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Old 11-12-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
CarlB
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Default Choosing a scanner for desktop publishing, newsletter

I am working on school presentation where I compare and recommend three scanners. The scanner will be used for publishing a newsletter at the Human Society. This is a hypothetical situation.

What factors are important to desktop publishing when buying a scanner and why?

Here is what I thought were important factors
-DPI (optical)
-Ability to scan legal documents
-PPM
-Color depth



I was given three scanners to chose from and sadly they offer most of the same specifications. Which would you choose for a newsletter and why? Cost is not a factor.

Epson V700: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1158322692617
HP 8270: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218009770391
HP 8300: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218009780506

-The Epson will not scan a legal document
-They all are capable of 4800DPI optical
-The 8270 has the same specs as the 8300, but has a document loader

This presentation may depend on reliability and brand preference for the recommendation considering how similar the models are.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:40 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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Other things I can think of offhand to look at:

- The scanning software that comes with the scanner. Is it easy to use or horrible or somewhere in between?

- There are some very good third-party scanning programs as well; are the scanners supported by these? (may not be an issue)

If the newsletter will need to convert documents to text using OCR or need to convert paper to electronic documents (e.g. PDFs) for storage, the document feeder might be very handy

   
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:20 PM   #3
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I have been happy with four different Epson scanners; am using a V500 Photo right now. FWIW.

It may be a prejudice, but H-P equipment is ill at ease in a graphics department. I have no experience with H-P scanners, only printers, but when it comes to drivers and ease of use, I vote for Epson every time.

Why does your hypothetical group need legal size scanning? It is not commonly needed in printing department.

If the printing quality is meant to be very high you might want even better scanners than the ones you listed (or others of that type). Flatbed scanners are relatively slow.

You seem to be assuming digital images. No slides? Flatbed scanners often have transparency units in the cover, but there are also dedicated slide scanners on the market.

Just playing devil’s advocate here.

   
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
Other things I can think of offhand to look at:

- The scanning software that comes with the scanner. Is it easy to use or horrible or somewhere in between?

- There are some very good third-party scanning programs as well; are the scanners supported by these? (may not be an issue)

If the newsletter will need to convert documents to text using OCR or need to convert paper to electronic documents (e.g. PDFs) for storage, the document feeder might be very handy
For the presentation our topic will not involve any type of software. Just the hardware of the scanner.

I figured that the 8270 with the ADF would be a benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
I have been happy with four different Epson scanners; am using a V500 Photo right now. FWIW.

It may be a prejudice, but H-P equipment is ill at ease in a graphics department. I have no experience with H-P scanners, only printers, but when it comes to drivers and ease of use, I vote for Epson every time.

Why does your hypothetical group need legal size scanning? It is not commonly needed in printing department.

If the printing quality is meant to be very high you might want even better scanners than the ones you listed (or others of that type). Flatbed scanners are relatively slow.

You seem to be assuming digital images. No slides? Flatbed scanners often have transparency units in the cover, but there are also dedicated slide scanners on the market.

Just playing devil’s advocate here.
They don't necessarily need legal document scanning. I was just trying to find factors that would be important in choosing between the three.

For the project we are not allowed to research any other scanners than the three.

I'll elaborate on this hypothetical situation. The scanner is to be donated by "Best Buy", so these are models Best Buy has in stock. The local Humane Society will use this scanner and other computer components provided to publish their newsletter. Other groups are covering; CPU, monitor, printer, digital camera, etc.


What would be some of the more important factors if legal documents may not be needed for a newsletter? Also feel free to give biased personal opinions on either brand.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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>> For the presentation our topic will not involve any type of software. Just the hardware of the scanner.

If that's the limit of the *presentation's* scope, fair enough. If somebody's actually going to buy the scanner based on the presentation, then the scope is too narrow.

A great scanner with crappy software is a crappy scanner. ;-)

   
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
>> For the presentation our topic will not involve any type of software. Just the hardware of the scanner.

If that's the limit of the *presentation's* scope, fair enough. If somebody's actually going to buy the scanner based on the presentation, then the scope is too narrow.

A great scanner with crappy software is a crappy scanner. ;-)
Very true. The presentation will focus on the important features for desktop publishing, then we will make a recommendation based on those factors or brand preference based on reviews.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:01 PM   #7
BobRoosth
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I'd take the Epson. I've been using a Perfedtion 4490 for a couple of years.

I have never liked the HP scanning software. As I see it, the software was written for people who do not really know what scanning is all about, so it tries to hide essential (to me) controls.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
CarlB
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We have added software to the list of important factors when considering a scanner for desktop publishing. Here is the new list:
·Flat bed or Loader
·Software
·PPM

·DPI

·Bit Depth

·Media formats (negatives, transparencies, slides, etc)
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlB View Post
Here is the new list...
Bit depth is not really important. Scanners will either give you 8 or 16 bits per color channel, and the information will be rounded to 8 bits for output--the other 8 bits are, in essence, fractions.

More important is dynamic range—the difference between the darkest and lightest shades the scanner can capture, also its ability to differentiate between shades at the shadow end of the range.

PPM is really only important for scanning text for OCR—and people generally over-estimate how much of that they will be doing. Unless you have specific knowledge to the contrary, I would only give OCR 10% – 20% weighting in the overall scoring.

DPI is important, but only if it is "true optical resolution"—to be proper, you should refer to it as SPI (samples per inch).

   
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
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About dynamic range ... I need to get a scanner, and would prefer not to spend a lot since I rarely need to scan anything. I've only scanned three times in the past year.

I'm considering the Epson V500 which has a dynamic range of 3.4 Dmax and the V700 which has 4.0 Dmax. Is that a significant difference? The V700 runs about $200 more than the V500, but I'll spend it if it will give me noticeably better scans.

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