Updates and news about the Acer ScanWit 2720s
and user's feedback page

June  2000
The import and distribution of Acer scanners in the UK is now handled by Introphoto Ltd.

A couple of additional "professional" reviews of the ScanWit have appeared on the web recently, at least one of which has factual errors in it. It makes me wonder sometimes, if these technical journalists even bother to take the stuff out of the box! Anyway here's the link to another web review
There's also a brief magazine review of the Scanwit in the venerable and well-respected British Journal of Photography,
issue dated 26th April 2000. Where the scanwit is summed up as "a very well specified piece of kit for the price", and "plenty good enough for the majority of uses... A good machine well worthy of consideration."
This is from a journal aimed primarily at professional photographers.

Minolta has just announced the introduction of the Dimage Scan Dual II filmscanner at an RRP of £499. The resolution is 2820 dpi, with 36 bit colour depth, and an improved software interface. Something else to throw into the mix if you're still trying to decide which scanner to buy.

July 2000
Version 1.10 of MiraPhoto introduced.
My opinion? Don't bother with it unless you only ever use slides. The default gamma appears to have been increased, giving slightly brighter slide scans without any adjustment. However, this has made the default scans from negatives over-bright, making it very difficult to get decent results from negatives with this version. A very annoying "nag screen" has also been added, which pops up every time you select 36 bit mode.
What on earth were Acer thinking? This revision of MiraPhoto isn't going to win them any more customers, especially since none of the other "issues" with the software have been addressed. I'm very disappointed.

19/07/2000 Acer Peripherals have notified me that they've linked to my pages from their Website. (Gulp!) Sorry about the "rants and raves" guys.  No hard feelings, I hope.

August 2000
Online prices of the Scanwit are ridiculously low. At least, the advertised prices are. I've heard from one or two people who appear to have been fobbed off with incomplete bundles or faulty scanners, so beware. The lowest price might not represent the best value. There are good deals to be had at online auctions, from honest and fair traders who are entirely up-front about the history of the goods they're selling, and will offer aftersales support and some sort of guarantee. Check the traders rating with previous customers, and find out exactly what you're getting, before you part with your cash.

The Minolta Dimage Scan Dual II has now firmly hit the shops, at a street price of just under £450 UK. This puts it squarely in competition with the Canoscan 2710, and with the old Dimage scan speed. Difficult choices, for those of you that think a film scanner's actually worth one-and-a-half times what the Scanwit costs.

Planning a trip to Europe? My spies in Germany tell me that the Scanwit is available there for the DM equivalent of only £240 (US $360).

September 2000
I've added a section on film grain and aliasing to the website. Check it out Here ....well....you know,...if you want to...no pressure or anything.....really.

Another review of the Scanwit has finally appeared in PC World . They've done a rather sketchy head-to-head affair with the Minolta Scan Dual II.  It's good to see that someone's on the ball; the Acer Scanwit's only been on the market a year.What next? A review of one of those cutting edge 486 computers we keep hearing about?
(Acer: I suggest you call your next scanner the Nicanolta, maybe then it'll get some attention!)

Some messages that Acer have asked me to pass along: "For American Customers, Acer Peripherals will have one year warranty for slide and film holders........call 1-888-723-2238 to get free replacement." and, "Additional holders will be available from www.eacer.com from mid September. The price will be $20 for one holder, and $30 for a pair."
I've also been asked  to draw your attention to Acer's online shopping facilities @: eAcer.com

For UK users Acer have a "customer satisfaction line" on 020 7365 2486.

October 2000
Well, it finally happened to me. One of the plastic springs has broken in my slide carrier, after not quite 10 months of use, and it is still quite usable. If that's the worst thing that happens to me this month, I'll consider myself lucky!

Good news for Mac users. An Apple Mac driver for the Scanwit is now available too, downloadable from the AcerCM website. Size 5.7Mb

Oh, and By the Way.
Acer peripherals has now become Acer Communications and Multimedia (AcerCM)

November 2000
Version 2.0 of Miraphoto is now available for download from Acers Taiwanese website, and from their European site.
The rendering of slides is further improved in this version, with very little curve adjustment necessary in most cases.
Negative users have been left to fend for themselves again, though, and none of the other little kinks and quirks have been ironed out.

