Scanners use light to copy an image for transfer to computers or other electronic devices. Some options use a lid design which requires you to place the photo or document on a transparent surface. Others allow you to scan items through a document feeder which keeps papers moving for quick, on-the-go projects. Portable scanners help you keep up with all scanning needs as you travel. Negative film scanners go even further, transferring photo-quality negatives and slides to a digital format.
Scanner technology is not just for scanning images. Barcode scanners are commonly found in warehouses, shops, and offices. They read barcodes just as photo scanners read photos, presenting you with information such as pricing, file details, and inventory counts. Desktop and handheld versions are available, with the latter being especially helpful for people who are constantly on the move.
The answer depends on the project you're working on. For photographers, having a high-resolution scanner makes a huge difference in the end result. Staying around 600 DPI gives you clear, true-to-life quality you need for detailed images. On the other end of the spectrum, a low DPI is fine if you're just working with documents.
Most scanners don't need scanner accessories for normal operation, but there are a few extras that can come in handy. Cleaning kits are helpful for every type of scanner, even portable and business card scanners, as they keep the reader clean, ensuring the highest quality scans. These kits usually come with a liquid or spray cleaner, plus special towelettes or wipes that won't scratch or etch fragile surfaces. For portable devices, a carrying case is always a good idea. Most cases feature hard sides made to withstand the rigors of daily use. If you plan to use more than one scanner, an automatic printer switch can help you make the transition between devices quickly. These accessories can connect up to four devices, and switch between them with just the press of a button.
You can use scanner software to improve the quality of your scanned images. Many photo scanners come with their own recommended suites or programs, but you can easily take advantage of more features by upgrading your software. Some of the features these scanner programs offer include:
When purchasing software, make sure that it's compatible with both your scanner and your device, including the operating system.
Whether you need a full-sized flatbed or something that goes with you on projects, there's something out there to meet all of your needs. Check out B&H Photo and Video's wide selection of devices for every situation.