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Old Feb 29, 2008, 9:41 AM   #1
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hello folks

im very very new to photography and have no knowlegde of cams etc as much

i have been assigned a task to photograph doc papers of A4 size

i have lots of papers to shoot like 1 million papers

and i have less then a month and i wont be using any scanner but i do wanna get the equivalent quality

the cam willbe mounted on a tripod which will be focusing down on pages with a person just flipping pages

now i want some thing which have a remote or any trigger wire attached to it so when person flips a page he presses button on remote or trigger on wire attached to the cam and the cam takes the photo with super fine results as good as scanner

i hope u got an idea by now what i am looking for

please help me find a camera for this task

ofcourse i am gonna buy bunch of them to complete task in deadline given thanx
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 1:17 PM   #2
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Since all the documents are the same size, I think the best thing to do is to use a network scanner with an automatic document feeder.

I have a client that had several million documents (different sizes) they needed to scan and store on a server. They used 3 Canon imageRUNNER Scanner/Copiers. The documents can be stored as TIFF, PDF or JPEG, color or B&W, 200, 300, or 400dpi. They just put a stack of documents into the document feeder, press a button, and leave. When the document feeder is empty, the put in another stack and press a button.

Renting an appropriate scanner/copier will probably be cheaper than buying a camera.
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 1:20 PM   #3
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we dont have any such scanners in the place where i live

nor any one rents scanners

and present scanners here have limited duty cycles

photos are best alterates

plz tell me which cam

thanx
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 1:54 PM   #4
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I have an Olympus SP-560, which has settings for photographing documents. I have done it once or twice. You can buy a cable shutter release on Ebay pretty cheaply. My hesitancy in recommending the camera for your job stems from these things:

1. I think scanners are intrinsically better at this than digital cameras. If you were putting a bunch of documents into a folder for later OCR processing, ok. But I think there will be some distortion with almost any camera you use - the different parts of the page are not equidistant from thelens and the book pages will probably not be flat.

2. You were exaggerating about having a million documents, right? I say that because cameras are rated for how many shutter releases they can withstand befiore typiccally having to go in for repair. I don't think I have ever seen a camera rated for 1,000, 000 shutter releases.

3. You would have to have the camera plugged into an AC outlet for the job. I think the most powerful batteries for digital camera allow for several thousand shots, not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of shots.

If you are truly going to photograph 1,000,000 documents in a month, you would need to do at least 33,000 images a day. That's like 1,400 an hour. No camera can handle that for sustained periods, Let alone the shutter button pressing finger of you or your friend.

Good luck!


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Old Feb 29, 2008, 2:08 PM   #5
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yes im gonna buy 10 cams not one

and ye sthey will be plugged in to ac or dc source for sure

with extra memory card supporting 1 or 2 gb each

all the pages are flat and clean not from any books or so

yes they are above million also

i dont have access to any scanners and importing some will also be very expensive and they are slow some times and also have some duty cycles limits to their scannings

what abt canon a640 ? or a 630 ???

does it seem fit ?


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Old Feb 29, 2008, 2:23 PM   #6
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You're kidding of course? Or you're a contestant on "The Apprentice" and this is Trump's assignment to you? I must say A4 suggests Europe.

The camera should be close to the end of your to-do list. Some approaches:

1. Google for a document conversion/archiving service. They're at least familiar with the task and what it would take to ramp up to meet the time frames.

or

1. Advertise for and hire a qualified industrial engineer. At least they could get a good handle on the magnitude of the job and design the layout of the stations and workflow.

Assuming a 6 day a week work schedule, 12 hour/day, 25 workday/mo. 1,000,000 pages, one shot /pageusing 10 work stations will require a sustained production rate of roughly one page every 10 sec. from each station. This might be sustainable for short periods of time if the pages are not bound. 100,000 shots per workstation also suggests a camera life above 100,000 cycles. This suggests a pro/semi pro DSLR. Still assuming one shot per page book bound pages will add a shift movement to the page turning. It also add auto-focus to the requirement as the camera to pagedistance will vary asthe pages are turned.100 work stationswill drop the camera life require to 10,000 cycles and quit a few cameras will meet this requirement. This also reduces the workload on the station operators to a more sustainable value. I suspect the correct number of workstations is somewhere between 10 and 100. I suspect at least two operators per workstation would be required.

A camera that would meet the stringent requirements is the Olympus E3 with the 50mm f/2.0 Macro lens. The shutter life is rated at 150,000 cycles and is remotely controllable via computer. I'd suggest continuous lighting as strobe lighting at that sustain frequency will drive the operators over the wall.
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 2:35 PM   #7
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thanx ofr the suggestion ac smith

and im not kidding and not joking at all

its kinda fun to do the impossible isnt it :-)

anyway i have planned 10 workstation with one person on each for flipping pages

the cam will be on the tri pod fixed and with auto focus

but i also need some kinda wired button or remote for the guys to press for taking pictures after they flip the page

so tell me any solution that comes to mind ? thanks
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 3:46 PM   #8
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If you just want to do a heck of a lot of copying, 10 stations should be enough. If you want to a million or more pages in a month, good luck! Please tell us your secrets afterwards. I would suggest using at least a mid-level DSLR with a cable release versus a wireless remote control. A cable release doesn't require a battery, which inevitably will drain under such a heavy workload. Cable releases are also easy on the finger(s) than remote controls (in experience). If you can somehow hook up your camera to a computer so that you or the computer operator can see on the screen the page that you are copying, that's great, but probably pretty expensive. I would look for cameras which can use high capacity (4 gigabyte and higher) SD or CF cards.

I suggest you start out with a small portion of the task, say 10,000 pages, set up on or two stations with cameras, and then see what works and what doesn't. Then you can make adjustments before ramping up to full speed.

My suggestions for cameras: Canon EOS-40D, Nkon D-80, D-200 , or D300. The Olympus E3 would be good, too. I am sure others can suggest other possibilities. The Canon A640 or A630 won't last 100,000 shots. Probably not 50,000 shots.

I think the suggestions by ac.smith were good ones. At least call somebody with experience in document scanning/photographing and see what they say. No need to reinvent the wheel.
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 3:52 PM   #9
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thanx robbo

i forgot to mention i have limited amount of budget for cam like 300 $ max per cam

i wonder how many shots will a 640 or a630 by canon survive


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Old Feb 29, 2008, 4:11 PM   #10
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Actually the best solution is TCAV's. Or hire TCAV as a consultant (he is a consultant) as he knows where and how to aquire the hardware and get a proper system operating. Or let him direct you to his client.

If doing it yourself (your team) withcameras is the only option you'll consider and no more than 10 workstations then you'll absolutely need mid-level DSLRs to stand the operating cycle. While there are a number of P&S that have remote controls I would estimate their life to be 10,000 cycles or less. Most DSLRs have remote control capability, wired, wireless or both. This includes all the Canon EOS's (I wouldn't suggest the XT series because of the operating cycles issue), Sony A700, all the Olympus Evolt series (I suggested the E3 because it's shutter mechanism is rated for 150,000 cycles) and the Pentax K10D. All of these manufacturers have good macro lenses in their inventory.I'm sure Nikon and several other DSLR manufacturers have remote control capabilities as well but I haven't checked specifically.

There is another factor in using only 10 work stations, humans are equipped to perform the same action 100,000 times at high speed without error. It's not our strength. My suggestion would be to set up 20 workstation which reduces the stress on the operators and equipment and two full teams of operators per workstation, allowing them to trade off frequently thereby reducing therisk of error.
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