Canon's new $150 CanoScan 8400F is a reliable, general-purpose scanner that includes slide and negative holders as well as technology to help you bring your old, damaged photos back to life.
The shipping 8400F I tested did a nice job of letting me return some of my favorite old photos to their former glory. The scanner includes Canon's FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) Level 3 image retouching technology, which proved particularly adept at restoring sun-damaged prints.
Though the 8400F restored colors impressively, I wasn't as taken with the sharpness of its scans--especially of 35mm slides, both old and new. On-screen and printed, scanned images looked just a hair out of focus.
The USB 2.0-based 8400F's scans seemed quick--about 4 seconds for a preview and less than 45 seconds to create an 8.5-by-11-inch, 300-dpi image.
If you're in the market for a standard scanner and you'd like to do some photo restoration, the 8400F might be for you. If you're buying a scanner only to fix photos, however, I'd recommend choosing a higher-end product to ensure you get the results you want.
Canon CanoScan 8400F
Quick, inexpensive, and adept at restoring aging photos, but image focus seemed a hair off.
Price when reviewed: $150
Current Prices (if available)