Artist Review: Canon LiDE 400 flatbed scanner

The Canon LiDE 400 is the new flatbed scanner that replaces the LiDE 220 that was released years ago. All the scanners I've used in the last few years were the LiDE scanners from Canon. They perform well and are affordable, which is why I use them.


In addition to the LiDE 400, there's also the LiDE 300. The LiDE 300 is cheaper and has fewer document scanning features. In terms of image quality, you can expect them to be similar so if you're on a budget, you can consider the LiDE 300 over the LiDE 400.


The LiDE 400 uses a USB Type C to Type A cable while the LiDE 300 uses the typical USB Type A to mini USB. Canon's documentation says that the LiDE 400 cable cannot be used for other purposes but you most certainly can. That cable can be used to charge phones and transfer files. And if the cable is damaged or lost, you can get a replacement easily.


The new design is a bit blockish. I love the texture on the cover.

My review will be from the artist perspective so I'm not going to talk much about the document scanning features. In the photo above, those shortcut buttons are for scanning documents. There's the ability to create PDFs automatically, scan and email, scan and save to cloud, auto scan with auto crop and rotate and more. These shortcut buttons have auto-correction applied to the scans so the scans will be alter to look "nicer".


A detachable stand is included so that the scanner can be propped up and use less space on the table. I prefer laying the scanner flat on the table because I want to press down on the paper or sketchbook to get a proper scan.

This scanner uses Contact Image Sensor (CIS) technology for scanner. This means whatever you are scanner should be in contact with the glass surface. If the paper is just 1mm off, the scan will be blur.


This scanner can only scan up to a maximum size of A4. If you need to scan larger, you will have to scan multiple times and do the stitching yourself. There's auto-stitching functionality in the driver, but there's some auto-correction applied too.

If you scan large often, consider the Epson 12000XL-GA which is priced US $2000 and upwards. Unfortunately, high quality A3 art scanners are rare, and Canon doesn't make them.


The lid can be raised to scan thick books.


Here's an example of a scan. This scanner can capture whatever it's scanning accurately.

By the way, you can download the high resolution scans I've made by clicking on the pictures.


This was scanned using the scanner driver's ScanGear feature which allows you to scan without any auto-correction and edits. Note that the scanner was able to capture the texture of the watercolour paper.


This was scanned with the Auto-Scan feature. Note that the paper texture has been "erased".

To scan artworks, you should use the ScanGear feature from the driver. ScanGear is only available on Windows driver. For Mac users, to scan without auto-correction, use Image Capture instead. Image Capture comes pre-installed with Mac OS. Just do a search for it.


One area where the scanner may have issues is when scanning off white paper. Shown above is paper that is off white, creamy. But the scanner still does a good job scanning it as it is. ScanGear did not apply auto-White Balance to make the paper white.


Here, I tried to scan a A4 spiral sketchbook. With the spiral, the whole sketchbook is actually larger than the A4 scanning area of the scanner. Hence some parts of the paper are off the surface, more specifically, I wasn't able to get the bottom part to fit in.


The bottom part appears blur because it wasn't in contact with the glass. So to scan something like this, I would need to scan twice and stitch.

Misalignment problem


Someone contacted me and told me this Canon scanner and some scanners from other brands have this misalignment problem that can be seen when you scan in high resolution and zoom in close. You've got to scan at at least 1200 DPI for you to have enough detail to zoom in to see for yourself.

In the 2400 DPI scan above, I was able to spot the misalignment at different spots on the scan. The misalignment runs on the long side (the length not the width). It's difficult to spot at 100% zoom which was why I failed to spot this problem in the first place. When you zoom in several times, you can definitely see the misalignment. It's like the scanner missed a few vertical lines of pixels while scanning.

So is this a problem? Depends. If you're using the scanner to archive art or prints where you need the accuracy, then this scanner may not be up to that standard.

Nowadays I scan at 600 DPI for my artworks and it's really difficult to spot so it's not really a problem for me. I can also scan at higher resolution and downsample the scan later and that would remove much of the misalignment to the extent they are not noticeable even when printed.

But of course it sucks to have this misalignment problem in the first place.

Scanning speed

The scanning speed for 300 DPI is quite fast. It's around 8 to 10s. At 600 DPI, the speed drops to slightly more than 30s.

When it's scanning fast, it's loud. If you use the scanner in the office, your colleagues nearby will be able to hear you. If you scan at 600 DPI which slows the speed, it's significantly more quiet.

The Canon LiDE 400 can scan up to a maximum resolution of 4800 DPI. LiDE 300 scans up to 2400 DPI.

To scan at the maximum resolution, you have to do it through ScanGear. When you open ScanGear and look at the resolution drop down menu, you will see that there's no 4800 listed among the option. Well, you just have to type in the numbers yourself. The driver will also show you how large that file size is going to be. For a 4800 DPI scan at A4 size, the file size is 6.4GB.

Conclusion

The Canon LiDE 400 is a fantastic scanner for scanning artworks. It's able to capture scans accurately. Price is not too high so overall, it's really worth the money.

If you already have the previous LiDE 220, there's no need to upgrade since the image quality is similar. And if you have limited budget, the LiDE has similar image quality as well.

Availability

Check more out reviews on Amazon via the direct product (affiliate) links below.

Canon LiDE 400
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.jp

Canon LiDE 300
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.com.au

Hello,

Which would you reccomend for scanning. artwork.

Epson v39 vs Cannon Lide400

Thank you

In reply to by Ram (not verified)

@Ram
You're going to get similar image quality from both. I prefer Canon for their scanning software.

Hi Teoh,
I'm thinking about buying a new scanner, maybe this new Canon would be a good option.
I’m using a multifunctional printer but I’m not getting the best results. The final image always looks a little bit weird/sharped. I understand the multifunction printer shouldn’t be as good as a stand-alone scanner, but it is not only about the optical resolution, right? Right now I can scan 1200 dpi with my printer, but it still looks a little bit pixelated. I’ve tried to investigate it, I think it could be a colour depth issue, but I’m not sure… When I research about it and try to know the colour depth of a multifunction printer, the information never appears. So I’m not sure what should I look for… :/
I’m a little bit scared of buying a scanner and still can not get the quality I want. My illustrations are made with graphite pencils and have a lot of grey shades and details.
Do you think this new Canon is a good option to scan the little details?
Thank you!

In reply to by Claudia (not verified)

@Claudia
The Canon LiDE series of scanners have always been excellent scanners. Those 3-in-1 scanners are not suitable for scanning artworks. They are for scanning office documents.

Hi Teoh

Excellent review. You mentioned that this is Contact Image Sensor (CIS) and if its 1mm off the glass it will be blurred. How do you manager this with watercolour paper is not likely to be 100% flat due to the paper buckling a bit. Even the best of the papers like Arches will eventuate is a surface that is not 100% flat.

Tina

In reply to by Tina (not verified)

@Tina
You have to press it down to get a sharp image. I would use a large surface area book to press down the paper.

I've been using my friend's LIDE 220 and it has a particular problem. One part of the LED arm is now grinding against the glass, so it is getting noisier, and there's a scratch getting more visible every time (started as hairline). I suspect this is has to to do with years of pressing down the lid during scanning.

In any case, I will be buying a new one, just because the quality is so good. I'm just trying to decide between the 300 and 400 models.

Just how loud is the 400? Is it much louder than the 220? I work in libraries so this is a concern.

Also, I'm scanning magazines for a research project, but my default (both for space and speed) is just 300 dpi/color. How fast does the 400 feel next to the 220?

Lastly: is the stand useful in any way? It doesn't seem practical at all!

Thank you for your reviews.

Is it possible to turn this scanner over completely and lay the scan surface flat on a table? For example if I want to scan the surface of a table.

Thanks.

In reply to by Jay (not verified)

@Jay
It's not going to work well. The black plastic part that's holding the glass is higher than the glass. Meaning if you turn it around to scan the table, the glass will not be in contact with the table, and the scan will be blur.

Whatever you are scanning must be in contact/touching the glass.

It's better to use a camera to capture your table texture/pattern.

Teoh does this scanner support wireless printing such that you can plug it to the PowerPoint instead of computer?

Hi, I've came up here searching for the misalignment problem. I've tried scanners form multifunction printers, an HP PSC 1610 All-in-one and an HP Photosmart C4280 All-in-one, and both have the same exact problem.
This misalignment occurs at and exact same distance in all the scanner vertical width, and it has its origin on its hardware, the CCD sensor is not the width of the scanner, it's about a few milimiters wide, so optical features have to ve done, there where misalignment occurs is where one CCD sensor width ends and starts another using the same CCD, that's why it repeats in a regular pattern at equal distances

Hi. I am planing to by this one but I need to bee sure if it is possible to take the lid off the scanner ore just open it so that the glass scanner surface is free. I am scanning lagre paintings. Thank you beforehand! Zdenek

Excellent review - my existing scanner (Canon MX885) suffers from the same misalignment issue when scanning at 1200 dpi, so this is an issue for me. Any ideas on a flatbed appropriate for prints only that doesn't suffer from the same issue? Maybe the Epson V39? Appreciate any ideas.

