(Pocket-lint) - The F-3200 can do pretty much anything - scan multiple film formats, scan to memory cards and even scan reflective photo prints (6x4-inch originals or smaller).
Easy to set up, the 3200’s also built to a very high standard, including the film holders. You get one each for up to eight mounted 35mm slides, one for up to 12 unmounted 35mm frames, a 120/220 format film holder, a frame for a single 5x4-inch slide and finally, a single 6x4-inch print holder. The 3200 is supplied with a bright, built-in colour screen ideal for using the standalone functions such as the scan to memory card or printer feature and navigating the control menus.
The film carriage is inserted into the front of the scanner and is fed through the machine as it scans, so you need to leave space at the back and front to allow the carriage in and out. The frames of film must be clipped into their respective holders using either large flip down holders - for non-mounted film - or small tabs that hold framed film in place while being scanned.
Scanning is quite fast depending on how much extra processing you’ve asked the software to perform, which can add unsharp masking and dust and dirt removal. A 48-bit scan of a 120- slide at 1200ppi took around two minutes to complete (sans any other processing) and produced a 92MB file.
The 3200 can be installed as a TWAIN compliant plug in for editing software such as Photoshop or it comes complete with a full version of SilverFast Ai professional scanning software.
Scan quality is excellent, particularly on medium format film such as 120 slides: colour and shadow detail are superb, sharpness is good but even better with a modicum of unsharp masking applied at the scanning stage. Capable of producing huge files (I got up to 522MB files at top resolution on 120 film for example) memory is an issue so make sure you have both plenty of hard drive space and RAM (like 1Gb of the latter).
So the Epson F-3200 does what it does well, but I can't help wondering why the print scanning is included: the scanner falls between two stools. It's not going to appeal to, say, top professionals and it's too expensive at £549 to appeal to the enthusiast or consumer end of the market, so should be a good £150 cheaper.
Top scanning capability (particularly for medium format film) combined with some very neat functions and super build but all are compromised in the end by a very high price tag, which has nibbled the score down a good degree as a result. Having said that, since you get what you pay for, hopefully street and online economics will allow that price to change in future.