Kodak CD

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How does Kodak scan the pictures, from the print or from the negative? They seem to only offer the service when you order prints as and additonal option and at an additional price. It did not appear that you can just send them negatives or ask that they only develope the film and prep a CD from the negatives, which would save you the print charges if you wanted to do so. Do you know why if that is the case? Also, How does the HP USB negative scanner or the new Epson 1200 by 2400 dpi scanners with a film reader compare with digi cams and the kodak cds in the same areas of resolution, sharpness etc... which you go over in detail in your article.

-- Dave Kamanski (Kevad@ix.netcom.com), October 01, 1999


Hi Dave -

The Kodak Picture CD scanners are only set up to work in-line with the photofinishing equipment, which means they can't handle cut strips of film. The earlier (and still widely available) PhotoCD can handle cut strips, as it is a more manual process to start with. I don't know why they don't let you just order the scan by itself, maybe too hard to keep track of inside the processing facility. (Or, more likely, they'd have to charge so close to the cost with prints that it wouldn't be worthwhile.)

The HP PhotoSmart S20 scanner is great - it'll blow the doors off any digicam in terms of resolution, sharpness, detail. (It scans to about a 20 megabyte file at maximum res, so you get a lot of data!) It'll also be higher resolution than the Picture CD by a fair bit, ~2x in effective DPI. I don't know about the 1200 dpi flatbeds with film adapters, as we haven't tested that class of product at all. Generally, flatbeds (unless *very* expensive) don't do nearly as well as dedicated film scanners when scanning negatives. It might be a tossup vs PictureCD, as that's somewhere around 1200 dpi.

Thanks for the question! - I'll try to remember to include the info about scanning old negatives in the final installment of the series.

-- Dave Etchells (editor@imaging-resource.com), October 01, 1999.

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