Acer SCSI & RAID Devices Driver Download For Windows

There's an IEC type inlet for the power lead, a female 25 pin 'D' type socket for the SCSI lead from the computer, and another 25 pin socket for daisy-chaining other SCSI devices to. Acer's instruction booklet mentions that a SCSI terminator should be fitted if the scanner is the only external SCSI device. Windows 7 Forums is the largest help and support community, providing friendly help and advice for Microsoft Windows 7 Computers such as Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. SATA is the bus interface to your drive - using a SCSI device driver doesn't make your disk drive a SCSI drive.

A user's review

The Acer Scanwit review was written using NETSCAPECOMPOSER and is best viewed at 800 x 600 in 24 bit colour.

ContentsPleasecheck out theUpdatePagefor the latest informationabout the ScanWit and scanner market.

Acers 'Scanwit' 2720s film scanner seems to be one of the worldsbest-kept secrets!
There are no on-line reviews of it, no advertisements for it, andstockists are few and far between; it almost seems as if Acer are embarrassedto tell anyone about it.
I can't see any reason for this low profile approach. The ScanWitis a very capable performer, and as far as I've been able to determinein practice, all of Acer's claims for this scanner are met or exceeded,and they have nothing to be ashamed of.
A scanner of this specification at such a low price deserves tobe much better known, and that's the main reason I decided to do this userreview. Another reason being; anything that gives the other manufacturersa bit of stiff competition, and perhaps helps to drive their prices down,must be to the consumer's benefit in the long run.
My last reason is not quite so altruistic: Having invested my moneyin one of these scanners, I would hate for support for it to be withdrawnbecause there wasn't a sufficiently large user-base.
That said, I've attempted to be as objective as possible in bothmy praise and criticism of this little-known piece of hardware.

Main featuresof the ScanWit

Acer SCSI & RAID Devices Driver Download For Windows
  • 2700 dpi true optical resolution.
  • 36 bit colour (12 bits per channel).
  • High quality mirror-less autofocussing optical system.
  • Fast scan time; down to less than 40 seconds for a full resolution scan.
  • Dynamic range of 3.2
  • SCSI 2 interface.
Acers official Scanwit page AmericaEurope

If film scanners were sold by size then AcersScanwit would surely be one of the most expensive on the market, beingabout the size of a 4-slice toaster, but since it's actually positionedat the bottom end of the price range its specificationsare even more impressive than its sheer volume.
By being a latecomer to the film scanner marketAcer seems to have taken advantage of the latest advances in technologyto improve performance while at the same time cutting costs.
At a street price of just under 300 UK pounds(about $450 in the US) the Acer 2720s is presently the cheapest film scannerworth considering for serious 35mm slide and negative scanning.
Don't be fooled by the low cost, or the rathernaff name, it's a very capable machine, and with the current bundling ofAdobe Photoshop5 LE software and a PCI bus SCSI interface card it'sa downright bargain. You'd have to spend over half as much againon the Canon CanoScan 2710 or Minolta's Scan Speed to get more-or-lessthe same technical specification.
Its closest rival in terms of price is theMinolta Dimage Scan-Dual, which has both lower resolution and bit depththan the Scanwit, although the Minolta does take APS size film, whereasthe Acer doesn't. The Scan Dual is quite an old design now, and is showingits age. Suffice it to say that the Minolta's performance at an in-storedemonstration didn't impress me, either with its scanning speed, or thequality of results when scanning negatives.
The next rung up the price ladder brings usto Hewlett-Packard's Photosmart S20 scanner, which with a resolution of2400dpi again falls slightly short of the Acer. The HP S20 has had somevery good reviews for image quality, but has an inherently slower USB interface,and a carrierless film-feed system which has raised some criticism.
A couple of other scanners have come on themarket lately, at an even lower price than the Scanwit, but it remainsto be seen whether they deserve serious consideration.
Availability of the Scanwit in the UK seemsto be mainly through the Jessops chain of photographic retailers, whereit's available off the shelf in most branches.

