Available from: www.canon.com
It only takes 11 seconds for the CanoScan 5600F to scan an A4 colour image at 300dpi. Not a bad start for an affordable flatbed, but the seconds soon pile on when it’s not running on autopilot. The only downfall of such a quick scan is the increased graininess and noise on colour images. If you’re taking a scan into Photoshop you’re going to be looking for accurate results. This is something that takes more than 11 seconds in Auto Scan mode. To improve results and reduce grain you need to select the Descreen option, and after a preview we found boosting saturation and even adding a degree of dust and scratch reduction were needed. With these improvements to your image, the scan runs into minutes. The scanner has a CCD element and it’s a real benefit for colour accuracy. This is instead of the CIS (Contact Image Sensor) element in other Canon models. We were impressed with the scanner’s ability to maintain depth in dynamic lighting conditions. This was only after making adjustments to the image at the preview stage and using the software provided. When scanning artwork from special art paper we found it best to leave the Descreen option turned off, as this achieved a fast scan and showed the textured surface of the paper more clearly. To improve colour depth the scanner can be set to a 48-bit colour mode. This assesses more colour info and increases quality along with file size. The maximum resolution it manages is 19200dpi, which is impressive, producing huge image dimensions. This large resolution is much better suited to 35mm film negative and slides when using the scanner’s adaptor. Every detail is picked up and print sizes can even go to poster from one frame in this resolution. Its overall appearance is smart, with a simple silver and black matte finish. It has an adjustable lid to lengthen its hinges to scan thick objects (one-inch high for a comfortable fit). The seven shortcut keys on its lid don’t provide the best quality scans, but are ideal for quickly transferring images to a computer without hassle. Having a CCD element scanner combined with a 4800 x 9600dpi optical resolution makes this an ideal creative tool – and its affordable price tag could also be the deciding factor.
Pros: Good quality, fast preview, lots of adjustment options.
Cons: Chunky dimensions and requires two connections.
Verdict: Four out of five stars