Scanning your old photo's: Epson Perfection V300 Photo
Today almost everybody has an digital camera but it's only since the last years we have been using them. Before this digital period we all had these camera's where we had to go into a shop to print out the photographs and it was always a surprise how they looked! Sometimes half of the pictures where bad so I'm very happy now with my digital camera. But all those old pictures are in family albums or just laying around in the house. It's a shame really and especially since I have a digital photo frame I wanted to have also those pictures digital. My last scanner was a combination with my printer but since that one broke it was time to get a new one.
I have this scanner now for a couple of months and love the way it looks. It's looks very stylish in black even when it's actually quiet large: 11inches x 17inches x 1inch but nothing abnormal for a scanner. It was a elegant stylish look what I think really suits me.
Using the scanner is very easy. Of course you get all the cables you need in order to use it including a USB cable and CD software to install all the necessary files on you computer. The computer will install the driver but also programs that you can use to operate the scanner and use to modify the scan you made. Using the program is easy and when you lay your picture on to the scanner you can make a preview scan, what takes around 5 to 10 seconds where you get a little preview of your scan. Here you can for example crop the scan only selecting the picture where when you click the button scan it will only scan the picture which saves time and is just easier. I took around 1 minute and a half but that's on a half resolution.
I was quiet amazed with the result and thought the scans look really sharp and colourful. Some of the picture I'm scanning are of my parents when they where younger so we are talking about 50 year old pictures. Even those look quiet sharp for what they are. The pictures are easily saved into a JPEG format or any other. You can also scan a document and make a PDF file.
I think the Epson Perfection V300 Photo is a great scanner and comes around a price of 60 pounds which I don't think is that expensive for what you get. The scanner is easy to use and the scans look of great quality. Definitely one I would recommend!
We spend so much money in the printing shops that it was brought to my attention (by the printing firm) to get my own printer as it would save me more money in the long run.
After looking for a printer and finding the Epsom brand I decided to purchase it but it was a printer/scanner.
It turned out that this printer scanner combo was a great purchase and was going strong after 3 years, that was until a short while back when one miserable British day my scanner on this combo decided to pack it in, it wouldn't of bothered me so much but I didn't realize how much I started to use the scanner and do a lot with e-mails, so I knew I now had to go scanner shopping (so much for saving money).
I liked the way my Epsom printer/scanner combo was lasting me and the ease of use it was (right down to it's installation), as I was researching online about scanners I found out that not all scanners can handle photographs and when you try to scan them in they don't come out in very good quality, but I also read that Epson is very capable with photo's which just added to my decision on deciding to go with the Epson brand so as to stay in the Epson family.
The Epson Perfection V300 Photo is all black in colour with the writing "Epson" in silver and the four buttons of the printer in silver.
The measurements are 11inches x 17inches x 1inch showing you that this scanner is not particularly big but weighing at 2.8 kg it does weigh a little bit but nothing to worry about.
This little scanner is not only flat and elegant but also simple to use whether you are a beginner in using scanners or advanced in using scanners, this model is designed for both alike, with the scanner only having four buttons u can use the scanner and produce PDF files with absolute ease efficiency.
This Epson scanner provides you with 4800 DPI resolution and an up to date scan LED technology, because of the way it has been built there is no waiting time for the scanner to warm up, as soon as the scanner is on it is ready to start scanning, its as simple as that, also it is provided with a good software package that allows you to restore and for you to scan all kinds of prints and negatives to turn your hard copies into digital so that they can never degrade.
In our house hold there are a lot of family albums that are sitting there getting older and older as the years roll by, the pictures are starting to degrade bit by bit but because the high rise hinge can be extended this then provides your big family albums to be stored in the digital world.
Provided in the box
1) Mains Power Supply
2) CD Software
3) Photo Template
4) USB Lead
Once you connect the scanner to your computer or laptop and power it up, allow the computer to install the driver it needs to (mine does this automatically) or if yours doesn't then follow the instructions in the manuals for assistants, and if your still having trouble visit their website as you can get the downloads there aswell.
After that you should have an Epson icon "Epson Scanner" that is now on your computer, the icon opens up the software for the scanner to be set up for how you want to use your Epson.
Lift the lid and place on the LED scanner screen what you would like scanned and when you have it in the correct placement close the lid, then you proceed by telling the scanner what kind of document or photo you are scanning, you have an option to "preview" the document/photo before you actually scan it into the computer, the preview button is a good feature on a scanner because you can edit it before you scan it in by zooming in, cropping, touch it up...etc.
Size is another option along with resolution (just remember the higher the resolution the better the quality but the longer the scanning time).
A down side to this scanner is it makes quite the noise when it is scanning.
You can get the Epson Perfection V300 Photo from Amazon £103.82
I agree it is a bit much for just a scanner but if you find you are scanning more than documents and want to save those family photos then this Epson scanner is perfect and a good investment to save your memories.
So as good as this scanner is it makes quite the noise while scanning but you can choose how you want your scanner to work whether it be restoring photo's to their former glory or just scanning a document in for work, you have so many options you can choose from ranging in colour, size or shape.
This scanner is absolutely great and gets you the results you want and you have a lot of options to choose from and are easy for both beginners and advanced users.
even though it is noisy i still give it 5 stars
When I was a child in the sixties, our family album was somewhat limited. Back then photography was very expensive and colour photography was still being developed for the masses.
My father had an old Kodak 126 instamatic camera then, which was the first camera he had owned that was capable of taking colour photographs. At the time he preferred to buy film for slide photography, as these slides tended to preserve colour images far better than prints from the period.
The camera tended to only come out on birthdays, at Christmas and other special occasions given the cost of the film, the developing and other sundries such as flash bulbs, but of course over time the technology in photography has moved on and by the early 1970s my father had acquired a 35mm camera, but still insisted on only using it sparingly.
As I grew up I wanted a camera of my own, and by the time I was 15, I was allowed to use my dad's old Kodak 126 camera, and over time I used this before becoming the proud owner of my very own 110 "pocket" instamatic camera back in 1981. We switched from slide photography in the late seventies to prints, but over time I have come to see why slide photography was favoured for colour pictures, given the way some of the prints from the late seventies I own have faded.
Over the years I have always kept the negatives of these photographs, and my mother has also carefully kept the old slide photographs from the sixties and seventies, but the cost of getting reprints and somehow acquiring prints from the positive slide film seemed prohibitive, so they have effectively been gathering dust for years.
Some time ago I was in Aldi and they were advertising a device to digitalise slide photographs and negatives and I was curious about the results these devices delivered. I did some research and discovered the overall opinion was somewhat mixed, however the general consensus amongst people online was to try to get a decent scanner which could deal with photographs, slides and negatives.
My budget was limited and I was also aware of the fact that I wasn't going to be dealing with amazing photographs here - they were nearly all family snapshots that whilst priceless to the family, contained little of artistic merit. It was a standing joke in the family, for instance, that my mother would take a picture of my father with some large building protruding from his head, and my dad wasn't the best for capturing the moment in focus either. As for my abilities with the camera, well the less said, the better!
As a result I decided to go for the Epson Perfection V300 Photo scanner, which set me back £72.56 on Amazon.
I have been using 3-in-1 scanners for years now, so it seemed strange to have a dedicated flatbed scanner again and whilst this model is sleek and stylish in black, it is also quite large. Fortunately it is lightweight and easy to move about if need be.
The scanner came with software CD, mains adaptor, photo template and USB lead. Connecting it was trickier than usual as my CD/DVD drive packed up not long after I placed my order for the scanner, refusing to read CDs. I got around this by visiting the Epson website and downloading the drivers from there, but I still was a little confused because I couldn't immediately access the instruction manual - which was, as most of these things are these days, on the CD.
I managed to locate the instructions online, which was just as well as I was completely baffled as to how I could scan negatives and slides using the photo template which came with the scanner on first impressions.
The document mat, which is basically a black plastic frame with a thick piece of white card attached is removable and in the absence of the instruction manual I couldn't work out why, but then I realised that the transparency unit window is covered by this mat so if you are working with negatives or slides, the mat will need to be removed. Fortunately this is fairly straightforward to do.
