Large format scanners up to DIN A3 (42x29,7cm)
Different to digital cameras where it seems every 10 seconds to come a new model to the market the scanner market is much smaller and clear. One of the reason is that the technical possibilities for the digitalisation with scanners are outbit and there is hardly any reason to do further research in that field. So under the best scanners you still find older models which are still up to date thanks to their excellent technology. One such example is the excellent film scanner Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED from the year 2003, which yields an image quality in the 35mm field which is still not achieved by modern scanners.
A further property of the scanner market is the fact that there is no all round scanner, which is optimally suitable for scanning reflective and film material. Instead the available scanner models each cover a specific range of paper and film formats. Thus the scanners can be classified into well definede scanner classes. One such scanner class, which everybody knows, is the class of flatbed scanners, more precisely the class of DIN A4 scanners with a scan field up to approx. 21x30 cm. Such scanners are mainly used to scan documents in paper form and are nowadays standard on each PC desk at home or in the office.
Within the flatbed scanner class there is another scanner bype which is seldomly found in the private area: We talk about flatbed scanners in the large format field. Such large format scanners allow professional digitalisations of different paper and film formats up to huge size of DIN A3 (42x29,7cm), combinded with challenging professional applications and document management systems. That's why their purpuse field can be found in different industry branches like the digitalisation of historically precious pictures for restauration and conservation or the digitalisation of x-rays in the medicine field or the digitalisation of construction plans or the automatic scanning and archiving of large document amounts in different business fiels.
A couple of large format scanners have the possibility to scan film material thanks to a transparency unit. Because of their large scan area you can either scan very large films or many small films in batch mode.
In the following we will give you an overview about scanners in the large format field, introduce some scanners with their advantages, deficits and operation areas.
Epson Workforce DS-50000 / DS-50000N
High-value A3 scanner for scanning docments, books, pictures etc.
The Epson Workforce DS-50000 has been released in autumn 2012. With its dimensions of 640 x 468 x 156 mm and its weight of 14,8 kg it is a heavy large format scanner. It can process the well known formats from Executive (184 x 267 mm) up to DIN A3 (297 x 420 mm) with a colour depth of 48 bit and with a maximum optical resolution of 600 ppi.
The maximum scan duration at colour and black/white documents is according to the manufacturer 4 seconds per page (DIN A4, 300 dpi). There are longer scan times for higher resolutions or at larger originals. The data are transfered to the computer via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed. At the image capturing the usual standards TWAIN, ISIS and WIA are supported.
Furthermore there are a lot of image optimization possibilities like the automatic alignment correction, automatic picture rotation, text improvement, moiré elimination, horizontal and vertical document separation, correction of back of books, colour fade-out, colour optimization and bar code recognition.
As output formats jpg, tif and pdf are supported. With Epson Document Capture Pro the scans can be edited bevore the conversion and be forwarded to nearany kind of document storage and document management systems like cloud storages. Epson Document Capture Pro additionally offers the possibility to use the so called push functionality of the scanner. With this functionality certain functions of the scanner can be used by button clicks. One such application is the function "Scand and send per e-mail". With the optionally available network moduel this scanner can be used in a network from many users. The Epson WorkForce DS-50000N corresponds to the Epson Workforce DS-50000, however with integrated network interface module. A network use of different users with Ipv6 is guaranteed.
For extended network and server applications the DS-50000N can be used with a lot of (server) operation systems like Windows Server 2003 (R2), Windows Server 2008 (R2), XenApp 5.0, XenApp 6.0, Terminal Service, Presentation Server 4.5, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
It is very pleasant that the sacanner has a high value CCD sensor and the Epson ReadyScan LED-technology. So it works with out warm-up time. Also the power consumtion is pretty eco-friendly. In normal operation the DS-50000 only needs 25,5 W. In the eco mode it needs only 9,5 W and in the standby mode even only 1,5 W.
