Looking for my first scanner... can you help?

Ben Motley

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Okay, so I'm looking for a scanner. Basically, I need to start selling of my comics and hardback books. I am a detail fiend! I want extremely clear pictures, and I guess editing software. The deal is that, as I'm sure several of you know, comic values are very condition sensitive. I want people to be able to look at my scans as if they were holding the book in their hands. Having established that...
I have no idea what to look for! Is it okay to go with an off brand, but with a high pixel count? I see like 800 X 1200 dpi resolution a lot (or thereabout). I somehow doubt the standard that I find at Best Buy and Fry's will do the trick. Do I need to look for a higher dpi ratio? What about bit-color depth? Do I care about how many trillions of colors the box boasts? I mean come on, won't a few billion do? Really, I don't know. I've heard horror stories about HP, but they're still a major player. It looks like Canon and Epson are very popular, but I also see all these no-name models for cheap everywhere. What would I be missing? I really don't need features, I just need a workhorse that takes crisp, clear scans.
Oh, I have a POS PC. It's a PowerSpec, from MicroCenter, and has a 400mhz Celeron, 128mb ram (I do have an additional 64mb I can pop in), 8G harddrive, all operating over a 66mhz bus. Okay, you can stop laughing at me now.

Soon I hope to have a better machine, but right now, this is what I have to work with. Also, system resources are hardly touched, as all I have on here is Win98, first edition (AARRGGHH) with all the downloadable updates, and one game, Shogun Total War. I just checked, I have 73% resources free.
So, does anybody have any suggestions? I can't stand asking anybody at the stores questions. They always seem to tell you that whatever model you're looking at is the right one, until you start asking about lower priced models, or ones with less features. Anyway, any help would be most appreciated. I think I pretty much covered anything, but if there's anything I left out, ask me and I'll try to come up with an answer.
Thanks in advance,
Ben
 

Chris

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If you're after a USB scanner, Microtek has some basic ones (4800 is a good one) that start fairly cheaply and work well.
Realistically, most of the "home" scanners you get pretty much suck until you get into the true high end; black is not well defined (Dmax) and you will probably get some "glass" effects.. kinda unavoidable for limited $$.
But of what I've played with, the Microtek 4800 is probably the "best" of the "low grade"
Almost anything you find less then $100 is virtually guaranteed to be crap.
CW
 

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