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Old 10-10-2007, 05:13 PM   #61
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may film cameras have better results than digital cameras?
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:00 PM   #62
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Still film camera

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may film cameras have better results than digital cameras?
I guess that a film camera (i.e. still photo film camera) can produce a better result (in terms of resolution and color) than a digital camera. Only a few years ago, any professional photographer would dismiss digital camera as a toy. But today's digital cameras are a different breed, so we need an opinion of somebody who still uses a reflex film camera.

As far as examples of microfilm reproductions available in digital libraries are concerned, the quality of pictures is very bad. Is it because they didn't have a repro v-cradle for shooting?

If you need only paper copies of paper documents and not digital copies, you may achieve the same (or better quality?) with my v-cradle design and a film camera, but the lighting, focus and postioning problems will be the same for analog and digital shooting, with much more difficult and costly setting and processing for analog pictures.

If you think of a digital video camera, the zooming is impressive (x800 etc.) but when you save a frame, the resolution is rather low. However, you can probably use the zoom to read your neighbour's book over a distance.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:35 AM   #63
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maybe printing the digital camera shoots and then scan them with a sheetfed scanner will be increase OCR accuracy and document quality?
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:02 AM   #64
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Make it simple and cost-effective

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maybe printing the digital camera shoots and then scan them with a sheetfed scanner will be increase OCR accuracy and document quality?
If you prefer to buy a camera instead of a house, you may use a Hasselblad or similar "space age" film camera, print the photo at 1200 dpi and scan it. Perhaps it can improve the rendering of 6 point and lower fonts in case you are trying to make a copy of a thumbnail size Bible. But you can use a digital Hasselblad H3D for that as well.

As you can read in my previous post, even the perfect copy of a Word document will give you some warnings/errors at the OCR stage. You can correct them manually and you can teach the OCR program to recognize most frequent warnings/errors correctly, if you ocr documents with a similar typeset.

Generally, I do not see a reason for you to concentrate on high-end cameras, scanners or expensive repro setups, unless you are in a business of printing, cartographic, geodetic, CAD or similar industry.

For a paperless office of any size a v-cradle, a proper lighting setup and a "descent" digital camera will do the job. The students can have their texbooks converted to Sony Reader in a matter of hours (copyright observed - it is different for different publications and countries) and after processing with pdflrf they are perfectly readable on a small and greyish Reader screen. The OCR and indexing will help you find any word or phrase if you store the textbooks in your laptop (unfortuntely, the Sony Reader will not allow you to search for text.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:52 AM   #65
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as for ABBY finereader, while it does very good ocr job, its spell checking is mediocre:
you can't edit the dictionary entries
you cant use regex to implemet your own correction rules of common mistakes
it doesn't autocorrect 'on the fly'
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:47 AM   #66
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Finereader 8

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as for ABBY finereader, while it does very good ocr job, its spell checking is mediocre:
you can't edit the dictionary entries
you cant use regex to implemet your own correction rules of common mistakes
it doesn't autocorrect 'on the fly'

In my Finereader 8 (version 9 is long overdue) you can use a Language Editor to create your own language based on one of the existing languages (i.e. copy of English) and add/import your own "user dictionary". There is also an option to use regular expressions. You can choose characters for your recognition set, prohibited characters, characters ignored in words. There are various options for punctuation characters and a Pattern Editor as well.

Having said all that, I admit that I have no time to play with all the options available. My current backlog of documents to ocr is over 1000 pages (and several hundred downloaded books). The 1% error margin in word recognition is acceptable for indexed text search, when you can use alternative words (or wildcards) to find and display a document with the words in context.
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:44 PM   #67
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From paper to pdf - a boring part

I owe you - the visitors to this thread - a warning. While photocopying and processing images is fun, the fun ends when you have to save and file the final pdf. You must give a meaningful name to every document and file it in a proper directory/folder. It is easy for a 500 page book. It is boring for 500 single sheet documents.

I always save my documents with a name starting with current date in the format 20071012 xxx yyy zzz, where xxx etc. are meanigful keywords like "letter from ..." etc. Although it is easy to find an indexed document by searching the key words (key words rather then keywords - adding keywords would be another boring and time consuming step), sometimes you find thousand of documents referring to a similar subject. The date helps to find the document you are looking for, sometimes even without the index search but by simple looking at or searching the names in a directory. Total Commander is a very useful tool for that.

Unfortunately, we cannot avoid this time consuming manual step of giving names to digital documents unless we delegate this job to our secretaries. I do it myself, since I am the only one who takes decisions on processing the document contents. The secretary classifies and files the documents in a traditional way, but we rarely need to rertrieve them physically from paper document folders.
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:12 PM   #68
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Fortunately, most of what I'm saving is research materials, so I give the files names I can later search for. The hard part is remembering to add in keywords.

A cradle I ordered is scheduled to arrive Monday, so I'm hoping I can test out my system next week. (The adapter for the boom mic stand arrived today.) Getting close!
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:07 AM   #69
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any recommendations about the glass used to flaten the pages? what material, coatings, dimensions, density, thickness?

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A cradle I ordered is scheduled to arrive Monday, so I'm hoping I can test out my system next week. (The adapter for the boom mic stand arrived today.) Getting close!
may I ask where you order the cradle from?

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Old 10-13-2007, 06:41 AM   #70
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Glass cover

[QUOTE=user;105954]any recommendations about the glass used to flaten the pages? what material, coatings, dimensions, density, thickness?

