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Does the Epson WorkForce ES 50 scan in color?


The Epson WorkForce ES-50 is an affordable and versatile scanner that can meet the needs of home office users and small businesses. One of the key questions people have about this scanner is whether or not it can scan documents and photos in color. The short answer is yes, the Epson WorkForce ES-50 does have the ability to scan in full color. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the color scanning capabilities of the ES-50 and look at some of the key settings and options available when scanning in color. We’ll also discuss some tips for getting the best color scans from the ES-50.

Overview of the Epson WorkForce ES-50

The Epson WorkForce ES-50 is a sheet-feed desktop scanner that was released in 2018. It has a compact, space-saving design and connects to computers via USB. The ES-50 scans documents at speeds up to 25 pages per minute (ppm) and photos at speeds up to 4 ppm. It has an automatic document feeder that can hold up to 50 sheets of paper at a time.

For scanning, the ES-50 has an optical resolution of 600 dpi and can scan at up to 1200 dpi using interpolation. The scanner can accommodate documents and photos up to 8.5 x 122 inches in size. One of the key features of the ES-50 is its ability to scan in full color. It can output color scans at 24-bit color depth internally and 48-bit color depth using Epson’s driver technology.

Color Scanning Capabilities

The Epson WorkForce ES-50 is capable of scanning documents, photos, and other materials in full color. Here are some key details about its color scanning capabilities:

– It can scan in 24-bit color, enabling it to reproduce colors with 16.7 million color tones. This allows for very accurate color reproduction.

– Using Epson’s driver technology, it can output scanned images with an enhanced 48-bit color depth. This expands the number of possible color tones to 281 trillion colors.

– The optical resolution is 600 x 600 dpi but it can interpolate scans up to 1200 dpi. The higher resolution allows more accurate color reproduction, especially for detailed images.

– It has a scanning bed that can accommodate a wide variety of document and photo sizes up to 8.5 x 122 inches.

– There are no limitations on the types of source materials it can scan in color. It can handle glossy or matte photos, magazines, books, documents, and more.

So in summary, the Epson ES-50 is very versatile when it comes to scanning in color. It has the hardware capability to scan and reproduce color images, photos, graphics, and text with excellent quality.

ES-50 Scanning Software and Settings

To get the best color scans from the ES-50, you need to use the right software and adjust some key settings. Here are some recommendations:

Use the Included Epson ScanSmart Software

The ES-50 comes with Epson’s ScanSmart software. This provides access to all of the scanner’s color settings and options. Using ScanSmart allows you to easily preview scans and adjust settings like resolution, file format, color mode, brightness/contrast, and more.

Select the Right Color Mode

ScanSmart gives you different color mode options for your scans including Color, Grayscale, and Black & White. Make sure to select the Color mode when you want to scan something in color. This enables full color scanning and reproduction.

Set Resolution to 600 dpi

For most color scanning, a resolution of 600 dpi delivers excellent image quality while keeping file sizes manageable. Higher resolutions above 600 dpi result in much larger file sizes without a significant improvement in quality.

Adjust Contrast and Brightness

Use the built-in image adjustment settings in ScanSmart to fine tune the contrast and brightness of color scans. This helps maximize color depth and accuracy.

Save Scans in JPG or PDF Format

For color scans, saving in JPG or PDF format gives you the best reproduction of color. JPG is the preferred choice for photos and graphics while PDF maintains color integrity for documents with a mix of photos, graphics and text.

By following these guidelines, you can optimize the Epson WorkForce ES-50 for high-quality color scanning. The scanner has the capability to reproduce colors with excellent accuracy and vibrancy.

Photo Scanning Tips

Scanning high-quality photos requires some additional steps to maximize color accuracy. Here are some photo scanning tips for the ES-50:

– Clean the scanner glass before scanning valuable photos. Dust or debris can interfere with color accuracy.

– Place photos flat against the glass facedown. Don’t try scanning them at an angle.

– Adjust the scan resolution between 600 and 1200 dpi depending on the photo size. Smaller photos benefit from 1200 dpi.

