We expected the flat-beds to have problems with sharpness because there's a piece of glass between the scanners' lens and the slide. Although we found this is the case, both flat-bed scanners use sharpening tools by default to reduce this problem to a negligible level for some users. Time, the Achilles heel of all slide scanners, is the factor that really sorts the products out (see Slow, slower, slowest).
What to buy
- Konica Minolta Dimage Scan Dual IV - $699
- Nikon Coolscan V ED (LS-50 ED) - $1295
The Konica Minolta Dual IV is relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to use. It has no cleaning function and its image quality is only OK in comparison with the others, but it's a good choice if price is your major consideration.
Although it's not as easy to use, the Nikon V ED's performance is very good and it comes with a cleaning system - Digital Ice. If you need to scan large batches of slides at once, rather than one at a time, you'll need to purchase the 50-slide attachment for an extra $879.