Addenda: The importand distribution of Acer scanners in the UK is through Introphoto Ltd.
Also, Minolta have replaced their Scan Dual with theDimage Scan Dual II.
This has a resolution of 2820dpi and 36 bit colour depth,but the price is naturally quite a bit higher than the original Scan Dual.

OK. That's the advertising type blurb overwith, now let's get down to the real review.

The Review

Who am I to be reviewing a scanner anyway?
For all you know I might not know a film scannerfrom a hole in the ground.
Well.... I've had a passion for photographypractically ever since I can remember. I've trained and hold qualificationsin both Photography and Electronics, and I've worked professionally inboth fields. For over 25 years I've produced conventional photographiccolour and black and white prints, and for the last five years I've beenscanning those prints and using Photoshop to edit them. Scanning directlyfrom film seemed the next natural progression.
One of the few innate talents that I was bornwith was a naturally good eye for colour and I have a distaste for badcolour reproduction; I have to look away every time I pass one of thoseminilabs spewing out their appalling prints.

So; I think I can just about tell a scannerfrom a hole in the ground, and a good scan from a bad one.

Samplescans from the Scanwit
For those of you with a short attention spanthat can't be bothered to read the words: I'll cut to the chase and showyou some sample scans . Afterall, the scan quality is what's ultimately important;butI would urge you to read the rest of this section, just so you know exactlywhat you're looking at.
There are scans here from both slides and negatives, and apart fromsome adjustment to the gamma or tone curve in the scanner's own acquisitionsoftware, they are 'as is' straight from the scanner.

No sharpening or colour enhancement has beenapplied to any of these sample images.

Technical stuff
All of the 35mm originals were scanned full frame at 2700 dpi, themaximum resolution of the scanner, with 36 bit colour depth, giving 54Mb files of 3720 by 2550 pixels! These were then converted to 24 bits inPhotoshop and reduced in size to approximately 1024 pixels by 700.
While they were at maximum resolution a small section was cut outof each image, and then pasted into the final image as a highlighted insetat the bottom right-hand corner. This allows you to see the original detailand judge the sharpness of the scanner for yourself.
Finally, the images were saved as high quality progressive JPEGS.

All of the following images have been tested on several systems,with monitors of varying size, age, and quality, and have a satisfactoryappearance on most of them. If they don't look OK on your system, yourmonitor may be in need of calibration or adjustment.
The pictures were chosen to show a good range of colour and a widetonal range rather than any pictorial merit. The slides especially wereselected to show how much shadow detail is obtainable and the lack of noisein the shadow areas.

Warning!Thesefiles are quite large, and can take a long time to download.

Slide No.1 (157K, Fujichrome) SlideNo.2 (198K, Ektachrome) SlideNo.3 (184K, Kodachrome)

Negative No.1 (160K, Ektar 100-2) NegativeNo.2(163K, Konica SRG100) Negative No.3(178K, Gold 100)

There are a few more pictures available for you to look at on myGallery page: Please Clickhere

Now on to the wordy bit, where I give you my (hopefully) un-biasedopinion of Acer's scanner and its Software.

I've made no concessions to the Acer's lowprice in my criticism of it, and I haven't pulled any punches; if somethingis wrong, it's wrong, no matter how much or how little you've paid forit.
Please remember that it takes a lot of wordsto describe even a small shortcoming, and the amount of space devoted toa problem may not be proportional to its importance in the overall functioningof the equipment.

Acer scsi command

The thing that first impressed me when I unpackedthe Scanwit was the completeness of the kit.
There really is everything needed to get startedin the box.
The only additional items you need are a PCand a few slides or negatives!
Hardware installation is about as easy asit gets; open up the PC, pop the SCSI card into a spare PCI slot, screwit down and put the cover back on the computer. In fact, if you alreadyhave a SCSI card with an external connector, you won't even have to dothat. I've tested the Scanwit with Adaptec 1510 and 2940 cards, and anAdvansys 2930 as well as Acer's own 'Acard' interface, and the scannerworked perfectly with all of them.
Installing the software was also quick andpainless; the driver CD installs both the SCSI driver and the 'MiraPhoto'Twain driver in one go. This only leaves the installation of Adobe Photoshop5LE and/or Ulead PhotoExpress to complete the operation. You couldeasily have the scanner working within 30 minutes of opening the very bigbox that it comes in.
Incidentally, because the scanner itself isa fairly bulky item and the film carriers are as long again, the Scanwitneeds quite a large 'footprint' to operate in. It fits quite nicely onthe top of my midi-tower PC case, though.

