The 5200F is designed to satisfy more serious users, especially photographers. But although a lamp built into the lid can scan individual slides or single filmstrips, removing and replacing the lid insert is a bit of a fiddle. Like rival models, the 5200 has buttons on the front for automating common tasks - copying, scanning, PDF creation and email.
Hardware-based dust reduction is included if you want to scan 35mm film, but Canon's FARE Level 2 technology is not generally regarded to be on the same level as the Digital ICE system standard on dedicated film scanners, and now appearing on some Epson flatbeds.
In this test, we're more interested in reflective scanning than film scanning, and here the CanoScan 5200F proved a bit disappointing, especially when you take its price into account. The software warned against using descreening and unsharp masking at the same time, though our tests failed to reveal any obvious difference.
When descreening was used, the scan times ballooned. Our A4 magazine page took over two minutes, and it wasn't particularly quick at scanning our 6x4-inch photo, either.
From normal viewing distances it proves difficult to distinguish the scans made by the 5200F from any of the others. Colour and contrast are first rate. The descreening on our colour magazine page test worked well, though the overall result was no better than the LIDE 60's. Like the LIDE 60, the 5200F produced strong interference patterns in photos in our 150dpi 'unscreened' test. The 6x4-inch photo test produced an excellent scan.