Friday, December 18, 2009

Image Capture 10.6 is one heck of a scanning app

Apple doesn't say much about the newly enhanced scanning feature built into 10.6 ...
Apple - Mac OS X - What Is Mac OS X - All Applications and Utilities
... Image Capture transfers images between your digital camera or scanner and your Mac for use in iPhoto and other applications....
There's nothing there to suggest this ...

Shoot. It's not like Apple is known for modesty. Why not boast a bit?

Good old Image Capture, which always had more abilities than most realized, is now a very sweet scanning app in 10.6. Apple has silently removed one of the OS X's bigger weaknesses -- crummy scanner support. Yeah, that was due to hardware vendors outsourcing device drivers to the lowest bidder, but users felt the pain all the same.

For years I've made do with Epson's crummy and buggy product, and I was worried how my sweet Epson V700 would do with Snow Leopard.

It took about 5 minutes to answer that question. I plugged a bright orange $10 LaCie 800-400 flat firewire cable into the i5 and the V700, then fired up Image Capture and clicked "Show Details". Everything is there, and the results are fine. (I scan to high res TIFF then post-process to archival JPEG in Aperture, or, as of today, in Lightroom beta 3.)

I didn't install anything. No apps, no drivers.

The new scanning features include automatic detection of separate items so you can scan multiple items at once. The downside is that not all scanners are supported; HP scanners are particularly problematic. Of course all HP consumer products are problematic ...

See also:
Update 12/27/09: It even automatically found my 4yo networked Brother MFC-7820N - with no drivers installed! It took a long time to do the initial scan - spent about 5 minutes spinning. I was about to kill the process when it completed. Subsequent scans start fairly promptly. Page processing seems slow - and I'm using an i5! The B&W 200 dpi scan PDF results are excellent though, 4 pages at 745KB with very fine post-processing. I suspect there will be glitches though, I've seen this machine have trouble switching between acting as a scanner and acting as a printer.



J K said...

Thanks I didn't realize I could use Image Capture with my Epson V500. I seemed to get too much saturation and red color in faces with scans using V500 and Epson Scan in iPhoto slideshows burned w/iDVD. Perhaps the colors will be more accurate with Image Capture as well. In either event, I like the interface.

Unknown said...

Do you know whether the scanning of slides is supported for your V700. I'm thinking of buying the V500 for scanning some slides, so this would be a definite bonus.