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Preliminary Comparison between Epson Perfection 2450 and Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO scanner: Film scanning!

| Slide Scan Page II | Negative scans compared | Neg scans page II & Scanner info | Using the Scanner |


I have written a simple (not very geeky or technical) comparison between the Epson Perfection 2450 and Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO scanners. I am certainly not pretending to be an expert at testing scanners, but I figured I would satisfy my own curiosity and see what difference there was between these two scanners.

The Epson Perfection 2450 can scan an optical maximum of 2400 dpi. It has been a fine scanner (and received good reviews) but has been discontinued and replaced by the Epson Perfection 3200, which can scan up to 3200 dpi (optical). I had the Epson Perfection 2450 for a short while and was wondering if it would be "worth it" for me to upgrade to the 3200. I ended up getting the 3200, and so decided to see for myself how much a difference there was between these two scanners.

I scanned in some Kodachrome 64 slides on both the 2450 and the 3200. I was most interested in transparency scanning, (particularly Kodachrome) since it seems like the built-in transparency adapters in most flatbed scanners aren't very good. I was hoping that the 3200 scanner would be an improvement over other scanners I'd used. I was not disappointed!

First test: 35mm Kodachrome 64 slide

Yellowstone National Park, 1977. 35 mm Kodachrome slide taken by my dad, L.A. Dunster.

Detail from the scan from Epson Perfection 2450. Actual size of original scan, (not reduced).

Scanned in using Epson's TWAIN software, at 2400 dpi. Minimal correction done in Photoshop. Sharpened using "Unsharp Mask" in Photoshop.

 

Detail from the scan from Epson Perfection 3200.

Scanned in at 3200 dpi, reduced to 2400 dpi (so it will match the 2450's scan in size) and then sharpened with "Unsharp Mask" in Photoshop. Minimal color correction done in Photoshop.

As you can see from the above examples, the 3200 is able to get better detail than the 2450. Also, because the 3200 can scan up to 3200 dpi, it can create much larger files which can then be printed out at a much larger size.

When I scanned a 35 mm slide in the Epson Perfection 3200, the file size (24 bits) is 35.1 MB. The Epson 2450 makes a 19 MB file from a 2400 dpi scan at 24 bits. So, the 3200 is able to make files that are about 16 MBs larger than what the 2450 is able to make.

When the Epson Perfection 2450 scans a 35 mm slide at 2400 pixels per inch, it makes a file that measures approximately 3232 x 2154 pixels. This file size will make a print of about 10.7 x 7" at 300 dpi.

In contrast, the Epson Perfection 3200 makes a 4288 x 2860 pixels per inch image when scanned at 3200 dpi. It will make print of 14 x 9.5" at 300 dpi. This is a substantial difference!

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Another Yellowstone picture, taken by L.A. Dunster. The woman in the picture is my mom.

Kodachrome 64 slide, taken in 1977.

Detail of my mom, scanned at 2400 dpi on the Epson Perfection 2450. No sharpening was done in Photoshop.

Detail of mom, also scanned in at 2400 dpi, on the Epson Perfection 3200. Notice the additional sharpness in the purse, her shirt (you can almost make out that the bottom word on her shirt says "Europe"), the rocks behind her, and in her face and in scarf. No additional sharpening was done in Photoshop.

You'll notice that even when the Epson Perfection 3200 scans a transparency in at 2400 dpi (the maximum that the 2450 model can do) it still outperforms the 2450! Even when both scanners do the same slide at the same dpi, the 3200 is just better. It gives more detail and sharpness!

Bottom line, the 3200 is a noticeable improvement over the 2450! I've never used a flatbed scanner that had such a good quality transparency adapter. I highly recommend this scanner for 35 mm slide scanning. It gives a very good value for its price range (about $400 retail, approx. $250 used).

Interestingly enough, the Epson Perfection 3200 also comes in "PRO" configuration—it is priced higher than the PHOTO scanner, because of its bundled software. The "PRO" scanner is identical to the "PHOTO" scanner, but it includes some high-end, much coveted scanning software which is suited for the demanding needs of a professional photographer.

I thought I'd compare the 2450 and the 3200 in negative scanning. (The results are not so cut-and-dried...). >>

| Slide Scan Page II | Negative scans compared | Neg scans page II & Scanner info | Using the Scanner |

These pages were created primarily to compare the performance of these two scanners—the 2450 and the 3200. To read a very comprehensive and informative review on the Epson Perfection 3200, check out this page from photo-i.co.uk.

It appears that a more recent model of this type of scanner is available, the Epson 4870. Read the customer reviews and decide for yourself if you would prefer this newer model.

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Software and hardware used for these scans:

My system is a G4 Tower, running Mac OS 10.2.8. All image editing was done in Photoshop 7. I used Epson's scanning software and imported the files in through Photoshop. I did not do much tweaking with the Epson software, but instead did most modifications in Photoshop. Both files were scanned in at 24 bit mode, though they can be scanned in at 48 bit mode (which will make larger file sizes).

The Epson Perfection 3200 comes with Photoshop Elements 2 (Elements 1 if you are in the UK), and SilverFast 6 LE. I scanned these particular images with the Epson Scan software, but have since switched to Silverfast, which is far superior, in my opinion. I've only used Elements 2 a little bit, since I have the full version of Photoshop.

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Last updated: April 14, 2017

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