We would consider the Epson Perfection V600 somewhat of a niche product. It eschews the automatic digital enhancement that other flatbed scanners use to make the scanned photos look better. This makes its scans more accurate to the originals, but the enhancement employed by other models generally makes the scans look better overall. So if you want the digital scans of your vintage photos to retain all of that signature vintage-ness, the Epson Perfection is a good choice. If you just want your photo scans to look as good as possible, the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II's scans look better, and Canon's software is a bit more friendly to use.
Epson Perfection V600 Review
Pros: Good scan quality, ability to scan photos and film negatives
Cons: Very slow for long documents, no native text recognition, clunky software
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Our Analysis and Test Results
There are some things that people will want to make copies of without adding digital enhancement: vintage photos, rare stamps, illustrations from antique books…For copying these sorts of things the Epson Perfection will provide a very accurate digital recreation. If you don't mind using digital enhancement to make your scans look better, we think the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII is a better overall model.
While we generally liked the Epson Perfection, some trouble with its software hurt its overall score. For more specifics on its performance attributes, read on below.
The Epson Perfection is quite a capable flatbed scanner, but overall we preferred the scans created by the CanoScan
Photo Scanning Quality
The Epson PErfection lives up to its name when scanning photos, creating near perfect representations of the originals. We say 'near perfect' because you're always going to lose some quality when converting an image, so you may sometimes notice that the scans look ever so slightly less sharp or vibrant than the originals. In contrast the CanoScan use image enhancement to negate this slight loss, in many cases making the scans look a bit sharper and vibrant than the originals. However, these scans were less accurate to the originals than those produced by the Epson Perfection, so you'll have to decide whether you prefer quality or accuracy.
The Epson Perfection does offer option image enhancement (they call it ICE - image enhancement and correction). We found that this mostly focuses on removing damage, like cracks and dust that have damaged a photo. It doesn't do much in terms of color correction. Thus we still preferred the images scanned from the Canon CanoScan over those that underwent Epson's ICE procedure.
Text Scanning Quality
Like other flatbed models we tested, the Epson Perfection produces good-looking text, though very small fonts may look a bit fuzzier than what high-end document scanners produce. The Perfection is certainly of a high enough quality to handle all of your text-based documents, though it scans them very slowly.
The Epson Perfection is quite slow. In our testing it took an average of 60 seconds to scan an 8"x11" page. This was 3 times as slow as the other flatbed we tested, the CanoScan. If you're looking for the most accurate scans possible that lack of speed is likely a worthwhile sacrifice. However, if you're in the middle of digitizing stacks of family photo albums, you'll likely appreciate the extra speed of the CanoScan. This also makes scanning multi-page documents an incredibly slow affair, so much so that we would suggest just spending another $4 on the Scanner Pro App if you happen to have to scan a few 10-page documents.
SoftwareCompared to the software of other flatbed models, we found the Epson Perfection's included bundle to be quite clunky and difficult to use. Navigating through settings and file management felt much less intuitive than other programs we used, and we found that the software ran very slowly whenever we used it on a Mac OS device. The software does include an extension for recognizing text, meaning you can create scans with searchable text. However, you do have to jump through some settings hoops to accomplish this. Overall, if you're looking for a flatbed scanner and having intuitive software is one of your main concerns, we would suggest looking at the CanoScan instead.
We found the Epson Perfection was relatively easy to use in our testing. We had it up and running within 10 minutes of opening the box, and though the on-device buttons weren't exactly intuitive, we were still able to get some scans made before reading the manual. While more advanced tasks that require using the software could sometimes get a bit confusing, the barebones of the Epson Perfection are generally clean and simple.
Listing for $230, the Epson PErfection V600 is a bit on the pricey side, especially considering that the higher performing Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII lists for just $200. For the vast majority of people, we think the CanoScan is the better value. But, if you want very accurate scans with no image enhancement, the extra cost of the Epson Perfection is worth it.
The Epson Perfection V600 is a good flatbed scanner for those that want very accurate scans of their photos, stamp collections, or anything else that shouldn't be fedthrough a document scanner. However, if you don't mind some automatic image enhancement, the Canon CanoScan is a better overall machine.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata