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Size & Weight
You should give serious consideration to the size of the scanner based on the normal dimensions of your artwork and the available storage space. Especially the flatbed and portable varieties, they aren't overly large, so there's no reason to fret.
You should take a good look at the space you have on your desk and make sure the scanner you want will fit before making a purchase. If you go for a Doxie or similar portable gadget, you won't have to worry about this at all because it will fit virtually anyplace!
Dots per inch, or DPI, is a crucial metric to consider when scanning artwork for digital reproduction. It's a mouthful, but it essentially means how many pixels it can recognize and recreate accurately.
This is crucial: if you want to make money off of your digital artwork, you need a resolution of at least 300DPI (dots per inch) from your scanner, and ideally 600DPI.
To put it another way, if you wish to sell A3 prints of a scanned A4 artwork, you'll need to ensure that your scan meets this minimum standard. If not, it will be fuzzy and awkward.
In a perfect scenario, you want to shoot for 4,800 DPI if you work mostly or exclusively in color, however this can be quite pricey. If it's greater than this, you won't be able to tell the difference without really looking, but if it's less, it will be immediately apparent.
Many scanners are optimized for usage with Windows PCs (or user-created OSes like Linux), but may not work with your beloved Apple computer.
Ensure that a MacOS driver is included with the scanner, or that one can be downloaded before making a purchase. It may be necessary to download and install it separately, depending on the model, but the manufacturer's site should make that information apparent.
In the same vein, it's best to acquire a scanner that also comes with the necessary software for scanning and editing your artwork. It's true that some useful programs may be found online for no cost, but they're rarely of the highest quality, and the ones that are usually cost money to download and install.
That's the number of bits included in a single pixel, and it's also known as the color depth. When possible, you should choose the highest bit depth. Ideally, you'd have 32 bits, but sometimes 16 will do. Try to stay away from 8-bit scanners at all costs.
The DPI that can be obtained from your scanner will be displayed here. Dots-per-inch affects how sharp and colorful your photos are. Resolutions of 600 x 600 dots per inch (DPI) are recommended as the minimum for clear visuals. For scanning artwork, anything less than that is simply not good enough.
I'll try not to sound too technical, but there are essentially two categories of scanners. Fax machines rely on CIS scanners to function. They have the ability to scan, but the resolution is poor. If you're looking to digitize artwork, a CCD scanner (charged coupled device) is the way to go. The colors, sharpness, and overall illumination will all be enhanced.
Many scanners can only handle paper no bigger than A4. You can only scan in so much at that resolution.
Scanner size should be a top priority for large-scale operations. It could also mean spending a little more than you had planned.
However, there are scanners that can scan objects of greater size. Always do your homework before making a purchase.
A USB cable is the simplest method for linking your scanner to your computer. Both USB-C and USB-A ports should be present on current scanners.
Keep in mind that the connection methods of some older scanners may be less commonplace.
Verify whether a USB-C or USB-A cable is required for your scanner. Then, check to see if it's compatible with your laptop.
If you stick to these guidelines, you may rest assured that your final decision is the best possible option.
Keep in mind that cost is always a consideration. Spending more money will provide you a better scanner with more options to choose from.
The question is whether or not you actually require all of those bells and whistles. If you are working with a limited budget, it is imperative that you prioritize the most important functions.
Then you'll be able to make an informed decision on your new scanner's features.
Is it better to scan or photograph artwork?
That's debatable! If you don't already have a good camera but would like to convert your paper work into digital format, a scanner will accomplish the job for a lot less money and with no other equipment needed.
Assuming your artwork is flat and no larger than A3, A4, or similar, a flatbed scanner would suffice; but, if you're more of a three- or four-dimensional artist, you could find a camera more convenient for capturing your work.
Scanners have an advantage over traditional cameras in terms of image quality since they eliminate the effects of factors like light, shadows, and motion blur. It's possible that a camera could produce a higher-definition photo, but doing so would be incredibly challenging!
Which is better quality, JPEG or PNG?
Images saved as PNG are compressed and recreated at a greater resolution, but at a cost. The minor quality boost comes at the cost of longer upload and download times, so consider this if you're dealing with a large number of files simultaneously.
Images saved as JPEG are not necessarily of lower quality, but they are less compressed, making them easier to load and send. It's not worth the wait for PNG, but JPEG is alright, if you're only working with small files.
Should I Edit My Artwork After Scanning or Photographing It?
Absolutely! Before I call something finished, I usually make a few adjustments in Photoshop. When editing, I usually boost the colors a little and make sure the lighting is consistent.
The artwork is very customizable, allowing for multiple print iterations from a single source.
If you can swing it, shell out the cash for the most sophisticated scanner you can afford. Keep in mind that you are making an investment in a business tool that will make it easier for you to sell your art online.