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What is a good cheap scanner?

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What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby mtgrares » 07 Sep 2011, 14:58

What is a good cheap scanner? Has anyone used a business card scanner to scan Magic cards?

I'm thinking about scanning cards from a different trading card game and I'm very impressed with the quality of your scans. Your scans help make Forge (and other Magic programs) feel real.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 07 Sep 2011, 15:30

mtgrares wrote:What is a good cheap scanner? Has anyone used a business card scanner to scan Magic cards?

I'm thinking about scanning cards from a different trading card game and I'm very impressed with the quality of your scans. Your scans help make Forge (and other Magic programs) feel real.
How cheap is cheap? The thing I have found about newer scanners is you can get a few that are $60USD range that will work for most cards but for foil's they are terrible. If you want to do both the least expensive newer scanners I have ran across start at around $100USD.

I have never tried a business card scanner. Only flatbeds.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby PresetM » 08 Sep 2011, 11:53

A cheap scanner is never a good scanner. Never!
Good scanners starts about $250-300USD.
If you plan to scan foil cards, so don't buy a LED scanner. Such a scanner produces only stripes if you try to scan a foil card.
Last edited by PresetM on 10 Sep 2011, 08:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby mtgrares » 08 Sep 2011, 14:22

Thanks for the advice. I figured there were no good, cheap scanners but I had to ask.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby tojammot » 10 Sep 2011, 12:57

@PresetM: Can you recommend one such scanner (mark/model)?
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 13 Sep 2011, 04:29

PresetM wrote:A cheap scanner is never a good scanner. Never!
Good scanners starts about $250-300USD.
If you plan to scan foil cards, so don't buy a LED scanner. Such a scanner produces only stripes if you try to scan a foil card.
What? I understand that many times more expensive products contain higher quality components but in scanners there are only a couple different type of scanning components used in newer scanners (with a third one may argue being digital). You basically have CCD or a CIS. At one time you used to have Drum scanners but I don't know of any modern Drum scanners.

You can find a CCD based scanner that produces great scans for around the $100USD mark. Some of the more expensive multi-purpose scanners made by better known companies such as canon even have CCD in them (most do not). CIS scanners just stink IMO. To your point however LED scanners are terrible for foils but can produce some of the best scanned in images for plain cards (and non reflective surfaces).

Not to mention the software you use to process the image makes a difference.
You just need to do some investigation on scanners you may have in mind and figure out which technology works best for your end result.

edit:
Here is a link to an example of a CCD vs CIS scan giving you an example of the differences in the "depth of field" advantages CCD has over CIS (one of many).
http://www.carlmcmillan.com/DOF/DepthofField.htm
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby extreme » 13 Sep 2011, 15:12

yeah well, they compared a canon with a mustek. Guess which one is better, duh. It's not the sensor that dictates DOF, it's the optics involved.
And the LED is the light source. Older scanners have a continuous white light fluorescent tube that illuminates the surface relatively uniformly. The Led array is not uniform, has many small Red Green and Blue LEDS which combined create white light. However, when scanning reflective surfaces, the illusion breaks.
SCANNING HOW-TO: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=451
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 13 Sep 2011, 16:35

extreme wrote:And the LED is the light source. Older scanners have a continuous white light fluorescent tube that illuminates the surface relatively uniformly. The Led array is not uniform, has many small Red Green and Blue LEDS which combined create white light.
And that is one of the main keys, the lighting source. Though the optics are a very important component to the scanner (VERY), your lighting source is just as important. My point to the original post is that you don't need to spend $300 to get a quality scanner to scan in images at 600dpi. The $100USD - $150USD range will work. Extreme should know I have been pretty annoying (you might say) and asking him on just about everything so I can learn the entire process. I have also went out and purchased various brands and scanner types to do actual true physical comparisons between not only the technology but also the company components as well (Just wanted to see for myself).