The Hardware
My initial impression of the overall buildquality of the Scanwit was good.
The scanner itself is well made, and has aweighty and robust feel to it. It has a plated steel chassis with a nicelyfinished plastic casing, and there's a dust exclusion flap on the entryfor the film carriers, but the carriers themselves are a bit of a let-down.
There are two carriers supplied, one for negativesand unmounted film strips, and one for mounted slides. They areof all-plastic construction, and in my view fall below the high standardof the scanner itself in both finish and design.
The slide carrier, which holds up to 4 slides,hinges open to reveal flimsy looking plastic springs which hold the slidesin place. However, looks can be deceptive, and inserting a slide needssome pressure to push the plastic retaining springs aside before the slidefinally clicks into place. There is a bit of a knack to it, and the plasticsprings do get a bit easier after a little use.
At the time of writing this, my slide carrierhas survived several months of use, but I'm still slightly worried aboutlonger term reliability.
The negative carrier takes strips of up tosix negatives, and thankfully it's a lot easier to load and hasn't gotany plastic springs to give concern. Film flatness is adequate, and negativescan be inserted and removed easily without any danger of scratching orfingerprints.

The film carriers go into a vertical slot inthe front of the scanner, and must be pushed in straight and fairly quicklyin order to get the auto-feed mechanism to accept them. Mis-feeding thecarrier simply results in the scanner refusing to pull it into the slotuntil it has been fully withdrawn and re-inserted. Again, there's a bitof a knack to it, but no harm seems to come from a mis-feed, apart fromhaving to wait a few seconds while the mechanism resets itself before tryingagain.
On the plus side, the carriers have neverjammed on me; they either go in, or they don't.

The front of the case has three push-buttontype switches in addition to the slot for the film carrier. The slightlylarger power on/off switch is on the right, while the leftmost button ejectsthe carrier. The middle button commands the computer to open the scanningsoftware, but only works with the supplied Photoshop5 LE. That's a bitannoying, as I have the full version of Photoshop5, and haven't yet foundany way of re-directing the button's software applet to open that instead.

The back panel of the scanner has three socketsand a switch on it. The switch is for setting the SCSI ID of the scannerand ranges from 0 to 7. There's an IEC type inlet for the power lead, afemale 25 pin 'D' type socket for the SCSI lead from the computer, andanother 25 pin socket for daisy-chaining other SCSI devices to.
Acer's instruction booklet mentions that aSCSI terminator should be fitted if the scanner is the only external SCSIdevice. I'd been using my scanner successfully for a couple of weeks beforespotting the reference to a terminator, and dutifully obtained and fittedone. It may, or may not, make any difference to the consistency and reliabilityof the scans, but since it only costs a few pounds, I'd recommend fittingone.
NB. The terminator should be a passive type, since the scanner SCSI socketdoesn't provide the power necessary for an active terminator.

That's about it as far as the hardware goes.Nothing has jammed or broken in the few months that I've had the machine,and my only complaint is the design of the slide carrier. Whether my fearsabout it are justified or not, only time will tell.

Update: After nearly 10 months of use, one of the spring clips did finally break on my slide carrier.
It's still fully useable in fact, but Acer really ought to rethink the design.

The Software
Good software can make or break the reputationof even the best piece of hardware, and this is especially true
with scanners. For instance, many people buya Nikon scanner for its multi-pass noise reduction, which is a purely softwareimplemented feature, and of course the Digital ICE facility.

