By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Positioning its scanners as a means of restoring older and deteriorating film prints and negatives, Epson introduced two new high-end flatbed film scanners, the Perfection 4870 Photo and 4870 Pro, that incorporate a host of image-correcting tools in the hardware and software.
The scanners share the same hardware specifications but are differentiated by the included software. The 4870 Photo is geared toward a consumer audience and will be distributed through office superstores and mass-merchant channels, while the 4870 Pro is aimed at a more advanced user and will ship through photo specialty dealers.
The models will be Epson's first to incorporate Kodak/Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE in both the hardware and the supplied software. Digital ICE is a technology that removes dust and scratches from both film and photos during the scanning process, rather than traditional software-only fixes that soften or blur images after they've been scanned.
Both scanners feature 4,800-by-9,600 dpi resolution, 48-bit color, 12,800 dpi maximum interpolated resolution, and a 3.8 dynamic range for transparencies. The units can scan up to 24 photo negative frames at once, or eight 35mm mounted slides, three to six medium format frames or two 4-by-5-inch frames.
Both scanners offer Epson's Easy Photo Fix software for color restoration, dust removal and grain reduction and a driver that gives users of varying skill levels the options of automatic mode, home mode or professional mode.
The 4870 Photo, which replaces the Perfection 3200, ships this month with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Silverfast 6.0 SE, and Epson's new Scan TWAIN for an estimated street price of $449.
The 4870 Pro will ship with the full Silverfast 6.0 software, an ArcSoft software suite, and Monaco EZ Color 2.5, for an estimated street price of $599. The Pro will also include reflective and film IT8 targets for accurate color management.
The 4870 Photo/Pro are the only flatbed scanners with a moving light source, said Ali Atash, product manger, consumer scanners, Epson.
While the market for low-end scanners has been hurt by the growing demand for multi-function devices, the higher-end scanner market has picked up sales, said Atash. Demand is coming from consumers unhappy with the performance of lower-end scanners and those looking to restore old photo prints and film negatives, Atash said. Demand has been very robust from the booming scrapbook hobbyist market, he added.
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