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February 9th, 2000

[2:30 PM] Epson First To Ship FireWire Scanner
by Staff

Epson has announced that they will begin shipping the Expression 1600 scanner this week. The Expression 1600 is the first FireWire/1394 scanner capable of 1600 dpi resolution. The company is offering 4 different configurations of the Expression 1600 targeting different segments of the market. The scanner itself offers high resolution scanning and is aimed at the mid to high end of the market. The company is also providing bundled software. According to Epson:

Epson America Inc., a leader in high-quality, award-winning imaging products, today announced that it will begin shipping this week the Expression 1600, the industry's first scanner on the market to offer IEEE 1394/FireWire connectivity.

The Expression 1600 also is the highest resolution and fastest graphics scanner in its class. The new scanner is available in four cross-platform software configurations: Special Edition, Artist, Professional (Pro) and Professional FireWire (Pro FireWire) models. The Expression 1600 utilizes Epson's MatrixCCD(tm) and Micro Step(tm) Drive technologies, which enables it to achieve a powerful 1600 x 3200 dpi true hardware resolution. This precision coupled with high performance and fast scanning speeds make the Expression 1600 an excellent tool for graphic arts, photography and pre-press professionals.

The Expression 1600 features Epson's built-in ColorTrue® II Imaging System -- the custom engineered integration of superior hardware, optics and image processing. Utilizing the ColorTrue II Imaging System, the Expression 1600 produces scans with amazing detail, color accuracy and performance. The Expression 1600 includes a new 1600 dpi CCD sensor and is able to achieve a true hardware resolution of 1600 x 3200 dpi with Epson's Micro Step Drive technology. This technology features a precision stepper motor that enables the Expression 1600 to scan by "half stepping" in the vertical direction, thereby doubling resolution to achieve 3200 dpi.

To provide excellent color accuracy, the Expression 1600 offers 36-bit color depth both internally and externally. The Expression 1600 has a high dynamic range with a Dmax of 3.3 to capture greater detail in highlight and shadow areas for such uses as scanning film negatives and transparencies. With the Expression 1600's unique Dual-Focus Mechanism, the focal distance can be changed to 2.5 mm above the glass scan bed. This eliminates light refraction and avoids the "Newton Ring" problem common in less sophisticated scanners. Additionally, the Expression 1600 uses a Xenon cold cathode fluorescent lamp to provide a high-intensity light source. By utilizing this type of light source, the Expression 1600 is instantly ready to scan without warm-up time.

EPSON Expression 1600 Pro FireWire

The Expression 1600 Pro FireWire model is a complete solution for graphics professionals, featuring one of the fastest peripheral connection technologies available today -- IEEE 1394/FireWire. With its FireWire connectivity, the Expression 1600 offers increased speed, versatility and convenience for graphics professionals and business users who require an efficient scanning solution. FireWire connectivity supports data transfer rates up to 400Mbs per second, making it the ideal choice for high-speed scanning.

By incorporating FireWire connectivity, the Expression 1600 offers the speed advantage of high-speed SCSI transfer devices coupled with the ease-of-use found in USB. It also provides the ability to daisy chain up to 63 devices without additional hardware and supports cable length up to 14 feet. Additionally, FireWire offers hot-pluggable connectivity, which allows users to add and remove devices without having to "reboot" each time.

The IEEE 1394/FireWire interface is included with the Pro FireWire model and available as an option for the other Expression 1600 models.

Special Edition Configuration

The Expression 1600 Special Edition (PC/Mac) model includes the Epson TWAIN Pro scanner driver and the Epson TWAIN Pro for Networks driver.

The Expression 1600 Artist (PC/Mac) model includes the following for PCs with Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 and Power Macintosh with Mac OS 7.5 or later:

  • EPSON TWAIN Pro for Networks
  • Adobe® PhotoShop 5.0 LE
  • MonacoEZcolor® 1.5
  • NewSoft(tm) Presto! PageManager® for Epson
  • Xerox® TextBridge® Classic OCR Software

The Expression 1600 Pro model (PC/Mac) includes everything bundled with the Artist model with the addition of a transparency unit.

The Expression 1600 Pro FireWire model (PC/Mac) includes the same bundle as the Artist and Pro models, a transparency unit, plus the installed FireWire card.

FireWire 2 Go for Windows is priced at US$149. The company has not yet added information about the PC version of this product, but those interested can contact the sales department of the company from their home page.

The Expression 1600 Pro FireWire is priced at US$1399, the Expression 1600 Artist is priced at US$899, the Expression Pro is priced at US$1099, and the Expression 1600 Special Edition is priced at US$799. You can find more information on the product line at Epson's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's great to see Epson go for the FireWire/1394 market so vigorously. Their attention raises the bar with other vendors which is always good for bringing new products to market. This product marks a very nice FireWire/1394 option for mid and high end professionals.


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