Epson Perfection 2580 Photo

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Epson Perfection 2580 Photo

Pros

  • High speed, good photo image quality, image enhancement options

Cons

  • Nothing notable

Bottom Line

People who want to digitise batches of 35mm negatives will find the Perfection 2580 most useful.

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The Epson Perfection 2580 Photo produces high-quality images from both prints and film--and is a great value for the price. Plus, this scanner is ideal for anyone with stacks of 35mm negatives to scan.

People with large film archives will like this scanner, which has an automatic film loader built in. This nifty device lets you easily scan individual frames on 35mm negatives. Sort of like inserting a bank card into an ATM, you open the film loader door--located directly on top of the scanner cover--insert the filmstrip (containing up to six shots) in the slot provided, and push the start button. In our tests, the 2580 flawlessly fed the film into the unit and scanned and saved each frame in the strip as a separate image. The automatically scanned images did a fine job of matching the brightness, contrast and colour tones in the originals. You can also use the loader manually, which allows you to preview each frame before making the final scans.

In addition, the 2580 comes with a small slide holder that fits on the glass for scanning 35mm slides, but only one at a time. (Other models such as Epson's own Perfection 4180 Photo can scan batches of 35mm slides at once.)

The 2580 pumped out a 2" x 2" colour photo at 1200dpi in just under 28 seconds--an amazingly fast rate.

In our on-screen display of a scanned 4" x 5" colour photo, the Perfection 2580 accurately reproduced the skin tones and colour shades of the original. Our black-and-white line-art and greyscale photo scan tests, however, produced results that we rated closer to average.

The 2580 has four front-panel buttons (Start, Copy, E-Mail, and Scan & Save) for quick starts to common scanning tasks. The proficient Epson Scan driver has three operating modes: Full Auto, for fast and easy one-click scans; Home, for choosing a few basic settings; and Professional, for complete access to all scanner settings, including colour adjustment, tone correction and gamma control. We liked the 2580's image-enhancement options, such as colour restoration, dust removal and grain reduction. The colour restoration option, for example, livened up a faded photo with a red colour cast by adding more green and blue.

Bundled software includes a basic image editing application (ArcSoft PhotoImpression), a feature-limited but very accurate OCR package (ABBYY FineReader Sprint 5) and Epson's Smart Panel utility. The easy-to-use Smart Panel helps you process and manage your scans with a highly graphical interface, suitable for beginners or infrequent users. An optional Multi Photo Feeder can scan up to 24 4" x 6" photos (or business cards up to that size).

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