Before studying the technical characteristics of devices, it is advised to decide on the category for which the scanner will be used. However, this does not make sense: it does not matter whether it is purchased for home or office – there are so many scanner models at the present time that even a professional can make a mistake when choosing. How to make the right choice?
What are the types of scanners?
In the future, it is the technical characteristics listed in the article that will be the key factor during the acquisition of a particular scanner model. It is logical that if the scanner is purchased for travel, its size will be compact, and there will be no need for high power, etc.
To begin with, we will consider the main types of scanners that can be bought almost everywhere in modern times:
- slide scanner.
This device is used to scan photographic film, negatives or other slides of a similar nature. Unlike other types of scanners, slide scanners cannot scan an opaque image. They just weren’t designed for that.
- Broaching (sheet) scanner.
As mentioned, the pull-through scanner is very similar in structure to the slide scanner. Just like photographic film, you need to put a sheet in it that needs to be scanned. After running through the device, it is issued by the scanner back safe and sound, and at the same time a very distorted scanned copy is obtained.
This type of scanner has long been outdated and, according to users, does not justify its price. And given that for the scanning procedure, the sheet with the image must be inserted into the device as a whole, the possibility of creating scanned copies of magazines, documents, etc. is completely leveled.
On the other hand, at the present time, a considerable number of various models of sheet-fed scanners are being released: with the duplex function (two-sided scanning), good sheet speed, etc. The price, of course, is at the level of competitors.
While this type of scanner may be appropriate in some situations, the overall usefulness of this type of device is highly questionable. As a plus, you can only count the automatic feeding of sheets with images (55-80 sheets, depending on the size of the tray). In one automatic run, it is possible to make about 25 pages of scanned copies per minute (or 50 pages in the same period if scanning is on both sides).
- Hand scanner.
The simplest device in its conception, requiring a “firm” hand and little experience. A cheap and compact scanner, but the final copy is extremely fuzzy and distorted. In order to obtain adequate quality final scan copies, it is desirable to have some kind of mechanical “clamp” for the most even run. Such hand-held devices have had similar clamps for a long time. They are called stationary scanners.
However, hand-held scanners have a very strong argument for their effectiveness (besides ease of use, space savings, and low price). This is the ability to make selective copies, running the device only over the desired part of the image / text. The quality will still suffer compared to its counterparts, but this type of scanner has its strengths without a doubt. This is also confirmed by the feedback from people, a large number of different models and the interest in their creation of giant manufacturers in this field.
- Flatbed scanner.
The most common and versatile type of scanners. It features a huge selection of sizes, characteristics, structure, etc. Ideal for scanning books, photographs, documents, and ordinary sheets. It is not for nothing that it is the leading type of device in this area on the scanner market.
The desired image is placed inside the scanner (face down), after which it is pressed on top with a lid for maximum density. A scanning element passes from below, which eventually creates a scanned copy. The quality of the final copy depends on the correctness of the procedure performed and ranges from “excellent” to “stunning”.
These types of scanners are the most popular among buyers.
Optimal Scanner Resolution
When choosing a scanner, you need to understand some very important characteristics. For example, permission. Matrix resolution can be denoted as DPI – this is the number of dots on a scanned copy within one square inch. The DPI size is equivalent to the quality of the final image.
There are two types of permission, we will understand them in more detail:
- optical resolution. The most important key characteristic that you need to pay attention to. A high optical resolution will allow you to get a copy of perfect quality.
- interpolation resolution. The second type of matrix resolution, the benefits of which are manifested on an individual basis. Thanks to this characteristic, the image is artificially enlarged, but the clarity and quality of the final scanned copy are seriously affected.
Consider how much DPI is required for various kinds of scans:
- text documents – 200-300;
- displaying the image on the screen of a standard monitor – 100;
- printing an enlarged image on a printer (also suitable for scanning photos) – 600;
- scanning a slide for printing on an A6 sheet using a printer – 1,200;
- the same slide print, but on A4 sheet – 2,400.
Based on these DPI indicators, you can easily make a choice depending on what scanner resolution is required in a particular case. And choosing the right model, taking into account the provided parameters, is completely simple.
Other technical specifications
When choosing a scanner, other indicators are important:
- There are two types of scanning elements: CCD-matrix and CIS-sensor.
In the first case, the scanner will produce high quality copies and last much longer, but its price will be very high. Also, such scanners will require a large amount of time before starting work to “warm up”.
CIS-sensor scanners are completely the opposite: they are cheap, ready to work right away, but the scanning quality leaves much to be desired. And such scanners become unusable very quickly.
Analyzing these elements, you need to make a choice: price or quality.
- The scanning speed directly depends on the resolution of the matrix.
If it is not indicated in the characteristics, you should ask the seller about this or look at the values u200bu200bon the official website of the manufacturer. Perhaps they will even indicate those characteristics that a simple layman does not need at all.
