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Searching for a Decent Scanner?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-would-you-recommend dept.

Graphics 425

Stumped about Scanners asks: "My little sister's scanner is acting up, so she's in the market for a new one. However, the software she wishes to use it with (some funkadelic 'music OCR' thing that lets you scan sheet music and transforms it automagically into MIDI files) claims that it doesn't work too well with HP scanners. And, truth be told, I've never known much about which scanners are good and which are crap. So, which scanners lately are decent? Which are crap? I know that DPI matters very little (just like it does in printers)-- it's quality that matters. Could the SlashDot community provide some info on which scanners (some from HP and some not from HP) are decent? Are there any quasi-reputable sites (a la Tom's Hardware?) that have reviews on such things?"

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Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (4, Informative)

EggMan2000 (308859) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521756)

There are a lot of scanners on the market and they are realy not that different anymore. Your sister needs to get a TWAIN compatable scanner that is a stand-alone. Here are a few Epson scanners [epson.com] . A lot of these companies are really afraid of HP b/c HP offers these multi-purpose devices. Those can really suck. But for the money the Epson above should do the trick. But compare them to UMAX, Canon, etc.

Just remember: "TWAIN" not "WIA" not "All-in-one"

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (3, Informative)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521779)

Actually, All-in-one's are still sitting on and old reputation from when there were alot of crappy ones that liked to crap out after a year.

But now a days, plenty of companies make all in ones that are really nice pieces of equipment.... I'd specifically mention HP & Canon in this category myself... the laser ones anyway, no experience with the inkjet ones.

MIDI? Dear God, NO! (-1, Flamebait)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521819)

"some funkadelic 'music OCR' thing that lets you scan sheet music and transforms it automagically into MIDI files"

Your sister, sir, is worse than Hitler!!!

(I will retract my statement if she's actually using it to drive instruments. If she's using it as background music on her web page, you need to hold an intervention, NOW!)

HP 33xx series has a limited life span (4, Informative)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521940)

They're nice machines, but mine only lasted about a year and half (maybe two years). After which it needed a scanner bulb replacement and HP didn't offer the part for sale. Rather, one had to purchase the whole scanner assembly in order to fix the multifunction device. Worse, not even the print function works when the device reports a scanner error.

Prior to this meltdown, I was pretty pleased with the unit. Getting it to play nice with OS X Panther was a royal bear, but that problem was fixed by the time that Panther had been out about a year.

I wanted to buy one of the Canon or Samsung models to replace it, but neither offered OS X drivers for their multifunction devices. If I didn't have such a limited amount of space, I would have bought a separate printer, copier, and scanner. Separately, they wouldn't have had much of a premium over all-in-one units.

I ended up buying another HP. Unless you want to spend a couple thousand on industrial grade machines, they're pretty much the only game in town for laser all-in-ones for OS X.

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (1, Informative)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521785)

For my money, I'd make sure it was SANE compatible. Screw TWAIN.

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521880)

What does the Standard Apple Numeric Environment have to do with scanners?

Or, put another way, why can't people coming up with names for new software technologies at least do a quick google search to make sure they aren't already using a fairly well-known acronym? Sheesh.

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (1)

Equinox_76 (306213) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521791)

TWAIN... that's got to be the funniest acronym ever for something mainstream

Technology
Without
An
Interesting
Name

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521905)

The word TWAIN is from Kipling's "The Ballad of East and West" - "...and never the twain shall meet...", reflecting the difficulty, at the time, of connecting scanners and personal computers. It was up-cased to TWAIN to make it more distinctive. This led people to believe it was an acronym, and then to a contest to come up with an expansion. None were selected, but the entry "Technology Without An Interesting Name" continues to haunt the standard. "

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (1)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521836)

Ahh, TWAIN...

Technology without an interesting name...

