All images are linked to larger ~600x600 pixel images. Scans were done at 1200 dpi, with sharpen more (1220), or unsharp mask moderate (PLIII) and using MagicMatch color correction. Postprocessing is limited to cleaning up the backgrounds and resizing to 72 dpi, 600 and 200 pixels wide using Photoshop 5 on a Macintosh. Please note that the differences are much more noticible on the larger images.

The following coins were chosen for subtleties in toning and iridescence.

UMAX Vista 1220U (about $150) UMAX Powerlook III (about $750)

The following Denarius of Severus Alexander is bright and shiny, requiring different handling:

Vista 1220 with cover closed Vista 1220 cover opened Powerlook closed: no difference

It is clear to me that the Powerlook III gives much crisper scans with much better color range and more closely resembles the actual coin. Scanning is faster, backgrounds easier to clean-up and generally no color balance tweeking is needed. (Photoshop Auto-Levels gave no changes in the PLIII scans). The UMAX 2400 gives intermediate results