Canon imageFORMULA RS40 review

The Canon imageFORMULA RS40 is a speedy, tailor-made photo scanner for the shoebox-full-of-prints generation

Canon imageFORMULA RS40
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If you’ve been taking photos down the decades, chances are you’ve got a bunch of boxes stashed away with machine prints from your 35mm days. This neat Canon photo scanner takes all popular sizes of photo prints in stacks of up to 40 at a time, automatically feeding them through and outputting digital images in JPEG format. A range of optional photo enhancements is on hand to further automate the process. The scanner is quick, simple and highly effective – and it works equally well as a high-speed document scanner. The scanning quality is very good and, all in all, it’s a neat bit of kit. However, it’s disproportionately pricier than the more standard imageFORMULA R40 document scanner in some world regions, less so in the USA.


  • +

    Auto photo/document feeder

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    Quick and simple

  • +

    Good quality photo scans


  • -

    Unintuitive onboard controls

  • -

    No Wi-Fi, USB only

  • -

    Lower quality when scanning inkjet prints

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The Canon imageFORMULA RS40 is a bit of a backtracker. Think Canon desktop devices and most digital photographers will be thinking of inkjet printers that create physical prints of their digital photos. There’s something for everybody, ranging from the MegaTank PIXMA G620/650 to the mighty PIXMA PRO-200 and imagePROGRAF PRO-300.

The RS40 does everything in reverse. Based on the imageFORMULA R40 document scanner, the RS40 is essentially the same motorized machine, but optimized for scanning stacks of photo prints and turning them into JPEGs. As such, it’s ideal for digitizing large volumes of old prints that photographers of a certain age will have accumulated from the 35mm film era.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.