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521839)

Uh, can somebody explain to me why they consider all-in-oners not to be TWAIN compatible? TWAIN is after all a software protocol, and my wife's Epson scanner/printer/copier/fax seems to be TWAIN compatible (in that I can hook up to it's driver as a TWAIN source in Paint Shop Pro and get a picture back).

Re:Hey boss! "The TWAIN!!" (1)

stanleypane (729903) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521892)

I'll second the reccomendation for an Epson scanner. Having purchased two of them for a team of catalog designers, I can tell you they are very reliable and produce a good quality scan. Compatibility with both Mac and Windows platforms has not been an issue, although I haven't had the luxury of trying them with a Linux box. In my experience, the 2400u and 1200u have been great products, but I'm sure by now the quality has only improved.

As the parent mentioned, TWAIN is of utmost importance if you want the scanner to work with most third party software.

Try Canon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521921)

Canon makes some excellent scanners. Bucking the trend of "Made in China", most of Canon's products are "Made in Vietnam".

HP (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521757)

HP tend to be very easy to hook up, and integrate well with Windows. Aside from that, I can't help you.

Re:HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521809)

HP tend to be very easy to hook up, and integrate well with Windows. Aside from that, I can't help you.

If only you weren't a Windows user you could be a Slashdot editor with insight like that.

Re:HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521812)

translation..

I have no idea what I am talking about, I want to post something so I sound like I know something I really dont.

please stroke my ego....

How about not posting worthless drivel?

Re:HP (1)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521863)

Yeah, only took 2 hours to get my USB HP scanner hooked up. It came with a crayy USB cable. Replaced that and it finally, mostly worked.

Never got the TWAIN interface working well enough for Photoshop to scan more than 1 image without the scan preview window crashing.

Re:HP (1)

Novus (182265) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521872)

The HP PSC series has been quite painful to configure for network use, especially on mixed Windows systems. HP has, for example, wrapped drivers together with a lot of other irrelevant software, preventing you from e.g. just reinstalling the printer driver. This is at least my experience with an HP PSC 1210; newer models may be better. Surprisingly, the Linux drivers are excellent.

Re:HP (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521928)

I have a customer with a PSC1210. I've been having an awful time trying to get the thing running. I'm going there tomorrow with a download of the latest driver...

OTOH, at my office we just got an Officejet 6210 all-in-one a few weeks ago. It's performing quite well, although the ADF occasionally feeds two sheets if they haven't been fanned.

Re:HP (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521923)

And as with all hardware, I guess, make sure that it's compatible with Linux if you wish to run such a beast at a later date.

I didn't bother checking about my HP 36-something-something. I recently switched to using Ubuntu, and SANE [sane-project.org] won't touch my HP with a bargepole.

It works fairly well with Windows, but uses some ActiveX functionality for its document store/display which IE tends to worry about being a security issue. Might scare the uninitiated.

I am using... (1)

Karaman (873136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521771)

...One old ACER (A4) and it still works. I bought it for 50 bucks 4 years ago :)

AH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521772)

First Post!

I know a site (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521775)

it's called "Google" [google.com]

That's really all that needs to be said about this.

Google (1, Redundant)

fumanchu32 (671324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521780)

What is so wrong with using Google to find an answer?

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521823)

You miss those oh-so-witty slashdot comments that are famous all through the internets.

Re:Google (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521882)

Much more with reality- from Google you get paid reviews. From slashdot you get user reviews. For any geek, the second is much more valuable because the first is just marketing.

Re:Google (2, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521897)

You've broken the google rule: if you refer the person to google for their answer, you have to prove google can find the answer by providing the search criteria (and your search criteria better find the right answer, or you'll get flamed heavily).

Re:Google (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521899)

Maybe he did a search for google and it returned "Ask Slashdot" for the answer. Hence, he is asking the question here.

How do you like that answer Mr. Fancy Pants! :-p

Re:Google (1)

Gigabit Switchman (16654) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521914)

Last I checked, Google didn't give you the opinions of a bunch of geeks. This is exactly the sort of question that there's no real resource for except Ask Slashdot - maybe Google should start a Geek Opinions site. ;-)

Can SlashDot ;-) people please recommend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521951)

A site that actually has News for Nerds and Stuff that Matters ?

sheesh this place is getting lame....

Scanner... (0, Offtopic)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521781)

for a second there, I thought you meant frequency scanner. Not image scanner :P

Not on topic, but I can't be the only one!

Re:Scanner... (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521875)

Actually yes, you can be the only one. The damned "teaser" stated it was specifically for scanning in sheet music.

--
telnet://sinep.gotdns.com [gotdns.com] -- Remember the old BBS days?

Re:Scanner... (1)

SLOviper (763177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521902)

My thoughts exactly - followed by the "that's a very interesting 'liitle Sister'" thought...

Add to Question (4, Interesting)

rknop (240417) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521784)

Which ones are well-supported by SANE, so us Linux (etc.) users can use it?

I generally find that the models on the shelf in CompUSA and the like are not supported by SANE (at least the ones that are on the less expensive end). Meanwhile, the ones that SANE says they support are all more than a month or two old. I don't know why so much of the computer industry feels the need to put out a new model number with essentially the same functionality every couple of months, but printers and scanners in particular seem to suffer from that. It makes it difficult for those of us using free drivers to keep up with.

What's a good, low-end, *current* scanner that you can get that works with SANE?

-Rob

Re:Add to Question (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521828)

"It makes it difficult for those of us using free drivers to keep up with."

That's the point - Bwahahaha...

Re:Add to Question (4, Interesting)

Feyr (449684) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521874)

i have an old scsi UMAX scanner here that's a serious pain in the ass (read: almost impossible) to get working in windows according to cow-workers. SANE picked it up on the first try, and the quality is even good!

feyr my SANE-ity

Re:Add to Question (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521908)

The scanner on the Epson Stylus CX 3650 ALL-IN-ONE works perfectly with sane.

But I can't get the f*cking (sorry) printer on it to work on debian sarge! Even after manually adding the model number and all to the cupsd config files.

go EPSON (5, Informative)

aurelien (115604) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521787)

AFAIK the quality is top, the price correct, and it plays very nice with any OS (espacially p'n'p under linux with xsane).

What I use at work (1)

christopher240240 (633932) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521789)

I don't know what sort of price range you are looking at, but as far as semi-professional scanners go, I use a Kodak i60 and it does a bang-up job in relatively high usage situations (ie 500-1000 sheets per day). It's pricey, though.

And... (1)

PlasticMetal (913402) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521790)

... do you want to run it on linux ?

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521907)

or do you want it to run linux?

Well... (4, Informative)

coldmist (154493) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521792)

I have a Microtek 6800 and a Fujitsu grayscale duplex scanner right now. I've owned Umax too and helped install HP scanners for others.

Epson and Microtek are probably the best 100-400 scanners. You get what you pay for if you go less than that.

I don't like Epson's drivers. They didn't give me as much control over the scan as the Microtek ones do. The Microtek drivers have a few annoyances, but are full-featured.

Overall, for a good average user, a $150 scanner from Microtek or Epson would be a good investment.

My favorite scanners is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521795)

the first one where that dude's head explodes!

Re:My favorite scanners is... (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521920)

the first one where that dude's head explodes!

I can see why you posted that anonymously. Scanners (1981) [imdb.com] - I wonder what percentage of /.ers were old enough to remember that one?

Tom's Hardware (3, Informative)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521796)

Are there any quasi-reputable sites (a la Tom's Hardware?) that have reviews on such things?

