Scanner vs Camera for Slide Copying

Canon 2710

Home Built Rig (click for details) No rig at all. (click for more)

The Canon 2710 slide and fil scanner is an old product. It scans slides to a resolution of 2710 dpi.
I would estimate that to be equivalent to 5MP. It takes about a minute to scan a slide.

I borrowed one and spent hours and hours copying slides before I gave up.

One day I decided to see what I could do with a digital camera. I have two that have the capability to
copy slides. One is an 8MP digital SLR using extension tube and a 50mm lens.The second is an old
Nikon CP950 camera that is 2 MP and has excellent macro capability. Here's the results.

Slide copied with Canoscan 2710 (slide was dirty)

Same slide copied with an Olympus E300

Same slide copied with a Nikon CP950

Here's a closeup. Since the three methods yield different photo sizes, this is at 1:1 resolution. It's not a fair comparison. The Nikon, being a smaller image, will look worse than the other two if blown up. The Canon
image is a little better than the Olympus image if expanded.
Canon Scanner Olympus Camera Nikon Camera
Using the scanner image as the reference, I'd say the Nikon comes closer to capturing the slide as far as colors and tones. However, its image size is only 400 Kbytes. The Olympus image is 4000 Kbytes so it would be
better for printing larger pictures.

October 28, 2005