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Old Jun 17, 2007, 4:05 PM   #1
BJL
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I want to purchase a digital camera for my son to use at college, to use as a scanner in the library while researching his term papers. He will need a camera that takes clear pictures under low light, has image stabilization, is light weight, with long-life batteries that preferably can be charged by USB and isn't so expensive that it attracts thieves. So far, my research has led me to the Fujifilm FinePix F30. Based on your expertise, do you concur with this choice, or do you believe that there are better choices out there for this purpose? I am also considering using Snapter software for this purpose. http://www.atiz.com/snapter.html
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 4:49 PM   #2
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I think the F30 is not cheaper than its replacement, the F31 now. I would get the F31. However, neither of these cameras has real image stabilization. It simply raises ISO settings to increase shutter speeds. However, they are probably still good choices.


Just out of curiosity - how many pages do you think your son will "scan" with his camera in a single visit to the library? Is he going to use OCR software on his computer to put the images in a word processor?
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 5:01 PM   #3
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There is no way I could know how many pages he would need to scan. I know it would have come in very handy when I went to UCLA, but that was a little while ago (The first internet connection was made while I was a student there -- between UCLA and Stanford -- it wasn't much of a connnection.). Yes, he will use OCR software to copy to his computer. I couldn't see any advantage to go with the F31, and my research has shown an increase in price. Are there better cameras for this purpose?
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 5:20 PM   #4
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All of the OCR software I am familiar with requires .tiff image format to operate. There may be some I don't know about that work with .jpeg, but this could be a consideration in your choice of camera.

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Old Jun 17, 2007, 5:39 PM   #5
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He does not need OCR software at all. He just takes the photos in the .jpg format, and then does perspective in correction, if necessary,in software such as Paint Shop Pro Version 8, and he is all set. One of the Fuji F-series cameras is your best bet www.amazon.com has the F-20 on special for $(US) 149.00 + shipping right now. I copy things all the time.

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Old Jun 17, 2007, 9:19 PM   #6
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Best for the application (text copy)? Don't know because that's generally not tested in the reviews. Several Kodaks do have a scene modelabeled text for just that function including my Z612. I have not used the function prior to today because I just set what needs setting directly. Here the results of using the text mode and available light with no setup, just putting the paper/book on my desk.

1st - Warranty paper full frame reduced to 640x480 for upload.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 9:24 PM   #7
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2nd - Same paper, 640x480 100% magnification.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 9:35 PM   #8
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3d - Text book including illustrations, full image resampled to 640x480 for posting.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 9:44 PM   #9
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4th (and last). text book 100% cropped to 640x480. EXIF data attached on all images.

Just experimenting I could read all text on all my test images at 50% magnification.

I really think most cameras in the $150-$250 price range will do the job just fine.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 11:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback. Check out the Snapter site. Their program actually can flatten out all the examples you sent. OCR software can be used with Snapter. That allows the text to be edited, which is convenient. All other feedback will be appreciated. By hearing from people who already do this, it will help me to give my son better suggestions.
Thanks again.
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