I am a fan of Canon's so far myself (though there$60USD LiDE scanner stink). HP's newer stuff stinks. Mustek's alright (they had there day at one time). I am wanting to try an EPSON Perfection series. Though there LED based less expensive ones look like they would make great regular image scans. I just cant bring myself to spending the extra cash right now to get one to test when the Canon I have works for what I want it to do. Though with the power problems we've experienced in our area lately I may be getting something new. My scanner has stopped functioning properly (which stinks since I just ordered a case of ISD) :(

edit:
What's your guys oppinion on these scanners (they would be the ones I have been looking at):
http://usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/prod ... ifications
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/ ... B11B193081

(There both "LED" but I am curious on the Canon having a "white" LED.)
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby extreme » 13 Sep 2011, 17:26

I wasn't aware of the existence of white leds, but technology advances all the time, so why not ?
I agree that 300 is a little overkill for everyday use. If I'd buy a new scanner I'd probably not invest more than 200 - I am not interested in transparency scans - transparency scans accessories add to the price as well. I'd buy epson perf or a Canon.
However, PresetM is very very attentive about his scans, so it might well be that sub-150 USD scanners don't satisfy him. Your mileage may vary.
SCANNING HOW-TO: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=451
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 13 Sep 2011, 18:12

extreme wrote:I wasn't aware of the existence of white leds, but technology advances all the time, so why not ?
I agree that 300 is a little overkill for everyday use. If I'd buy a new scanner I'd probably not invest more than 200 - I am not interested in transparency scans - transparency scans accessories add to the price as well. I'd buy epson perf or a Canon.
However, PresetM is very very attentive about his scans, so it might well be that sub-150 USD scanners don't satisfy him. Your mileage may vary.
Yeah I have never heard of "White LED" either, that is one thing that caught my eye about it.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby PresetM » 15 Sep 2011, 17:33

@PresetM: Can you recommend one such scanner (mark/model)?
Of course. I use a Canon CanoScan 9950F. When this scanner hits the market some years before (in 2005, I believe) I have had to pay around 300 Euro for the scanner. The device left the market in 2007. The CanoScan 9950F is the best Flatbed Scanner Canon ever produced. Unfortunately there's no follow up model.
PresetM is very very attentive about his scans, so it might well be that sub-150 USD scanners don't satisfy him.
That is true. It was not my intend to insult someone, I only would explain my special view at the things. If someone want best quality, so this goal cannot reached with cheap devices from consumer market.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 15 Sep 2011, 17:47

PresetM wrote:
@PresetM: Can you recommend one such scanner (mark/model)?
Of course. I use a Canon CanoScan 9950F. When this scanner hits the market some years before (in 2005, I believe) I have had to pay around 300 Euro for the scanner. The device left the market in 2007. The CanoScan 9950F is the best Flatbed Scanner Canon ever produced. Unfortunately there's no follow up model.
That scanner looks like it would do a GREAT job (given the spec's)!
Also just an FYI, amazon is showing that model for $150USD new... hmm...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... dition=new

edit:
Also given the specs of the CanoScan 9950F you might look into the Epson 4490 (it has the same specs in regards to the optical and lighting components).
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/ ... Cookie=yes
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby PresetM » 16 Sep 2011, 00:10

Also just an FYI, amazon is showing that model for $150USD new... hmm...
It is not Amazon, it is a second hand seller, that uses Amazon. And look at the sellers rating! It would be the first deal!
So it would be wise to ask if the scanner is complete with all accessories and full functional.
But indeed, this would be a good deal, if the scanner is really new and complete (look at the list price: $400).

Epson 4490 (it has the same specs in regards to the optical and lighting components)
Not exactly. The components comes from Epson not from Cannon.
But maybe this scanner works too. Theory and practice are seldom congruent...
If someone owns this scanner, it would be interesting to have some scans to compare.
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 16 Sep 2011, 01:32

PresetM wrote:
Also just an FYI, amazon is showing that model for $150USD new... hmm...
It is not Amazon, it is a second hand seller, that uses Amazon. And look at the sellers rating! It would be the first deal!
So it would be wise to ask if the scanner is complete with all accessories and full functional.
But indeed, this would be a good deal, if the scanner is really new and complete (look at the list price: $400).
Yea I noticed that after posting and I dont know if I would trust them.

it would be interesting to have some scans to compare.
You may be in luck. Theres a local shop near me that has one and next week I plan on going up there. Ill see about getting a scan from them to find out. If it is I may pick one up for myself. CCD + Lamp lighting im expecting alot myself. I may try and get up there tomorrow if I have time (prob not though).
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Re: What is a good cheap scanner?

Postby woogerboy21 » 16 Sep 2011, 22:13

Made it up to the store and was able to get some sample scans from the Epson 4490 scanner. Since I am unfamiliar with the Canon model discussed could you compare the images and let me know what you think. Anyone interested can download the sample images taken by the Epson 4490 at:

http://www.mediafire.com/?3pwov9z5z9fx3q2
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