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Wide Format Scanners & Image Quality - What You Need to Know

Perspective on Color Printing

The image quality of a wide format scanner is very important. Understanding the options and technology involved is essential to making the right choice for your next purchase. Wide format scanners typically use one or two different scan resolution technologies. Optical resolution represents the dots per inch that can be captured by the scanner, very similar to the meaning of mega pixels in a digital camera, interpolated resolution on the other hand is very different. This indicates the resolution the wide format scanner can provide by creating intermediate image values based on known values. In other words interpolated resolution measures how many pixels the scanner can estimate while optical resolution measures how many pixels the scanner can see.

Here are more details on the image quality technologies of wide format scanners:

  • Optical Resolution: Typical optical resolution ranges are between 200 and 600 dots per inch, also known as dpi. On average, black and white wide format optical scan resolution ranges are between 200-400 dpi, but for more detail specifically scanning color documents, usually up to 600 dpi is necessary to produce accurate results.

  • Interpolated Resolution: Interpolated resolution can boost the image quality of wide format scans by adding pixels and estimating what would have been there. Normally this process reduces the scanís quality, so it should be used with caution.

  • Bit depth: This is also an important image quality factor to take in to consideration when purchasing a new wide format scanner. Bit depth, or color depth, is the wide format scannerís ability to accurately analyze and reproduce the full color spectrum of scanned documents or images. Bit depth is a commonly listed scanner specification, and the higher the number is, the more accurate and precise the scanned image will be.

Choosing the right wide format scanner is dependent on your needs and scanning workload. Your image quality needs depends on what type of document is being scanned. When scanning to print painting replicas, photos, or posters, a higher image quality will be necessary to accurately capture the image. Be careful when scanning high resolution items because a large dpi reduces the scannerís speed and increases the size of the file. Increased file size means the file takes more hard disk space and can be harder to send via email.

Don't limit your evaluation of wide format scanners to just the image quality technologies. Learn even more about other specifications and technologies by Downloading the Free Wide Format Scanner Buyer's Guide today!

Download the Free Ocť Wide Format Scanners Buyers Guide

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