The photo template which holds 4 slides or a row of approximately 6 negatives, sits on the flat bed of the scanner - and you place this according to which type of transparency you are going to scan. There is a knack to this and while the template does offer some instructions as to how to do it, if you are lacking some grey matter like myself, you will need the instruction manual to show you the way. It's one of those things that had me wondering how the heck it worked until I saw it for myself and I was kicking myself for not working it out sooner!
~~Using the Scanner~~
I powered the machine on and then clicked on the "Epson Scanner" icon that was now on my computer. This opened up the software required to use the machine and it was then that I was able to put the machine to the test - would it be able to cope with old slides - some of which were over 40 years old?
I carefully put the slides in the spaces available for them on the photo template. I then had to tell the software what kind of photograph I was scanning - for example a positive transparency for a slide, and then I hit "Preview" on the software. This brought up a strip of the slides on the screen which was very small. You frame the picture you wish to scan using a crop feature and then hit "Scan". If you want to see the picture closer, you can select "Zoom" and a new preview will be done enabling you to see the picture better.
This is a great feature as you can touch up the picture before you hit "Scan", using a colour restoration feature, improving the backlight, using the dust removal feature or the "Unsharp Mask" which sharpens features as required.
You can also choose what size you want the scan to be and select the resolution. The higher the resolution the longer the scanning time, but the results will be better.
It took about 90 seconds to scan the image using a resolution of 1000 dpi. The process is, however, quite noisy. When I got the first results I was amazed - the quality of the scan was sharp and clear, and the colour was fresh. The first slide I scanned dated from 1973 and the only thing that gave the period away were the fashions.
Using trial and error I realised that the vast majority of these slides needed no colour restoration at all - proving how well these transparencies have maintained colour over the years - and I also realised I could crop the preview scan before committing to a definitive version which meant I was able to cut out some of the more incriminating evidence of my parents' poor photography skills.
I then decided to try to scan 35mm negatives and once again I was pleased with the results - all you do is tell the software you are dealing with colour negative film and you also have to turn the photo template around so transparency unit can scan the negatives.
The negative holder is designed for 35mm negatives and they sit in quite tightly in the negative holder, however I have tried to use it with 110 and 126 instamatic negatives from the late 1970s and early 1980s and can confirm that it works a treat with them too.
For instance 30 years ago I went on a school trip to Dinard in northern France and I have long since mislaid the prints from the photos I took then on my dad's old Kodak 126 camera. However I still have the negatives and in a matter of minutes the faces of old school friends were staring back at me on my computer screen.
The final test for me was scanning prints - particularly some from a family holiday taken in 1980 that took in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These prints had faded badly over time and I was concerned they were beyond repair as I couldn't readily locate the negatives.
I decided to try out the colour restoration feature in earnest on some prints of myself as a blushing sixteen year old and was delighted to see the pictures come up on the screen with much of the colour restored to its former glory.
In this day of 3-in-1 printers/scanners, it seems odd to be going out and buying a flatbed scanner but if you have family photographs you want to digitalise on a budget, you could do a lot worse than this Epson V300 Photo.
Last year I got two prints from 110 film negatives done at Jessops. They had to be sent away and took 2 weeks to come back. I paid in the region of a fiver for two prints. I feel robbed now when I see how easily these negatives can be scanned using this machine, and then printed off either at home or for a few pence from an SD card at the chemist or supermarket.
Obviously the clarity of print will never be quite as sharp as that you would get from a negative, but it comes close enough for family snapshots. The only real downside is the noise I suppose - it's far noisier than any scanner I have owned before, but given the results it produces I can live with it.
The scanner is also capable of quickly and clearly scanning any document, and you can easily create PDF files on it. The scanner lid is designed to cope with thick books too as it lifts up, so if you want to scan something from a hefty tome, this scanner should be able to cope.
For ease of use and purchase price, I have to say I am really impressed with this scanner, and would recommend it to those of you who want to be able to store old family photographs digitally - assuming, of course, your family isn't that of David Bailey. For Mr Bailey's family, or any other talented photographer's family, I would suggest you might do better to purchase one of the scanners up Epson's range, such as the V500 Photo or V700 Photo - but of course the price is also suitably higher.