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Old 02-11-2010, 12:41 AM   #1
tarihci
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different types of scanner technology?

Hi All,
This is my first post. I discovered this forum a while ago and have been coming back for all sorts of information, but did not feel the need to register before. Now, I have a serious question I need to ask you guys.

I am a PhD student. After I read a book, I scan (B&W, 360dpi) and archive it in my PDF library. (I have ABBYY FineReader9 and I can OCR them, but I do not have the time or the processing power for the moment. I usually archive them in raw format.)
Our library provided us two Epson Expression 10000XL (Amazon Link) scanners and they are beautiful. The drivers, firmware, and Epson software are all up to date.
My only problem is the speed. It takes about 1,5hrs (90min) to scan a 300-400 page book. I scan two pages at once; so, one scan motion takes 27-36 seconds. The optic eye (bright/green light) of this scanner (similar to all the scanners I have previously seen/used) moves slowly to capture all the document. Why do I think it is slow?

Recently, I found out that the big photocopier (Ricoh Aficio MP4000) [link] at our department also has a scanning function and I saw the secretary use it. (Students are not allowed to use it.) This machine scans in a very different way and speed. It takes 20 minutes to scan a 300 page book, two pages at a time. So, one scan motion takes 8 seconds.
While you can follow Epson scanning the document slowly, the optic eye (bright/green light) of Ricoh moves very fast in one quick motion from beginning to the end, and the document is scanned.
It is hard to explain the difference of speed between Epson and Ricoh in writing; but, if I can correlate, (1) Epson's speed is similar to someone slowly moving his/her finger on each and every one of the lines in a page from top to bottom and (2) Ricoh's speed is similar to turning a page. It is that fast. [I can try and provide video if people are interested.]

I tried to Google if there are different scanning technologies in today's scannners, but I could not find anything specific. The product pages did not help either.

Epson is around $3000 and the Ricoh is around $5000. I know I cannot afford to buy these machines, especially the Ricoh; however, if I can find out the specific technological feature of Ricoh, I can look for a cheaper model with the same technology.

This turned out to be a long post, but I hope I managed to present my question clearly. I thought, since many people here are quite informed about scannners, one of them might know about the difference of speed between the two machines and the underlying technology.
Looking forward to hearing your comments,
Best,

Last edited by tarihci; 02-11-2010 at 01:33 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:51 AM   #2
delphidb96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarihci View Post
Hi All,
This is my first post. I discovered this forum a while ago and have been coming back for all sorts of information, but did not feel the need to register before. Now, I have a serious question I need to ask you guys.

I am a PhD student. After I read a book, I scan (B&W, 360dpi) and archive it in my PDF library. (I have ABBYY FineReader9 and I can OCR them, but I do not have the time or the processing power for the moment. I usually archive them in raw format.)
Our library provided us two Epson Expression 10000XL (Amazon Link) scanners and they are beautiful. The drivers, firmware, and Epson software are all up to date.
My only problem is the speed. It takes about 1,5hrs (90min) to scan a 300-400 page book. I scan two pages at once; so, one scan motion takes 27-36 seconds. The optic eye (bright/green light) of this scanner (similar to all the scanners I have previously seen/used) moves slowly to capture all the document. Why do I think it is slow?

Recently, I found out that the big photocopier (Ricoh Aficio MP4000) [link] at our department also has a scanning function and I saw the secretary use it. (Students are not allowed to use it.) This machine scans in a very different way and speed. It takes 20 minutes to scan a 300 page book, two pages at a time. So, one scan motion takes 8 seconds.
While you can follow Epson scanning the document slowly, the optic eye (bright/green light) of Ricoh moves very fast in one quick motion from beginning to the end, and the document is scanned.
It is hard to explain the difference of speed between Epson and Ricoh in writing; but, if I can correlate, (1) Epson's speed is similar to someone slowly moving his/her finger on each and every one of the lines in a page from top to bottom and (2) Ricoh's speed is similar to turning a page. It is that fast. [I can try and provide video if people are interested.]

I tried to Google if there are different scanning technologies in today's scannners, but I could not find anything specific. The product pages did not help either.

Epson is around $3000 and the Ricoh is around $5000. I know I cannot afford to buy these machines, especially the Ricoh; however, if I can find out the specific technological feature of Ricoh, I can look for a cheaper model with the same technology.

This turned out to be a long post, but I hope I managed to present my question clearly. I thought, since many people here are quite informed about scannners, one of them might know about the difference of speed between the two machines and the underlying technology.
Looking forward to hearing your comments,
Best,
So why not get a 5MP digital camera and set up a rig to capture each page to JPG file. Then run the JPG files through the OCR software. There are several rigs that use Canon point-and-shoot 5MP and 6MP cameras. But even cheaper is getting one of the new generation webcams. There are several out there that have a 5MP sensor instead of the 640x480 or 1.3MP sensors in the older models. The one I found ran $20 *NEW* on eBay and connects directly to your computer so with the book cradle, light and plexiglas page hold-downs, you should be able to get it set up for under $60. And snapping images happens as fast as you can flip pages. I'm trying to decide whether I want to just get two of the buggers - one for left page and one for right - or set the webcam's mount to let me tilt it left and right to capture each page.

