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Digital Capture's Future

(April 2008) posted on Wed Apr 09, 2008

With film disappearing and digital cameras becoming more advanced, what happens to digital capture?


By Jeff Dorgay

The relative decline in analog image capture has led to a thinning of the ranks when it comes to scanners. The demand for new equipment simply isn’t what it used to be. But most folks turn to a flatbed scanner, and there's still a large selection of these available, many that will perform double duty as a film scanner. These days, $300 to $400 will buy a pretty good flatbed that can serve up good basic scans. (Gone are the days of getting a copy of Photoshop thrown in with the scanner, though.) On the high end, flatbeds typically max out at around $900, but the Epson Expression 10000XL-Photo has a suggested price point of $3000.

The modestly priced dedicated desktop film-scanner game has come down to just a few major players: Nikon, with its line of SuperCoolscan scanners (the CoolScan V and the SuperCoolscan 5000-the latter offering faster scan times and a greater dynamic range-and the SuperCoolscan 9000 for medium-format film), and Microtek, with its ArtixScan 120tf [although the latter may be being phased out]. Yes, there are also a few less-expensive dedicated film scanners still on the market, but these are generally geared toward the consumer or hobbyist market, not the professional arena.


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