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Old 02-01-2012, 01:40 PM   #1
accesskb
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Recommendation: Fastest scanner for under $200

hi,
I was wondering if some of you could recommend a fast scanner available today which costs less than $200. I'd like to scan a few books I own so I don't have to carry them around when I travel. I've owned a few scanners in the past and some seem to take almost a minute to scan a page while some have been relatively fast.

Appreciate it. thanks.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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For "fast scanning" people tend to turn towards digital cameras that take a picture of the page in seconds.

The trick here is getting the camera at the exact same orientation / angle / distance for every shot. Therefore, folks interested in this usually build/acquire a scaffolding that holds the book and the camera in a fixed relationship.

Here is a homemade one:
http://www.instructables.com/id/New-...igital-Copy-M/

But, the better ones hold the book open at a forty-five degree angle so that there are no bends where the page attaches to the binding. In this case, it works best if you use two digital cameras so one can be pointed at each page.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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For "fast scanning" people tend to turn towards digital cameras that take a picture of the page in seconds.

The trick here is getting the camera at the exact same orientation / angle / distance for every shot. Therefore, folks interested in this usually build/acquire a scaffolding that holds the book and the camera in a fixed relationship.

Here is a homemade one:
http://www.instructables.com/id/New-...igital-Copy-M/

But, the better ones hold the book open at a forty-five degree angle so that there are no bends where the page attaches to the binding. In this case, it works best if you use two digital cameras so one can be pointed at each page.
hi thanks for the link but I need to pick up a scanner asap and don't have the time to make one of my own right now so looking for recommendations on a flatbed scanner preferably.

btw Do you know if there are ready made kits or an assembled one being sold?
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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I am currently using an Epson Perfection V330 Photo flatbed scanner. I think it was around $119 at Staples (can't tell if you're in the USA). I use Paperport to interface with the Epson's drivers, and Paperport uses, I believe, Textbridge to OCR and i find that program to be nicely accurate -- but of course accuracy largely depends on the quality of the original printed material and the way one scans it (I usually choose 240 to 300 dpi, gray scale so i can darken it if needed).

At work I can use a sheet-feed Epson (800, I think), that can scan both sides of a page at once if requested, and Paperport with it, too, but that machine also cost around $800 several years ago and has not gone down much in price since (it must be a popular model). It is a work horse, too. Other flatbeds I have used (with Paperport) are Visioneer models and they've done fine. I had a nice light-weight Canon Canoscan about... 7 years? ago and it did very well until one day it just stopped after I had scanned a couple hundred comics. I figured I had just gotten my money's worth (I love Canon cameras) but I have been avoiding buying another Canon scanner.

Hope that gives you some ideas
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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I am currently using an Epson Perfection V330 Photo flatbed scanner. I think it was around $119 at Staples (can't tell if you're in the USA). I use Paperport to interface with the Epson's drivers, and Paperport uses, I believe, Textbridge to OCR and i find that program to be nicely accurate -- but of course accuracy largely depends on the quality of the original printed material and the way one scans it (I usually choose 240 to 300 dpi, gray scale so i can darken it if needed).

At work I can use a sheet-feed Epson (800, I think), that can scan both sides of a page at once if requested, and Paperport with it, too, but that machine also cost around $800 several years ago and has not gone down much in price since (it must be a popular model). It is a work horse, too. Other flatbeds I have used (with Paperport) are Visioneer models and they've done fine. I had a nice light-weight Canon Canoscan about... 7 years? ago and it did very well until one day it just stopped after I had scanned a couple hundred comics. I figured I had just gotten my money's worth (I love Canon cameras) but I have been avoiding buying another Canon scanner.

Hope that gives you some ideas
thanks for your tips Debby.. I'm in Canada so the price would be similar. I was looking into the Epson V500 or V600 model. Do you think it would take long to scan a book using your Epson scanner?

