Epson Perfection V30 flatbed scanner review

Dedicated scanners appear to be something of a dying breed thanks to a combination of digital photography and all-in-one multifunction printers. That's a pity, as for digitising old photos, artwork, documents and ephemera, dedicated scanners still have an important role to play. The Perfection V30 is a recent addition to an award-winning range from Epson that does one thing very well, rather than several things okay.

Once the Epson software is installed in Full Auto Mode you’ll see a rather dated user interface looking like a legacy from the early days of OS X. Here you can adjust settings, including dpi output resolution up to 4,800 x 9,600, file save settings, and where you want to store your scanned images. Three more options, Home Mode, Office Mode and Professional Mode, are an improvement, with the ability to create, configure, fine-tune and save settings, including some basic image enhancements. Once saved, four buttons on the scanner makes the actual scanning a simple and intuitive process.

For everyday use, we found the default 300dpi setting to be fine, producing solid and detailed scans from both photos and documents. We scanned the same images several times over a few sessions and the results remained consistent in colour and tone. Good monitor calibration helps here but printed scans also resembled the original scanned image. Scanner warm-up time is minimal and the average A4 photo took around 12 seconds to fully scan; documents varied depending on detail. At higher resolution, scanning times took longer. Images can be saved in a range of popular file formats, including Jpeg, Tiff and PDF.

You can scan several smaller images all at once but the results are a bit hit and miss, while auto cropping needs fine-tuning to be of any real use. We also found the higher dpi settings to be difficult to appreciate due to the limitations of the human eye. For those who need it, the more expensive Epson Perfection V300 comes with a built-in Transparency Unit.

OUR VERDICT

The V30 proved a hard-working, reliable scanner capable of producing solid and consistent results that are lacking in some jack-of-all-trades multifunction printers. Four user-friendly, one-touch scanning buttons and an intuitive interface typify Epson's ease of use, and help reduce the tedium of scanning at length. If you're on the look out for a flatbed scanner, the Epson Perfection V30 is certainly worthy of your consideration, producing vibrant and detailed scans.

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