We're often asked which scanner is the best and here's the short answer—they're both great. They both excel at different things, but it's good to know their strengths so you can choose the scanner that best fits your style as they can often produce very different results. Here are a few images to compare:
Beginning with the top photo, notice there's a distinct difference in the greens—they're bluer on the Frontier. There's also more contrast, even in the blurred background. The Noritsu has more yellow in the greens and and less contrast, giving it a softer look.
Moving on to the portrait photo, you'll notice similarly higher contrast on the portrait that was scanned on the Frontier. Look at the shadows under the bench where the cyan is more noticeable because of higher saturation and increased contrast. The woman's skin is noticeably more saturated as well. Again, the Noritsu is softer and airier, while the frontier maintains it's contrast. Both images look great. It really comes down to personal preference and the requirements of the shoot. Here's a quick list of common attributes:
- Cooler overall tones with cyan/blue shadows, yet warmer skin tones
- Simplistic scanning interface offers little flexibility (more automated)
- Contrasty and capable of maintaining contrast even if scanned brightly
- More saturated colors
- Flattens image
- Good at controlling highlights without losing contrast
- Warmer overall tones
- Much more flexibility during the scan
- Great control over shadow detail. Best choice for "light and airy" images.
- Considerably faster and, therefore, cheaper
- More 3-dimensional image
- More forgiving of tough lighting and poor exposure