Cool cameras and other stuff

CanoScan LiDE 200 Scanner review

Written by Gail Bjork

Whether scanning photos, documents with detail or line art, the Canon LiDE 200 does an admirable job. It’s done automatically or you can select scan settings manually.

CanoScan Lide 200I don’t usually do a lot of scanning but like to have a scanner on hand for occasional use. My older HP scanner became unusable when I switched from Microsoft XP to Vista. When you buy some products, such as a scanner or web cam, the old driver may not be supported by a newer operating system.

I am very happy to report that the CanoScan LiDE 200 is compatible with Windows 7. What a treat after having to get rig of two fine HP scanners because there were no driver updates compatible for new operating systems.

After donating my HP scanner to a worthy organization, I decided to buy the Canon LiDE 200. It was reasonably priced with a lot of features for the money. In addition, it’s very lightweight, compact and doesn’t take a lot of room on a desktop. In fact, when I’m not using it, I simply tuck it away on a closet shelf.

Image quality of the Canon LiDE 200

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford - MGM Photo by Norman Kaphan. Photo scanned at 150 dpi. Insert shows the photo in full.

For my needs, the LiDE 200 does quite an admirable job. I’ve scanned several documents and line art and am pleased with the quality.

My primary use will be for scanning old photos. I have lots of them, including those taken or owned by my father, who worked for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios during the time it was considered a “kingdom.” He was a staff photographer then head of still publicity for the company.

Back to the scanner.

LiDE 200 Auto Mode

The automated scanning process works well. In Auto Scan mode, the type of original placed on the platen is detected, and then it is scanned and saved with, according to Canon, “the optimal settings.” The documents are cropped automatically too, though you can adjust the cropping if desired.

Inside a Clyde Beatty Cage

Inside a Clyde Beatty cage - MGM Photo by Norman Kaphan - insert is crop of a 150 dpi scan

When I scanned the sample photos that accompany in this article, they opened automatically in the photo editing program I designated, Photoshop. A copy of each scan was automatically saved in the photo directory in the MP Navigator EX software.

Vertical scans were automatically saved in Portrait category; horizontal scans were saved in the Other category. This is a big time saver if you need to scan a lot of images. There are other useful categories as well; plus you can even create custom categories.

Scanning small, multiple documents at one time

To my surprise (and delight), when I scanned two 4×6″ photos using the “Multiple Documents” settings, each photo opened as a separate jpeg in Photoshop! Now that’s a useful and time saving feature! However, I did a test and discovered that if one of the photos is placed on the platen slightly crooked, both images open in Photoshop as a single jpeg.

LiDE 200 Manual Modes

If you select to scan with the driver, you have two manual scan modes to choose from: Basic and Advanced. Basic mode lets you adjust a few operations such as the document type, printing or Optical Character Recognition (OCR), adjusting crop frames and image corrections.

Scan modes

Advanced scanning mode

In addition to those options available in basic mode, the Advanced Manual Mode offers a host of scanning options including Auto Tone, Unsharp Mask, Descreen, Dust and Scratch Reduction and Fade Correction.

MP Navigator EX software

The MP Navigator EX software that comes with the scanner is comprehensive and its basic functions are very easy-to- use. However, if you’re not familiar with image editing, most of the features available in the advanced scan mode will be foreign to you. You’ll simply have to read the manual, which is well-illustrated and thoroughly covers how to use the scanner and software.

MP Navigator EX

MP Navigator EX software

Most professionals will no doubt need more features than found on a consumer-level scanner such as the LiDE 200. But many others will find that the Canon LiDE 200 scanner meets their scanning needs…and then some.

It’s not as clunky as my previous scanner, doesn’t require a separate electric cord and, most importantly, produces scans of high quality.

Noteworthy features of the Canon LiDE 200

  • High resolution – up to 4800 dpi (plus 19200 x 19200 software-enhanced interpolated scans).
  • Gutter Shadow Correction – eliminates shadows when scanning a book.
  • Smart Scanning — Auto Scan Mode automatically recognizes the type of original that is being scanned. It is automatically cropped to the correct size. The scanned image is saved in the appropriate format.
  • Copier function – works like a copier with a printer when attached to a computer.
  • EZ Buttons – if you don’t want to use the scanner software, simply place the document on the scanner, close the cover and press any one of four buttons: copy, scan, PDF file or email.

What I like about the Canon LiDE 200 scanner

  • Does a fine job at scanning photos and other items such as line art and documents.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Uses only one cable for both power and a USB 2.0 high-speed connection.
  • Automated process works very well, but you can override the automation by selecting the driver in the scanner software.
  • Gutter Shadow Correction.
  • Automatically saves scans to appropriate folders; then opens the folder when a scan is complete for quick access to images.
  • Relatively fast for most scans.
  • Scans small, multiple documents at one time.
  • Documents can be saved to PDF files.

What I dislike about the Canon LiDE 200 scanner

  • Doesn’t have a 35mm negative holder, but I knew that when I bought it.
  • Occasionally the scanner hanged and I needed to close and restart the program and the scan process. However, reinstalling the driver that came on the Setup disk fixed the problem. (Note: I first tried updating using the newest driver from Canon’s website but it did not work so I uninstalled it and used the driver on the Setup disk).

Click images to enlargeClick images to enlarge

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.