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Technical Characteristics




Perfection 4870 PHOTO

Scanner type

Flatbed single-pass color image scanner

Light source

White cold cathode fluorescent lamp

Converter type

Alternative six-line color CCD-matrix with on-chip microlens.
122,400 pixels (20400 x 2 lines x 3 colors)

Max. optical resolution


Mechanical resolution

9600dpi (Micro Step Drive technology)

Interpolated resolution


Max. color depth

48bit (48/48)

Max. optical density

3.8 Dmax


USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, IEEE 1394a

Max. scan area

216x297mm (A4, Letter)

Power supply

Built into the case

Slide adapter (TPU)

Active slide-adapter built into the cover.
A set of frames for 35mm films, 35mm slides, 120/220 (6x9cm)/4x5” slides

Automatic document feeder (ADF)


Reliability (MCBF)

30,000 cycles





Approximate pricing


I’d like to single out such model features as an improved range of optical densities, to 3.8 Dmax (the Perfection 3200 had this parameter equaled to 3.4 Dmax) and a bunch of specialized technologies. This device is the first scanner from EPSON to use Digital ICE technology, a software and hardware system for automatic image retouching. It is intended to automatically identify and remove such defects of the original as scratches, fingerprints, dust and so on. I dedicate a separate section to this technology in this review where you’ll learn its working principles at more length.

At first sight, we may seem to deal with a professional scanner, but the EPSON Perfection 4870 still belongs to the SOHO category. Until recently, there has been a distinct separation line between two classes of equipment: consumer and professional. But technologies keep on leaking from the professional to the consumer niche, thus giving birth to a kind of in-between class of devices unofficially referred to as “prosumer”. The EPSON Perfection 4870 certainly fits into this group.

In order to improve the scanning quality, the scanner uses a six-line CCD array with microlenses above each of its sensors. Thus, light is falling on the array and is then projected onto the most sensitive area of the photo-receptor, its center, allowing for a more efficient conversion of light energy into electrical one. This technology comes under the name of On-Chip Microlens and is considered a kind of revolution by the manufacturer. To improve the scanning resolution without diminishing the size of the photosensitive element, the EPSON Perfection 4870 uses two arrays (the Matrix CCD technology), shifted by half a pixel against each other. This approach allows avoiding noise in dark areas of the image.

The price of the new EPSON Perfection 4870 is set a little higher than that of the ex-flagship Perfection 3200 model: $499 against $399. I guess you’re interested to know what useful properties of the model you purchase for this money. Let’s open the box up and take a look inside.

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