Microtek’s new flatbed keeps ICE cool
By Ian Burley
New Microtek flat bed scanner is first to incorporate Applied Science action's Digital ICE dust and scratch removal system.
Technical specifications - click here
Digital ICE is a familiar term to professional photographers using film scanners. But until now, Digital ICE in a flat bed scanner has been virtually unheard of. The new Microtek ScanMaker 6800 changes all that.
Fundamentally, the ScanMaker 6800 is a high-end, A4 2400x4800 flat bed scanner aimed at the photographic rather than document scanning market. It has a built in film and transparency illumination unit and can scan 35mm, medium format and up to 5x4 inch film. Like some of its ScanMaker siblings, it also has a unique mini lightbox built into the scanner lid.
Where the ScanMaker 6800 differs is in its adoption of the Digital ICE dust and scratch removal system. This is a hardware and software system that uses an infra red secondary scan to detect physical imperfections, like dust ands scratches. These are then digitally removed without affecting surrounding image quality.
The ScanMaker 6800 is interesting because the Digital ICE system has been implemented to work on reflective media. It cleans up prints, rather than film. The only other manufacturer of consumer market scanners to produce flat bed scanners with a similar hardware and software based blemish removal system is Canon. Its latest CanoScan 8000F model employs FARE (Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement), but this works on film only. Canon also has a system called QARE (Quality Automatic Retouching and Enhancement) designed to work on prints, but it is not a hardware based system and is not so good at preserving absolute quality in areas surrounding removed blemishes.
If you specialise in restoring old photographs that might be torn or otherwise physically damaged, the ScanMaker 6800 could be your answer. We certainly look forward to trying one out.
Official Microtek press release and specifications:
Microtek Announces ScanMaker 6800 – The Worlds First Flatbed Scanner To Incorporate Digital ICE!
Rotterdam – Microtek, a pioneer in scanning technologies and a leader in graphic imaging solutions is proud to announce the release of the ScanMaker 6800 the worlds first flatbed scanner to integrate Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE for Photo Prints. The Microtek ScanMaker 6800 combines high technical specifications with extremely fast FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity, with a built-in 4" x 5" transparency light plate, to produce top quality images, that are the best in its class.
Kevin Lamb Sales Manager for UK and Ireland commented “Microtek are delighted to be the world’s first manufacturer to integrate Applied Science Fiction’s Digital ICE technology with a flat bed scanner. We believe that this is an important milestone for digital imaging. So successful is the implementation of the ICE system that Microtek has nominated the scanner to bid for the ‘Taiwan National Award of Excellence 2003’ – the only scanner to bid for this prestigious award.” If Microtek do win, then it will be on the back of the the ArtixScan 2500 winning the “National Gold Awards of Excellence” in 2001.
Features and Benefits:
Digital ICE is designed to remove dust and lint while also correcting scratches, cracks, rips and creases found on the surface of most prints. Digital ICE for Photo Prints uses a defect map to identify the precise locations of physical defects, or visual “noise” on a print being scanned. Differential shadowing technology and proprietary software algorithms dramatically reduce the effects of unwanted defects, producing a scanned image that improves upon the original print.
This feature allows the user to enlarge 2400 x 4800-dpi scans up to poster size or to create poster-sized images of favourite photos.
The ScanMaker 6800 captures trillions of colours for true-to-life colour reproduction and delivers subtle detail in highlights and shadows.
FireWire chip on board guarantees blazing-fast transfer rates that only real FireWire can provide; can connect up to 63 peripherals at once. Hi-Speed USB provides hot-swappable convenience; can connect up to 127 peripherals at once.
Digital ROC plug-in automatically restores the colour quality of photo prints that are colour faded. Digital SHO plug-in automatically reveals details in dark areas of images and automatically optimises contrast and exposure.
The ScanMaker 6800 has six rows of CCD sensors for improved colour reproduction. There are twice as many sensors as a conventional tri-linear array for more accurate data capture.
The integrated transparency adapter saves time by scanning multiple slides and filmstrips up to 4” x 5” (102mm x 127mm). FilmView allows the end user to check over the transparency before the scan.
Microtek’s ScanWizard 5 is a versatile scanning tool that allows users to choose between Standard and Advanced controls to suit their level of expertise and experience in the use of scanners. ScanWizard 5 features a batch scan process that allows users to scan and save images in sets or batches to increase productivity. With its built-in OCR utility, users can also scan text documents easily and retrieve them for editing. To meet the huge demand for photo sharing, ScanWizard 5 provides the easiest way for users to post their images on the web and share them with friends.
The ScanMaker 6800 is also packed with valuable practical software to help users in a variety of tasks and projects. It comes bundled with a full application of Adobe® Photoshop Elements and Abby® FineReader® OCR software, which allows you to convert scanned text to editable text with 99% accuracy.