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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if a little confusing
This scanner is big: maybe 20% longer and wider, and at least three times deeper than my Canon Lide 210. You need a big desk or sturdy shelf to accommodate this.

The scanner is not always intuitive to use due to a couple of quirky design features. I followed the graphical instructions on how to set up the scanner, but could not initially find the On switch...
Published 14 months ago by Dr. Michael Heron

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost useless waste of money
(I'm writing as a keen amateur photographer.) Bought this after reading rave reviews - big mistake. To start with, it has dust INSIDE the scanner, and a lot of it - only realised too late to return it; I'm not the only one to notice this, either. It is advertised as suitable for digitising old negatives - but no-one seems to point out they have to be 35mm (or 'medium...
Published 6 months ago by Wiglere


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if a little confusing, 15 Jan. 2014
By 
Dr. Michael Heron (Brechin) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This scanner is big: maybe 20% longer and wider, and at least three times deeper than my Canon Lide 210. You need a big desk or sturdy shelf to accommodate this.

The scanner is not always intuitive to use due to a couple of quirky design features. I followed the graphical instructions on how to set up the scanner, but could not initially find the On switch. This turned out not to be on the front or back of the scanner, but on one of the sides. From the image, which only showed a small section of the scanner, this was not clear.

Once I got the scanner on, installing the software was straightforward, as was scanning photographs. I was always disappointed with the quality of photographic scans from my old Canon scanner as I tend to pixel peep and even at 600dpi they were lacking in detail and quality. The Epson V550 can scan at a much higher resolution and even at lower than maximum density the scans from the Epson were excellent.

Scanning 35mm negatives proved a little more difficult. Firstly, the plastic holders for the negatives are a little fiddly to open, and I was worried I might snap one. Secondly, once I got the film in, the scanner kept giving an error message that I did not understand. After searching for help on You tube I discovered that I needed to remove the white insert from the top of the scanner in order to scan film (though you need to put it back in for scanning photographs and documents). This was admittedly partly my fault for not following the instructions more carefully, but a more useful error message would have been appreciated and saved some frustration.

Once I was able to scan the negatives, I was very impressed with the quality of the scans. They take a while to scan, but the quality is worth it. I still have a film SLR and have been very disappointed with the scanned images provided by photo processing labs. These are immeasurably better. Now I can just get the negatives developed and do the scanning myself.

I debated whether to give this 4 or 5 stars. Initially I was going to knock off a star because of the less than stellar user instructions and error messages. On reflection, I decided to rate it based on quality of output and value for money, and on those grounds it is excellent and deserving of 5 stars.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scanner works with medium format film, 29 Jun. 2014
By 
Jimbob036 (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
I bought this as an upgrade from my old Epson V330 photo scanner, when I realised how many medium format negatives I had to scan! It's similar to the V330, but a bit bigger. The V550 also offers an increase in maximum scanning resolution over the V330 from 4800DPI to 6400DPI. It uses the same EpsonScan software, but with additional options, such as colour restoration and digital ICE technology. I found the colour restoration function useful when scanning old prints which had a severe colour cast, and the results were accurate, although sometimes a little harsh-looking. By the way, the dialogue box supposedly allows you to select up to 12,800DPI, but the scanner itself may not be able to go up to this resolution.

The main advantage of this scanner, is the large light window in the lid (83mm wide * 270mm long) which will easily allow scanning of medium format (120) roll film (60mm wide) and larger. To scan negatives or transparencies, you need to remove the reflective pad from the lid, to reveal the window. The scanner comes with 2 carriers, one of which allows scanning of either four 35mm slides, or 2 strips of 35mm negatives- so a total of 6 frames per strip could be scanned, although the edges may be clipped if the frames overlap the window. So safer to scan 4 or 5 at a time- in any case, negatives are often cut into strips of 4 to fit into their sleeves. The carrier window is only 24mm wide, though, so if used for instamatic (126 format), the top & bottom of the square 28mm frames will be clipped. It's a shame they didn't make the window a little wider. I found that for scanning this type of film, it was best to clamp it to the glass using the medium format carrier. The scanner seems to cope well with the film not being absolutely flat.

There are no carriers for 127 format film (46mm wide), or 110 format (16mm film), so again, I found it best to clamp these to the glass using a larger carrier. There are special carriers for these formats available as imports on Amazon, but they are expensive. The medium format carrier will allow scanning of 3 square frames in one go.

With prints, the scanner produced great results, both with colour & black & white. Once again, the marquee tool is used to select the print area.

