Low-Cost Scanners for High-End Prepress
With news reports indicating Agfa and Heidelberg are leaving the low-end market, choices for entry- and mid-range prepress scanners are narrowing. Creo Americas Inc., Billerica, Mass., is stepping into the void with two new scanners marketed at cost-conscious creative professionals.
Unveiled at the recent MacWorld trade show, in San Francisco, Creo's iQsmart2 provides 4,300 x 8,200 dpi resolution, and lists for $11,950. The iQsmart3 scans at 5,500 x 10,000 dpi, and sells for $29,500.
The price points should appeal to creative professionals who want to cut production costs by moving high-end scanning in-house, Creo officials say.
Both products support a high-speed Firewire (IEEE 1394) interface, direct-to-final scan, and can handle originals from 35mm slides to A3+. And they're fast. The iQsmart2 can turn 30 batch scans an hour, while the iQsmart3 can hit 40 an hour, says Jonathan Agger, scanner product marketing manager for Creo Americas.
"Premium-quality scanning was once a complicated process that required highly specialized and highly compensated operators," Agger says. "The iQsmart scanners produce professional quality at a very affordable price."
Included with the scanners is Creo's Oxygen scanning software. The scanning tool provides pure 16-bit data capture with ICC (International Color Consortium) color management workflow. Scans can be saved directly to RGB, CMYK, or DT (Digital Transparency).
Saving to DT saves time by letting operators scan and archive images once. The DT images can be reopened later, and regenerated at whatever resolution and format are required at the time.
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols