Epson Perfection V550 Photo Color Scanner

Scan high-quality images automatically to Facebook and other cloud sites

If you're in the market for a photo scanner, the Epson Perfection V550 Photo Color Scanner is a satisfactory scanner in its own right, even if Epson neglected to include image-editing software.

Design and Features

A replacement for Epson's popular Perfection V500, the Perfection V550 has a scan area of 8.5x11.7 inches and a maximum optical resolution of 6,400 dots per inch, or dpi, which is decent for a $200 scanner. It measures 11.2 inches across, 19.1 inches from front to back, and stands about 4.6 inches high. It requires plenty of room overhead for opening the scanner lid.

The V550 comes with an adaptor that allows you to scan up to four 35mm slides, two rows of six negatives, and certain types of film. It can also scan multiple photos simultaneously, using the built-in auto edge detection to determine each image's size, crop it, and then save each image as a separate file.

This Perfection model includes Digital Ice, a hardware-based routine for removing dust and scratches that works impressively well on certain types of image damage. It also includes a software-based dust filter for prints. Between the two, you can remove many kinds of blemishes on your scans.

Epson Perfection V550 Color Photo Scanner
Epson

Like a few of Epson's latest scanners, this one uses LED (light-emitting diodes) instead of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) that some scanners use. LED-based mechanisms eliminate the need to warm up the scanner before it can perform optimally.

Finally, as Epson has done with a few of its lower-end scanners, this one has four scan buttons on the front edge of the scanner, or scan modes, which start when you press one of them. The buttons are PDF or Portable Document Format, Copy (which sends the scan to a printer), Email, and Start (which displays the scan in Preview mode).

Software

While the V550 is a photo scanner, this model doesn't come with image-editing software. However, it comes with:

  • Epson Scan with Epson Easy Photo Fix technology.
  • Epson Easy Photo Print.
  • An optical character recognition (OCR) program.
  • Abbyy FineReader 9.0 Sprint, which converts scanned text into editable text.
  • Epson Scan utility, which sends your scans to Facebook, several photo-sharing sites, your hard drive, and other locations.

The Budget Pro

When it comes to photo scanners, the V550 is borderline professional. It produces perfect (or near-perfect) scans, and the Digital Ice dust and scratches filters are impressive. If nothing else, the V550 scans very well.

Still, it doesn't have an automatic document feeder, or ADF (but you shouldn't expect one at this price), for scanning multiple pages, which makes it less than ideal for scanning multipage text documents. Still, for the price, it's a great photo scanner.