When working with images and graphics, every little detail contributes to a much larger picture. When attempting to replicate a large image, wide-format scanners are designed to ensure every little detail is there and the image is of the highest quality. Scanners use specialized technology   CIS and CCD - to capture the image. Each type of technology has its pros and cons, but both are geared toward providing high-fidelity images.


CCD stands for charged coupled device. A CCD-based scanner uses a series of linear sensors and mirrors to capture an image. It is similar to the type of technology you would find within a digital camera. The sensors capture red, green and blue lines after the image/document has been illuminated by white light. This technology can capture high resolutions and is much better than CIS-based scanners. This type of scanner is ideal for marketing or graphic design companies that need vibrant, sharp and crisp colors for each image.

Additionally, CCD-based scanners have a much higher focal depth than CIS scanners. This means that the scanner can capture images on much thicker material, as well as from paper that has been folded or is not lying completely flat. Many CIS scanners cannot scan from documents that are much thicker than two normal pieces of paper. If you frequently scan documents such as cardboards, newspapers or blueprint drawings, you will want to consider a CCD-based product.


A contact imaging sensor-based scanner, or a CIS scanner, differs from a CCD model. This type of scanner doesn t use mirrors and lenses to capture images, it uses LED light to illuminate the document and transfer the image. When scanning, the light passes through a light pipe to ensure it is evenly distributed across the scan line. It is then reflected by the document and captured by a glass rod lens, which directs it to the sensors that capture the image. This type of technology is what you will find in most residential scanning equipment. It is the most cost-friendly. Additionally, because it uses less equipment, it requires much less maintenance. However, the quality of your scans may suffer, and any wrinkles or flaws in the document will be replicated onto the scanned image.

The Buying Question

When considering what type of technology you need, take into account your budget and your field of work. CIS-based scanners are much more cost-effective, however, if you need high resolution and strong colors with most of your documents, this type of scanner will not meet your needs. CCD scanners may have higher quality and can scan larger media, but they do require more maintenance and will take more money from your pocket. Ultimately, before purchasing one of these devices, you must consider your specific needs and find a scanner that suits them.

Wide-format scanners can be a valuable tool for numerous industries, but without the right technology for your situation, the oversized scanner you buy may not provide you with the results you desire.

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