HP PhotoSmart scanner software page (PScan32)

HP PhotoSmart scanner

HP PhotoSmart scanner is extremely attractive piece of hardware. From my personal experience, scans from HP PhotoSmart outperform in quality Kodak PhotoCD professional scans. And this quality comes at very low and attractive price (Visit HP site for more information about pricing and $100 rebate conditions).

Unfortunately bundled software does not provide even a bare minimum required for any scanning job longer than 1 hour.

I can understand motives of HP software division, but I'm completely unable to stand the software they made. This was the main reason why I stopped scanning and started to write software available for download on this page.

What is PScan32?

PScan32 is my attempt to make suitable software for HP PhotoSmart scanner. It is small, fast and reliable. It does scanning and nothing else but scanning.

It is really fast. Happy users reported this program is the only one to let them scan at highest resolution on relatively slow computers without pulling film back and forth for a long while.

How can I get PScan32?

Latest version may be downloaded as ps32b123.zip (144kb) from this page. It is completely free for any happy HP PhotoSmart scanner owner (others do not need it anyway <grin>), you may copy it, use it or even wipe it from your hard disk without any restrictions.

Please, read help file before proceeding. I know reading help sounds stupid, but it contains valuable information that saves your time.

If PScan32 hangs while loading media, please, update driver of your SCSI card, it might fix this problem. If you experience this kind of problem and you SCSI card is Adaptec AHA-1542 or similiar, please contact me _before_ upgrading, your help will be greatly appreciated.

PScan32 screenshot

What's new in this version?
- high-resolution scanning takes less CPU and does not hunt back/forth
- "brighten dark slide" option
- transfer speed become even higher
- some bugs are fixed, as usually ;-)

What is behind PScan32?

The main goal I kept in mind all the time, was the short idea: "Even a very smart software should not do unexpected things". If nobody asks for something like digital filtering or other "improvement" of picture, software should not even try to do anything at its own wish.

My second goal was to make PScan32 as safe as possible. I wanted to keep happy user away from any dangerous thing (s)he may try to do. I knew how frustrating may be overwriting or deleting of large picture file. Therefore, PScan32 does not delete nor overwrite anything, but carefully saves everything to disk.

Third goal was to make everything the simplest way. Scanning should be left for scanners, image editing should be done by image editors. PScan32 does not behave like very sophisticated self-minded image processing software and will never try to "improve" any data unless you explicitly ask for it.

What are system requirements?

PScan32 works under Windows/95 or WindowsNT. People said it works under Windows/98 as well, but it is not tested yet.

SCSI card with installed ASPI driver is required.

Memory requirements are minimal. If your operating system boots up without problem, PScan32 will work. Even a low memory (8-16MB) PC is enough for 2400dpi scan since no big memory buffers are used.

Disk requirements are minimal either -- about 300kb for PScan32 executable and help file. No temporary files are made at run time. If you ask for 3MB picture, you will get it and not a single byte more.

Processor speed and HDD transfer rate are important issues. I expect PScan32 to work well on the most contemporary PCs, but if your processor is slower than P133 or you are going to save scanned pictures on floppies or network drive -- make yourself a cup of coffee, scanning process may take considerably longer, especially at high resolution.

If you have already installed "native" software, which comes with HP PhotoSmart scanner, and it works, you do not need to worry about your hardware. Just download PScan32 and unzip to any directory you prefer, it should work.

Frequently asked questions

0. I have a question about HP PhotoSmart scanner... ?

It is out of scope of this page.
Please, refer to very detailed HP PhotoSmart FAQ by Robert J.Niland.

1. Is PScan32 software supported by HP? Any other company?

No. No. PScan32 is my voluntary contribution to photographer community.

2. Does PScan32 work with other HP scanners?

No. Though, SCL (scanner control language) is common for any HP scanner, PScan32 is not designed nor tested for that purpose.

3. Is there any place on the Net to talk about PScan32?

Yes, just send subscription request and you will be subscribed to PScan32 mailing list. You may also use "Subscription form" earlier on this page or read messages from web page.

