Five Top Tips for Choosing a Scanner.

By: Thomas Hunter

So it is time for you to buy a scanner. Well, no matter whether you are relatively inexperienced and working with a tight budget or a professional in need of high quality scanning in order to sell your award winning photographs, these are some tips you will want to take.

First of all, concerning your scanner purchase, know your budget. How much do you want to spend on your scanner, and how much are you willing to spend. Those may be two very different numbers, so make sure you know exactly what you want and what you are willing to spend on this piece of equipment. Largely, this will be based on what you plan to use it on, but there is such a large range in price of scanners (about $50 up to $50,000) that you really need a starting point. Though it is easy to say you want the best, you have to stay within your means with any computer hardware purchase.

Second, go into the process knowing not only what you want to spend, but also what you are going to use it for exactly. Scanners can be used, depending on type, for anything from scanning prints and other flat works of art to scanning film negatives and transparencies. They can even be used to scan text which can then be converted into editable files. With such a wide range of uses and potential uses, you want to make sure you know what you are going to use your scanner for. Also, with the huge price range in scanners you need to be aware of what your needs will cost. As a rule, the top end and very expensive models are used in publishing or by businesses that offer scanning services. For the most part, these are directed at photographers. Lucky for you, though, the best affordable scanners offer fantastic quality.

Third, decide what kind of resolution you are going to need. There are two figures in optical resolution which express the dots or pixels per inch. A typical flatbed scanner might have a resolution of say 1200x600. The entire resolution idea can be confusing and frustrating. However, it is actually rarely too important if you are simply scanning prints of some sort. If that is the case, you will rarely want to use more than 600dpi and most scanners do allow for that resolution.

Fourth, consider what size scanner you need. Most flatbed scanners will have a platen that can scan an A4 page. There are actually some smaller scanners as well, but they are limited to photographs of up to 6”x4” only. There are larger ones too, though. There are also some consumer level scanners that can scan A3 at reasonable prices. If, however, you need a high quality large flatbed scanner for reproduction quality scans, be prepared to spend a lot of money. They reach very high prices.

Fifth, when buying a scanner, consider the type of software you will want or need with it. The software supplied by the scanner’s manufacturer is usually in the form of a twain or similar driver that interfaces with your computer’s imaging program. In general, the manufacturers do not supply high quality software with the scanner. Some scanners, however, come with third party software, and it is usually of higher quality. You may also choose to buy the software yourself. This is usually necessary if you are intending to scan film instead of just prints.

Buying a scanner is not as simple as just running to the store, glancing over the shelf and walking one up to the counter. There are numerous types, brands, and styles of scanners out there for consumers or professionals to buy and use. Though these five tips will help, the most important thing for you to do overall is to educate yourself. Know exactly what you want in a scanner, how much you want to spend, what you like and dislike in various models, and what you intend to use if for. Once you know what you want, educate yourself on the product, and know where to go, you will be able to buy with confidence and without regret. A scanner is a valuable tool. Now it is just a matter of making sure you have the right one for you.

Wake Up Richer Every Morning... Instant Internet Business Makes Money Automatically... Thomas Hunter is an Internet marketer, author and publisher and has helped hundreds of people become successful Niche Marketers. Explore the highly profitable world of Niche Marketing at our popular website.
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