Well, Tom's Hardware does have some scanner reviews. Although I don't know if they have the detail you're looking for:

http://www17.tomshardware.com/search/search.html?c ategory=consumer&words=scanner [tomshardware.com]

http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20020327/inde x.html [tomshardware.com]

Re:Tom's Hardware (1)

SLOviper (763177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521946)

Haven't looked at specifics, but try http://www.anandtech.com/ [anandtech.com]

Scanner info from experience (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521797)

Stay away from UMAX. They have horrible support issues in that they obsolete support on scanners that are still being sold. HP products aren't as good as they used to be. Canon is the best buy for you money. I have had 2 Umax and 2 HP scanners but the one Cannon I bought has lasted longer, been more reliable and accurate than any other. They have a good line that only needs a USB cable and no external power supply which makes it the easiest to hookup.

Enter it yourself (5, Interesting)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521798)

Being a professional musician myself, I have tried a lot of these software scanning solutions. Basically, it's easier and faster to just enter scores into a sequencer (like Digital Performer [motu.com] than to deal with the corrections you have to make when dealing with these music to midi scanners.

Save yourself time and money. Get a good keyboard, synth module, and a sequencer and do it that way. Scanning it to midi just doesn't ever work right.

Re:Enter it yourself (2, Informative)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521953)

Seconded. If the music you're scanning is remotely complex, the software will fuck it up completely. You'll spend more time fixing its mistakes than you would have just entering the music by hand or with a MIDI keyboard.

HP (2, Interesting)

oopsyoubrokeit (697230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521800)

I happen to be very happy with most of HP's products. They make some inexpensive scanners that work very well for OCR and music OCR scanning. My little brother and his music classes used $79 HP scanners with music OCR software on handwritten sheets and it worked great.

I would think that it is more the OCR software that would have more of an impact on the quality of the output of music to the computer.

Just my 2 pennies.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521801)

In Soviet Russia, decent SCANNERS YOU!!!

Canon LIDE 20 (3, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521804)

I'm happy with my LIDE 20 from Canon. It's not high-res, but it's teeny and powered from the USB cable so you can easily store it when you're not using it. It's also lasted a lot longer than the old scanner I had (a HP 3400 that died after only a year.)

Watch out for HP Scanner software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521811)

If you go HP and install their scanner software, make sure you do not have My Computer in the Start Menu. I wasted several hours a few days ago trying to figure why when I tried to scan a document the floppy would start thrashing or it was start scanning my hard drive.
The HP website and tech support was no help for figuring out the problem. Ironically the solution was on HP's website, but it took a google search to find it.

It is some issue about the software wanting to scan your start menu or something.

Re:Watch out for HP Scanner software (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521959)

Yeah, why is it that HP's website is THE WORST when it comes to finding answers?! I mean, goddammit, it's easier to use Microsoft's Clippy than it is to use HP's crappy websites on the internets!

Scanners (2, Informative)

Chysn (898420) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521814)

I bought a random $50 scanner at OfficeMax. I use it with Finale (quite possibly the same thing that your sister is using). Works swell. For OCR, you don't need to go nuts.

What a coincidence! (0, Offtopic)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521815)

My little sister is acting up, too. And I'm looking for a new one as well.

Re:What a coincidence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521891)

> My little sister is acting up, too. And I'm looking for a new one as well.

Do you have any pictures of her I can scan?

MOD THIS UP INSIGHTFUL!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521924)

Nice sig.

This being Slashdot.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521816)

...I'd suggest a scanner that doesn't run exclusively on Windows, but one that is compatible with the SANE [sane-project.org] API (in case you can turn your sister from the dark side.)

Canon (3, Informative)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521826)

I've never gone wrong with canon products - I often heavily researched which camera and which printer to get, and ended up getting Canon both times. When I wanted to get a scanner, I went straight to Canon, and have not been disappointed.

Combining my US$100 Canon scanner (cant remember the specific model; think it was a 4200F) and my Canon Pixma iP5000 printer (US$200), I can copy printed material and get very good reproductions.

If you want to go cheaper, they have a good selection of Photo scanners from $50 to $80.

If you have one of a few supported Canon printer models, you can get a 'scanner' cartridge that turns your printer into a sheet-feed scanner.

