Scanner. Which one ??

22nd November 2008, 15:53
Hi all,
I do hope someone can help me out here. I have narrowed it down to two types of scanner. The problem being I just do not understand the confusing terminology, DPI I do understand, that's why I needed another scanner, but interpolation, cathode or LED.
The comparison is here, mostly a mystery to me:
Compare Scanners (;0302B010;&lang=UK&country=UK&dir=/for_home/product_finder/scanners/flatbed_with_film_scanning/)
Hope the link works


K urgess
22nd November 2008, 16:02
I've always used Epson and the whole of my gallery is scanned with them.
The cathode or LED refers to the sort of lighting it uses to illuminate the document as it scans. Cold cathode is like your flourescent tube in your overhead light, more or less (my scanners has this). LED is the semocinductor light just like the latest Christmas lights and I've got no experience of it. I assume it's as good as cold cathode or they wouldn't use it.
Interpolation means that the scanner optical resolution is increased by the scanner filling in the dots between where optical ends and the highest resolution. I never use it. 600 dpi is about all you need for normal scanning. If I scan at my maximum optical resolution of 4800dpi you can see the grain of the film. You only need the bigger calculated one if you want to print wall posters.
If you want to scan negatives or slides you need backlight and high resolution. That's the only time I use 4800dpi.

22nd November 2008, 16:25
Hi Kris,
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I must admit to being very impressed with your scanned photos.
My scanner at the moment is an all-in-one Epson, it scans at 600dpi. But, the quality is not close to what I want. I would like to scan some old but small B/W photos, repair them digitally, print & frame them. I would also like to scan a few negatives & slides of very old origins.
Once again, thank you Kris. The information you have given here is invaluable, and gives me greater understanding.


22nd November 2008, 18:02
Kris has answered your questions but you may also like to take a look at these SN threads where scanners have been discussed in the past:

23rd December 2008, 07:08
epson styus dx 4400 scanner printer is very good for scaning

23rd December 2008, 11:04
..... If you want to scan negatives or slides you need backlight and high resolution. That's the only time I use 4800dpi.

Just to expand on Kris's comments, for negs and slides what you need is light projected through the neg/slide from the top. There are two methods of achieving this, either by reflecting the light from below the glass plate of the flatbed through mirrors, which is OK, but doesn't give top quality scans. The other method is to have a separate light source in the lid, this will give the best quality, though is more expensive than the single light source.

I have used an Epson 4990 for several years now, it's no longer produced as it has been replaced with the V700 (or perhaps V750)

Take a look at for info, reviews and a forum. On there you will find many links to other sites going into the subject in much more depth.

Have fun ...



29th December 2008, 13:29
Well gents, I ended up with a Canon 4400f. It scans negatives, slides the usual bumpf. So far the results are good.