Canon has unveiled an updated version of its CanoScan film scanner that offers a much higher resolution than its predecessor and is capable of better colour reproduction.

The FS4000US has a maximum resolution of 4,000dpi (dots per inch), a big jump from the 2,720dpi maximum resolution of the company's previous FS2710 model and ahead of most competing scanners from companies such as Nikon, Minolta and Olympus. It's probably higher resolution than most one hour film processors.

The CanoScan first hit the market in 1999. Like its predecessor, the latest model accepts both positive or negative 35mm film, either as mounted slides or in strips of up to six images. It also accepts APS (advanced photo system) cartridges, but you'll need an APS adapter.

A 42bit scanning mode also means colour reproduction is several leaps beyond the 32bit, 68.7 billion colour scanning mode offered on the older model.

The scanner is capable of batch scanning up to 40 images from an APS cartridge or six frames from a 35mm film. It can be connected to a PC via USB or SCSI.

Film scanners have long been popular with professional photographers and publishers because of their ability to produce very high quality images direct from film negatives. With advances in technology that help push down prices, the devices are now also gaining popularity with serious amateur photographers.

The FS4000US is available in Japan for around £570. It is expected to be on sale in Europe by the end of June.