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Using your camera as a "Scanner"

You can use a high-resolution digital camera as a scanner. It may not be highest print quality for text, but if you zoom in it should be good enough for most purposes. It will almost always be good enough for photos.

Works best if your camera is at least 3 or 4 mega-pixels. Tips:

Here are some samples:  first a page which was scanned from a Cruise Brochure ...
Scanned Image

A photo of the same page (notice the curve on the top because the page wasn't as flat as when pressed against the scanner glass) ...
Photographed Image

The the scan was done at 300 d.p.i. and the original file before cropping of the over-scan was 2544 x 3508 pixels and 2.3 MB in size. The original photo (using a 6 mega-pixel camera) before cropping of the over-shoot (which you can see I didn't do very well) was 1960 x 3008 and 2.7 MB in size. The page samples above were reduced to 625 x 800 and (using high compression, ACDSee quality 15) are just 68 KB in size. (Although these don't look to bad on your screen, these low resolution versions wouldn't look that good if printed ... especially the text.)

As you can see in full resolution sections below, the type in the scanned images is crisper but the photographed image isn't all that bad. They both look pretty good when printed ... in fact I couldn't tell the difference between the entire pages when I printed the full resolution versions. The photos are much faster to take and the camera is a lot easier to carry with you than a computer and scanner.

To better see the quality of both images compare these sections, all of which are at the original resolution and saved with an ACDSee quality of 85 ... these sections are all 800 pixels wide and roughly 240 KB in size.

Scanned image ...
Scanned Image

Photographed image ...
Photographed Image

Scanned image ...
Scanned Image

Photographed image ...
Photographed Image

Back to Digital Photography Index


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