Should Canon make a low cost one button film scanner?

Jan 26, 2015
4
0
I bought a cheap film scanner from Lidl ( a discount supermarket chain in Europe ) in a clearance sale, it claimed 5mp resolution. Its based on a basic lens and sensor mounted in a tower pointing down at a back illuminated panel which has a simple negative / slide carrier manually pushed over the panel.



Their are many reviews of these type of devices online, some people seem happy, many complain about the quality.



The Lidl scanner produces scans of very poor quality, colours are erratic, dynamic range is small, illumination is very uneven. But as its allows real time viewing of the image on a PC ( as you push the negatives / slides through the scanner you see the image like its a video camera, you only capture a scan when you press the button or icon ). This means I can quickly check if the neg / slide is worth putting to one-side to scan on my Minolta film scanner.



This made me think, with the collapse of the P&S market Canon could use the sensors / lenses from these P&S to create a high quality simple manual film scanner. I would expected most of the R&D costs for the P&S sensors / lens would have been recovered by now. So developing a simple manual film scanner based around this ‘old’ technology should not be to expensive.



Canon could even do a deal with a software supplier ( say Vuescan ) to bundle a Vuescan Lite with the scanner. This version would be could be locked down to only scan to JPEG, half resolution ( 6mp scans from a 12 mp sensor or an 8mp scan from a 16mp sensor ). After purchase an option to buy a full Vuescan licence specific to the scanner would allow full resolution scans, option to save to TIFF with multiple pass to improve DR etc .



I know its not a new Canoscan dedicated film scanner many people would like to see, but I would of thought this idea could produce a good revenue stream for Canon with relativity little cost of development and put Canon back in the public eye again.

Comments?
 

Bennymiata

EOS 6D MK II
The best and cheapest way to scan negs and slides is to rip out the film holder from your scanner and make up something to attach it to a zoom lens with some distance from the lens, hold it up to bright window and click the shutter.
Full res scans that only take a few seconds each.
 

Hillsilly

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 16, 2010
1,097
0
It is an interesting idea and there seems to have been an upsurge in film sales recently. But there's no reason they'd have to be so restrictive. You do know that Canon makes scanners and also develops they're own film scanning software. They're quite capable of bundling this in with the scanner and providing all the features.

Programs like Vuescan, while they can provide some additional features, really only exist because manufacturers fail to update drivers and software and many older scanners won't work with modern operating systems. And Canon is just as guilty of this as other manufacturers. Vuescan has been great at keeping old scanners running.

FWIW, most of my photography is film based and I spend a lot of time scanning with a ye olde Canon 9950F + Vuescan. But I'm with Bennymiata - scanning with a DSLR is now my go-to method. I place the negative in a film carrier and place this on top of a lightbox and have my camera rigged up to a copy stand. This works great.
 

tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
4,398
638
One of the best scanners were the Nikon Coolscan series. I do not know why stupid Nikon stopped producing them. Fortunately I bought a Coolscan 5000 back in 2006.
 
Jan 26, 2015
4
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I already have a couple of dedicated film scanners ( minolta dual scan IV bought many years ago, a Plustek 7200 bought for £20 second hand a couple of years ago, A full copy of Vuescan, a Canon 9950 for larger negatives ).

Lately i am getting lots of requests to scan in negatives for friends. Its seems that we are getting to the time in life, post the move to digital, when people want to show their family / kids photos of their parents / younger selves. Most these are on film, luckily most people have access to the negatives along with the slides. While all my kit can scan the negs / slides it takes time and while I get a few beers out it, I limit people to only a few images.

What I would like is to able do is recommend a reasonable quality, reasonably priced, simple to use, fast scanner for them to buy. This is where a see a hole in the market that Canon could fill for relatively cost of development.

Of course this scanner would only cover 35mm and smaller ( extra neg holders, extra cost? - another revenue stream for Canon? ), its would not help with other sizes ( 126, 127, 120, 620 etc etc )
.
 

Kit.

EOR R
Apr 25, 2011
1,659
1,001
Programs like Vuescan, while they can provide some additional features, really only exist because manufacturers fail to update drivers and software and many older scanners won't work with modern operating systems. And Canon is just as guilty of this as other manufacturers. Vuescan has been great at keeping old scanners running.
When I bought Vuescan license, I did it for a new (at that moment) scanner, because the bundled software was crap.
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,611
172
Silverfast/Vuescan offer advanced functionalities for image scanning, especially from film (but not only), that the bundled software often doesn't offer - although you usually need a high-end scanner to take advantage of them.

Some high-end scanner (i.e. Epson) comes with one of those software as well bundled, because the company making them may have little reason to invest too much in developing scanner software for relatively small niche markets. Still they may be uselessly complex for simpler jobs.

Moreover is especially with expensive scanners you may want keep on using them even if the OEM no longer provides drivers. Some editions of Silverfast cost more than a new low-end scanner or multi-function device.
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
753
85
Many want the images for their phones and social media. That’s how my daughters use the images I scanned from 25 years of film, many with the latest IG filters so the quality is less an issue. Lots of Throwback Thursday photos from their childhood. My V750 scans look great on phones and tablets.

If they had to do it themselves they would just buy something like this that uses their phone camera and has a decent app. Cost and simplicity would be key factors. https://petapixel.com/2019/07/18/kodak-40-mobile-film-scanner-is-like-google-cardboard-for-scanning-film/

With a few inserts like the trays made for the Epson scanners, it could also handle smaller formats using smartphone supports at different heights. With a larger backlight you could probably scale up to 120/220. I imagine the Kodak phone software wouldn’t know the difference. Who needs a DSLR and macro, and backlight when someone makes this to use with the smartphone you already have?
 
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