Download Miraphoto version 2. (7.5Mb)

The issue of the awful slide carriers has been partly addressed in a novel way by Acer. It appears that the standard bundle of the Scanwit now contains two slide holders, one of which is marked '3mm', and accommodates thicker (ie, glass mounted) slides.

December 2000
Acer advertise the 2740s scanner with digital ICE for sale.

Miraphoto version 2 becomes the release supplied with all new scanners.
This version now supports all current versions of Windows from 95 to Win ME, as well as Windows2000 and NT4.0.
The powerMac with OS 8 is supported too.
Please note: Miraphoto 2 will not give you digital ICE with the Scanwit 2720s. Digital ICE requires additional hardware built into the scanner.

January 2001
Rumours of new Scanners from Nikon start flying around, and Nikon themselves confirm that three new filmscanners will be available later in the year.
Kodak surprise everyone by announcing a 3600 dpi filmscanner, and at a more reasonable price than their previous scanners too.
The new scanner is on sale very shortly after its announcement, but is in quite short supply.

February / March 2001
Glenn Miller still missing!
Otherwise, nothing much happened of a scanner related nature.

April 2001
Two new scanners from Nikon are now on sale, and are very good by all acccounts.
The new Coolscan LS4000 boasts 4000dpi resolution, while the LSIV has a 2820dpi resolution. Both have an increased bit depth over their predecessors.

May 2001
Canon nearly slipped one by me!
They have a new 4000dpi filmscanner out, which wasn't announced with the usual fanfare of trumpets and marketing hype.
It just quietly appeared in their product list one day. It incorporates Canon's own version of digital ICE which they call 'FARE'
I haven't seen it in any shops yet, and I don't have any more details than are available from Canon's website.

NEW
I've improved my monitor gamma assessment pattern, and given it its own page
I don't want to brag, but I believe that this is one of the most accurate visual aids to gamma adjustment on the web.
My sincere apologies to anyone who used my last pathetic effort, but it was seriously flawed.
(along with a few dozen other gamma patterns, some of which are incorporated in major software)

I now have a spy in Russia too, who tells me that the Scanwit is available there for around 290 US dollars.

July 2001
Happy Birthday to us! A big "THANK YOU" for making these humble pages a bigger success than I ever expected over the last year or so.
Dealing with the enquiries from a small percentage of 36,000 hits has been a bit of a challenge, but also great fun (sometimes). Keep 'em coming. I'm too punch-drunk to care now!

October 2001
Quelle Dimage!
Minolta have introduced two updated scanner models; the Dimage Scan Multi PRO; and the Dimage Scan Elite II. They both incorporate ASF's ICE cubed (ICE, ROC, and GEM) technology.
The Scan Multi PRO handles formats up to 6 x9 cm, with a resolution of 4800dpi. This is the highest resolution of any desktop CCD scanner to date.
The Dimage Scan Elite II is for 35mm and APS formats only, with a modest 2820dpi, but Minolta claim a dynamic range of 4.8D from the 16 bit A/D conversion.
The Scan Elite II is set to retail at around 550 in the UK, (probably around $700 in the States).
The Multi PRO has a US price of $2999, but I haven't been able to find a firm UK price, or even a supplier, yet.

November 2001
A new release of Miraphoto is available from Acer's European site.
Version 2.009 now claims support for Windows XP. Whether that's the only change, I don't know.
I've yet to download and try it myself.



NEW
There's now a 2720 e-mail user group you can subscribe to.

To subscribe, simply send an e-mail to: 2720-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Further details of the user group can be obtained from: 2720@yahoogroups.com



Other User's feedback:
Several user's have reported the breakage of the plastic clips that hold the slides into the carrier, but they also say that it's made little difference to the usability of the carriers.
Spare carriers are available to special order from major Jessops stores, for just under £13 each.

Calling all ScanWit users

Other owners and users of the ScanWit are invited to give their comments, criticism, tips, and any other useful information, for possible inclusion on this page. (I'm working on a FAQ page, along with everything else, and when two of you finally ask the same question, that'll be a start. )

I'd be especially interested in other users opinions of the various versions of Miraphoto, if you've tried them.

Your name (optional) and e-mail address will remain absolutely confidential. I hate spam as much as anyone.

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