Oh Great scanning Gods, I ask for your guidance.

Started by Cez, Feb 10, 2024, 05:25 AM

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You hit the nail on the head the very first time, I think.  Too good to be true.  I don't even know why they're called scanners - they're basically just mounted cameras, but then I can download "scanner" apps for my smartphone, too.

I've never used one myself, so you can take all of this with a grain of salt if you like, but I've seen articles/blogs/videos of people using these to scan magazines (any other use wouldn't be useful in determining their value to members of a site like this.)  They don't appear to be quite as easy to use as you might suspect, being somewhat finicky at times, but in general most of the people reviewing them were pleased with the results for the most part.  However, those people's priority was getting a readable scan without destroying the mag.  The actual results they posted were quite poor by the standards most of the magazine scanning community lives by.

So while the results will be readable, they aren't going to look like quality scans.  They tend to look like what they are - photographs, albeit ones that use software to try to remove warping from curved pages.  This works fairly well with text-only books where the algorithm can basically just make sure the letters are all in straight rows.  But with the complicated layouts of magazines with print at all sorts of angles, not to mention all of the pictures, the "flattening" feature is decidedly less convincing and doesn't replicate the original with complete accuracy.  And the resolution/clarity just isn't there.  With all of the distance between the camera and the page, it's impossible to create any conditions where ambient lighting won't affect the "scan."

Bottom line and final word - there's a reason not one member of the magazine scanning communities either here, at Retromags, or wherever - use one of those camera scanners.  They definitely have their uses for all kinds of applications - and so far as mags go, if all you want is something readable without any damage to the original, then it could be valuable for personal use.  But as a tool for providing magazine scans to the masses, they just aren't up to snuff from what I've seen.


Thanks for the response. Yeah I figured as much. Just looking for a magic bullet solution to the scanning I want to do. Guess I'll have to do it the hard way. Those advert/videos they show make it look so easy...


I have a CZUR.  Crap for mags, but good for scanning books and other black and white texts in my experience


I agree 100% with everything kitsunebi said on this particular type of scanner.

If you absolutely must have a scanner that doesn't destroy your magazines/books you'd probably be better off looking at what's called a book edge flatbed scanner where one side of the scanner slopes away to allow the spine to the placed on the glass thanks to the opposite page being able to hang downwards off the edge of the scanner. Don't expect these to be cheap however, especially for an A3 capable scanner if larger content is being scanned. However, you'd need to do your homework on one of those. I've never seen one so don't know how close to the spine these things can scan.