Review Genius Colorpage HR-8 Scanner


Nutcrack Rapids
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I took delivery of the Genius HR8 scanner today, ordered Saturday night and CCL did a stirling job of getting it to me on Tuesday pm.
The main reason I wanted this machine was to try and work through some of the hundreds of old film negatives and slides that I collected over the years before my conversion to digital. I shot a lot of medium format stuff and a 'proper' film scanner that can handle that size would be prohibitively expensive. The HR8 can take from 35mm up to 6x9cm negs and slides as well as the normal A4 prints and has an optical resolution of 2400x2400.
I wasn't too sure wether the scanner would make a good job but since it was (only) £89 delivered I thought it worth the risk.

I wasn't wrong

I suppose I'd best get the rant over first, clear the decks for the review proper as it were...

Why oh why do manufacturers create these awful GUIs that bear no resemblance to reality, are totally unintuitive and stuck at a size smaller than 640x480??? The scanning software that comes with the Genius HR8 is just appalling and darned hard to see if your resolution is high. GUI full size below

That aside, the machine is well enough made, lightweight and a bit plasticy but what isn't these days and it doesn't have to move anywhere.

In the box there was the scanner, mains adaptor, usb lead, neg/transparancy holder and a stand. The lid contains the tranparancy adaptor and is plugged in to the main body of the scanner. It was well packed and arrived all in one piece (via city-link).

It was a doddle to install, I just plugged it in, XP recognised it and asked for the driver CD, I put that in and off it went. I assumed that that would be all I needed but it only installs the basic xp type twain drivers I needed to install the above mentioned Genius drivers as well to get the full functionality, that took just a click of the mouse.

I got down to some serious scanning... er no I didn't :( I had loads of problems getting the thing to complete a scan of anything and it sounded like a rusty wwii tank. I had forgotten to uninstall the visioneer twain drivers and the two sets just don't like each other very much. Once I'd uninstalled the old ones the HR8 went along quite happily, though of course I had to work out how to make it do the things I wanted it to via the software, I actually had to go read the manual can you believe it?

So anyway, I've not tried 35mm properly yet but I've got some samples from 6x6, 6x4.5 negatives along with links to the full size versions for you to have a look at.
First is from a 30 year old negative, taken with my fathers old Voigtlander perkeo ii at Shuttleworth, It's a Gloster Gladiator and was poorly exposed (dark) I managed to get the scanner to bring the brightness up a bit and it's turned out quite well and sharp enough to see the grain in the film.

The second is from some Konica infra red film, again 6x4.5 but this time on a Pentax 645 and is about 15 years old, I wanted to see how well the IR effect would be translated into digital format, again it's pretty sharp.

The one thing I really liked about the old Visioneer scanner was the side opening lid, it meant I could sit the scanner on a shelf long ways and not have it hanging out over the edge. I've not seen another make that has that and the HR8 doesn't, so I just have to get used to it sticking out a bit, it's not too large though so it's not a problem. I've not used any of the other bundled software yet but suffice it to say it's the usual stuff, ocr, graphics programs etc.

I think I'm going to get on well with this scanner, the only thing that worries me now is finding out how bad my photography was back the film days :)

I will add to this as I do more with the machine, colour slides and negs are next on the list.


Thanks for the review Steep. I am sure it will be of use to some of the people with negatives and slides.:thumb: