Before the boom of technology and the increasing use of digital portable devices, flatbed scanners represented the best way to scan your photos or documents onto your computer. On your computer you could proceed with editing, cropping and such.
Digital cameras nowadays are a menace to flatbed scanners. Because you can store up as much images as you want to your hard drive without the need to plug a flatbed scanner to your computer. But flatbed scanners have evolved too. With them you can easily scan and preserve anything you want, even a receipt or a silly paper drawing.
Flatbed scanners are optical scanning devices. They have a flat glass surface on which your document is scanned. They scan this document and convert it into digital form by reading the color and the intensity that is reflected from the document. This is why they are also called reflective scanners. This digital image or document can then be used or modified by other programs.
How flatbed scanners work
An original document is put face down on the glass platen. Then a light source illuminates it. It is done line by line and thus converting it to digital form. The light source is located below the glass platen and is usually LED or xenon light. It does not have to be an image that is being scanned. It can be a book, paper, magazine or such. There are various types of flatbed scanners and can be used for many purposes depending on a person’s needs.
The way this works is in converting the color or grayscale information to pixels. This is done by multiple charge coupled devices for images and optical character recognition for words. The charged coupled devices or as they are called CCD represent and integrated circuit. This circuit is etched on a silicon surface. CCD-s are usually made of three rows of sensors. These rows are red, green and blue. This way they are forming pixels.
Optical character recognition or OCR is a program that automatically scans printed text. This way it converts the text into computer form. It is like CCD but for text documents. This is very useful.
Good flatbed scanner brands are:
So if you are thinking of scanning an image. How good are flatbed scanners and can they still be useful? Everybody has a portable electronic device nowadays. The most common are mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras. All of these are digitalized and easy to transfer images and content by a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or USB port. The use of physical photos has significantly dropped.
But it is always nice to have printed photos or photo albums. But you can have that with any type of device with a camera. You just take pictures, transfer them and scan them to a hard disc for safe keeping. From that hard disc you can put them on a cd or crop them. There are many options and programs for imaging.
When it comes to images slide scanners have taken over the primate from flatbed scanners. Because a flatbed scanner is flat and does not capture the whole essence of the picture. This is because the light from the CCD does not produce a usable image. This is why slide scanners are much more useful. But slide scanners are more expensive than the flatbed ones. The good thing is there are slide scanners that can be used as adapters for your flatbed scanner.
Usually pictures scanned with a flatbed scanner are too dark. Unless taken in a very bright environment. Anyway you would need a device to act as a diffuser. It is all a matter of the right angle scanning.
With all this in mind, flatbed scanners are still very useful. And as the technology goes forward so they do also. There is a huge difference between the new and the old generation of flatbed scanners.
The new generation of flatbed scanners
The new generation of flatbed scanners has much improvement. They are quite easy to work with. You have many options and can scan pretty much everything. You can scan a document, an image, a paper or a whole book. No need for multiple cables and programs like with mobile phones, tablets and such. When you have a flatbed scanner he is there and you do not need to worry yourself with additional thoughts.
They are very affordable and have developed significantly. For a very small price you can get a device that can scan 8.5 x 11 inches in size documents. Image can have a resolution up to 4,800 x 9,600 dots per inch.
So let us say a little about the previous generation of the flatbed scanners. They needed three passes to capture the green, red and blue. This is because they operated as a twenty four bit or thirty six bit technology. Present flatbed scanners use the 48 bit scanner technology and are able to capture 250 trillion colors in just a one pass. Impressive is not it.
So sure you can buy a good digital camera. But consider taking a flatbed scanner too because they are not expensive. They are actually pretty cheap. Flatbed scanners can make your life easier. You can be able to scan all types of documents easily and process them using various programs. This way you can get rid of all the paper work that is waiting for you. You can scan and dispose of many things, especially get rid of so many papers.
They usually go with a one year warranty which is decent. There is also a free telephone support line during the warranty period. So if you have anything you wish to ask and understand you can get free instructions. That seems reasonable and appropriate. Some provide support through the email, so no need for long conversations. You can get it all in a textual form.
So no, the age of flatbed scanners has not passed. It probably never will. They will probably evolve together with technology into more advanced devices.