Acer's 'MiraPhoto' acquisition software andTwain driver doesn'tboast either Digital ICE or multi-pass, but nonetheless it packs in a reasonableset of tools for dealing with a wide variety of slides and negatives.
Most important of all, it has 'curves', probablythe single most powerful tool for image correction, and as I'll explainlater, it's use is essential in order to get the best out of the scanner.
MiraPhoto has all the normal adjustments you'dexpect too; colour correction, brightness and contrast, plus a levels (histogram)control, together with a modest selection of filters for sharpening orblurring the image.
The filters work very well and there seemsto be no speed penalty incurred for applying any of these effects duringscanning, or if there is, it's small enough to be un-noticeable.
MiraPhoto's tools seem every bit as competentas those available in Photoshop, and you needn't have any qualms aboutusing them, especially as it speeds up the whole process of getting a decentfinal image.
Three output modes are available from thescanner via MiraPhoto; 36 bit, which gives you all the colour detail thatthe scanner is capable of, standard 24 bit, and 'High Speed', also a 24bit mode, but at slightly lower quality. MiraPhoto also supports 'batchscanning', which simply means that all selected frames (up to four slidesor six negatives) are automatically and consecutively scanned with a singleclick on the scan button.
Other features of MiraPhoto that need a mentionare the ability to do a RAW scan, to scan monochrome negatives, and a comprehensiveset of pre-defined profiles for most current colour negative films.

As you can see from the illustration, Miraphotohas a childishly colourful user interface. Unfortunately it isn't childishlysimple to use; 'cos instinctive it ain't.
When first installed, Miraphoto's defaultsettings would like you to scan a postage stamp size area from the middleof every frame at 300dpi in high speed mode: Great for a salesman's quickdemo on a computer with a small amount of memory, but frustrating if you'veactually bought the machine and want to get on with using it to producehigh quality scans.
Being able to individually set all of thescan parameters for each and every frame is a big plus point in its favour,but having to set up sensible scanning options at the very outset,andfind your way around the software
is a big minus, and could be a daunting taskfor the newcomer. Admittedly the facility to save configurations is veryeasy to use, and you only have to go through the setting-up procedure once,but it's not a good introduction to the scanner.

Miraphoto also seems to have some adaptive(i.e. learning) capacity, since it spends a lot of time re-adjusting thefocus when first used, but thereafter only adjusts the focus when the carrierhas been removed and re-inserted, or at the first scan after power-on.Again, it's a slightly disconcerting introduction to using the scanner,testing your patience when you're most eager to try out your new toy.

I'll cover the use of MiraPhoto in more depthelsewhere, but I must mention in passing that Thirdparty software is available for the ScanWit that gives additional functionalityto it, including multi-pass scanning.

Now for the rest of the bundled software.

PhotoShop 5 LE:
Having already used the full version of AdobePhotoshop5, I was prepared to be disappointed by the LE
(Limited Edition) version, but instead I waspleasantly surprised.
There are areas where some of the tools andpermutations available in the full version aren't available in LE, buton the whole it's a very usable and capable package. It may even be anadvantage not to be overwhelmed with choice, as the learning curve forthe full version of Photoshop can be very steep.
Photoshop 5 is one of the few image editorsavailable that can handle 48 bit image files, and thereby take
advantage of the full 36 bit colour depthavailable from the ScanWit. This ability is retained in the LE version,albeit with some minor reduction of options: You can still adjust curvesand levels at 48 bit colour depth, but tools like saturation and inversionhave been removed. Changing to 24 bit mode gives you back these facilitiesand many more; too many to list here.
Suffice it to say that Photoshop 5 LE willdo everything that the average home user, and many professionals, willneed to produce first class images.
One minor gripe is that Photoshop 5 increasesthe scan acquisition time noticeably over simpler packages such as JascPaintShop Pro 6, and this applies to the full version as well as LE.

