Technicalities behind Wide Format Scanners

Is your office cluttered with files that need to be digitally archived? Then consider purchasing a large format scanner. The latest models of these types of scanners work remarkably faster than flat bed scanners. And if you have already considered buying a wide format scanner but do not understand the technicalities, here is some information about scanner technology to aid your search. (Information credit: ByColortrac)

  • CCD based scanners

These large format scanners have linear sensors which capture red, green and blue lines simultaneously. The light reflected from the object while scanning it is pitched towards the CCD array with the help of lenses and mirrors. Thus, Charged Coupled Device (CCD) scanners enable scanning high resolution details. These devices scan image areas one by one and then stitch them together to form a single large format image.

  • CIS based scanners

The light rod of Compact Image Sensor (CIS) scanners carries a three colour LED (red, green and blue) on either end. The images do not need to be stitched as CIS based system scans the entire area at the same time. This type of wide format scanner is compact and light. The focal depth of CIS technology based scanner is usually twice the focal point of a normal copier paper. Energy efficiency and affordability are the two major qualities which make it so popular.

  • Scanner resolution

The term ‘resolution’ is used in the digital world to represent geometric resolution of the optical elements. If the document is scanned in black and white then you should use a scanner with a higher resolution than its coloured counterparts to get a clear scanned document. Engineering drawings from CAD require near about 400dpi for coloured scans and 600dpi for black and white scans. Blueprints on the other hand require 200dpi to 300dpi for colour scanning and 400dpi to 600 dpi for black and white scanning.

  • Interpolated Resolution

Interpolation resolution of a scanner is computed from the neighbours of the visible pixel positions of the scanner. If the interpolated resolution is 1200dpi and the real resolution is 600dpi then only one of the four pixels is real pixel. The software interpolation enhances resolution more than hardware interpolation. In the case of line-art, interpolation enables the scanner to smooth out the jagged edges.

  • Colour or Black and White

The black and white scanners are comparatively cheaper than colour scanners. Buy a black and white if you are absolutely sure that you do not require scanning documents in colours. CCD scanners which have colour scanning technology scan document in full colour and then the image can be converted into black and white.

  • Bits, Density and Noise

Bit depth per colour or colour resolution is not similar to dynamic range. Most large format scanners have at least 36 bits colour depth. Low noise scanners especially CCD based require a better dynamic range. Contemporary wide format scanners can collect more photons through line cameras. Hence, they generate less noise while scanning documents.

  • Connectivity

The latest models of large format scanners come with a USB port. The port can be used for not only storing documents temporarily but also for charging the device. The availability of USB port in wide format scanners means that they will consume less power and requires less time to get fully charged. You can also connect these scanners directly to your iPhones or a network. The files can thus be transferred easily via email.

360 degree large format scanners are a new addition. As the name suggests, you can scan documents from all angles. Now that you are armed with the knowledge of physical aspects of a wide format scanner you will no longer face any difficulties to make the right choice.

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Tags: Format, Scanners, Wide

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