There is no stowage of the carriers behind the reflective backing with this scanner, unfortunately, unlike the V330. The carriers are a little fiddly, so you need to be careful when clamping the film in place. I found when placing negatives to be scanned, the rule of thumb was emulsion side-up, and image upside down to give the right orientation first time.

Loading the EpsonScan software onto my Windows 7 64-bit PC went without a hitch, and on starting up, I got a dialogue box asking whether I wanted to launch the V330 or the V550 version. Whilst scanning colour negatives, I mostly went for 48-bit colour and a resolution of 1200 DPI, which gave me files of a reasonable size (around 1-2 MB) and didn't take too long (about a minute per medium format frame). Increasing the resolution setting greatly increased the file size. I found it was best to use the 'normal' rather than the 'thumbnail' setting when selecting the frame areas, as the thumbnail function didn't always select it properly. This works by using a marquee tool to select each frame. The scanner mostly worked very well, although annoyingly I had to keep rebooting it and re-launching the software every so often, as it tended to crash about once every 10 scans!

Another thing I found a bit disconcerting, was the lid hinge which has an extremely stiff click-stop at about 45°! So much so, that I was initially afraid to try & close the lid for fear of breaking the hinge! I could find nothing about this in the instructions, so I pushed harder, and the lid eventually closed ok- nothing broken! Has anyone else had this problem with the lid hinge?

I've given it 4/5 stars, for a number of reasons- firstly the price, which was quite a hike from the V330! It was worth it though, for the ability to scan larger negatives. Secondly, the lid hinge issue- I wasted quite a bit of time trying to find out if something was wrong- it really shouldn't be so stiff! Thirdly, the bombing software, which added to the time due to constantly having to re-boot the scanner & re-launch the software.

On the plus side, the machine produces superb quality scans, and has the ability to go to a very high resolution, which is especially useful for medium format film. The colour restoration option does a great job of quickly fixing old colour-shifted prints- although the results can look a little 'harsh'. You can sometimes get better results by tweaking the images with Photoshop, or Paintshop Pro. It was great to be able to tackle medium format negatives, and other odd formats such as 127 roll film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great device to scan 120 film, 11 Jan. 2015
By 
G. Hookway "Gavin H" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
Have recently gone 'back' to using film and, indeed, to medium format film. I have had some great success in finding someone who would develop and scan my exposed films, but really wanted to control the scans myself. This fantastic bit of kit does exactly what I wanted and more. Some previous reviews say that it is big - the measurements are on the product information - and it is easy enough to see that this machine does not take up a huge amount of space. The software is easy to load, and I was up and running in less than an hour. The only 'blip' would be around the lack of a manual - although you get that once the software has been installed - and I suppose Epson are doing their bit to save the environment.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality scans from negatives, 25 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
Bought for scanning backlog of old 35 mm negatives. Will scan two strips of 6 frames at a time. Almost sent it back as could not figure out how to make ICE work, no paper manual as is usual these days and the e-manual did not help. Figured it out in the end but was very frustrating. Use Professional Mode. Then select each individual frame desired using ctrl-click (generates blue frame around preview image) and tick box of each frame selected. then tick ICE in options menu and then scan. I find need to do histogram tweaks for most frames on input and usually use unsharp mask. Plenty of input tweaking options. Can also select part of image rather than scanning whole, saves time etc. Results are good, happy with resolution. Epson software is good, but can download independent Vuescan which now lists V550 as a supported scanner. would have given 5 stars if had some instruction manual.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A big beast for a slide scanner, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
I used this to scan my slides and I was initially surprised how big it was. Works well, but takes quite some time, as only scans four at a time. Software allows for each slide to be adjusted once previewed, which proved to be very useful. I have also used the OCR software that comes with it and that proved remarkably accurate in scanning a four page typed document.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfection, 22 Feb. 2015
By 
Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
I bought the Epson Perfection V550 scanner to archive a couple of shoe boxes of old photos and negatives.

Taking it from the box I faced a small hurdle in that epson ship the software on CD and none of my home computers have an optical drive any more. So after copying the disk at work I set the software up on my computer and went through three rounds of software updates. This is quite frustrating; i know the disk can't always be the latest version but the software update shouldnt download all the intermediate versions.

Once all was setup; the software itself is pretty useful for archiving volumes of photos. It has 3 modes; and the home mode allows you to load multiple photos at once onto the scanner and scan them in one parse. So whilst its not the fastest scanner I am able to scan (at 600dpi) just over one photo a minute. The software has some features to restore photos; including ICE dust removal and some software tunes to improve color. I found these to generally degrade the quality of the image. Having the multiple modes allows you to choose the settings that best suit you; or you can use the quick scan buttons on the front. The scanner also comes with some OCR software to translate images to text; it did a reasonable job and may help if you need to rescue the text in a document.