I've used Canon scanners in the past and thought it takes long if one plans to scan an entire book, let alone the extremely large file size one ends up. But i'm guessing i'm not scanning using the correct settings/method.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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I think you need to define "fast" (say, in pages per minute), and what resolution is acceptable. I doubt that $200 will get you high standards for both. Come up with what you're willing to accept and maybe then you can get real advice on what product will and won't work, or if your expectations are out of whack with what is currently available.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #7
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I think you need to define "fast" (say, in pages per minute), and what resolution is acceptable. I doubt that $200 will get you high standards for both. Come up with what you're willing to accept and maybe then you can get real advice on what product will and won't work, or if your expectations are out of whack with what is currently available.
hahah i just want to scan books so i can read them on my computer or kindle..

I don't expect to have speeds like the camera scanners or $1000 + scanners.

just want to know whats the best scanner one can buy in terms of speed for $200 give a take a few dollars

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Old 02-02-2012, 05:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by accesskb View Post
hi,
I was wondering if some of you could recommend a fast scanner available today which costs less than $200. I'd like to scan a few books I own so I don't have to carry them around when I travel. I've owned a few scanners in the past and some seem to take almost a minute to scan a page while some have been relatively fast.

Appreciate it. thanks.

Plustek OpticBook 3800 Book Scanner by Plustek
Buy new: $299.00 $267.73
14 new from $267.73

I am using it all the time. Fast good quality.
And much better for scanning books than normal flatbed scanners.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:35 AM   #9
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I still swear by my ebay'd Vupoint Handheld Scanner knockoff + a lexan sheet - after a bit of practice, I can easily scan 2-300 pages per hour, and each page is straight and clean with no warping or skewing - great for OCR'ing. Plus, many of the books I've scanned are still in pristine condition afterwards. Very "hands-on", though, compared to an automated "camera-and-page-turning" solution, and books with very thin internal margins will likely not work, although so far I have not encountered such a book.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
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Speed depends on resolution. Comic books I do at 150 dpi, color (unless I really like the art, then I set the resolution to 240 or 300). At 150dpi, the scanning portion of the device moves faster (or if sheet feeding, it zips it through faster). The higher the resolution you program, the slower the scan, but not terribly slow. Maybe... 8-10 seconds for a full two pages? If the book is old and yellowish, I'll go with a higher resolution, too.

The higher the resolution, the more accurate the OCR -- or the better looking the PDFs if you go that way. Paperport has a built-in PDF-making ability, but I suspect other similar programs do, too.

Also, if you can sacrifice/dismantle the book, that should speed up scanning because you don't have to press the book down to try to get it as flat as possible. If the binding is loose or limber, this may not be a big problem. If it's a library book, well... But if you can find books at used book stores (our library has one, for example) or garage sales or thrift shops, dismantle 'em, I say
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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I have an older Plustek Opticbook 3600 and I find it fast enough.
I *used* to have access to a very fast professional grade epson scanner (100ppm with the sheetfeeder) and the scan head return speed was fast enough that for dual-page scanning the limiting factor on speed was my ability to flip pages and align the book. Usually I could scan a full technical report (20-40 pages, grayscale 300dpi) in about 5 minutes without rushing.
The same applies to the Opticbook; *I* am the bottleneck.
For me, that is fast enough to archive my older, dying paperbacks.

Not all scanner vendors publish full scan-cycle times; they usually only report the single-page scan speed but not the head return times so be careful with advertised speeds.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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thanks for the info everyone... I'm leaning on buying the Plustek Opticbook 3800 now. I was initially thinking of going for a scanner with 35mm/120mm film negative scanning features but I think I can't get the best of both worlds so will have to go for a book scanner
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #13
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Let us know what you get and how you like it. Your experiences may help others
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:31 AM   #14
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Speed depends on resolution.

Also, if you can sacrifice/dismantle the book, that should speed up scanning because you don't have to press the book down to try to get it as flat as possible. If the binding is loose or limber, this may not be a big problem. If it's a library book, well... But if you can find books at used book stores (our library has one, for example) or garage sales or thrift shops, dismantle 'em, I say
You don't have to press the book down, that is right, but I found it quite bothersome to align the pages properly, which takes time too.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:53 PM   #15
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You don't have to press the book down, that is right, but I found it quite bothersome to align the pages properly, which takes time too.
You should have software to realign the scans for you afterwards. It's exactly the kind of thing computers are good at. Then you can spend less time and effort trying to hold the book exactly right for each scan.

I use unpaper for that sort of thing on my Linux box. I'm sure there's something similar for Windows and Macs.
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