should i use a scanner or a camera?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by John_05, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    i have a magazine i would like to scan onto my computer. i have a scanner (Lexmark 1150), but i dont like the quality of the scans. its just a cheap all in one, and nothing i scan looks very good.

    i have digital cameras (Fuji E510 and Kodak DX7630) and im sure i could take pictures of the pages and they would look better then a scan.

    my questions are..... if i did scan the pages i want, what could i do in photoshop or paintshop pro to make them look better? i have photoshop CS and CS2, and i have paintshop pro versions 7,9, and X. i have tried a few different things to clean up some photos and pages i have scanned before, but they still dont look very good. i have tried putting black paper behind the pages so the light didnt go through the pages and show the opposing side, and i have cleaned the glass on the scanner more times then i can count. i get slightly better results scanning at low DPI settings, but the scans come out too small and i would prefer they were at least the size i get from my cameras, or bigger. the computer i have will only let me scan up to 600 DPI, but that produces a good enough size.

    here are a couple examples of scans i did with my scanner. most are straight out of the scanner, and one is after i touched it up the best i could. the only thing i did to the unedited ones is resize them small enought to be acceptable for photobucket.

    these 3 are unedited.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    this one i edited to look better.
    [​IMG]

    pic #1 is my old dog, #2 is my daughter when she was 13 months old (shes 4 now), #3 is a llama from a farm in GA, and the 4th is one of the buildings at the psychiatric center here.

    question 2....... if i decided to just take pics of the pages, what would be a good way to do that? i dont have a lot of lighting fixtures, and they are all incandescent bulbs. im sure i could rig something up with them to help diffuse the light a bit if i needed to. i have tried taking pics of magazines before, and always seem to get a lot of glare on the pages from either the flash, or from too much light. i dont mind trying different settings to get a good end result, so the help i need is basically just for positioning the pages and lighting, but if anyone could suggest good settings for the camera it would make my job a little easier.

    i should also add that im not interested in saving the magazine so i will probably be cutting the pages from the binding, so positioning them isnt much of a problem. as i said before, i have few fixtures for lighting, but i do have a flexible floor lamp and a range of bulbs from 40 watt to 100 watt. i also have a few table top type lamps i can use as well.

    if anyone can help me, i would appreciate it.

    also, all the images i posted here are ones i took, and are ok to edit if someone wants to give it a try. all i ask is that if someone does, please tell me what you did to edit them to make them look better. thanks.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Its fairly hard to tell how good the scans are from those pictures but i have a few suggestions. Your scanner should be producing better results at a higher dpi, make sure you check other settings that could cause a bad effect on the scan. To get your images a similar size to camera pictures you could try Interpolation in photoshop. This will increase your image in size but can have unwanted side effects (depends on your origional image). To do this simply got to - Image - Image size - Then up your pixel dimension size (add 600? or however big you want to go) - make sure the resample image box is checked and change it to - bicubic smoother. This is called upsampling and is the best way to increase the overall image size. Other things you can try are - levels - contrast etc to get better colours, and you could also try the sharpening filters for more clarity. You may prefer the scans after they have had a bluring filter on them (again depends how grainy they are and how big they go) the dust and scratches filter sometime works well for me.
    I'm affraid i can't advise you on photographing pages - its something i'v never tried. Hope this helps.
     
  3. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the reply. i have tried scanning higher then 600 and it wont allow me to. for some reason it says i dont have sufficient memory. i have tried 3 different computers to scan with and i get the same message on each. one had 512 MB ram, the other had 1664 MB ram, and the one im using now has 640 Mb. i have tried different settings as well, with not luck.

    as for enlarging the scans, i dont need to do that if i scan at 600 dpi. they come out big enough with that setting. the problem is none of the photos i scan look good at all. of the ones i posted, the pic with my old dog, the llama and the building all look very good as photos, bu the scans look nothing like the originals. the one with my daughter isnt the best pic, but it still looks alot better then it does after scanning.

    i do understand that scanning is going to pick up things you wont see if you just look at the photos, but i have seen a lot of scans that look much better then mine do from lesser quality scanners. this is why i was wondering what i could do in photoshop to improve the scans i get.

    thanks again for the reply. i guess im just going to have to either wait for someone else to suggest something, or start taking pictures of the pages i want and try to get better results then scanning.
     

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