The Epson Workforce DS-50000 is a pure document and picture scanner, since there is no additional transparency unit for film material available. Also at the highes resolution of 600 ppi and at the different image editing possibilities you can denote that the main use of this scanner is the digitalization of complex documents, e.g. in book form or thick albums etc.
So users with individual, specific requirements find an ideal scanner for their application. Furthermore the support of the standards TWAIN, ISIS and WIA in combination with Epson Document Capture Pro allow an easy integration in different applications. The Push-scan functionality of the DS-5000, the support of server operating systems and the optionally available network module allow the scanner to be used in small and bigger work groups.
All in all, the Epson Workforce DS-50000 is a solid eco-friendly flatbed scanner for large format documents, which can be easily integrated into different applications.
The Epson Workforce DS-50000 or the network variant DS-50000N is the ideal scanner for digitizing large format documents, books, plans or images up to a size of 42 x 29,7cm, for performing error corrections and store the scans on the computer or in a document management system.
The Epson Workforce DS-50000 is not suitable for film material or for x-rays. More information about the Epson WorkForce DS-50000 you can find in our review about this scanner.
Epson Workforce DS-60000 / DS-60000N
Powerful A3 scanner for batch scanning documents
The Epson DS-6000 has almost the same specifications as its smaller brother Epson DS-50000. So we do not list them again and refer to the above described Epson Workforce DS-50000. As the Epson DS-50000 the DS-60000 does not have a transparency unit so that it is a pure document scanner, too.
The Epson Workforce DS-60000 is not made for individual originals or film material. So what justifies the price increase of about 1000 %euro; compared to the DS-50000? From exterior you can easily recognize that: Where the DS-50000 just as a simple lid the DS-60000 has an automatic document feeder, so that the height is nearly double compared to the DS-50000. This document feeder can take up to 200 sheet and enables an extremly fast batch scanning (so the manufacturer) of 40 pages per minute (DIN A4, 300 dpi), thus increasing the speed of digitalisation significantly.
The optimization functions for pictures and documents are mainly the same as for the Epson Workforce DS-50000. Some features for the batch scan process have been added, e.g. skip empty pages, recognition of douple feeder, douplex scanning or automatic/manual job separation. The Epson WorkForce DS-60000 also allows to include the optional network interface module, supports the usual (server) operating systems and the push scan funcionalities in combination with Document Capture Pro thus increasing the productivity. Of course the energy consumtion increases to 79 Watt due to the batch processing.
The Epson Workforce DS-60000 is also available as a network variant; the corresponding denotation is Epson Workforce DS-60000N, whre the "N" stands for Network. The network variant is necessary if the scanner is not oprated a single work desk but in a company, in a department or in a work group of several users. So the Epson DS-60000N corresponds to the Epson Workforce DS-60000 with additional integrated network interface module. So a network use of different users with Ipv6 support is guaranteed.
With the Epson Workforce DS-60000 the manufacturer has made an efficient and reliable A3 scanner with batch mode function from the DS-50000. With its hig scan speed and precision in scanning large document nombers it is mainly made for middle or big corporations, which want to maintain a fast and efficient docuement work flow and integrate the scanner in their existing document management system.
The Epson Workforce DS-60000 or the network variant DS-60000N is the ideal scanner if you intend to scan large amounts of documents upt to a size of DIN A3 (42 x 29,4 cm) in batch mode automatically and want to archive the scans on the computer or in a document management system.
The Epson Workforce DS-60000 is suitable both for the small DIN A4 format and the doubled sized A3 format. It cannot process transparent material, i.e. no photographic films or x-rays.
Epson Workforce DS-70000 / DS-70000N
Extremely fast A3 large format scanner for documents in batch mode
There is another large format scanner in the Epson portfolio, namely the Workforce DS-70000. From exterior it is similar to the above described Workforce DS-60000. If the scan speed of 40 pages per minute with the above described Epson Workforce DS-60000 is not enough for you, you may take this turbo scanner designed for a scan volume of 8000 pages per day. The Epson Workforce DS-70000 is nearly double as fast as the DS-60000 and is able do scan paper documents (Din A4, 300 dpi) with a speed of 70 pages per minute. The case of the DS-70000 is equal to that of the DS-60000, and even the tecnical data are identical, except for the higher scan speed. According to the manufacturer there is an optional Gigabit-network interface.