I'm looking into buying a scanner, but for a slightly different purpose. I want to scan ribbons. I own a business which sells ribbons online for gifting and other purposes and I think scanning works better than photos, because it gives a more standard look to all my images, and it's much less time consuming. It'll just be small swatches of 6inch x 1 inch. Which snanner do you recommend? I will need atleast 5000 ribbons scanned.
PS. Speed and convenience is more important than quality.

In reply to by Help Needed (not verified)

@Help Needed
This Canon scanner should work fine.
You just have to make sure your ribbons are flat, like as flat as paper. If there are any areas raised above the glass, those will be blur.

Hello.
I have an Epson ET2750 and have the same problem with misalignment!
This sucks, because I want to use a scanner to digitalize dome photos from analog film era.
Is this an failure of the device or is it allways that?
I have still guarantee but don't wanna waste my time if they can't solve the Problem...

I commend the author of this review for it's quality and honesty. It's rare to see an honest review online these days. However this article/review is packed with lots of useful snippets of information that you would find hard to find elsewhere ( in one place like this ), without having to search through loads of forums etc. So thank you to the author for taking the time time to research, test and publish this very useful article. 10/10 for Quality.

Is the Epson V370 Photo affected by the missing line issue?

In reply to by Teoh Yi Chie

it's a curse :(
And the V600?
The lide400, at 70€ give great results for scanning paper photos, but these lines are not acceptable. The only solution seems to be more
the expensive scanners with higher build quality. But its not even sure.
The second solution is to not buy any scanner, and wait a few years to see if a new scanner generation come without this issue.
But its not a dynamic market.

Hello All,
Does anyone know of a photo/scanner stitching program for large flat images? I've tried Hugin, AutoStitch, Microsoft ICE, etc. All of them add some fisheye lens to the final image. Just looking for something to do large flat images.

I scanned around 300 Canadian stamps at high resolution before realizing the misalignment problem you are talking about. I am so dissapointed, because before chosing this Canon scanner, I had scan my stamps with an Epson scanner (3x the canon price) and the image were a bit blurry and "deformed" a bit. Without the misalignment, it the stamps would look perfect. Any idea of an alternative of this canon scanner that wouldn't have that problem, but would have the same quality? thanks!

In reply to by Remi (not verified)

@Remi
I've not tested so many scanners to be able to give proper recommendations. These scanners use CIS technology for scanning. So maybe you could try researching (first of course) CCD type scanners.

In reply to by Claudia (not verified)

[Late to the party, so probably not relevant for Claudia anymore, but for anyone else in the same situation…]
The scanner in a multifunction printer can be just as good as a standalone scanner, but it will depend on the brand and specs of your particular multifunction. For many years I used a Canon Pixma MP150 multifunction and its scans for photos and artwork were excellent. More recently I acquired a Brother multifunction because I needed to be able to print and scan A3 pages for work and there are far fewer options available at that size. The Brother is ok for my work, but the scanner is definitely not up to par when it comes to artwork. If you're considering replacing your multifunction with a device that will also scan at a high standard then definitely look at the Canon brand or possibly Epson. Generally speaking, other brands don't do well scanning artwork, whether multifunction or standalone.

Hi! Thank you so much for an honest and wonderful review on a Artist's perspective! Really helped me to choose!
Well, I had this doubt, Can one scan with the lid open while scanning sketchbooks or canvas, does it affect the scanner?

i buy Canon lide-400 scanner. Like to where option to scan in 4800 x 4800 dpi scans of your photos or documents. As in canon IJ Scan utility maximum resolution upto 600dpi only. as i download drivers for windows 10.
https://in.canon/en/support/CanoScan%20LiDE%20400/model
both i execute driver above link.
Kindly help please how i scan in 4800 x 4800

In reply to by FERHAN AHMED (not verified)

@FERHAN AHMED
If you're using Windows, you have to type in the number 4800 into the driver.

I won't recommend scanning at that resolution unless you really need it. The file size is incredibly huge and your computer will slow down for a long time, maybe an hour or more.

Why do you need to scan at 4800dpi?

I just bought the Canoscan lide 400 and the max dpi I see is 600dpi. I installed Scangear and a bunch of drivers related, still can't find the scanner. I am with win 10. Please help.

In reply to by Emiliya (not verified)

@Emiliya
You can see 600 DPI but can't find the scanner?

