan from preview - If you set your preview resolution to a high setting then by checking this box the scanner will use the preview image for the final scan. Lock image colour - a god send function. One of the biggest problems I encounter is adjusting the colours and then making another crop only to find the colours shift due to maybe less sky in the cropped image. Turn this on and the image colour is locked, also handy for doing batch scans of similar images.

The bottom option is to select the Basic, Standard or Advanced options. I would strongly advise using the Advanced options.

Basic Options
Advanced Options

 


8 April, 2005

© Vincent Oliver 2008 www.photo-i.co.uk
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