The Epson Workforce DS-70000 and its network variant DS-70000N is the perfect scanner for enterprises where a high scan speed has the highest priority in the document work flow. With the DS-70000 you can digitize large amounts of documents up to a size of DIN A3 (42 x 29,4 cm) in batch mode and archive them on the PC or in a document management system.
The Epson Workforce DS-70000 is suitable both for the classic DIN A4 letter format or the doubled size DIN A3 format. However, it cannot scan films and x-rays. This scanner is constructed to be extremely fast for document scans.
Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus
Well-priced A3 scanner for digitalisation of documents and films
Different to most other large format scanners at the ScanMaker 9800XL Plus from Microtek you swing open the lid along the longitudinal axis - similar as you normally do at classical DIN A4 small flatbed scanners. The ScanMaker 9800XL Plus has an optical resolution of 1600 dpi and supports the image formats jpg, tif und pdf. The maximum scan area is approx. 305 x 429 mm, which is a bit lower than DIN A3.
The Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus has a colour depth of 48 bit and a density of 3,7 Dmax. With these data it has the best prerequisition to digitize film material, since there is an optional transparency unit TMA 1600 III for about 500 € available. Then maximum scan area for transparent material is 305 x 406 mm and corresponds to 12" x 16". Thus you can scan films like 35mm mounted slides and film strips, medium formats and large formats. Also the digitalisation of x-rays is possible. However, unfortunately, there is no automatic dust and scratch removal function available.
The scanner works with the TWAIN standard andhas a CCD sensor with LED light. The data are transfered to the computer via USB 2.0 cable. The power consumtion is 28 Watt in normal operation mode, 9,4 Watt in the standby mode and 1 Watt in the quite mode. Different to other scanners there is only a „Smart-Touch key“ at the scanner with which one can start the scan manually.
In the scope of delivery of the ScanMaker 9800XL Plus there is a large software package included: The most important programs like the scan softwareScanWizard Pro and the ICC Profiler for colour calibration are available both for Windows and for Mac. Only the software Intervideo MediaOne Gallery is only available for Windows. The network functionality is also only available for Windows users. The colour profiles created by the ICC Profiler can also be used by the SilverFast scan software, where a big advantage of the scanner is mentionend:
Optionally the ScanMaker 9800XL Plus can be operated with the professional scan software SilverFast Ai Studio from the German manufacturer Lasersoft Imaging. With SilverFast the scan results are much better both for reflective scans and especially for transparency scans. The big advantage of SilverFast Ai Studio is that with the help of IT-8 targets a colour calibration of the scanner is possible, so that colour errors of the scanner can be corrected, thus producing true colour scans.
If you intend to scan x-rays we recommend the special scan software SilverFast X-Ray. This software is adapted individually to suitable flatbed scanners in order to achieve the maximum possible details from medical and scientific x-rays. Furthermore, SilverFast X-Ray is kept so simple, that even a simple employee in a medical laboratory or in a docotor's practice can handle it.
All in all the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus is mainly suitable for small offices, libraries and for users who want to digitize large documents and films up to DIN A3 format.Especially when using SilverFast the results are quite good. Additionally, the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus is one of the few scanners for which the x-ray software SilverFast x-ray is offered.
A deficit of the scanner is the missing dust and scratch correction function, mainly in the field of film scanning. When scanning 35mm films and medium film format one should not expect small miracles. You should by all means clean the film material manually before scanning. Furthermore it is a deficit, that the network funcionality is not available for Mac computers. Another problem is the low resolution at scanning film material. For this purpose the bigger Microtek ScanMaker 1000XL or the Epson Expression 12000XL are much better suitable.
The Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus is a low-priced scanner for digitzing large documents, books, plans or pictures up a size of DIN A3 (42 x 29,7cm). In combination with the optional transparency unit TMA 1600 III also the digitizing of large format films and x-rays is possible. Thanks to the SilverFast scan software and the IT-8 colour calibration one may expect good results.
At the Microtek ScanMaker 9800xl Plus the functionality is much more in the foreground than the image quality. For a pretty low price one gets a large format scanner for scanning documents and optionally films. However, for the low price, one has to accept significant deficits in the image quality.
Also in terms of reliability and service one has to accept essential deficits at the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus. Due to many problems and bad experiences we have taken this scanner out from our scanner portfolio and recommend as a significantly better alternative the above described Epson WorkForce DS-50000.
Microtek ScanMaker 1000XL plus
Hith value A3 scanner with automatic dust and scratch correction at document scans
On the first view the ScanMaker 1000XL plus is pretty similar to the above described Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL Plus. So the same originals can be digitized, i.e. documents and films up to approx. DIN A3. However, the resolution of the 1000XLplus is twice as high. Therefore the price is also about twice as high. One can suspect that the Microtek ScanMaker 1000XL Plus difers from the ScanMaker 9800XL Plus in more than the higher resolution, which might justify the significantly higher price. And indeed, there are essential differences in the quality.
Beside the duplication of the resolution to 3200 ppi and the increas of the density to 4,0 Dmax at the release point it was the first time that a large format scanner had the ICE technology for automatic dust and scratch removal integrated. Furthermore it has the ColorRescue-technology for reflective material. So you save a lot of retouching work and your work flow becomes more efficient. Furthermore, it has an LED light source and there is a separate FireWire connection at the scanner.
The software package includes the text recognition software ABBYY FineReader Sprint. Like the Microtek ScanMaker 9800xl for this scanner also there is the scan software SilverFast Ai Studio and for x-ray scans SilverFast X-Ray available in order to achieve a better image quality. This is essential for digitizing film material, since the SilverFast scan software provides much better image results than the manufacturer's software. Both with SilverFast and with ScanWizard Pro you can run the scanner in a batch mode, for documents and for films, so that you can process several originals in batch mode, if you put them on the glass surface at a time. The singular scanning frames have to be set manually. The film holders for film scans are very good. Also the documentation for the scanner setup is very good.
All in all, the Mikrotek ScanMaker 1000XL Plus is mainly made for advertising companies, art industry or in small offices. But this scanner is also well suitable in medical applications for digitizing x-rays. Due to the better resolution, the bigger density range and the better software package this scanner is even better for scanning film material than the above described ScanMaker 9800XL Plus.
Since the effective resolution of this scanner is not too high compared to the nominal resolution, this scanner is less suitable for 35 mm scans but for medium format or large format scans. So this scanner is recommendable for larger film material and x-rays. Unfortunately the built-in ICE function is not available for transparency scans, so that you have to clean the film material before scnanning manually. At document scans the automatic dust and scratch removal function works pretty well, even if the scan times get multiplied. Mac users have to do without the network functionality, unfortunately.
The Microtek ScanMaker 1000XL plus is a high value scanner for digitizing large format documents, books, plans or pictures in very good quality. In combination with the transparency unit you also can digitize largeformat films and x-rays.
You fin detailed information about the Microtek ScanMaker 1000XL plus in our detailed review about this scanner.
Epson Expression 12000XL
Professional A3 scanner for digitizing documents and films in highest quality
The Epson Expression 12000XL scans reflective material very fast with a density of 3,8 Dmax and a maximum optical resolution of 2400 dpi. A document scan in colour takes according to the manufacturer approx. 3 minutes (DIN A3, 600 dpi). A negative scan in colour takes according to the manufacturer approx. 4 minutes (4 x 5", 2400 dpi). The focus of the scanner takes approx. 45 seconds additionally. From the optical resolution of 2400 dpi in practice about 90% are achieved. Such very good values are very rare at flat bed scanners. It is the highest from us ever measured effective resolution of all large format scanners and thus predestines the 12000XL for the transparency field, wherefore the optional transparency unit is necessary.
