Epson Perfection V500 Photo flatbed scanner

In autumn 2007 Epson put the Perfection V500 Photo on the market, a low-priced flatbed scanner with an integrated transparency adapter. According to manufacturer data the scanner provides professional quality thanks to white LED light. 6400dpi is the optical resolution, dust and scratches are being removed with the automatic ICE dust and scratch correction. This sounds promising and innovative for a device in the price class of 200€.

The Epson V500 Photo was replaced by its successor V550 Photo in November 2013.

The Epson ReadyScan LED technology is characterised by the usage of white LEDs. According to Epson this positively affects the energy consumption and starting time, probably however not the scan quality. Whoever has the device in the office can thus produce a quick scan by pushing a button, and according to Epson buttons at the front offer even comfort functions like automatic creation of a PDF, automatic scanning with direct sending by mail, as well as a copy button with direct printout at the printer. And who purchases the device with the optional single sheet feeder can automatically produce series of scans in batches.

Epson Perfection V500 Photo

For slides and negatives a single sheet feeding brings certainly no advantage. Nevertheless 4 framed 35mm-slides or a 35mm-filmstrip with up to 6 pictures in the can be scanned in batch mode. That sounds comfortable, but is however little compared to other flatbed scanners with a transparency unit, for example the higher quality Perfection V700 Photo from the same company. Thus it becomes clear that the scanning of slides and negatives is an additional function of the Perfection V700 Photo but not the actually intended purpose. A larger size slide up to 6x12 cm can also be scanned, but the Epson Perfection V500 Photo is clearly completely meant as office device, which brings papers fastly into the computer or into the mail outbox; but just occasionally to scan one or another slide or negative.

The optical resolution of 6400dpi sounds great, but one can expect that in the best case effectively a quarter of it remains, so in the field of 35mm material this means that the resulting picture effectively has just 2-3 megapixels. The optical maximum density of 3.4 places the Epson V500 Photo in the low ranks when it comes to scanning slides and negatives, because the (from this figures estimated) density range of 2.8 to 3.0 is definitely not sufficient enough in order to digitize film material in good quality. Good film scanners have a density value of 3.5 to over 4.


The Epson Perfection V500 Photo is an allround device with the primary goal of scanning papers directly at the desk, comfortably and fast. The possibility of digitizing slides and negatives is fine for the occasional application. To me the V500 Photo, due to its performance data, doesn't seem to be the right device to scan film material in good quality. Epson has with the Perfection V700 Photo or the Perfection V750 Pro better devices for this purpose in its product portfolio.

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