Plustek OpticFilm 7300

Review by Mario Georgiou

Manufacturer: Plustek
System Requirements: CD-ROM Drive
One available USB Port
512 MB RAM
500 MB free HDD space
High Color graphic card (VGA or higher)

Windows
CPU: Pentium III or faster CPU
Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP / Vista Compatible

Macintosh:
CPU: PPC G4, PPC G5, Intel
MAC 10.3.9 and higher including Leopard

SRP: £169.99 US $369.95

Over a year ago I reviewed the Plustek 7200i, when I was offered the 7300, I was intrigued to find out what the updated model would have to offer. The Plustek Optic film is aimed squarely at the amateur and and enthusiast. Although it features 7200 dpi high resolution scanning and basic dust and scratch removal, it misses on some crucial capabilities such as support for more transparency and negative formats. However the added capability for multiple exposures of a single image source makes up for what is missing. So how good is the 7300, and how does it live up to the requirements of converting your slides and negs into digital equivalents.

The OpticFilm 7300 is priced at £145 excluding VAT, and with an even lower price point than its predecessor, I expected to be let down, I was however please by how little was of issue. The 7300 was easy to install and use. Scanning with it is as easy as ever and with the slide viewer embedded in the top of the unit, it was truly a pleasure to work with.

Like the 7200, SilverFast software is bundled with the scanner and it is extremely easy to use. Also included is LaserSoft Imaging’s latest SilverFast SEPlus 6.5 ME image editing software, which provides a powerful scan with high-quality results. Like the 7200i it is relatively fast for scanning clean negs and slides, however scanning times go way up when you try to use silverfast and the annoying muddying introduced in this process is still problematic and give some detail a soft watercolour look.

The scans produced are pretty good, and although I like the ability to select the type of film being scanned although the range of products supported were still not sufficiently expanded to handle all the film types I had in my collection. Like the 7200i, I had to guess on a couple of OEM based film brands and their ideal profiles.

Two film carriers are provided and support both film and slides. I still think the carriers needed to have a more secure fit, still, I found no issues with the resulting scans, because of this.

Unlike the 7200i detail in the highlights and shadows was not blown out, due to the multiple exposure feature. I would recommend this scanner for the enthusiast and amateur who needs high resolution but the dynamic range is still in need of improvement.

For the amateur this unit is a real steal, dedicated film scanners of similar capabilities can cost much, much, more. The 7300's clean looks and ease of use makes it an attractive option.

Cons
Slow scanning in high resolution. No support for larger negs and transparencies.

Pros
Easy to set up and use. Small footprint. High optical resolution and good detail. Surprisingly low price. Multiple Exposure mode is a much welcome addition.

For the amateur photographer who wants a cheap scanner to scan their slides and negs, this unit is a perfect option. It, like its predecessor is easy to install and even easier to use. I highly recommend the Plustek Opticfilm 7300 for the amateur photographer and enthusiast.