Finally. .. a Universal Scanner Driver for the Canon CanoScan LiDE 500F for Intel Macs

At the end of last year I watched out for a new scanner and the CanoScan LiDE 500f from Canon was the choice. But finding a suitable driver wasn’t that simple cause everywhere around was only the horribly old PowerPC-driver. As long as I had my old G4 in the house it wasn’t that problem. But at this time all Macs were already Intel-powered and also my new MacBook which replaced the G4 was Intel-Powered and i had a problem.

UPDATE: I wrote a follow up article describing how to use this scanner with the newest Mac operating system Leopard. Feel free to head over to this article to get the freshest facts about using this scanner with Mac OS X:
Using the CanoScan LiDE 500F scanner with Mac OS X Leopard

So there were two choices for using the scanner on an Intel-Mac: installing the PowerPC-driver and using VueScan for scanning. But, man, was that slow! And i couldn’t get the 16bit per channel scanning to function, which is an essential function for me. Also they want to have 40$ for this app, which isn’t that much but after spending money for the scanner and for Photoshop I didn’t want to buy another component for using the scanner. On the other hand you could use the Preview.app built into MAC OS X with Image > Import Image. But this last solution only offers rudimentary functions for scanning. Good to scan a document but not for scanning photos in high quality and for archive purposes. And nevertheless none of these solutions worked for scanning directly in the new Adobe Photoshop CS3.

So I called the Canon Support two months ago but they could only say sorry and advertise for their new scanner LiDE 600f which has a new Universal-driver and so on. But it hasn’t really any new functions. And spending 100$ or so just for a new driver? So what??! They really wanted me to replace my scanner, which isn’t a year old. Damn Canon-Support! So I had to keep on searching on all Canon-websites and finally…

The solution…

Canon Asia (Canon South & Southeast-Asia to be precise) was the solution! They really offer a universal-driver for the CanoScan LiDE 500f on their site which is from June 2007! You have to follow this link and choose your desired device:
http://www.canon-asia.com/index.jsp?fuseaction=supportāˆ_type=scanner&country;=SG

After choosing the scanner in the dropdown-menu and clicking on Drivers & Software you will come to a popup-window where you can find the driver called LiDE 500F Scanner Driver Ver. 11.2.4.0X (Mac OS X) in the middle of the site:

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And after installing (and rebooting the system) you can use the scanner with Photoshop CS3 on Intel-Macs. The scanner appears in Photoshop under File > Import > CanoScan LiDE 500f.

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imageAnd don’t forget to take a look in the preferences-dialog in the scan-window to set your color-management under the tab Color Settings

imageAnother important setting is enabling 16bit per channel scanning under the tab Scan.

The only problem that remains is that Photoshop really uses 50% of my CPU-Power (2GHz Intel Core2Duo) just when the scan-window is open. But now after six months of waiting i can finally scan my analog photography in acceptable quality. Thanks to Canon for nothing!

UPDATE: I wrote a follow up article describing how to use this scanner with the newest Mac operating system Leopard. Feel free to head over to this article to get the freshest facts about using this scanner with Mac OS X:
Using the CanoScan LiDE 500F scanner with Mac OS X Leopard