What the scanner doesn't come with is any kind of document archive software. The advertising blurb also says you can scan to the cloud; but i can't see how to do that on the OS X version of the epson scan software.

Overall for my purposes the ability to scan photos and archive them; its giving me good quality scans - you have to manually load them - but you don't get the track lines that feed scanners were giving me. The ability to scan multiple photos or slides in a single pass is a real timesaver- though I wish the scanner had usb3 and scanned 50% quicker as the pile of photos is still daunting. 4*
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort to do make it recognise 55mm transparencies, 31 July 2014
By 
M. G. KETTERIDGE (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
Works very well for 35mm slides - have done over 500 so far bringing back memories of family and friends going back nearly 50 years.
To get it to recognise the old 55mm slides (we have about 500 of these transparencies) took some patience on the part of my wife reading the settings instructions - she said it was just a matter of trial and error and noting down what she did ready for next time.
Certainly less money than getting a firm do do them for us at 20p+ per slide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scanner, 24 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
Needed to do some scans (thousands actually) of 35mm negatives. Using the automatic settings did a fair job but for those well pass their scan by date negatives it really does pay to use this machine capabilities to the full, even if it means it takes longer. Sadly I found there were some negatives that even this excellent box will not breathe life back in to. As long as you accept that you cannot go far wrong with the V550
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equipped with this machine you will amaze yourself, 11 Mar. 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
This scanner was bought as an upgrade from my previous model, the Epson 1650 Perfection, of 2002. It represents a significant improvement in quality and versatility, with software that is significantly better while being similar to operate. The 1650 needed a special negative carrier to take 6 x 6 cm film, whereas the V550 will take 6 x 9 cm film straight out of the box, as well as 35 mm film.
I do remember fighting many battles with the 1650 and it's software and I learned many lessons many times-over. The best advice I can give is that this machine will be able to do what you are aiming-for and that perseverance is necessary and will be rewarded.
The ABBYY FineReader Optical Character Recognition software represents, for me, a real step forward. This Program really works; and can produce a Microsoft Word file from quite a poor jpeg image of a page of text.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice scanner, 25 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner with ReadyScan LED Technology (Accessory)
I bought this scanner to scan in my documents and 35mm film negative strips and some photos.

It does a good job. Feels solid out of the box and was easy to set up and install the software.

The software works well, I recommend you use "Professional" mode and save your setting presets for later use.

The scanner comes with a Power supply, UK cable, USB 2.0 cable and two film negative accessories, it can do medium format, 35mm and others.

Scan times are reasonable, for example, two strips of 35mm negatives at 48bit colour, 2400 dpi and Digital ICE enabled takes circa 25 minutes (or about 3½ minutes per negative image). When scanning, it makes high pitched screeching sounds like R2D2 but this is normal. You can hear a clunk now and then as the imaging switches modes.

The Epson website states this has a MCBF (Mean Cycles Between Failure) of 30,000 cycles. An office grade scanner would typically have about 600,000 MCBF for comparisson. The V700 has MCBF of 100,000 and takes 4 35mm strips per cycle, this V550 takes 2 35mm film strips per cycle (depending on cut length of your film strips, but you can also double up per strip to save scan cycles). Given the cost of this V550, it is reasonable, however, it would be better if there was a way to scan more strips side by side, but the upper lamp is only so wide on the lid.

My workflow for image scanning is to use the Epson software to scan to a folder, then in Lightroom using auto import from folder to speed it up for image processing later.

There also is OCR software, this is useful if you wish to digitize all your documents to save a paper mountain. There is no sheet feeder as this is not an "office" grade product but rather a "consumer" grade product.

If you are looking for the power button, it is on the right hand side near the back. It is a soft button switch and not a rocker/radio switch so it could easily be pressed accidently.
If you find you cannot get Digital ICE to work on all images, you have to select (blue border) each frame thumbnail (click "All" button), then check Digital ICE checkbox.

Epson has good reviews compared to Canon on their scanners, this does not supprise me due to having had the Canon consumer experience, their commitment to specs on the consumer end of the market, is seriously lacking. Epson however, are very much committed to the consumer market on quality and specs.

Why not full stars?

1) 30,000 MCBF compared to 100,000+ on the V700
2) Film negative scans are only 2 strips wide for 35mm
3) No designed in storage for accessories (minor annoyance, a slot underneath to store the removable accessoreis would be handy)
4) Power button is a soft power button easily pressed accidently, a larger recess around the button would help prevent this
5) Film strip accessories is fiddly to use for a lot of film negative scanning
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