My glass is about 5 millimeters thick and heavy enough to flatten even creased magazine pages. The size is A4 (210x297) plus 1 cm margin on each side. It is a kind of glass used for glass shelves, nothing special. No anti-glare glass is required with my setup, but possibly with an anti-glare glass you could avoid obscuring the camera with a black paperboard. I have tried a glass from my damaged scanner but it was too light to flatten the pages. Good enough to flatten my family photos to digitize.

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Old 10-13-2007, 10:13 PM   #71
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as for my scanner suggestion, I think we are close:

the HP 4670 scanner is only 0.75 inches thick -> scanning of book pages while having the book opened as minimum as possible
the Microtek s280 scanner has almost no margin (the plastic margin outside the glass scanning area) -> full page scanning without any distortion near the book spine

if we could combine the features of the two above, we will have a scanner that can be placed between book pages almost as a paper and it will scan the pages while having the book almost closed and without any distortion near the spine
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:53 AM   #72
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Workable solution for now

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as for my scanner suggestion, I think we are close:

the HP 4670 scanner is only 0.75 inches thick -> scanning of book pages while having the book opened as minimum as possible
the Microtek s280 scanner has almost no margin (the plastic margin outside the glass scanning area) -> full page scanning without any distortion near the book spine

if we could combine the features of the two above, we will have a scanner that can be placed between book pages almost as a paper and it will scan the pages while having the book almost closed and without any distortion near the spine
One company that is innovative and capable of constructing a v-shaped scanner based repro station is Atiz.

They already offer an automatic book scanner called BookDrive and a manual photo scanner called BookDrive DIY, so they have knowledge and technical skills to combine the two in a v-shaped scanner. But don't hold your breath yet.

Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. The BookDrive is automatic but is only suitable for a certain size and thickness of books. The BookDrive DIY is semi-automatic (the v-cradle centers automatically, the shots can be taken automatically, but requires manual rasing of transparent cover and manual turning of pages). Again, the size of books is limited to the design dimensions. To make a v-shaped scanner competitive one would have to use the BookDrive DIY design with full automation, which means additional mechanisms and costs. Scanners are rather slow in scanning (especially higher resolutions and color pages), and automatic raising of the v-shaped scanner would take even more time. So the advantage of scanning 700 pages an hour (as Atiz claims) would have gone. The cost would be in the range of several thousand dollars if not more.

For a home and small office users my flexible v-cradle design has all the advantages with one disadvantage - the manual operation. There are no limits as to the size or thickness of books (you can put a big size cardboard base over v-cradle panels) and the shooting is as fast as you are in turning pages and flattening them with glass (the resolution and color doesn't matter for the speed of camera shooting). Once you set your lighting conditions right (you may experiment with a black tent to prevent any extra lights or shadows) the quality of reproductions is good enough even for professional applications. Several hundred OCR quality photos per hour is possible.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:44 AM   #73
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One company that is innovative and capable of constructing a v-shaped scanner based repro station is Atiz.
a slim-and-without-margin scanner is what will do the job perfectly in every occasion, no need for V shape, cameras, etc

consider the glass you put on the book to flaten the bookpage, to perform a fast scan <3 seconds and produce a 600 dpi image, wouldnt it be marvelous? its the easiest way

I cant imagine any other more efficient and convenient way to produce high quality copies

the digital camera solution is tempting, but I suppose it needs too much work and the result will never reach even 300dpi (in all digital camera forums, in all digital camera manufactures, I contacted, I was adviced to use scanner instead of a camera)

although, I am about to buy a Canon G9 (12MP - 6x optical) and make some attempts, but I doubt I will ever reach kirtas-tech.com or atiz.com results since they use Canon EOS of at least 17MP

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Old 10-14-2007, 08:27 AM   #74
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Photo dpi equivalent

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the digital camera solution is tempting, but I suppose it needs too much work and the result will never reach even 300dpi
You are wrong about dpi. Firstly, you do not use 600 dpi for OCR, unless your print is very small. Recommended dpi is 300-400 dpi, and in one of my previous posts I gave you an example how a perfect (Word print to image) picture gives better OCR results at 300 dpi rather than 400 dpi - with Finereader 8. Faxes at 200 dpi are OCRed with no problems as long as they are clean (no smudges).

Secondly, a 10 Mpixel camera gives you an equivalent of 300 dpi for A4 format and 600 dpi for A5. I refer you to a nice OPTICAL DPI TABLE in Atiz FAQ (http://www.atiz.com/support.php). You can easily calculate it yourself as well. However, to be true, I quote below a comment by Atiz:
"It is kind of hard to compare the dpi from cameras vs. the dpi from scanners. The results from the cameras at lower dpi can be higher quality than scanners. DPI is not the total information that is equal to the quality of the image. It is just one factor of many other factors that represent quality."

I agree with them. I have used a dozen of various scanners (including sheet feeder scanners) in my work. One of them is standing idle on my desk even now, but I have no use for it. Photoscanning is fast and produces good quality results for normal home or office use.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:42 AM   #75
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mm what about barrel distortion, white balance, color distortions that are common in cameras?

scanners have minimum artifacts (mainly from dust) and inexisting distortion

I dont have an opinion about camera scanning at the moment, I just collect facts and most photographers say it wont work or it will be too much job for such a bad quality

I hope G9 will be enough and I will come back with positive feedback

the atiz supported cameras are +1k USD

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