Document Scanning With Digital Cameras

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 7, 2009
Updated • Jan 7, 2009
Hardware, Tutorials

Document scanning can be done with digital cameras. The process is very similar to scanning documents with a scanner. Instead of using a scanner that is connected to the computer to scan the document a picture of the document is taken and uploaded to the computer. The result is the same: A document in electronic form on the computer. Using a digital camera for document scanning might not result in professional scans that high quality scanners produce but it certainly is enough for every day scanning activities.

Results vary depending on the digital camera used but it can be basically said that most digital cameras should be able to produce a good enough scan. It is a good idea to use enough lighting and place the document on a one colored background. This makes it easier later on to process the scanned document in an image editor.

It really depends on the purpose of the scan. If you just want to scan a document to a friend or family member a simple image might suffice but if you have to send it to authorities, business or other formal contacts you might want to make sure that it looks extra fine.

The one colored background ensures that it is easy to copy and paste the document to create a new document that is using the exact document borders as its resolution. This looks way more professional than a document photographed on a kitchen table.

The scanned document can then be printed or send electronically. It is really an easy and efficient process. Have additional tips? Let us hear them.


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  1. Rick said on January 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    A setup like the following should be consder:

    Though his setup is for the iphone, a similar setup should be as practical, with superior results, from a regular PAS camera.

    more info here, as well,:

  2. โปรแกรมตัดเพลง said on January 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Short article but Cool

  3. Tehseen said on January 8, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Worth a shot.

  4. Lubsy said on January 8, 2009 at 4:31 am

    I have tried this, and it’s not so great, honestly. If you don’t have a scanner, sure it’s better than nothing, but it hasn’t replaced my flatbed. I’m up for being convinced otherwise though!

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