By John Henshall

Is it a document binder? Is it a hole punching machine? No, it's the new Compact Color Scanner CS-1 from Fuji.

The footprint is so small that two Fuji CS-1 scanners would just about fit on a sheet of A4 - much smaller than a flatbed scanner. It weighs 900g - just under two pounds - and stands only 2.5 inches high. In concept, it's nearer to the Visioneer PaperPort than a flatbed - whatever you are scanning has to pass through the scanner, rather than just sitting on a platen with the CCDs moving beneath.

Fuji CS-1 Scanner

Connecting to a PC is easy, though connecting it to a Mac is impossible. You need at least a 486 PC with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, at least 40MB hard disc space, a parallel (printer) port and a CD-ROM drive.

There is only one connector on the scanner, a 9-pin 'D' socket. Low-voltage power from a mains adapter is supplied down this cable from the computer end. This end is a 25-pin parallel 'pass through' connector, enabling a printer or other parallel device to remain connected. Software is on a CD-ROM.

Material to be scanned goes into the scanner face up and head first, after using a special calibration sheet which sets white balance. There's a protective sleeve to protect fragile and valuable originals as it passes through. To begin scanning, just press the start button.

The CS-1 scans a very generous 21.6x35.6cm (8.5x14 inches) at an optical resolution of 300 pixels per inch and with a colour bit-depth of 10 bits (1024 discrete levels) per pixel. Colour scan quality, as you would expect from such a high specification, is excellent.

This scanner would be very useful in a small studio where photographic prints need to be scanned occasionally. But it also offers broader functionality, doubling as a fax scanner, or a means whereby documents may be digitised for storage or OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Together with a colour printer the scanner effectively becomes a colour photocopier. Any application which supports TWAIN - such as Adobe Photoshop - can access and use the device.

As Christmas approaches, the CS-1 will undoubtedly be high on the list of desirable stocking fillers at around £169 including VAT (£144.68 before tax). Its main competition will be flatbed scanners in the same price range. Flatbeds will also accept three dimensional originals but need a larger footprint.

The CS-1 is another beautiful digital product from Fuji, with an appealing air of originality. It deserves to be successful.

This article first appeared in "John Henshall's Chip Shop" in "The Photographer" magazine, November 1997.
This document is Copyright © 1997 John Henshall. All rights reserved.
This material may only be downloaded for personal non-commercial use. Please safeguard the future of online publishing by respecting this copyright and the rights of all other authors of material on the Internet.

Reports & Reviews indexHome