Ulead PhotoExpress:
Lastly we come to the other image editingpackage that's included with the ScanWit, Ulead's PhotoExpress.
This is a full-on, in-your-face, party-animalof a package that's squarely aimed at the 'fun' end of the market. It offersmore frivolous effects than you can shake a mouse at. Morphing, frames,weird filters, they're all there in one handy (disposable) package.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that PhotoExpressisn't worth using, it's just that this really isn't my bag, and I findit difficult to enthuse about it.
I did spend an evening with it, in the interestof research, and quite honestly, the sheer choice of menu after menu ofeffects, cards, calendars, filters, sample images, clip-art, and what-have-youwas totally overwhelming, but if that sounds the sort of thing that getsyou going, then it'll probably keep you glued to your monitor for a month.
If not......well, it'll probably keep thekids amused for a couple of hours at least.
Part image editor, part desktop publisher,part printer wizard, PhotoExpress tries to be something of everything,but in my view it just tries too hard, and ends up giving you quantity,rather than quality.
It does have one saving grace, and that's theability to print multi-sheet posters wihout any hassle.
This makes A3 or larger prints possible with just an A4 printer.
You could go mad, and paper the bedroom with that stunning shot of a 2-4-0saddle tanker having its fire dropped. Or then again, perhaps not.
Be warned though, Photo Express needs 80 Megabytesof disk space.
Yep, you read that correctly, Eighty Megabytes, iswhat this overgrown fun-loving mammoth, or perhaps, white elephant of apackage takes up.

To sum up the included software: MiraPhotois fairly basic, but still manages to be a little awkward to use, thoughits shortcomings are more than made up for by the inclusion of the excellentPhotoshop 5 LE, and Ulead PhotoExpress adds all the whistles and bellsyou might never need.

Third party software:
Just a word about Ed Hamrick's Vuescan software;it's a non-twain compliant acquisition driver that supports the ScanWitand several other SCSI filmscanners. The user interface is extremely blandcompared to MiraPhoto, and consists mainly of text-only pull-down menus,making it simpler to use in my opinion. Results from Vuescan can be extremelygood without much user intervention, and could be the answer for thosewho want quality results, but don't want to be bothered tinkering withthe image or getting too deep into colour management issues. It also addsmulti-pass scanning to the ScanWit's abilities, if you can put up withextended scan times.
To find out more visit Ed'sWebsite

I'd also recommend getting a copy of JascPaintShop Pro, especially if speed is of the essence to you. This packageopens far quicker than Photoshop, and also completes the scan acquisitionin a shorter time. I used PaintShop Pro to compile the speed timings forthis very reason. Unfortunately, although it imports 36 bit data and 48bit files, these are automatically converted to 24 bit mode. This meansthe full potential of the scanner can't be realised using PaintShop Pro,but if 24 bits are enough for your application, the time saving can bedramatic.

The Documentation
'Great!' I thought as I unpacked thescanner, and a nice thick, glossy user manual fell out of the box, 'that'lldo for a little light bedtime reading.....' and then I opened the pages.The gloss ends at the cover, and you find you're sharing the manual withfour foreign languages.
Only 60 fairly dismal black and white pagesare in English, and 19 of them are devoted to showing you around Ulead'sPhotoExpress. Of the rest, discounting the legal disclaimers and the contentspage, the first 12 contain very basic information, such as line drawingsof the kind that show you where to plug the power lead. The remaining 24pages describe the various functions of MiraPhoto, but not in any greatdepth.
Nowhere is there any attempt at showing youhow to actually use the scanner, or any advice on improving yourscans.
The only positive comment I can make aboutthe user's manual is that it is liberally illustrated, but the informationcontent seems to have been squeezed out to make room for the pictures.

Well, what about the on-screen help? Sinceit gets its own little shortcut in the program menu, you'd think that itmight be much more comprehensive: You'd think wrong. Most of the on-screenhelp simply duplicates the information in the manual, and even confusesthe issue by illustrating some of the dialogue boxes differently from theway they appear in the actual software.
I get the impression that both the paper andon-line documentation were put together in rather a hurry, because
all in all, the documentation is a bit ofa disaster. It might be of some help to those new to computers, and entirelynew to scanning, but very quickly leaves you high and dry in getting betterresults out of the Scanwit.

So, marks out of 10 to Acer for the documentation,about 3.
Acer really will have to try a lot harderwith their documentation if they want to win friends for this otherwiseexcellent scanner. A section on how to get the best out of your scannerreally would make all the difference.