I'm not using Windows but if I remember correctly you may have to type in the DPI in some cases rather than use the drop down menu to select the DPI

In reply to by Teoh Yi Chie

Hi, thank you for the quick reply. Actually, I was trying to access the scanner through some separately installed scan gear program and drivers, and it was not discovering the scanner (still isn't), so I deleted it, maybe was for wireless connected scanners only. But after I read your comment and went to the default program IJ Scan Utility - in search for where I can manually add the dpi I saw the one button called Scan gear. What I great surprise, I found it! Thanks again for your help. Just checked and it worked beautifully at 1200dpi, which I was after. Cheers and have a great weekend :)

Just wanted to say a big thank you too for the great review really informative an helpful , thank you !

Hi Teoh,
Will this Canon LIDE 400 work satisfactorily on Mac operating system Catalina 15.6

Hi,

Which scanner would you recommend for old photos?
Epson V39 or Canon Lide400?

Kind regards

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

@Anonymous
Epson V39 and Canon Lide400 has same scan quality so you can go with either.

Hi,

I want to say thank you for introducing this scanner to everyone. I watched your YouTube review before buying it. As of today, I think I bought the scanner for over half of the 2020 year now. I must say it's very functional for digital artist like me who makes personal wallpaper in Photoshop or Illustrator.

You missed one thing in your YouTube review which is in the preview scan you must highlight the canvas area before officially scanning artwork. You may want to re-edit your video again and upload it on YouTube someday if you have spare time. That's my only feedback for you.

Good luck in your profession as an artist.

Hey!

Am (frantically) looking for a scanner to scan watercolors to a quality for fine art prints as well as my own records before parting with the originals- I will be keeping it with me on the road as a nomadic artist, so I don't really want to spend so much on an Epson V600 with the CCD -wanted the V370 but are discontinued- (also anything with film scanning capabilities which is where most CCD has come in as a feature are out of stock everywhere at the moment, demand has gone up for everything film related).

Would you still say the Canon Lide 400 is a quality good enough for watercolor for fine art reproductions (with post-production)? The misalignment scares me a little. Or if there any others on the market you've found since this thread that are better?

Cheers!

In reply to by Izabellep (not verified)

@ Izabellep
The scan quality is good.

To avoid the misalignment, just don't scan above 1200DPI.

Many thanks for the practical & useful review! Very helpful :) - The 'misalignment' is shocking imo; if it can't scan above 1200 dpi without that, it should NOT be advertised as 4800 capability-! Think I'll try another brand, although they could well have the same issue.

Hello, Teoh.

I just purchased the CanoScan LiDE 400 for scanning artwork (illustrations with alcohol markers and watercolors) and color accuracy is completely wrong with yellow colors, which tend to red/orange. Do you know why is this happening? My monitor is calibrated with X-Rite i1 Display. I also own a Brother multifunction printer with scanner and the scans with this device are correct, colors are quite similar to the original (but I can't disable auto-levels, that's why I purchased the CanoScan).

What are your preferences in ScanGear > Preferences > Color Config ?

Thank you very much in advance.

In reply to by Daniel (not verified)

@Daniel
Are you using Mac or Windows?

I use Mac and I actually use MacOS Image Capture app to scan instead of ScanGear. All settings are default.

If you're using ScanGear, try to scan with some of their preset modes to test, and see if they can capture the colours properly.

The scanner will have problem scanning extremely vibrant or glowing colours, especially those from markers. For watercolours should be alright.

In reply to by Daniel (not verified)

Hi,

I have similar issue, bright orange scans like red. I prefer not to treat this on the scanner but in Photoshop. I add hue saturation fix on the red channel. Hope that helps. I would also like to know if someone had found a solution on the scanner itself.
Regards

Thanks both Teoh and Emiliya for your replies and time.

I'm using Windows 10 (installed on an iMac, hehe). I was scanning a watercolor painting, by the way, but the yellow color of the hair appears orange. I suppose I'll have to fix colors via Photoshop then, or just return the product and buy a new one from some other brand.

Best regards.

In reply to by Daniel (not verified)

@Daniel
If you still have MacOS on the iMac, search for the Image Capture app (inside Applications folder) and use that to scan at default settings. No driver installation required. See how the colours appear compared to the scans from Windows.

If the colours still don't look right when scanned with Image Capture, then something may be wrong with the scanner.

In reply to by Teoh Yi Chie

Hello again.

Yes, I tried the scanner on a Macbook Pro, and the colors captured are exactly the same as Windows (yellows appear orange/red). I think something is just wrong with the scanner, because it happens with any image with yellows in it. So, I'll return the product or change it for a new one. I have a lot of scans to do, and I can't fix all color errors on a per case basis. Well, in fact, I won't keep a product that is not working as expected.

Thanks a lot for your time.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.