How much resolution do I need in a scanner?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveK, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I was looking at scanners recently as I have some family photographs that I would like to scan and share with my siblings. The salesman told me that I should make sure I get a scanner that is capable of 2400x2400 resolution. The only scanner they had that was capable of that was a 48-bit HP scanner (I don't remember the model number) that cost about $200. I don't mind paying a few extra dollars for a scanner if it will produce a better digitized image, but would I really be gaining anything by buying a 2400x2400 scanner? Most printers aren't capable of that (at least not yet), but I don't know about monitors.

    So I guess my question is, was the salesman correct? Or would I just as likely be satisfied with a less expensive scanner. Again, I will likely be scanning photographs much more frequently than text. Thanks in advance for any comments and recommendations.

    Steve K.
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    In my experience, higher DPI doesn't necessarily mean higher quality.

    I have an Epson Perfection 1200U scanner...much better than my el-cheapo scanner that also claimed 1200DPI.

    It's really hard to judge a scanner's quality from a salesman's say-so (they tend to be stupid know-nothings). You'll have to use Google.com and search for as many reviews as you can!
     
  3. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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  4. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Like Carl said, spend some time on Scantips
     
  5. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Carl- If you'll pardon the pun, I've scanned the links you provided. I did not study them in detail, just wanted to see what they had to say. Unfortunately, I think now I'm more confused than I was before.

    Perhaps I should rephrase my question. Given that most of my scanning will be photographs, what makes/models/features should I consider? I'm sure I don't want the least expensive no-name scanner available, but I probably also don't need the latest gee-whiz feature that adds significantly to the cost. I want a scanner that produces reasonably good copies of photos and legible copies of documents, but I don't require perfection.

    Again, any recommendations/comments are most welcome.

    Thanks.
    Steve K.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The gist of the scantips site is basically, you won't need to scan more than 300dpi most of the time.
    The Epson Perfection 1200 line is pretty good from the reviews I read a year ago. I assume you don't need to scan from negatives, so you could get the Epson scanners that do not have that feature (at a higher cost).
    But, you should probably do more research...a scanner is a high investment in time, not money. Sure, you can get a cheap one, but you'll still spend hours figuring out the best settings (unsharp mask on or off? what dpi? Do I need to use color correction? Will I be using a touchup program afterwards? etc.).
    I suggest reading the scantips site in detail...the knowledge you gain will be yours forever. [​IMG]
     
  7. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    SteveK,
    If I understand you right, you really aren't interested in a lot of "image editing" but more along the line of e-mailing decent quality snapshops/photos to other family members?
    If this is the case then, as Max said, you'll be scanning at 300dpi. Any higher resolution scan will only increase the file size, not the quality of the scan.
    The HP 4400cse will give you a good quality functional scanner for your purposes. Surprisingly, when I did a quick online price check OfficeMax and OfficeDepot had as good a price as anyone, $99.98.
    http://www.officemax.com/max/solutio...bemgcfkmchci.0
    http://www.officedepot.com/shop/cata...84911&LEVEL=SK
    If you want to step to the Epson Perfection 1650; you'll get faster scans, a few more functional features and a better software bundle. But the scans themselves will not be noticeably better.
    Buy.com has the best price I found, $162.00 shipped.
    http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10309385
    I would opt for the Epson because of the scanning speed advantage. It may not seem like much at first, but if you do many scans it can really begin to be a drag.[​IMG]
    Hope this is of some help.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Carl- I'll certainly give the Epson a good look. In terms of sharing the photographs, I would be more likely to burn them onto CDs than sharing them through e-mail, at least with the initial batch of photos. But after the initial batch, e-mail probably would be more likely.

    I'll obviously need to do a lot more research. I do definitely want something that can do a quicker scan, and it's likely that scanning speed may prove more important than the highest possible resolution. Guess it's time to start surfing the web pages!

    Steve K.
     
  9. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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  10. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Like others have said, it depends on what you're using it for.

    If you want to scan in a photo and view it on a computer, 2400dpi is overkill.

    The Canons are pricey, but they're also very sexy (I sold a bunch of them based on their small size and being USB powered).

    The Epson is nice, and a good price. I was gonna buy one but I got an older display Canon660U for a really cheap price.
     
  11. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Graeme- Canon is the scanner I'm currently thinking about most seriously, based in part on the review in one of the sites linked above. Yes, it's a bit pricey (but no more than a comparable HP model), but it seems to offer what I need. Perhaps it's a bit of overkill, but I'd rather spend $50 for a few features that I won't ordinarily use than later WISH I had spent the extra $ for a feature I suddenly want that my scanner doesn't have. I've learned the hard way that trying to save a few bucks can cost you more in the long run, as upgradeitis seems to set in more quickly.

    Steve K.
     
  12. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Hmmm, I didn't look carefully enough at the Tom's reviews. I thought they were reviewing one of the slimline Canon's which I guess would have been the 1240.

    I guess pretty much everything I said is irrelevent.
     

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