Sitting at the top of Epson’s middle range of scanners, the V500 is a very capable scanner for both reflective and film scanning.
The V500 is a scanner with excellent specifications for the price range it sits in, selling at about half the price of Epson’s most expensive A4 or Letter sized scanner, the V700.
Key features of the V500 are:
- Instant-on LED lighting for low heat, low energy consumption and longer consistent color life
- Digital ICE technology for scratch removal, grain reduction and such
- Dmax of 3.4
- 6400dpi optical scan resolution
Setup is very easy with this scanner. Just follow the steps and it is up and working very quickly.
Scanning is also very easy. Pressing the scan button that is conveniently on the front of the scanner causes Epson’s scanning software to open on your connected computer. You have a choice of three modes:
- Full Auto Mode
- Home Mode
- Professional Mode
Full Auto and Home modes work well for quick scans of documents. Professional mode is for more careful scans and for scanning film stocks.
Scanning is very fast with this scanner. Obviously the time rises as you scan at higher resolutions and gets longer as you turn on features like ICE, but it is quick. I didn’t bother with exact timings because there are so many options. Suffice to say this is fast enough for most people.
The Dmax capability of 3.4 allows you to pull more detail out of highlights and the shadows and is pretty good for a scanner in this price range. Dedicated film scanners will go above a Dmax of 4.0, so the V500 is not in this range but for most scanning needs it is fine. I found it worked well on color negative and slide films, pulling out more shadow detail than I was used to with my old scanner.
So who is this scanner aimed at? I’d say the V500 is perfect for the amateur who either still shoots film and is looking for a reasonable way to get their images onto the computer or the digital photographer who has a large stock of film that they want to be able to quickly and easily scan. It is also a good scanner for reflective material, like drawings or scanning text. The resolution capability is more than you are likely to need. Those looking for the ultimate in film scanning capability would be better satisfied with the Epson V700, but at twice the price.
Every time I sample a new scanner I am amazed at how far they have come and just what capability you get for the money. The V500 continues the trend. A great scanner at a good price, which seems to be much lower on the street than list. Recommended.
Full auto mode
Home mode offers more control
Full Professional mode offers lots of scan options
The preview window
Zoom on the preview window lets you concentrate on just the frame that you are working on
The histogram panel from the professional mode window
The Tone correction panel