- Color depth affects the number of colors a scanner can “understand” and is measured in bits.
For scanners, the standard color depth is 30 bits. The vast majority of computer applications have a color depth of 24 bits (this is for comparison). It is best to pay attention to this characteristic to professionals working with images. It is also worth looking in the list of scanner characteristics for an interesting English phrase “truebit”, which indicates “true color depth” (literal translation), and not calculated.
Don’t believe the stories about 48-bit color scanners. This is just service information or just a “duck”. A healthy human body, especially vision, sees colors in 24 bits (if we draw an analogy). Even if a person is a genius, he will not be able to see the difference between color at 24 and 48 bits in principle. Therefore, overpaying for a scanner with “increased color depth recognition” means falling for a cheap marketing ploy.
Shows the size of sheets that the machine can scan. There are different sizes: from a regular sheet of white paper (A4) to huge (A1, A0), small (A5, A6) and very tiny (A9).
It is worth choosing a scanner that can drive through the sheet format that the buyer needs.
As bonus additions to scanners, a slide adapter and autofeed are common. The slide adapter allows you to turn a flatbed scanner into a slide scanner, but the quality of the result will still be lower than the original slide scanner. Thanks to the adapter, it becomes possible only to scan the film, but no one promises quality.
An automatic sheet feeder is very helpful with large amounts of work, but if you rarely use the scanner, it is pointless.
It is worth refusing such functions if they are not necessary, pleasantly saving money. However, if they are still needed, then their acquisition will greatly simplify the life of the buyer. You can buy them both separately and in a set with the scanner itself. But if they are in the mentioned kit, but are not needed for work, it may be worth looking for another model so as not to overpay for a “dummy”.
Popular scanner models
The quality of scanners directly depends on the manufacturer. When buying even a scanning device that is ideal in terms of characteristics, you should be prepared that it will not fulfill the requirements for it. This often happens with unknown companies that cannot provide their customers with quality products.
The leaders in sales of high quality scanners are HP, Cannon, Xerox, Epson. These manufacturers have managed to prove that they create excellent electronics. And scanners are not their weak point. An alternative is the manufacturer Fujitsu-Siemens, whose scanners are slightly worse quality, but significantly cheaper. However, when choosing a scanner, you need to consider specific models, and not rely entirely on the reputation of manufacturers:
- In the ranking of the best flatbed scanners 2017-2018 were the following models:
- Epson Perfection V19 is a great option, but exclusively for home use, the price of the device is more than acceptable (4,800 rubles, while competitive models are much more expensive);
- HP ScanJet Pro 3500 f1 – the fastest scanner model, which additionally has the functions of autofeed and two-sided scanning, which is especially well suited for office needs (28,000 rubles);
- Epson Perfection V550 Photo – as the name implies, the model of this device shows maximum efficiency when scanning photos (14,000 rubles).
- the best sheet/feed scannersaccording to professionals, are:
- Brother ADS-1600W – an excellent combination of price (23,000 rubles) and functionality, it is also one of the most compact traction scanners in principle;
- HPScanJetPro 3000 s3 Sheet-feed – excellent color depth on copies, large auto-feed tray (50 sheets, operating speed – 35 sheets per minute), an abundance of additional functions in the device (33,000 rubles);
- Canon P-215II is a simple and relatively inexpensive (17,000 rubles) sheet-fed scanner model, and users in reviews praise the scanner for its built-in software and ideal compactness (1 kg when folded), making this scanner ideal for transportation, but it characteristics allow you to work successfully only with various kinds of documentation.
- perfect professional scanner at the moment, the broaching Canon LF SCANNER M40 (298,000 rubles) was chosen.
This model is not in vain became the winner in the ranking of the best models. Moreover, this scanner is the only one that professionals should pay attention to. And that’s why:
- the cost of this device is 2-3 times less than that of competitors, but it offers absolutely identical functionality (it is easily compared according to technical documentation);
- with a matrix resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI (not the highest), multiple reviews claim that the original is almost perfectly copied, but this is the opinion of professionals, and not ordinary users when assessed “by eye”, which once again indicates high quality scanner operation;
- the speed of the device is 330 mm per second, and this is quite enough to impress an unprepared person or not get bored in the process of making copies (note that the scanning speed was calculated at maximum quality settings);
- the presence of a touch screen (22 inches), with which you can evaluate the quality of a scanned copy in real time, change the tone, get rid of minor flaws, distortions, etc.
According to reviews, users have absolutely no complaints about this model.
Considering all the characteristics when choosing a scanner, you can choose the model that is most suitable for specific cases. There are a very impressive number of varieties, but the main thing is not to let yourself be deceived: the more functions the scanner performs, the higher the likelihood of a hidden defect. Budget options especially often “suffer” from this.