CanoScan LiDE 20 (1)

DigitalWar (864198) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521829)

I use the cheapest Canon scanner available. Admittedly I typically scan in black and white or grayscale so I get pretty good speeds, but even the colour scans are pretty quick up to about 300dpi. It captures the lineart of my comics nice and sharply, and the few times I've used OCR it's worked pretty well with only a few mistakes that mostly stemmed from the original document. For light users a cheap scanner usually suffices nowadays, and Canons get my vote.

avoid umax (1)

Phybersyk0 (513618) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521830)

Umax used to be some of the best scanners around.

My last Umax scanner (with both USB & SCSI connections) was fantastic until XP came out. Then >boom, no free driver support. You can get a driver but it costs you $20 to order a CD from their website. No download version of it either.

I still have the Umax scanner on a shelf,waiting for them to release a free driver, but I'd only buy HP at this point.

digital camera (5, Interesting)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521831)

If you have a digital camera, try that instead. Many digital cameras, even middle-of-the-line ones like a Powershot S400 or similar, are perfectly good replacements for document scanners, and normally much, much faster.

Grousing about rejections... (0, Offtopic)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521838)

So I submit an ask slashdot looking for a nice VPN/firewall/router appliance for work and I get rejected and someone looking for a scanner for their sister so they can scan pokemon cards or whatever gets accepted.

Mods and Editors. Driving /. into the ground, one day at a time...

Re:Grousing about rejections... (1)

abradsn (542213) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521925)

netgear

Re:Grousing about rejections... (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521941)

Yeah, but if your sister was looking for a VPN/firewall/router, it would have been posted.

BTW, /. hit the ground the day that Zonk was hired. It's just flaming wreckage now.

-h-

Go for CCD types (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521843)

You will get better quality from CCD sensors than CMOS ones, all other things being equal.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question362.h tm [howstuffworks.com]

Re:Go for CCD types (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521956)

You will get better quality from CCD sensors than CMOS ones, all other things being equal.

I don't know if that only to applies to scanners, but for digital cameras the opposite is true. CMOS tends to have better quality than CCD.

Even Sony who had only been putting out CCD cameras now has one with a CMOS sensor, the DSC-R1.

Key technical advantages of the large CMOS sensor (supplied by Sony)
* Five times the sensitivity compared to the DSC-F828
* 2.5 times the dynamic range compared to the DSC-F828
* No smear effect
* Simpler imaging system for live view
* Lower power consumption (200 mW vs. 750 mW)

All the high-end Nikons and Canons are CMOS as well.

How about with Feeders? (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521844)

I have a friend who has a load of documents to scan and he wants to be able to feed them into a scanner and have them just go.

I'd also like the ability to link an image of a bill to a line in Quicken or Money so I don' thave to store the original paper forever. Any ideas there?

Well I like (4, Funny)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521849)

the Radio Shack Pro-89.

I can easily program all of my favorite drivers in in no time. But the Bearcats can be programmed for you at the track at the Race-Scan trucks.

Huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521852)

I thought we outsource all that menial clerical stuff to India?

Epson!! (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521856)

Epson, Epson, Epson. Seriously, I have had amazing results with all of their scanners.

They are TWAIN compatible, have excellent quality and good software (TWAIN driver interface is nice too). Plus, they have models that aren't too pricey.

As a bonus, the 3170 I have (since disco'ed - but new ones are similar) actually do very well at scanning Negatives/Slides. I have a $2,500 dedicated slide scanner from some years back, and my Epson flatbed give me better quality - something I did NOT expect.

Hope that helps, trust me - you won't be disappointed.

DPI ? (3, Interesting)

bushboy (112290) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521857)

Quote: <i> I know that DPI matters very little (just like it does in printers)-- it's quality that matters. </i>

Well, you know wrong.

DPI is to all intents and purposes, the same as "resolution" which is not something you do at New Years.

If you want to scan something, the more of it's surface you can scan, the better.

So yeah, I'd say it DOES matter.

