Document scanner suggestions

I am looking to get a sheet feed document scanner to scan in CD booklets of 3 panes or more. I presently have a 8.5"x11" flatbed and am tired of scan/rotate/join. Does anyone have recommendations, personal experience would be helpful also. I have looked at several portables (online). Must do 600dpi & color, be able to output in PNG or JPG not just PDF, prefer USB connection scanning to PC (windows) directory (no SD card only models), reasonable price (under $200 US). Any other information that seems useful to this need is appreciated.

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I can highly recommend the ScanSnap iX500. It is a bit expensive, but worth every penny!


Just as a data point… I’ve been using the Epson FastFoto FF-640 which can quickly scan, at 300dpi, long strips of CD Booklet… I think I’ve done over 7 panes with no problem… but… when scanning at 600dpi or 1200dpi, it will “jam” (not physically, but I think it runs out of memory and it terrible at reporting errors) … it’ll throw an error and stop if the strip is longer than about two and a half panes (about 30cm)

I speculate that since it must interpolate for higher resolutions than 300dpi (the physical hardware of the line scanner itself is only 300dpi, and it wiggles around to very slowly scan at 1200dpi) it’s probably buffering up to the length of an A4, or Letter, or possibly Legal ledger paper size, and will just give up the instant it detects that the paper is longer. (Probably not enough memory in the hardware or something.)

Anyway, the sequel to this model of the Epson FastFoto adds a bunch of stuff like Wi-Fi… and… the hardware scans at 600dpi natively now. So, hypothetically, it could, possibly, be able to scan long booklet strips without error. I have not tested this myself.


I guess I should also mention a few other funny quirks… If you’re scanning booklets printed with regular CMYK inks, it does a pretty good job with color accuracy… but florescent spot color will come out scanned as the completely wrong color. Pantone Neon Orange 804U will come out looking light pink when you scan it on the FF-640. On my other scanner, and with my camera, the orange comes out looking orange.

So, anyway, watch out for color calibration.

Also, metallic inks won’t look right either.

Inherent to these kind of ADF scanners, a spec of dust on the line scanner, will create a long vertical line through your image. (I wipe off the booklets with a microfiber cloth before I load them in the scanner… but the scanner will still fill up with paper dust eventually.) Also, if the paper is wrinkled or curved… which it will be along the folds… there will be highlights and shadows because of the angle that the scanner’s lamp is illuminating the surface.

So, the trick for eliminating those scanning artifacts is to scan everything twice, rotated around by 180 degrees, and then merge the two scans together to average out the differences in illumination. Since the direction of the light has “rotated” by 180 degrees between the two scans and so the differences exactly cancel out. (or it’s exactly like having two lamps located exactly on opposite sides of each other)

If you’re doing stuff manually in Photoshop, there’s a thingy for aligning multiple photos into layers. I started working on a script to do all that manually with Hugin… but I was interrupted and haven’t gotten back to finishing it yet.

I developed a workflow for scanning large numbers of CDs at once in large batches, while keeping my sanity. I should write it all up as a HOWTO document and post it up here or something…


Anyone have any suggestions for A3 flatbed scanners?
(I will be scanning some artwork and stuff that I think a flatbed scanner will be better for - but happy to be convinced otherwise, I’ve never used a scanner with a feeder)

This FB5000 is the most reasonable one I’ve found so far, after a quick search.

If A3 scanners still suck or are crazy expensive (as was the case last I checked) I will probably find another free or cheap second hand A4 scanner somewhere :smiley:
But I’m hoping tech and prices have moved along. I can probably spend up to 1k NZD (I will be writing a decent amount of the cost off as a business expence)