4. What are supported formats of photographic media?

You may scan 35-mm negative films, 35-mm slides (mounted and unmounted) and photographic prints not larger than (5"x7"). Any other media do not fit (mechanically) into HP PhotoSmart scanner media feeder (you may try it at your risk, though). If you need more detailed explanation about handling photographic media (film & print), please, take a look at HP site.

5. What about scanning 'long' panorama pictures from 35mm film?

If they are not 35x24mm or 66x24mm (which are supported directly), they also may be scanned, but require manual cropping. Please, do not forget to uncheck "Slice" box. If you tell me about your frame size, next version might be able to 'slice' your frames too.

6. Is it necessary to reinsert film strip several times to scan several frames?

No, several frames could be scanned at once, if you select proper number of frames in the 'Film settings'.

7. Have you ever experienced "shadow noise", "color strips" or anything like that?

Not, since I started to write my own program. From my point of view, these defects do not come from hardware, but from improperly adjusted software.

8. Is there boring "Processing Image" stage in PScan32?

No. Data is processed "on-the-fly" and written directly to disk. Also, I tried to get rid of internal processing by scanner firmware, but I'm not sure if I managed to disable everything, since there is no data about firmware published by HP.

9. Is it possible to save scanning parameters?

Yes. Every time you change something, it is saved to disk.

10. I have found bug or encountered a problem, what shall I do?

Drop me a note, if you send it before going to sleep, answer usually comes next morning (except weekends and national holidays ;-).

11. What are output formats of PScan32?

There is only one format currently supported -- TIFF, since it is "de-facto" standard for scanning industry.

12. Why there's no JPEG support?

There are several reasons. First -- JPEG compression makes picture worse, loses details and adds distracting noise. Second -- JPEG compression is relatively slow to be made "on-the-fly", resulting in large memory buffers and big temporary files. Third -- JPEG does not handle 16-bit/color files (which comes from 30-bit scanning mode).

13. Is it possible to add "foo-bar" output format?

Yes, it is possible, write me e-mail. If there are several requests (or one, but well argumented <g>), the required output format might be added.

14. Is it possible to "Acquire" data from PScan32 using clipboard or TWAIN?

Not in the current version. From my point of view, scanning is very long process and may scratch or damage film or other sensitive media. To eliminate excessive scanning, possible data loss should be avoided as plaque and everything that may be saved to disk should be saved to disk and not kept in memory.

Probably, future versions of PScan32 will support TWAIN, but I doubt it.

15. Why don't you like TWAIN when everybody uses it?

I like TWAIN. But image editor running under Win95 is very fragile and may suddenly fail at any minute. Using TWAIN is very convenient, but it saves just a couple seconds, while using disk file may save another 4-minutes scan and couple of nasty scratches.

16. How can I start to program my HP scanner?

Download SCL (Scanner Control Language) toolkit from HP developer site. Programming tips and hints are available at Matt Considine's HP PhotoSmart programming page.

17. My images have "black frame", what does it mean?

You have to use your favorite image editor to crop your pictures to the size you want. Cropping is very precise operation and I don't like any software, which cuts pieces off my precious pictures. And it is definitely faster to crop file manually, than scan it again because of cropper mistaken by dark forest in the lower part of your beautiful sunset picture.

If you have strong feelings there must be a crop feature in any program like PScan32, write me e-mail, I'll try to change my mind.

18. Is there any other third-party software for HP PhotoSmart?

Matt Considine's SCL Utilities (free).
Hamrick Software's VueSmart ($40 shareware).

19. ZIP archive looks weird, why there's no fancy installer?

Sorry, I'm running out of my time. I'll try to make it as soon as I can.

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Lion picture (64kb)

These pictures were shot using EOS55 (ElanII) camera with EF100-300USM lens, scanned directly from FUJI Reala 100 negative film at Web quality (600dpi) using HP PhotoSmart scanner, cropped and rescaled to the thumbnail size. No color correction was made.

Larger versions are available at mouse click. Pictures are provided not only to make download time longer <grin>, but for your amusement and to let you see if HP PhotoSmart scanner can really do its job well. Any comments and questions are welcome.

Rhino picture (74kb)
Shrine (47kb)

Some more pictures. Same camera, same scanner, same film.

WaterStone (64kb)

Spiders (96kb)

Contact Lenik Terenin with your comments.