Epson GT-S50 Scanner thoughts

I recently picked up an Epson GT-S50 Scanner for a project I am working on for a client.

My Client’s office is using Windows, and at home I have a combination of windows and Mac.

I’ve read tons of great reviews on the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners (like the S1500), but you have to buy a mac or windows version of those, and they only work with the built in software.  There were some issues when Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard came out, and the scanners lost a lot of functionality for a few months while Fujitsu readied new software.

The big draw to the Fujitsu is how good the software is that comes with it. It does a bunch of things for you – and may people say it “just works”.

After reading a review on the Epson GT-S50 online, I knew the software wasn’t as polished, but wondered how far off it would be..


I connected the GT-S50 to my Macbook Pro and installed all the latest drivers.

The epson has a nice 2 line display that tells you what’s going on, and on Windows you can see what preset you have selected, along with the description.  On the mac, the description is gone, you see Job 01, Job 02 etc…

One button scanning is HORRIBLE. Awful, the worst.  It takes FOREVER to even get the thing started. In fact, I thought I’d time one and it’s been 2 minutes and the software still hasn’t scanned (the panel says Scanning and the software launched on the mac so it’s doing something.) When I hover over the ‘Progress’ Window, I get the beachball of death.

Ok 3 minutes in and I’ll ‘force Quit’, but the scanner still thinks it’s scanning.

Click the red button on the scanner, – power light stops flashing, display still says Scanning.

I thought I’d scan once manually with the Epson scan software, but when I launch that, it shows the icon in the doc, but no menu.

I tried launching Apple Image Capture, but the scanner doesn’t show up so it’s now time to power cycle the scanner.

At this point I’m thinking the scanner sucks, but in reality, the software they have for ‘one touch’ sucks.

The reason you’d buy an Epson over the Fujitsu is because it has a twain driver, and the Fujitsu does not. This means you can use other software with the scanner.

So now I’m out to find out if any of the other software is any good.

I have adobe Acrobat Pro 9.3 installed, and it can scan using the twain driver.

Acrobat does a great job with the scanner, it’s just a little slow. The whole process is slow, but…
If you use Acrobat to scan, you’re pretty much done when you’re done. Since Acrobat Pro does the OCR, the deskew, the page rotation, the auto page sizing & the image compression there’s no need to go into another program to clean it up. In fact ,after you scan, your document is sitting in acrobat, waiting for you to save it – So you don’t even have to go find it and rename it. When you’re done, you’re done…

Still I wondered if I was missing out on the scansnap  – There’s so many good reviews of that thing.

I thought about it for a bit, but decided that the twain interface was something I really liked the flexibility of having.

And the Epson scanner seems better built (11 lbs vs the 6lb fujitsu)

And I’d read more than once about the fujitsu misfeeding issues.

So at this point I feel the Epson has the best hardware, but not the best software.

Enter Image Capture.

The macs come with a program called image capture.

I opened it, and my scanner was there, so I used that – It was fast!

it doesn’t do everything that acrobat does, but if you need to whip up a quick letter sized pdf, it does the trick – quickly!

This has me on a hunt for more apps that support the image capture interface.

So far I’ve had little luck.

I tried 2 or 3 apps that support image capture and in all cases the scan comes up as a gray box.

So I’m not sure what’s up, but somethings up.

I’m also not sure if the image capture driver came from epson or apple.

I need to hook it up to a second mac, one that hasn’t had the epson drivers installed, to see where the drivers are coming from, and then hopefully I can point to either apple or epson and get the problem fixed.

(for all I know the image capture driver might be using the twian driver and not displaying the dialog)’

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15 thoughts on “Epson GT-S50 Scanner thoughts”

  1. Did you ever get Image Capture working?

    I’ve been thinking of buying the GT-S50 over the ScanSnap, hoping the TWAIN drivers would help me avoid “lock-in”. After all these decades nobody has gotten scanner software right! Sounds like Fujitsu has come close yet when OS-X 10.7 comes out, we’ll all be stuck again. And when 10.9 is around, who knows if they’ll even support it anymore? Argh! 🙂

  2. Image capture (the app from apple) works great. There were a few other programs that claimed to work with image capture, and I couldn’t get those working.

    I recently rebuilt my mac and I was curious where the Image Capture Driver came from – it comes from apple – Image Capture worked with the GT-S50 before I ever installed the drivers from Epson.

    My workflow is basically to use Acrobat to scan via Twian (Acrobat on the mac doesn’t support Image Capture nor ISIS drivers) which has worked out pretty well.

    The Image capture app from apple can also create PDF’s but they aren’t searchable and they are quite a bit (5-10x) larger than the PDF’s Acrobat creates.

    I think the Epson is a solid scanner for the money (Cheaper than the Canon and Fujitsu)
    I am still curious about the Canon, as it was rated faster and still has twian drivers.
    Unfortunately for Canon (and me) there wasn’t anywhere I could go see/get one.

    Other than twain, I don’t think you can go wrong with ScanSnap- people seem to love them, and it comes with Acrobat, which is a must have. It is disappointing that there is no twain driver, which means there might be scenarios in the future where you have to scan to a Tiff file then import it into another program- that said, 99.5% of what we scan we likely want in PDF format, and I think the ScanSnap has that down, plus although late, I think Fujitsu’s been pretty good about supporting older product with drivers.