Re:DPI ? (2, Informative)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521962)

The point is that any modern scanner will scan a higher resolution than you will ever need. Unless, of course, you want to scan a penny and blow the image up poster size. The original poster is saying that he understands this and is (IMO rightfully) less concerned than the numbers game that many scanner manufacturers have played in the past and more concerned with image fidelity and quality.

Basic information (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521862)

I don't know anything about current models, and largely it will depend upon your sister's needs, budget, and limitations.

Here are a couple of sites to get you started: http://www.viewz.com/shoppingguide/scanner.shtml [viewz.com] (not my favorite, but it's alright as far as learning the very basics. You just have to realize the site is aimed towards mom-and-pop).

here's the wikipedia entry:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_scanner [wikipedia.org]

Not any info on specific scanners in either of these, but should be a good jumping-off point to understanding the benchmarks.

HP ScanJet 4600 (2, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521866)

I recently got one of these [tomshardware.com] for about $35 at OfficeMax.

See thru top, small, light, cheap, reasonable quality. One of the cool things is you can scan 'anything'. If needed, you can flip it over or lift it up and scan the side of your face. Or any other 3D object.
Labels for the front edge buttons are printed on both faces of the lid.

HP's are bad because they're junk. (1)

theapodan (737488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521867)

I believe after hearing stories and having had several HP consumer devices and computers fail on me that all HP consumer stuff is junk.

I have an epson scanner, like the poster above, and it works great. I also have an excellent epson printer from way back when.

But don't buy HP. Although their big time commercial offerings may be good, because of having compaq and Digital Research, their consumer product line sucks and breaks. More or less disposable too, because its too expensive to fix, owners of older pavilion desktops know about the horrible motherboards they had, I'd guess they still do.

Anyway, DON'T BUY HP!!

14" Legal sheets? (1)

msaulters (130992) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521871)

What I'd like to find is a scanner that will do 8.5x14" paper. They could be found back before the scanner wars, when they were all SCSI and cost $1200 and up.

I haven't seen one in years. My company once had a very pricy HP scanner that had a document feeder. Even that one wouldn't scan 14" paper. It only got the first 12" or so and tried to do the rest as a separate sheet.

my epson 50xx printer/scanner works fine (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521876)

and can do color or black and white copies without
the computer being turned on. Well, who turns off
their computer anyway? ;)

Scanners (1)

sjipca (913723) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521877)

Check out some good all in ones because u r paying close to that for a good scanner and just get high DPI and also look at the other measurements.

STFW (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521881)

search the fucking web.

seriously, since when did slashdot start doing community homework?

Anybody know of "bigger" ( 8.5x11) scanners? (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521883)

I haven't kept up with the "state of the art" scanners. I still have a pretty old AGFA SNAPSCAN TOUCH scanner that I really need to replace.

So what I need is something with larger dimensions, because I have a lot of artwork that is bigger than a regular sheet of paper. I wonder if there's a good set of "oversized" scanners that are not too expensive to buy ...

Epson Expression 1680 (1)

max99ted (192208) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521885)

While it's expensive (~$1000 USD) this is IMHO a great scanner. I know the article author is probably looking for something more moderately priced but for small business it's a great unit. I have many dental office clients that use it daily to scan xrays (you can get a full-sized transparency adapter for film negatives) for storage/EDI transmission and I've never had any complaints or defects.

Canon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521889)

I recently bought a Cannon Cannoscan LIDE 35. I think it's freaking awesome and this is why:
  • One cable, USB. That's it. No power cable!
  • The buttons on the scanner require no background processes running!
I didn't need anything other than basic scanning, and wanted a simple no hassle unit. I just can't get over how I can use the buttons on the front of the scanner and don't need extra software installed and running in the background to use them. And you can't beat just one wire coming out of the thing.

Here's a tip. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521898)

Why don't you just google it [google.com] ?

If quality of advice was based on frequency of giving, "google it" would be the best advice ever given.

