The High Price of Standalone Scanners Personal Musings 16 APR 2010

I’ve decided that I need to lay my hands on a scanner.

The reason is pretty simple. A while back I moved to the straight digital path after laying my hands on a drawing tablet to use at home for my own purposes. Doing everything via the digital route definitely has its advantages in terms of speed for time to completion, but in the process I’ve noticed that what I produce is well… diminished in quality to say the least.

The problem of course lies rooted in a couple of factors, so I’ll try and lay them out here. First off is the whole breaking of the visual from the hand movements thing that comes with using a tablet, followed by the fair inability to naturally change hand orientation at will. Now of course, these could be circumvented by using a tablet system like an Apple iPad or even shelling out for a Wacom Cintiq product, but seeing as this is completely a free time hobby which I don’t pay all that much attention to, shelling out that kind of cash just doesn’t seem justifiable to me or my wife! After those two biggies, next comes the feel of the whole affair (nothing really beats pencil on paper), as well as to an extent the joy of seeing your work right in front of you, no matter where you may be.

Sure there are some great software and hardware solutions to tackle all of these, but like I said, I’m not really willing to spend a lot of money on this hobby of mine, so those are pretty much out of the question.

So the solution is of course to go back to pencil and paper, sketch out the drawing and then scan it in, before finally switching to the good old tablet to handle “inking”, colouring and of course lettering.

A slower process, but one which should definitely make the resulting pencils look a whole lot less stiff.

But here’s my bugbear then. Why in the world are standalone scanners so expensive?!? They’ve definitely gone up in price since the last time I purchased one (which was way back when admittedly), and are actually more expensive to buy in the standalone format than as part of an all-in-one scanner/fax/printer combo!

I’ve already got a printer, I don’t need another. All I want is a scanner you know…

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.