Sadly in just the past few years it’s become harder and harder to find affordable scanners that produce the quality needed for our scanning standards. Purchasing refurbished or used scanners is still an option however, and can save you some money. The main feature you want in a scanner is that it uses CCD technology and not CIS. If it has CCD it’s a good bet that it will be a quality scanner, and one of the biggest issues with CIS is it does NOT capture depth well. Unless the object you’re scanning is perfectly flat, a CIS scanner will do a poor job capturing it so we highly discourage CIS scanners. Unfortunately CIS is used on almost all All-In-One Printer/Scanner/Copiers as well as sub $100 new scanners.
Some Recommended Scanners:
The Epson Perfection v550 scanner is the sweet spot pricewise. Another scanner often mentioned in the same breath is the Epson Perfection v600, however it doesn’t offer any added useful features or benefits for our purposes.
To interface with the scanner, you will need scanning software compatible with your computer. Most scanners come with their own complementary software which will give you some advanced options, and there is also VueScan which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux OS. See the Software section for further details on set-up for your program of choice.