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The market of SOHO scanners (Small Office Home Office) has always been a place of violence. The manufacturing firms are all fighting each other for one reward – the potential customer’s money. For your purse and mine, too. This behind-the-curtains vehement fighting sometimes proves too much even for world-renowned companies – you can recall the fate of AGFA that had to leave this lucrative market. The highest competition gives only two ways of behavior for the manufacturing companies who want to stay alive.

The first way is offering the produce at customer-appealing prices; the second way is improving the hardware stuffing and the software coating, updating the model range regularly. These two ways are not perfect, though. You can’t reduce the price forever – you’ll surely reach the level of the manufacturing cost of the product. And however hard you improve on a bicycle, for example, you always get the same bicycle, but only an improved one. Anyway, prices are going down and new technologies are being implemented – there’s no end to this war!

Of course, for a SOHO scanner to acquire an innovative technology, this technology should be ported from a model that belongs to the professional sector. In January 2003 we welcomed the miraculous scanner EPSON Perfection 3200, which alone won more valuable prizes from the industry authorities than a pack of pedigree bulldogs. I confess that a thought crept into my mind then, “There just can’t be anything cooler than that! That’s the height!” And right at the moment when I was thinking this very thought, the secret labs of EPSON ware already developing their new, perfected weapon to replace the blameless Perfection 3200. So there’s no end to perfection and EPSON has surprised us once again? In this article I’m going to answer this question and expose the secrets of newest optical scanning technologies, while at the same time reviewing the EPSON Perfection 4870 scanner!

Please Meet EPSON Perfection 4870 PHOTO

EPSON Perfection 4870 PHOTO – at your service!

This January in the gold-miners’ city of San Francisco EPSON Corporation unveiled its new scanner of the Perfection family, intended as the new flagship product of the series. The manufacturer targets the Perfection 4870 at “advanced” amateur photographers as well as at professionals because the scanner features the capability of digitizing transparent originals of all formats, some of which had been only available on narrowly-specialized slide-scanners. While such machines are not much relevant for a home user due to their high price, the Perfection 4870 offers itself for very modest money. Its qualities are comparable to high-end slide-scanners, but I doubt there are its likes as concerns scanning sheet originals.

The new scanner comes in two versions – PHOTO and PRO – which mainly differ in the bundled software. This is the reason for the PRO version to be positioned for the Western market where bonus software is always welcome.

Before proceeding further, let’s have a look at the following table which lists the declared technical characteristics of the EPSON Perfection 4870 PHOTO:

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