HP Scanjet G4050 scanner test report

In summer of 2007 HP introduced the Scanjet G4050 as an extremely low-priced flatbed scanner with integrated transparency unit to the market. The scanner can scan not only impinging light content but also slides and negatives up to a size of approximately 20x30 cm.


The HP Scanjet G4050 is not available any more. As an alternative we recommend the Canon CanoScan 9000f.

As large innovation the scanner is called a 6-colors-scanner, this means the device contains two fluorescent tubes, which scan the image two times and produce this way 2 x 3 colors.The indicated hardware resolution of 4.800 x 9.600 dpi sounds promising, but makes one assume in advance that effectively there will be only a fraction of it, considering the low price class of 200€. In addition the device has also an automatic dust and scratch correction.

HP Scanjet G4050

Images up to a size of 216 mm x 311 mm can be digitized. This means for example that four 10x15 photos can be scanned at once. The transparency unit holds up to 16 framed 35mm slides or 30 negatives on the film strip. The technical data sounds very promising and the device seems indeed to be a low-priced alternative to slide scanners.

Originally a detailed test report about this device was planned on this side. After I read a detailed test report in the photo magazine ColorFoto 09/2007 with a measured density range of 2.87 and a measured resolution of 1000-1300dpi, I decided not to write the report, because with these values no slides or negatives can be scanned in useable quality. A scan with 1000dpi delivers just somewhat more than 1 megapixel picture information, which is an unacceptable value for digital pictures. Good film scanners produce between 10 and 20 megapixels effectively.

Meanwhile the company LaserSoft Imaging offers its professional scanning software SilverFast Ai also for the HP Scanjet G4050. Contrary to an manufacturer-own scanning software, SilverFast offers many more professional adjustment possibilities and thanks to the IT-8 calibration a better picture quality. The SilverFast Ai Software includes an IT-8 calibration target, with which one can accomplish an individual color calibration for his scanner, so that color defects are corrected and the scans deliver colors which are calibrated against a reference color-space. Detailed information to SilverFast and the IT-8 color calibration is available on our web page about SilverFast.

The HP Scanjet G4050 never could establish itself at the scanner market against the better competitor models Canon CanoScan 9000F or Epson Perfection V600 Photo. Since its commercial launch in the year 2007 HP has never released a new adequate model.

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