HP is alright (1)

criznach (583777) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521901)

I don't see any problem with HPs. As someone else said, get a dedicated scanner - not an all in one unit. And TWAIN is the way to go. It's a standard that's been around for a while, while WIA is a fairly new, windows-only thing. I've had a 5300c for years and love it. If you're using the built-in utilities, just remember to override the standard resolution and click the "rescan for higher resolutions" (or something like that) button. Otherwise, it doesn't rescan, and gives you the 150dpi preview as your final image. I do occasionally have trouble when I haven't used the 5300c for a while. It seems to go to sleep and not want to wake up. So I always unplug the power when i'm done and plug it back in when i'm ready to use it. I'm a graphic designer and i've had a few bad experiences, so based on those, I would NOT recommend visioneer, microtek or mustek scanners. I have a canon canoscan at work that's pretty good.

band camp? (0, Offtopic)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521906)

did your sister go to band camp? what instrument does she play? flute?

/me is afk

Depth of field (1)

geneing (756949) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521911)

One thing to consider if you want to scan pages from books is depth of field. With cheaper scanners anything that's not touching the glass will be out of focus, including text close to the crease of the book.

One non-obvious place to read about scanners is the forum at http://www.pgdp.org/ [pgdp.org] (distributed proofreading for project Gutenberg).

Canon CanoScan N650U (1)

X_Bones (93097) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521912)

I've had my Canon CanoScan N650U for a few years now, and have had exactly zero problems with it. Plug in the USB cable, install the software, push the button on the front, and Photoshop pops up with the scan dialog. Works great with xsane too.

They're a little older, so you can probably pick one up for like $20 now.

Musitek's recommended scanners (1)

CptCnute (592259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521916)

I don't know if your sister is using that particular software package, but Musitek, who makes such software, has a list of recommended and not-so-recommended scanners plus some scanning hints on their site.
http://www.musitek.com/ScannerComp.html [musitek.com]

Epson all the way... (1)

SubDude (49782) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521919)

I have installed numerous scanners and have always enjoyed success with Epson scanners.

The work great with OCR software, produce wire fine scans of diagrams and images and render color photographs well - even the $100 scanners provide excellent quality scans.

I have found the tiny tinny low profile Canon scanners to be delicate and occasionally tempermental.

Epson for price, quality of scan and quality of hardware. Works great with Linux and Windows (probably Mac as well).

Brian

Canon LiDE (1)

bmoon (721018) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521922)

Last December I purchased a standalone Canon LiDE line scanner. It is a small flatbed which works great with Windows via USB connection. The color reproduction is excellent. The driver shows it as a TWAIN source in all of my software which supports TWAIN. I have not tried with Linux or any other OS but I'm happy with the purchase.

Music OCR (1)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521933)

However, the software she wishes to use it with (some funkadelic 'music OCR' thing that lets you scan sheet music and transforms it automagically into MIDI files)

I'm a pianist, and I've tried using several different "Music OCR" things. None of them work well enough to save any time. It's always faster to just sightread the music while playing on a MIDI keyboard.

Maybe sis should spend less time playing on her computer and more time practicing her sight reading!

I'll assume she's using PhotoScore Pro (1)

keltor (99721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521935)

This software has to use TWAIN compatible scanners and the latest HP scanners are really WIA devices that support TWAIN as well (probably through some WAITWAIN interface). She's also probably a Sibelius user (it even includes PhotoScore Pro)

Epson scanners are really the way to go. Most of the scan engines are very similar and produce mostly similar results. Any high end HP/Canon/Epson will produce great results, though if she has "problems" with some of the music she scans in she may need to look at the higher-end scanners.

Interface is part of the problem as well. Virtually all scanners are USB1.1/2 except for highend scanners that support SCSI, Firewire or both. If she has a FireWire port, I would highly recommend she use this as it doesn't require a card like SCSI and is MUCH better than trying to work out one of a bunch of USB devices. The Epson Expression series of scanners work very well. And I can speak personally about the Epson Expression 10000XL.

