Canon imageFormula RS40 reviews: An interesting, yet limited, desktop scanner

This versatile scanner will appeal to home workers with lots of photos that need digitizing and enhancing

The Canon RS40 on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Clever photo enhancement tools

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Canon's imageFormula RS40 is aimed at home workers that want to digitize their old photo collection as well as business documents. It takes everything from Canon's standard R40 desktop model and adds extra image-processing functions that enhance photos as they're scanned.

The RS40 is a USB-only device with no network capabilities and claimed speeds of 40ppm for mono scans at 300dpi and 30ppm for color scans. It works for us as a business document scanner as it sports a 60-page automatic document feeder and claims a 4,000-page daily duty cycle.

Canon imageFormula RS40 reviews: Setup

Installation is a swift affair. We ran the single setup utility on a Windows 11 desktop to load Canon's CaptureOnTouch 4 Standard software and TWAIN drivers. Unlike the R40, you don't get the ReadIris Pro 16 OCR software, which supports direct scanning to cloud storage accounts.

CaptureOnTouch simplifies scan operations. Its text document profiles contain settings for color or mono scans as well as the resolution, and tools for blank page skipping, image rotation, and page straightening. Below these, you create scan destinations, which can be local or network folders, printers, SharePoint and FTP servers, and local email apps, plus options to send scans to local Dropbox, OneDrive, SugarSync, and Google Drive file sync folders.

You have six output file types from which to choose, and OCR is automatically applied when the PDF option is selected. The software is great for quick scan operations: shortcuts link document profiles with destinations and you can assign up to nine to the scanner's single-digit LED display for walk-up scans.

Selecting Photo as the document type reveals five extra image enhancement tools, with the auto photo fix option analyzing the picture and automatically choosing the most appropriate corrections. It also provides red-eye correction, face sharpening and smoothing, paper texture correction, and rectifying fading. 

Canon imageFormula RS40 reviews: Performance

As expected, the RS40 delivered the same document scanning speeds we saw when we reviewed the R40. It returned the quoted mono speeds at 200dpi and 300dpi, color scans at 300dpi dropped to 21.2ppm, while output and OCR quality at 200dpi were fine for document archiving purposes.

To test the CaptureOnTouch software's photo-enhancing capabilities we dug out our trove of dusty old 35mm prints. With a 600dpi resolution, JPEG output, and all enhancing features enabled, a stack of 25 6 x 4in snaps took 194 seconds to scan for an average of 7.7 photos per minute. 

Destination profiles provide some useful indexing features for organizing your photos. You can set a specific folder for a batch and have each photo scan appended with a custom name, the current date and time, and a counter of between one and six digits.

The software makes a fairly good fist of photo improvement. We ran scans of each print with and without the enhancement features enabled. For landscapes, it visibly brightened them, removed color casts, and improved the overall color balance and contrast.

The smoothing tool made clear improvements to people's faces, but we found the red-eye remover failed to make any noticeable difference. Black and white photos looked brighter and more detailed, but the software doesn't offer sharpening and de-speckling tools, so if the images are out of focus and damaged, that's the way they'll stay.

The RS40 is an interesting desktop scanner, but you do pay a premium for the photo enhancement tools as it costs £180 more than the R40. In this age of digital cameras, it will also have limited value, but if you have a big collection of old photos that need digitizing and want business document scanning as well, the imageFormula RS40 is a worthy candidate.

Canon imageFormula RS40 specifications 

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Technology 600dpi A4 colour scanner
Speed 30/40ppm at 300dpi colour/mono
Display Canon CaptureOnTouch 4 Standard software
Connectivity USB 2
Dimensions 291 x 250 x 245mm (WDH, closed)
Weight 2.8kg
Warranty 1yr standard hardware warranty
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.