Some might find a dedicated scanner to be unnecessary these days with multifunction printers so common, but the Epson Perfection V600 provides high-quality scans and the ability to scan film and slides. There's also many image correction features too, including photo restoration and color correction.
The black bodied Epson Perfection V600 measures 11 x 19 x 4.6-inches (wdh) and weighs about 9-pounds and can easily fit into any home office or small business setting. It feels quite well built and the top doesn't feel flimsy or anything. Setting up the V600 is quite simple. Just first install the software and drivers on the included CD (works for Windows 2000, XP, 7 and Mac OS 10.3.9+) and connect the USB cable (included) to an open port on your computer. The setup installs TWAIN and WIA drivers to allow you to scan from programs that support in-program scanning. Epson also includes Adobe Photoshop Elements on the installation disc for you to install if you wish.
Epson's scan utility is quite simple and allows you to perform a simple scan by just pressing one button. You can also choose to press one of the four buttons on the front of the scanner itself. The first button opens the Epson scan program on the connected computer, the second performs a copy by sending the image directly to your printer, the third sends the scan in an e-mail by adding it to an attachment on your computer's e-mail program and lastly, you can save the scan to a PDF, which is a useful feature. The scanner's software can also try to read the text through optical character recognition and save the scan in a searchable PDF format. Our testing lead to fairly decent results using this, but don't expect it to be perfect.
If you're scanning a document with multiple pages, you can choose to not save the file until you've scanned all the pages, which is a useful feature that isn't included on some other scanners. The software also allows you to scan documents in automatic mode or manual mode, the latter allows you to control more advanced options, like color and contrast. The automatic mode attempts to detect the best scan settings for what is being scanned. The automatic mode seemed to do a pretty good job too, which is definitely worth a mention in this review.
The Epson Perfection V600's scanning software also has some more advanced features, like image correction and restoration features. You can choose to fix images that have poor lighting or off-color exposure and these features also worked well. Some other feature include dust and scratch removal, which scans the image multiple times to analyze what blemishes to digitally correct. You can also restore faded images to their original state with a color restore option.
The Epson V600's optical resolution is 6400dpi and has a hardware maximum resolution of 6400 x 9600 dpi and a interpolated resolution of 12800 x 12800 dpi. The maximum scan area is 8.5 x 11.7-inches and allows you to also scan 35mm slides/film strips and 6 x 22cm medium-format film by means of the included transparency adapter built into the lid. The only limit is that four 35mm slides can be scanned at once, which can slow you down if you have a lot to do.
Scan quality with this Epson scanner is very good in subjective testing. 5 x 7-inch prints scanned with fantastic quality and looked virtually like the original photo. The details in the photo was able to be reproduced by the scanner in testing. Film strips were also accurately scanned with only slight areas of perhaps lesser than expected detail. However, if you have a large collection to degrading film, the Epson V600 will work great to get these images in digital format.
Scan speeds is quite snappy at around half-a-minute in automatic mode, which actually does two scans (one pre-scan and one full quality scan). Choosing to use the photo correction features described above adds considerable time to the total scan time, which shouldn't be any surprise. Lamp warm-up times are virtually eliminated with this model because it uses the LED lighting, which cuts down time needed for warm-up and overall energy use.