This is my second scanner for mounted slides. I returned the first (another product) because it wasn't handling high-contrast pictures well (washed out, with no shadow detail) and had blotches on the lens or CCD camera that could not be removed through cleaning. It also had a lot of bad pixels on the LCD. This scanner is more expensive and has better features. Here are the pros. First, according to the manual, its native resolution is 14MP, with an ability to interpolate to 22MP. Second, its slide loader, which holds four slides, is superior in build quality to some others, opening and closing easily and holding the slides without difficulty. Overall, it operates pretty well. But the cons outweigh the good qualities:
First, this scanner also washes out high-contrast pictures. Compared with the previous scanner I tried, this one reveals a little more detail and has somewhat better color fidelity. However, multiple scans of the same slide yielded different degrees of detail. You might need to play with the positioning of the slide in the scan slot in order to get the best result.
Second, just like the first scanner, this one also has blotches that cannot be removed by cleaning the lens. They show up in every scan. The problem is worse with this unit.
Third, and worst of all, like some other slide scanners I've read about, this one crops at least 10% of the left and right edges of each slide. That's a significant amount of picture (4 mm or more of a 35mm slide). The previous scanner I tried didn't have this problem.
The LCD has at least one stuck pixel.
I'm weighing my options. First, I will attempt to see if the manufacturer can correct these problems. But I know to be cautious. I could be told to send the unit in for repairs, only to get back something refurbished and still broken, with a note saying that it's operating within tolerances and according to factory specs. I've been down that road before, multiple times, and don't want to go there again. Hopefully, this won't happen! But I want to point out that it can.
If you want to see if your scanner has blotches / bad pixels on the CCD, just set it to scan slides and scan an empty slot (no slide). The image should be white or gray and fairly uniform. Dark or light spots will show up on regular slide scans as well as this test, always in the same positions. Larger spots will be visible on the LCD screen as well as in the final image.
*** UPDATE - June 8, 2012: SVP / Slim Sharp's customer service via e-mail is very responsive. However, handling of defects and returns has been extremely sloppy. Despite written agreements, no attempts were ever made to fix the problems I reported. Apparently, no one read the correspondence I was told to send in with the defective scanners. Responses by customer service also tended to be very impersonal. The end result: I've returned the product twice, have had to work to get my money back in full, have wasted over a month on this, and am now giving up on slide scanners altogether.