  3. My office recently purchased the GTS50 to scan documents to put on a hard drive. it is THE WORST scanner i’ve ever used.
    This scanner says it can handle 75 pages per minute…… i’m lucky if i get 2 pages scanned. It always tells me i’m scanning when it’s not, or it tells me it just CANT scan….On average i have to turn the scanner off 10 times a day, jsut to ge tit to scan SOMETHING.
    can anyone recomend something>

  4. First to clear up some specs, the GT-S50 is rated to scan 50 page ‘impressions’ (sides) per minute. this assumes 25 sheets of paper, double sided, black and white, at 200dpi.
    unfortunately, if you’re only scanning single sided pages, you still only feed 25 sheets a minute.
    This is true of all high end scanners including the fujitsu scansnaps and the higher end fujitsu’s.

    The other thing that is true of all scanners is that scan speed slows dramatically as the DPI count goes up.
    in other words, if you need to scan 300 dpi, you’re looking at more like 10-12 sheet feeds a minute (thats still one ever 6 seconds or so which isn’t bad)

    You didn’t say if your running Windows or Mac, or what your needs are (Sounds like you just need PDF files created & I’ll assume you’re on Windows)
    If my assumptions about your needs are correct, you might try out the Fujitsu scansnap S1500 scanner (or the slower S1300) The Fujitsu scanscaps have some limitations – you can only use them with the software they provide, but they do come with acrobat, and they are pretty well streamlined around scanning to PDF’s all day long. For my needs, I wanted/needed twain compatibility and the ScanSnaps don’t have that.

    A few other tips I can give you.
    Make sure you’re using the latest drivers from Epson’s website.
    Start by having the scanner plugged directly into a usb port on the back of the machine – do not use a usb hub or switch – you can add those in later once you know the scanner works.
    If you have adobe acrobat, use that to do your scans, (My mac edition has a ‘document’ menu, then ‘scan to pdf..’ windows should have something similar.
    At least on the mac, I’ve noticed the scanner seems to have 3 speeds: 200 dpi and below is blazingly fast and is likely the published 50 ppm, 300dpi is probably half speed of 200dpi and 600dpi is about 1/4 speed.
    I find that 200dpi is fine for most of my needs so that’s what I use.
    Also, at least on the mac, it feels like the scanner has a buffer of about 4 pages or so. If I drop in a stack of papers, a few will shoot through really fast, then it will pause then grab a few more, etc. I believe it must scan to an internal buffer then send that buffer to the Computer. Knowing this could help you pick setting that are less annoying. ie scanning 8 pages Black and white single sided at 200dpi might be not fill the buffer, while scanning one or two double sided color pages at 600dpi very well might cause the scanner to pause as it sends that data to the PC.

    I hope this helps

  5. Just an update that Epson released new drivers that mentioned addressing some image capture issues recently.
    I have tried the drivers, but have not tried image capture from within any apps as my workflow pretty much settled in on using Acrobat to scan things in now.

  6. Have you ever tried to use acquisition frame with GT-S50? I used TWAIN programming interface with EZTwain and DAT_IMAGELAYOUT. I used different scanning components. I always faces with correct vertical work and absolutely incorrect horizontal work. Can this be solved?

  7. Bought the gt-s50 at office depot Friday for my office. Having problems using it with OSX 10.7. Despite using the latest downloads from epson’s site and apple update, only the Epson scan app works satisfactorily. The Epson device manager and the buttons on the front have such a lag time (more than one minute) to make them unusable. Really a pity, the hardware appears to work better than my Fujitsu S500; it does do a good job of scanning photographs and ID’s.

    No word on Epson on when (or if!) they’ll be releasing 10.7 drivers and software for this scanner, even though it’s the only workforce model you can actually find and buy in the real world!

    Oddly enough, my Fujitsu S500 hasn’t had a single problem with the transition to 10.7, even though it was a windows model hacked to work with Mac!

    The Epson promised greater flexibility with twain drivers, but so far it makes using 3rd party scanning software a necessity rather than an option. So, Fujitsu for the win, and Epson for the return.

  8. The Epson’s been working ok for me in 10.7.
    I’ve been using a $15 program called PDFScanner from the app store to do most of my full page scanning and it’s working out great.

  9. did anyone solve issue of slow scans when Start button is clicked on scanner? just called support and they suggested to try different usb cable. image capture works well as well as epsonscan. i like these different type of jobs to be fired when I have stack for double scanning or single side…

  10. No the button took forever.
    I’ve started using a program called pdfscanner on the app store – I think its $15 or $20.
    It scans PDF’s faster than anything I’ve tried – Very responsive and doesn’t use Twain.
    Check it out.

  11. I have just purchased the GT-S50.
    I wanted to send a 4 page doc. After scanning it appears that I have to attach each page seperately. Is there a way to attach all 4 so the recipient can open and print all 4 at once?

  12. I’ve been using two programs for scanning – Adobe Acrobat, or PDFScanner (About $20 from the app store)
    Both of those programs let you create a multi page PDF doc, either by scanning all 4 pages at once or by scanning separately and appending to the current document.

    I really like PDFScanner, because it’s very fast and efficient for 8.5×11 scans.

  13. Just purchased the s50. Haven’t broke it our if the packaging, but after a pdf scan, are you able to edit the document?

  14. PDF files are often picture files so editing them with something like word is not possible, however, many programs that create PDF’s will try to look at the picture and convert to text so you can copy/paste. the text. Some even try to create a formatted Microsoft Word document which you would be able to edit.

    It’s important to note that PDF files were originally designed to be read only, as an extension of printing – so there aren’t many programs that let you “edit” a pdf in the traditional sense like you would with Microsoft Word.

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