Ask Slashdot: The New Yahoo? (2, Funny)

Donut2099 (153459) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521947)

Dear Ask Slashdot, I have a report for school. Where can I find pictures of dinosaurs?

HP PSC1315 multifunction (2, Informative)

‹berhund (27591) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521957)

I picked up one of HP's multifunction PSC1315 print/scan/fax jobs (USB). Running FC3, the scanner Just Worked. Without doing anything beyond plugging it in and turning it on, it showed up in Gimp's acquire/scan dialog and successfully scanned images.

Can't speak about the quality, though. I don't really have any references. But it is nice to be able to copy stuff w/o running to the copy shop. And all in the same space as my previous HP inkjet.

The print function wasn't quite as easy to set up. There was a PSC1310 in FC3's printer list, which supposedly workd with the PSC1315. But I just went ahead and downloaded the PPD for the 1315 and told FC3 to use that. (Not much different than installing a driver on Windows.) Works well.

Find out what the specific name of the 'music OCR' (1)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521963)

...thing is and search for that along with scanner in google. You may find that that function is only available on an older machine.
Then be prepared to buy it over the internet. Usually I HATE buying heavy items over the internet because the freight kills you. Try tigerdirect.com if you live in California. They don't charge tax and what you save there may pay for the freight.
Good luck.

rent-a-scanner? (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521964)

Has anyone had good luck with scanning slightly larger things at Kinko's or whatever? I have a few oversized jazz band photos that I think are just a tad bigger than my 8.5*11 oriented flatbed can handle, and I'd rather not do it in sections and hope it comes together...any specific chain (or single place in the burbs of Boston) people would suggest?

Epson 4990 (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521966)

The best flatbend scanner on the market actually are the Epson 4990

Ask Neuratron! (1)

wheatwilliams (605974) | more than 9 years ago | (#13521971)

If your sister's main need is musical optical character recognition, then you need to ask the company that makes the musical recognation software! Don't bother with recommendations from Slashdot readers.

Most likely it's Neuratron Photoscore

http://www.neuratron.com/ [neuratron.com]

Their FAQ says the following:

Which scanners work best with PhotoScore?

        Windows

                Most scanners are suitable, although ones supplied with WIA drivers are recommended since you will then be able to use the Automatic and PhotoScore interfaces in PhotoScore 4 (if you have Windows Me/XP). The latest Epson (e.g. Perfection series) and HP (e.g. ScanJet series) scanners generally work very well.

                If you need to scan oversized scores, Mustek's A3 USB scanner is very well priced.

        Mac OS X

                It is advisable that the scanner is supplied with a Mac OS X TWAIN driver (a classic TWAIN driver will not do), otherwise you will not be able to scan directly into PhotoScore (although you can still scan and save suitable TIFF files using your scanner's software, which PhotoScore can then open). Unfortunately many scanners are not supplied with these. We recommend in particular Epson (e.g. Perfection series) scanners as these also work with the Automatic and PhotoScore scanning interfaces (v4 only). Please note, there appear to be some compatibility issues between Epson drivers and Mac OS X 10.4 with regards to use of the Automatic and PhotoScore interfaces (although the TWAIN interface should still function with no problems).

                If you need to scan oversized scores, Mustek's A3 USB scanner is very well priced.

Marketing hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13521972)

There is a lot of marketing hype in the scanner industry. Even HP (which makes the best consumer grade scanners regardless of what that ignorant software claims) has been using this tactic to compete with the other brands.

Pay attention only to the optical resolution. The resolution claimed by the marketroids will just be the bogus interpolated resolution.

Ignore whether the scanner is 36 or 48 bits. There is no such thing. Graphic files can be at the most 24 bits (unless someone has invented a new file format) so anything more is just more marketing hype.

Basically, check the optical resolution and the smoothness and speed of scanning. Try some out at your local big box store.
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