Update: Added some info on the scanner driver. Also, it's so good I bought another one for my workplace.
This is the Canon CanonScan LiDE 210, a scanner I bought to scan my art work or illustrations consisting of pencil, pen, watercolour. This review is written for artists who are thinking of scanning their own art.
Build and basic features
It's a flatbed scanner about the same size as a thick A4 ring folder. Portable in a sense. There's a handy clip-on stand included for operating the scanner in a vertical position. So the scanner can take a small footprint on the table if needed.
The lid is non-removable, but can be lifted to a short height to fit a small book.
The scanner uses a single USB 2.0 cable for connection and power. That is really great. And it's the generic type USB cable that Canon has been using all along. The same cable I use for my Canon camera and USB card reader.
There are some buttons for quick scanning, copying to a printer, creating a PDF and emailing. It's good for those who want simplicity, but there are extra settings for the professionals in the software.
Scanning is fast. It takes about 10 seconds to scan an A4 size document at 300dpi. It's so fast I usually don't scan a preview for cropping.
This scanner scan up to an incredible 4800dpi. Typical scans are at 300dpi. To get that high resolution, you've to type in the magic number yourself.
I think the highest best working resolution is actually 2400dpi.
The scan quality is great. The colours captured are very close to the actual material with very minor or no tweaking required, but as an artist you always tweak. The images above are straight from the scanner.
It's able to capture very good detail, down to the texture of a piece of watercolour paper.
The scanner works well when the paper is in direct contact with the glass surface. If there's warping in the paper, such as using a low GSM paper for watercolours, the surface not in contact with the glass will have dark shadow effects. The lid isn't heavy enough to keep the warped paper flat so additional weight is required.
I'm using this on my Mac Pro with OS 10.5.8. I've also tried it on my office computer Windows XP (SP3).
The CD provided comes with a few software. I feel that they are a bit cluttered. It just doesn't look nice. I don't usually scan with the software provided, always preferring to go with scanning in Photoshop.
The most important software is the Canon ScanGear which is the interface for advanced scanning. Luckily, the interface for that is straightforward.
One of the main reasons I choose this scanner is because of the scanner driver, specifically the TWAIN plug-in. With the TWAIN plug-in, it means you can scan from Photoshop. When you're scanning from Photoshop via menu File->Import, you're presented with the ScanGear interface.
Setting up the printer under Windows XP is straightforward. You just pop in the disc and do an automatic or custom install of the software. Once you've installed the scanner driver, you can scan from Photoshop (works for me with CS4).
It requires more steps if you are to scan using Photoshop. I'm using Photoshop CS5. This section is actually to help me remember the steps to get it working in Photoshop CS5.
You've to install the Canon ScanGear and the TWAIN plug-in from the disc. They can also be found here: LiDE 210 product page and Photoshop CS5 Optional Plug-Ins for Mac (includes TWAIN) and Photoshop CS4 Optional Plug-Ins for Mac (includes TWAIN)
If you're using Photoshop CS4, it should be able to detect the scanner now.
For Photoshop CS5, an extra step is required. You need to open the software in 32 Bit Mode. Simply find the Photoshop CS5 application, right-click Get Info, then check the "Open in 32 Bit Mode" checkbox. The TWAIN plug-in was written in 32 Bit Mode, that's why.
If you want to import using Photoshop, this is the way to go. Otherwise, you can also use the Canon software provided.
After installation, the TWAIN plug-in should be in the Photoshop->Plug-ins->Import-Export folder.
This is a very fine scanner. It scans fast and the quality is great. The printer drivers included allows you to scan using Photoshop.
It's not too expensive so it's really value for money.
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