I've made an attempt to rectify this situation with a brief Tutorialon the use of MiraPhoto and getting more out of the ScanWit.

The ScanWit in actual use:
Straight from the box, Acer's scanner isn'tgoing to give you the best results, especially if you mainly use slidefilm, but I'll let you into the secret of getting top-quality scansfrom the Acer Scanwit in six words, -
Acer should include this message plainly andoften in their documentation, but they don't.
For reasons known only to Acers design team,the ScanWit's default settings seem to be biased towards getting good resultsfrom negatives, and results from slides are generally far too darkwithout any user intervention.
(But see footnote *)
The remedy is very simple; just use the curvestool in MiraPhoto to change the gamma curve for slides from the normalstraight line to an archlike curve (see illustration), and once you'vefound a suitable setting that works for the majority of slides, save thatconfiguration as default.

Perhaps any future updates of MiraPhoto will takeon board this criticism and automatically correct the gamma for slide film.Who knows? [Acer now havemade an attempt to rectify the situation with new releases (V1.1 & 2.0) of MiraPhoto,and slide scans are now a bit less dark, but see updatepage about this]

Having got that out of the way; scanning withthe Acer is no more complicated than using a flatbed, and your scans willbe limited mainly by the quality of the original slide or negative. Ifany more refined correction or enhancement is needed, that can easily bedone in Photoshop5 LE.

The low price of this scanner had to revealitself somewhere, and that's mainly in the lack of refinement of 'MiraPhoto'and the poor documentation. However, in my opinion, the little bit of workrequired to set this scanner up properly is more than compensated for byits extremely competitive price.

*Havingnearly completed this review I've learned that many other users of differentbrands of scanner complain of their slide scans being too dark as well.As one complainant with experience of many models of scanner put it 'Darkscans seem to be the rule, rather than the exception.' Although not muchcomfort, it does put the Scanwit on a more even footing with its more expensiverivals.

Now I'll get down to the technical nitty-grittyof how well the Acers performance measures up; both to Acer's own specifications,and against its much more expensive competition.

Scan Speed:
As you can see from the table,Acer's speed claims were easily met, and even exceeded, but one strangefact that has shown up is that 'High speed' mode is not always the fastest;at maximum resolution the High-quality 24bit mode beats it!
A comparison with other manufacturers claimedtimes shows the ScanWit to be one of the fastest film scanners you canbuy at any price.
Speed rating:

The sharpness of this scanner is very goodby any standard.
With faster films the grain is easily resolvedby the scanner. There is no sign of colour fringing introduced by the opticalsystem, and in fact it's hard to detect any faults in the imaging at all.
Byway of illustration, this is a colour scan from an extremely sharpblack&white negative. The outlined area is less than half-a-millimetrewide on the negative and the enlargement represents about a 120 times magnificationwhen displayed on a 14' monitor.
In other words, at this scale the entire 35mm frame would covera 10ft by 15ft wall!

The name of the boat 'ASHANTI GOLD' can justbe read from the negative with the aid of a microscope.
In the scanned image it's the digitisation, and not the scannersoptical sharpness, that reduces legibility.
This level of optical quality puts the ScanWit firmly in the topleague.
The autofocus system is not infallible, though,and won't easily focus on a very dark or low-contrast piece of film, andI've had one or two out-of-focus scans in these rare circumstances.
Sharpness rating:

Noise, in this case, doesn't mean how loudthe scanner sounds. (Although it isn't totally silent in operation) Itmeans electrical and CCD noise that can degrade the scanned image withcoloured speckles and banding.
This is one area where the Acer ScanWit hasme completely dumbfounded, as I can find hardly any noise at all!
Every other reviewer of every other scannerhas complained about the infamous dreaded green speckles in the shadowsto some degree. With the Acer, I really had to push the contrast and brightnessto ridiculously high levels to get any noise to show itself, and then thenoise that is detectable is fairly evenly distributed among thethree colour channels.

