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Canon CanoScan 9950F

At a Glance
  • Canon CanoScan 9950F

    PCWorld Rating

Canon CanoScan 9950F
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Canon CanoScan 9950F is a corporate-priced powerhouse that can scan both prints and film at a maximum optical resolution of 4800 dpi. Producing crisp, colorful scans with swift speed, the CanoScan 9950F would be a good choice for small offices, graphics professionals, or photo hobbyists.

In our standard image-quality tests, the 9950F was the top-ranked scanner at the time we evaluated it. The device produced the best printed 100-dpi scan of a 4-by-5-inch color photo; the scan showed excellent brightness, sharpness of detail, and color reproduction.

The 9950F also earned the top score in our printed and on-screen black-and-white line-art test scans, both of which were scanned at the unit's maximum optical resolution of 4800 dpi. The 9950F provided fine details in the hard-to-capture circular moiré and crossbar patterns.

One of the reasons for this scanner's impressive image quality, according to Canon, is that the 9950F features a new optical system with an aspherical lens element (called the Super Toric Lens) that more efficiently transmits light to the image sensor.

Aside from its excellent scan quality, the 9950F stood out due to its tools for scanning film and transparencies. It comes with a built-in adapter for transparencies as well as three sturdy film holders for multiple-image scanning. These guides allow for batch scanning of up to 12 35mm slides, 30 frames from five 35mm filmstrips, and eight frames from two medium-format (120mm) filmstrips. Canon also provides a fourth film holder for scanning single 4-by-5-inch and 120mm transparencies.

The 9950F's adept ScanGear CS driver can automatically scan all of the images in a holder and save each scan in an individual file. You can also batch-scan up to ten reflective items, such as photo prints. Such features make this scanner a workhorse for groups that do publishing production, such as catalog houses and graphic-arts departments.

Tested with USB 2.0, the 9950F ranked second in overall speed in the corporate scanner category in our March 2005 issue's review. It took just under 29 seconds to scan a 2-by-2-inch color photo at 1200 dpi--the fastest speed for this test in this category.

The 9950F has four quick-start buttons (Copy, Scan, E-Mail, and PDF) and comes with a generous software bundle that includes the Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 and ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5.5 photo editors, the NewSoft Presto PageManager 6.11 document management tool, and ScanSoft's OmniPage SE 2 optical character recognition package. The scanner also comes with Canon's own CanoScan Toolbox 4.9, a helpful utility that lets you customize the hardware's push buttons and set up additional software-driven buttons for passing scanned images to other linked applications.

Like the drivers of other corporate scanners, the 9950F's driver includes image-enhancement features such as fade correction, dust and scratch removal, and grain correction. We were pleased with the results when we tried out these tools: The 9950F's fade correction, for example, took the jaundiced look out of a family portrait that had yellowed with age.

Canon's CanoScan 9950F is a great scanner option for expert users who need quality, powerful tools, and speed.

Richard Jantz

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Excellent color and detail capture from both transparency and reflective media

    Cons

    • None significant
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