Derek
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:22 AM   #3
tarihci
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@delphidb96:

Thanks for the idea, Derek. Of course, I tried this option before. I even bought a Nikon P90 to do this. It has a special mode for document photographing. It produces pretty nice results.
There are two problems:
(1) in order to finish it faster, you need a camera with a remote shutter release, otherwise it is really more of a hassle. Mine (although a very good and pricey camera) does not have this option.
(2) photographing (if you need high resolution results for future OCRing) produces HUGE files. Scanning B&W with 360dpi, a 300 page book produces (depending on the # of images in the book) a ~30MB file. Photographing produces at least many times bigger files for a equal resolution result.

I am very interested in the other method you mentioned, the webcam. I always thought of photographing with a digital camera, but have never considered photographing with a webcam before...This does not help producing bigger files, but definitely solves the remote shutter release problem. I guess bigger files can be fixed with a bigger external HDD.

Could you write the webcam that you bought, 5MP sensor for $20? And, other webcams that you considered? I would appreciate all kinds of information on your setup, maybe also a few pictures of the setup...?
Thanks in advance.
=========
Aside from this, I am still curious and I still want to learn about the difference btw Epson and Ricoh scanning technology...
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
delphidb96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarihci View Post
@delphidb96:

Thanks for the idea, Derek. Of course, I tried this option before. I even bought a Nikon P90 to do this. It has a special mode for document photographing. It produces pretty nice results.
There are two problems:
(1) in order to finish it faster, you need a camera with a remote shutter release, otherwise it is really more of a hassle. Mine (although a very good and pricey camera) does not have this option.
(2) photographing (if you need high resolution results for future OCRing) produces HUGE files. Scanning B&W with 360dpi, a 300 page book produces (depending on the # of images in the book) a ~30MB file. Photographing produces at least many times bigger files for a equal resolution result.

I am very interested in the other method you mentioned, the webcam. I always thought of photographing with a digital camera, but have never considered photographing with a webcam before...This does not help producing bigger files, but definitely solves the remote shutter release problem. I guess bigger files can be fixed with a bigger external HDD.

Could you write the webcam that you bought, 5MP sensor for $20? And, other webcams that you considered? I would appreciate all kinds of information on your setup, maybe also a few pictures of the setup...?
Thanks in advance.
=========
Aside from this, I am still curious and I still want to learn about the difference btw Epson and Ricoh scanning technology...
Well, how about *this* one??? 20.0 Mega USB 3-LED Webcam

Part of the problem is that I'm still at the "place a sheet of Plexi flat on the book and hold the webcam" stage of taking images. They 'work' but I've only got two hands so it gets a bit complicated. I'm in the process of building a framework to hold everything in place.

A 5MP webcam saving directly to jpeg isn't all that bad to work with. And as for storage space - did you happen to notice these things called external hard drives??? You see, you pick up one for about $50 on eBay - say a 320GB or 500GB model - and use that as your target drive for the webcam - that helps. And then you scrupulously delete all jpeg page image files as soon as you've created your document file. Even so, a 320GB HD can hold about 10,000 ebooks in jpeg page images format!

Derek

Last edited by delphidb96; 02-11-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
tarihci
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gr8npwrfl kindly explained the difference to me and I would like to include his message here, so that other people can benefit too. [I edited the spelling mistakes.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8npwrfl
I can answer that for you.

Ricoh is a digital imaging company. All their technology is based on photographic sensors.

Basically there is a high resolution camera in the Ricoh that takes an image of the entire document and the digitizes it to a format you see. The fast scan is a single image being taken and the conversion time is converting it to a format you can use.

That is part of why the image area of a copy machine like the Ricoh is so thick. There has to be room for the lens and image sensor to see the entire document.

A flat bed scanner has a special image sensor that is one to three pixels wide and the length of the light source. It moves the sensor, takes an image of the entire width of the page, processes it, then moves the head to the next location, photographs it, and then processes it.

In order for a flat bed scanner to move, stabilize, photo, and process, it takes longer mechanically to operate.

In the single image process, once the mechanical, lighting, and photo exposure process is done, there is only processing time left.

Down to one sentence, the Ricoh photographs once and processes, where the flatbed photo, processes, and moves on a 1,000 times.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:33 AM   #6
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If you're willing/able to cut the pages loose from the spine of the book, you should look at the Fujitsu ScanSnap line of scanners. You can drop in a stack of pages, and it automatically feeds through the duplex scanner. It runs pretty quickly, too! I'm very pleased with my ScanSnap 1500m scanner.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmamakos View Post
If you're willing/able to cut the pages loose from the spine of the book, you should look at the Fujitsu ScanSnap line of scanners. You can drop in a stack of pages, and it automatically feeds through the duplex scanner. It runs pretty quickly, too! I'm very pleased with my ScanSnap 1500m scanner.
Does it work well on 50-years old paper? I have some old books that are dull enough so no shop or library wants them, and I might scan them before I throw them away - but I'm worried it wouldn't be able to pick old, thick and dusty paper well and I'd have to supervise it every 10 pages.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:39 PM   #8
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