We need it for scanning large numbers of different books, which are never standard sizes, as quickly as possible. Surely such a scanner exists but I cannot seem to find one? Everything seems to be based around standard paper sizes, high res scanning or quick document feeds - none of which we need.

We need a machine that can scan quickly at a low resolution (for the web only) and automatically detect the size of the object being scanned without doing an extra pass. Also the ability to constrain the proportions of images sent to the computer to say 400px wide would be good.

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    This actually has nothing to do with the hardware at all. It's all down to the driver and software.
    – Fake Name
    Dec 16 '10 at 5:23

One of the Canon DR range of page feed scanners will do the job. They come with CapturePerfect software and will crop as well as de-skew. There is a price to be paid though. You will need to guillotine off the book spine so that you can feed the pages into the scanner. Your neighbourhood printer will have a nice industrial size guillotine that will make short work of removing the spine.

The alternative of using a flat bed scanner (to preserve the book) is simply not practical if you have a large number of books, it will take for ever. I have been down this route when I converted a client's large reference book collection to be stored on a server. A useful tip is to keep a bottle of isopropyl alcohol handy as from time to time you will need to clean the platens and rollers to remove residual glue that they pick up from the guillotined edges of the pages. The glue has a tendency to bleed away from the spine.

The software has an option of creating two images from one scan, allowing you to keep a high resolution as well as a low resolution image.

  • Thanks a lot for your reply. It's not really what we're looking for though :-( We need to do large numbers of book covers only - and definitely can't guillotine the book as that's what we are trying to sell! We really need a flatbed option. Thanks anyway though
    – Ralph
    Dec 20 '10 at 10:23

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