My Kingdom for a Scanner That Doesn’t Suck

This is going to give me a coranary soon. I know the scanner I got wasn’t the best in the market, but it was more than the generic $100 scanners and has the ability to scan slides and film negatives, which is 99% of what my plan to use it for. However, the Scanjet 4570c is pretty horrible to use. The software that comes with it (and you have to use if you use the slide/negative adapter) seems to be written in flash or something wacky like that and well, has some quirks (doesn’t save settings for resolution/color correction/type of scan between uses, you can load and save the settings as a profile but have to load the each time you run it, can’t set it as default, will bail out if the transparency adapter is backwards, takes forever to initialize the adapter, will randomly crash, etc).

So I went looking for something better, not the best, I’m not looking to spend major bucks here, but there must be something out there that can fullfill a few requirements:

  • scans don’t look like crap
  • makes repetative scanning of negatives or slides easy, or at least, doesn’t aggressively work against the user (save settings between restarts of the program for example)
  • has slide/35mm negative scanning abilities or adapter
  • has software that doesn’t suck, or even better, integrates it’s features into the standard windows xp scanner program thingy that is there (doubtful it can do this, I’m assuming that the built in scanner program isn’t alterable)
  • without going over say, $500CND

The last one is pie in the sky, I’d probably pay $200, but hell, even the $600 scanner that is the most expensive one that Future Shop carries has some poor reviews. Of course, futureshop isn’t the best place to look for these things, as they are catering to standard electronics requirements, whereas this is a bit more…. specialized. Anyone know of a) a scanner that fits what I’m looking for or b) a place to find these where the people are knowledgeable?

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