Since this review first went online, I've hadso many e-mails questioning this lack of noise that I'll attempt to proveit with this illustration.
This is a scan from a Fujichrome slide withvery dense shadows. I've tried to match the contrast on screen withthe original slide as closely as possible. The sample areas are from thevisually densest parts of the slide, where detail is just visiblewhen the slide is viewed on a light box with a powerful loupe.
I think this serves to illustrate the dynamicrange quite well too. There is a bit more detail visible in theoriginal slide, in the shadowed brickwork of clip 1, and the shaded doorwayof clip 3 for instance, but it takes a strong light and a powerful magnifierto see it.

Acer seem to have sacrificed a little of thedynamic range to control noise, but at any rate, in normal circumstances noise really isn't a problem.
Noise rating:

'Flare' is another parameter that reviewersof other scanners have found to be problematic. It shows itself as thespreading of highlights into adjacent shadows, and has two contributingfactors. Genuine flare from the optical system of the scanner, and artefactsfrom the CCD which can look like flare.
I used a very simple but severe test for flarewhich consisted of scanning a very small pinhole of known size in a pieceof kitchen foil, measuring the scanned image, and looking at the way thelight spread out around the hole. The test revealed that optical flarehas been fairly well controlled, but that a slight CCD 'memory' effectis visible if the image contrast is boosted considerably. This is one areawhere a small amount of criticism can be raised, but flare and CCD artefactsaren't obtrusive enough to give any real concern.
Flare rating:

Dynamic range:
This is the ratio of the darkest to the brightesttones in the film that can be distinguished by the scanner, and is fundamentallya measure of how good the scanner is at recovering shadow detail from slides,or separating overexposed highlights in a negative.
Acer, very sensibly, claim a modest (comparedto other makers) dynamic range of 3.2D, and this, realistically, is aboutas good as you can get in a commercial desktop scanner.
I tested their claim by scanning a 'stepwedge'of neutral density filters ranging from completely clear up to a maximumof 3.6D in 0.3D steps, plus an area of the frame rendered completely opaquewith black plastic tape.
The results I got threw me a little. I wasexpecting not to be able to detect any difference between the opaque areaand the last couple of steps of the density wedge, but instead there wasa clear differentiation between even 3.6D and truly opaque. However, differentiationbetween 3.3D and 3.6D was practically non-existent, so I guess I can fullygo along with Acer's assessment of 3.2D being the limit.
What this means in practice is that you canget pretty much all of the shadow detail off a film like Ektachrome, whichhas fairly weak blacks, but Kodachrome and Fuji Velvia will have shadowdetail that will remain (just) out of reach of the scanner.
Dynamic range rating:

Colour accuracy:
Colour accuracy is very difficult to quantifywithout the backup of very expensive colorimetry and densitometry equipmentwhich I don't have, so I'm going to stick my neck out and give my subjectiveassessment.
Overall colour accuracy is as good as I haveseen from some of the more expensive scanners available. Not the best I'veseen, but also a long way from the worst.
A lot of scanners favour red quite noticeably,presumably because of the inherent sensitivity of CCD sensors to this endof the spectrum, but the Scanwit doesn't. In fact it goes the other way,and seems a bit weak on red, favouring green if anything. Perhaps Acerhave gone a bit over the top with Infra-red filtering - who knows?
Anyway, there's nothing so seriously wrong with the colour thatit can't be corrected fairly easily to match an original slide very closely.Using Photoshop to apply a little extra red and yellow saturation, andde-saturate green slightly is all that is needed in most cases. The settingscan easily be saved and applied to every scan where colour accuracy iscritical, but for normal pictorial use the difference is often not worthbothering about.
Colour accuracy rating:

Full marks to Acer for their honesty. Wherethey've given hard and fast specifications the scanner has fully met them,and my star rating has taken this into account.

