Epson Perfection 4180 Photo

Epson Perfection 4180 Photo
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Reasonable price, image restoration features, high resolution

Cons

  • Nothing notable

Bottom Line

The Perfection 4180 Photo is a reasonably priced, very high resolution scanner with some nifty image restoration software.

Would you buy this?

The Epson Perfection 4180 Photo brings 4800dpi scanning, previously available only in high-priced corporate scanners, to the range of small-office scanners--and throws in some excellent image-enhancement features as well.

The elevated resolution should allow the 4180 to make huge enlargements from small originals without losing sharpness or detail, but we saw mixed results in our tests. The 4180 produced very clean line art at its maximum resolution, but we weren't as impressed with a colour photo print that it made from a maximum-resolution scan.

During our tests the 4180 received excellent in our scans of monochrome line art and a 100dpi scan (viewed on screen) of a 4" x 5" colour photo. In our other tests, the 4180 was slightly better than average.

It scanned a 4" x 5" colour photo at 100 dpi in 12 seconds. However, the 4180 needed 43 seconds to scan a 2" x 2" colour photo at 1200 dpi; the Epson Perfection 2580 completed the same test in 28 seconds.

For batch-scanning slides, the 4180 comes with a trio of sturdy film holders that can handle up to four 35mm slides, 12 frames from two 35mm filmstrips, or two medium-format transparencies (120mm and 220mm film sizes) at a time. For scanning transparencies, the cover of the 4180 includes a built-in adapter.

Like other models in Epson's Perfection series, the 4180 has four quick-start buttons (Start, Copy, E-Mail, and Scan & Save), plus the Epson Scan driver. The driver has three operating modes: Full Auto, for fast and easy one-click scans; Home, for choosing a few basic settings; and Professional, for complete access to the scanner's colour adjustment, tone correction and gamma controls.

We were especially impressed with the driver's excellent one-click colour restoration. It took a dull-looking 35-year-old print of a home and garden and restored colour in a bed of red roses and on the house's blue exterior. Dust removal and grain reduction, which you can apply only to film scans (not prints), did wonders at cleaning up the dust and grainy look of an old 35mm slide of a bronze statue set against a clear blue sky.

The software bundle includes the Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 image editor, the ABBYY FineReader Sprint 5 optical character recognition application, and Epson Smart Panel. The Epson utility serves as a console for common scanning tasks, such as faxing over your computer's modem. People who also want an efficient way to scan multiple-page documents should invest in Epson's optional automatic document feeder, which can handle 30 sheets at a time.

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