– Enable any automatic color restoration or photo correction settings in ScanSmart. This can enhance faded colors.

– Save the scanned photo in JPG format to maintain all color data.

– Crop out any white background or edges after scanning to isolate the photo itself.

Document Scanning Tips

For scanning documents with a mix of text, photos, and graphics, follow these tips:

– Set the resolution to 600 dpi for a good balance of color accuracy and file size.

– Scan in PDF format to keep all pages in a single file and maintain color integrity.

– Adjust contrast and brightness to get clean scans of any highlighted or handwritten text.

– Enable deskew and text enhancement features in ScanSmart for cleaning up angled pages.

– Select the Color mode rather than Grayscale or Black and White for documents with color elements.

Common Color Scanning Issues

There are some common color scanning problems users can encounter with the ES-50:

Colors Look Faded or Washout

Make sure to select the correct Color mode within your scanning software. Grayscale mode will washout all color. Also check brightness and contrast settings.

Colors Don’t Match Original Source

Try cleaning the scanner glass, increasing resolution, adjusting color mode and checking for correct color profiles within your scanning software.

Should You Scan in Grayscale Instead?

Grayscale is preferable if file size is a concern and color accuracy is not. But for most applications, scan in color mode for better quality.

Scans Look Grainy

Increase resolution to 600 or 1200 dpi and check for dust or smudges on the scanner glass interfering with the scan.

Overall, with some minor trial and error, you can get excellent color scans from the Epson WorkForce ES-50. Just utilize the built-in color adjustment tools and select optimal scan settings.


In summary, the Epson WorkForce ES-50 does have very robust color scanning capabilities. It can scan documents, photos, magazines, and other materials with high color accuracy and depth. To get the best results, make sure to use the included ScanSmart software, choose the right color settings, adjust brightness/contrast, and follow the tips provided for photos and documents. With its versatile scanning bed, built-in 48-bit color, and intuitive software controls, the ES-50 makes an excellent choice for anyone needing an affordable scanner with professional-quality color reproduction. Just take time to learn the scanner’s settings and outputs to maximize its color scanning potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the color depth of the Epson ES-50 scanner?

The Epson ES-50 scanner has 24-bit internal color depth and can output scans at an enhanced 48-bit color depth using Epson’s imaging software.

What scan resolutions does the ES-50 support?

The optical scan resolution is 600 x 600 dpi but the ES-50 can interpolate scanned images up to 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution.

Does it scan slides and film negatives?

No, the Epson WorkForce ES-50 does not have film scanning capabilities. It can only scan printed documents, photos, and other materials on paper.

Can it scan legal and A3 sized documents?

Yes, the ES-50 scanner can accommodate document and photo sizes up to 8.5 x 122 inches, including legal and A3 sizes.

What file types can I save scanned color images as?

For color scans, JPG and PDF are recommended to maintain full color data. The ES-50 is also capable of scanning to BMP, PNG, TIFF and other file formats.

Scanning Examples

Here are some examples of scanning different materials in color mode using the Epson WorkForce ES-50:

Photo Scanning Example

Original 4×6 Photo Scanned JPG
Original 4x6 photo example Scanned JPG version of photo

For this photo scan, the ES-50 was able to accurately reproduce the colors, shading, and details of the original printed 4×6 photo. Scanning at 600 dpi in Color mode and saving as a JPG preserved the color depth.

Magazine Scanning Example

Original Magazine Page Scanned PDF
Original magazine page Scanned PDF of magazine page

For this magazine page, scanning at 600 dpi allowed the ES-50 to accurately capture the vibrant colors in the photographs while keeping text crisp and clear. Saving as a PDF preserved the layout and color quality.

Document Scanning Example

Original Document Scanned PDF
Original document with photos, graphics and text PDF version of scanned document

For this business document with a mixture of text, charts, signatures and photos, scanning in color at 600 dpi allowed excellent reproduction of all elements while saving pages together in a searchable PDF.