To sum up: The hardware and image qualityof the Acer ScanWit are hard to fault, especially at the price. The acquisitionsoftware is less than perfect, but there's nothing that can't be workedaround, and if it's any consolation, I've heard similar grumbles from ownersof other brands of scanner too. Documentation is the only area thatreally lets down this otherwise excellent product, but then, at the priceI suppose corners have had to be cut somewhere, and better in this areathan in the hardware.
Overall though, this has to be one of thebetter film scanners on the market, and certainly the best value. The competitionshould start to worry, or at the very least lower their prices.
Star rating (5 stars maximum)
Hardware qualityHigh quality of scanner let down by tackyslide and negative carriers.
Software qualityA star deducted for MiraPhoto's eccentricities.
Documentation What can I say?
Image qualityUp there with the best.
Value for MoneyUnbeatable!
Overall ratingHighly recommended.

Well, that concludes the review. I hope I'vecovered just about everything, and been fair to both you, and Acer in theprocess.

Further reading

This page was completed at the end of May 2000, and since then quitea few things have happened. To avoid constantly updating this page I'vecreated an additional Update Page,which you ought to check out.

For more information on scanners and scanningin general you should visit TheScantips Website where you'll find a wealth of tips,FAQs and useful links.

And in case you overlooked it in the text, here's my MiraPhotouser's guide again.

A big list of scanner links and other photography related topicscan be found at KlausSchroiff's Photozone

Another users opinions about the 2720s can be found at 'Arb's'scanwit page.

More scanner comparisons, reviews and information can be found atTonySleep's website, the ImagingResource website, and on Ed Hamrick'ssite.

And here's an excellent Q&Abulletin board covering digital imaging, and all aspects of digitaland traditional photography.

Contact addresses

My e-mail address for any feed-back is:[email protected]

ContactAcerPeripherals in America

Contact AcerPeripherals in Europe

Contact Acerscanner UK distributors: Introphoto Ltd.

There's now a 2720 user group e-mail forum that you can subscribe to at this address:

[email protected]

Acer Scsi Upgrade

All general enquiries about the above user group should be directed to [email protected]
Scan speed timings
Film AreaScanning ModeResolution (dpi)Time (seconds)
Full 35mm framehigh speed 270041
'high quality 24 bit 270036
'high quality 36 bit 270067
'high speed 135019
'high quality 24 bit 135034
'high quality 36 bit 135061
Batch mode
4 x full-frame slides
high quality 24 bit 2700172
focus time included
All timings taken using a 400Mhz Pentium PC fitted with 256 Mb RAM.
Times are from mouse click to image opening on screen in Jasc PaintShopPro version 6.
These times are very sensitive to theamount of RAM in your computer and much less than 256 Mb will slow thescanner considerably.
This memory dependency is common to allscanners, not just Acer's.
Specifications of theAcer ScanWit 2720s
Resolution:Optical 2700 x 2700 dpi
Scanning Modes:Colour - 24 or 36 bit /Greyscale - 8 or 12 bit
Scanning Area:24mm by 35mm Max.
Batch scan ability:Negative Filmstrip: Max.batch scan 6 units
Positive Slide: Max. batch scan 4 units
Scanning Method:One Pass
Scanning Module:Tri-linear Colour CCD with3-channel ASIC and 12 bit A/D converter
Scanning speed:Less than 10ms per line - SeeTable
Interface: SCSI II
Acoustic noise:Under 45 dB
Power consumption:25 Watt maximum
Operating environment:10o to 40oCelsius and 10% to 90% RH
Platform:IBM PC and Compatibles or PowerMac with OS8
System Requirements:Pentium CPU with 16MB RAM,CD-ROM drive, PCI slot
Operating System:Win98/Win95/WinME/Win2K/WinNT 4.0
Dimensions:162mm x 151mm x 347mm
Nett Weight: 5.72 lbs. / 2.6 Kg
Bundled Software:MiraPhoto driver, AdobePhotoShop 5.0 LE, Ulead PhotoExpress
Accessories:Mounted slide holder, 35mmfilmstrip holder, PCI SCSI card
Acer Part Number:91.61624.01A
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Main text copyright P.L.Andrews, May2000
Sample scans, pictures and some illustrationscopyright P.L.Andrews.
Text of specification table copyright Acer.
Acer logo and content of some other imagescopyright Acer.

This page has been visited
times since July 22nd 2000

Acer Scsi Vs

Last updated: 21st April, 2001.