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|| News Item: Posted 1999-05-17

Polaroid SprintScan 4000 Review
By Brad Mangin

Polaroid recently released their newest 35mm film scanner, the SprintScan 4000. I purchased the new Polaroid scanner a few weeks ago and have been very impressed with its performance. I have held off for quite awhile on buying a film scanner to archive my images, but when the
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new Polaroid came out last month I finally made the jump. The reason? The new Polaroid scanner has raised the bar for all 35mm desktop scanners by scanning at 4000 dpi, compared to most other desktops that scan at 2700 dpi.

What does all of this dpi stuff mean? Well, for me it means that I can scan my chromes and create 55 meg files instead of 25 meg files that the other scanners would deliver. I am not a digital expert, but I do know that the more information you have- be it film size or file size- the better.

I wanted to create an archive of my pictures before I sent them out to stock agencies, and I wanted to have the biggest possible file in my possession in case something ever happened to the original chrome. I also wanted the biggest file possible to make prints in the future. I can now create a file that is big enough to make 11x14 or larger prints without any loss in quality.

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The interface that Polaroid ships with the 4000, PolaColor Insight 3.0 has been very easy to use and pretty fast, too. The pre-scans can be very large on your screen if you drag the window open to a larger size. I have been able to make full-frame 35mm scans at 55 megabytes in a little over a minute. By the time the file is processed and opened in PhotoShop it takes about two minutes. If I crop the picture a little in the pre-scan it knocks the file size down a few megs.

The scanner comes with a handy slide carrier that holds four chromes at a time, and a filmstrip carrier. They both load into the front end of the scanner.

This is the first scanner I have ever owned, let alone used on a regular basis so I really don't have anything to compare it to. All I do know is that it makes a bigger file from a 35mm chrome than any other desktop scanner on the market. As of today. Tomorrow and the next day Nikon and everyone else will undoubtedly be coming out with their version of a 4000 dpi scanner, which is great news for all photographers as the quality will keep going up while the cost will keep coming down. The SprintScan 4000 lists for $2400 but sells on the street for around $1900.

For more information go to the Polaroid website:

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