A dazzling array of devices that start the digitization chain now beckon
the prospective digital imaging initiative. Note: We use the term
scanner to refer to all image capture devices, including digital cameras.
some key questions about any scanner you might consider.
Is this scanner compatible with my documents? Can it handle the range
of sizes, document types (single leaf, bound volume), media (reflective,
transparent), and the condition of the originals? For additional details
on matching a scanner to a particular set of document specifications,
see Appendix A "Assessing Document Attributes and Scanning Requirements"
RLG Worksheet for Estimating Digital Reformatting Costs and Don
Can this scanner produce the requisite quality to meet my needs? It
is always possible to derive a lower quality image from a higher quality
one, but no amount of digital magic can accurately restore detail that
was never captured to begin with. Factors to consider include optical
(as opposed to interpolated) resolution, bit depth, dynamic range, and
Can this scanner support my production schedule and conversion budget?
(Pay attention to throughput claimsoften a major factor in scanner
cost.) What are its document handling capabilities? Its duty cycle,
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), and lifetime capacity? What kind of
maintenance contracts are available (on-site, 24-hour replacement, depot
specifications can be difficult to interpret and often lack standardization,
making meaningful comparisons impossible. The RLG/DLF guide, Selecting
a Scanner examines scanner specifications related to image quality
and can help the reader see past the marketing hype that is commonplace
in the industry.
you read through the details of available scanners, keep in mind that
most scanners were designed for large markets such as the business and
graphic arts segments. Few were designed to accommodate the specific needs
of libraries and archives. Your goal will be to find one that best fits
your needs with the fewest compromises.