In the scope of delivery of the transparency unit the film holders for mounted 35mm slides, 35mm film strips, medium formats and large formats are included. The set of scanner and transparency unit is available under the designation Epson Expression 12000 XL Pro.
The Epson Expression 12000xl yields a significant better image quality both for document scans and for film scans if you run it with the scan software SilverFast Ai Studio from the German manufacturer Lasersoft Imaging. At transparency scans the advantages of SilverFast are even bigger. For the special application of scanning x-rays there is a special scan software called SilverFast X-Ray with specific x-ray automatic functions. SilverFast x-ray can scan the important details in depth much better than the manufacturer's software Epson-Scan. SilverFast X-Ray is especially made for scnanning x-rays. It is very easy to use, so that it also can be operated by simple employees in laboratories or doctor's practices. Unfortunately this scanner has no ICE function for automatic scratch and dust removal.
The Epson Expression 12000XL supports the image formats jpg, (multi-)tif and pdf. The scan process runs with the standards TWAIN and WIA. It is connected to the PC with an USB 2.0 cable. For the scan process a LED lamp is used. There are no long warm-up times before the scan process. The transparency unit costs approx. 700 €. The bundle of scanner and transparency unit is sold under the name Epson Expression 12000xl Pro.
Because of its excellent effective resolution of 2170 dpi, the high density, the good image quality, its excellent funcionality and the high scan speed the Epson Expression 12000XL is clearly predestined for the grahics field. It was developed for professional graphical applications, and especially graphical companies, digital and print media companies and departments will enjoy working with this high value scanner. In combination with the transparency unit and SilverFast Ai Studio or SilverFast X-Ray this scanner is highly recommendable for film material and for x-rays.
The Epson Expression 12000XL is the top model of the large format scanner up to DIN A3 in terms of image quality. Especially if the scanner is operated by the SilverFast scan software and is calibrated with IT-8 targets (Infos to the calibraion on our SilverFast FAQ-page), this scanner achieves an image quality both at scanning paper documents and at scanning film material, which is not even nearly achieved by other scanners.
You can read detailled information about the Epson Expression 12000XL on our detailed review about this scanner. Due to its excellent performance data, its excellent image quality and the extraordinary good stability and reliability there is a clear purchase advice from us for this scanner.
The market of large format scanners with a scan area up to DIN A3 (42 x 29,7 cm) is very clear and pretty small. Each scanner on the market has a clear domain of operations. The Epson Workforce scanners DS-50000, DS-60000 and DS-70000 with their network options and their compatibility to server operating systems concentrate on scanning of documents, no matter if it is complex formats like books or plans, in batch mode. Especially the Epson Workforce DS-70000 is made for extreme speed scanning in this field.
The Microtek 9800XL Plus and Microtek 1000XL plus as well as the Epson Expression 12000XL are best suitable for tha graphics field. Here the ICE function of the Microtek 1000XL plus is worth mentioning. Unfortunately it is restricted to the reflective field. With the optionally available transparency units in combination with the professional scan software SilverFast Ai Studio large format films can be digitized in high quality. In the scientific and medical field these 3 scanners offer the possibility to scan x-rays in high quality with the special software SilverFast X-Ray. The Epson Expression 12000XL is therefore best suitable due to its high resolution.
The Epson Expression 12000XL is the market leader under the large format scanners up to DIN A3, when image quality has priority over quantity.
With a DIN A3-scanner it is also possible to scan larger originals like plans in the DIN A2-format. For this purpose the scan process has to bo devided into several single scans, by scanning singular parts of the original separately and then stitching them together in an image editing software. Many image editing programs like Photoshop® Elements offer automatic functions for stitching singular scans together to one big picture.
The contents of the singular scans have to overlap each other so that the software can recognize how the images belong together and have to be complemented to each other. In order to use this precedure for larger originals you need a powerful computer with much memory and a good graphical board. Of course, you also can complement the singular images together manually, however this is much more time consuming. The automatic software algorithms usually provide better and faster results.
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