Scanner/printer advice please!

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Julian
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#1
Hi everyone.
Right - my camera's working, the one that isn't, is in for repair, I'm stocked up with film, I'm starting to remember what I thought I'd forgotten about photography, and most importantly of all, I'm really enjoying it again. Things are looking up.
Except....:LOL:
We have no scanner at all so I can't get anything onto the web - here or to email people, and our printer has knackered.
So what I need to know is - are those 'all in one' printer/scanner combinations any good, or are they a jack of all trades? Could anyone recommend one? Is there a decent one for less than a gorillian pounds?
I've read the other 'scanner recommendation' thread and could go for seperate scanner and printer, but space is a premium so I thought I'd ask on here if anyone had any advice.
Cheaper the better as well, unfortunately.

On the good side - the sooner someone could point me in the right direction, the sooner I can get stuff on here for you all to laugh at!:D
Thanks everyone.(y)
 
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Orby1
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Julian
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#3
Hmmmm. I'm not after pro quality - a half decent domestic unit would be fine.
I don't know what kind of resolution gives what kind of results being fairly new to all this, but I've seen that Epson v700 does 9600dpi or something and that's meant to be quite high. I don't think I'd need that much, and I don't want to spend the £330 either!
What I want to do is (1) scan well enough to email pics to people at high enough res for them to print out, and (2) put the odd shot or two on here for C&C's.
 

AliB

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#4
I've got an HP one that I use for work. It's quite handy for doument scanning too and the OCR is OK on it.

I do use a separate Canon scanner for MF negs and it stays in it's box all tucked up nice and safe until I want to use it.

The HP should do Ok as a general purpose one and it cost about £80 from Staples.
 
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#5
Personally I'd never buy an x-in-1 device as they will always be a compromise. Probably fine in an office where you want to scan a document to e-mail or fax, but for your use, where image quality is important, I'd go for separate devices.

Plus, if one part of an x-in-1 fails you'll probably end up having to replace the whole thing as the repair cost will be prohibitive.
 
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Orby1
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Julian
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#6
Okey doke. Thanks Parish, that's good advice.

We now have an unused photo/neg scanner from my wife's work which she's brought home. It's quite old but supposedly quite high quality. She does computer graphics and stuff so they'll have had a decent one there. It has SCSI cables though so we'll need to get a SCSI card on our motherboard and find some drivers to download, etc. Stuff like this usually gets me a bit :bonk: but it could save us quite a bit (In 5 years when we get round to it).

Then we'll just get a nice printer. :)

Thanks everyone, any more advice on this subject is still very welcome (y)


The one we've aquired is an Epson Perfection 1200S.
Its specs are copy & posted below.

Grayscale Depth: 12-bit grey, 10-bit grey
Colour Depth: 36-bit colour
Optical Resolution: 1200 dpi x 2400 dpi
Interpolated Resolution: 9600 dpi x 9600 dpi
Scan Mode: Single-pass
Scan Element Type: CCD
Scan Density Range: 3.2D, 3.0D
Scan Speed: 5.4 ms / line (colour), 6.5 ms / line (colour)
Compliant Standards: TWAIN
Input Type: Colour
Bulb / Light Source Type: Xe-gas cold cathode fluorescent lamp

Can someone answer me a really daft question? What's the diff between optical and interpolated resolution?
Also, 1200x2400dpi sounds very low compared to that snazzy v700 one that does 9600 and 12600 interpolated, what gives?
 
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#7
There's no real benefit in scanning higher than the optical resolution of the scanner, it's basically the limits of the optics and CCD sensor.

If you want larger it's probably better to scan at 1200 x 2400, save as a TIFF or PSD file and enlarge in photoshop.
 

AliB

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#8
The process of interpolation means that the software is making the file bigger. It can only do that by adding information, that information is it's best guess at what should be there so you are not gaining any "real" resolution.

It's the same pricipal that applies to "optical zoom" and "digital zoom" Optical zoom will get the pic by zooming the lens and keeps the resolution, digital zoom does it by playing with pixels and adds nothing to the resolution of the image.
 
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Orby1
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Julian
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#9
Sprog and Ali - you are wonderful people and I heart you.

How did people cope before the internet?! :D
 
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Allan
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#10
I have an all in one scanner printer copier, its an HP C5180 that produces photo quality prints. Best of all, inks are relatively cheap and good compatibles are freely available that pretty much match the HP originals at about 25% or less of the cost. I use the scanner regularly and have put these scanned images on the web, but never had to print one off, so cant comment on quality.
Of course, being told how good or bad a printer/scanner is is one thing, seeing the results are another.
If you want, I could post an image straight from my camera and scan the same image in and post it. You could then look at them and see what sort of difference there is.
On the cost front, it cost me about £100 two years ago, my Dad just got one for less than £55. Cheap enough to replace in a year if it goes faulty out of warranty, I wouldnt worry too much about all in ones. True, they have more components in them that could go wrong, but then again, what doesnt nowadays?

Allan
 
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Allan
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#11
I did it anyway cos I was interested what the difference would be. I have chosen an image that has lots of detail in it. Camera was a Nikon D80 with Nikkor 18-200vr lens. Obviously, I could have spent a little more time adjusting / calibrating colours before I printed then scanned the images

First, a jpeg image straight from the camera at 300dpi, uploaded to flickr.



A scanned image ( HP C5180) at 200dpi. I printed the phot then scanned it into the computer and posted on Flickr.



Same again scanned in at 1200dpi.



This is just to give you an idea of what you could expect. I am not sure what sort of quality you want, maybe this will help a little. You can print off all three and compare them.

Allan
 
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#13
Probably not for any serious scanning/printing, but there is a Canon Prixma ? All in One jobbie one in Argos at present for £39.99.

For occassional use in home environment its a great price - about what the replacement cartridges for a HP equivalent item would be.

Its just a pity that for a lot of non tog users such items are becoming disposable items as prices drop so much - not good for the environment if people discard the whole printer every time the cartridges run out !
 
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Allan
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#14
^Big variation in colour & contrast there, which is a little interesting, assuming the colour bit depth remained the same for all three scans?
Yes, seem to have lost the green there. I dont normally scan images so I may have a play about later to see if I can match the colours.
A good excuse to get the screen / printer / scanner calibrated too.

I agree with the disposable aspect of some printers. I remember Lexmark did a range of printers where replacement inks were dearer than a new printer! I use compatible inks for my HP and recycle the cartridges. The printers 2 years old, so at least i am doing a little bit to offset the old carbon footprint.
But, for more serious printing, I use an Epson 1400 A3+. Problem is, I havent discovered a reliable way to save on ink and cartridges yet.

Allan
 
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