Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Everything camera related. Includes triggers, batteries, power supplies, flatbeds and sheet-feeding scanners, too.
reece.arnott
Posts: 10
Joined: 28 May 2011, 09:24

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by reece.arnott » 14 Sep 2011, 06:49

I just put a book in my incomplete scanner and, for the bottom image, hung the webcam on the side of the scanner (its incomplete in that I don't have a place to put the lights or webcams) and took picture using the full 5MP non-'software enhanced' resolution. At this distance - 25-30cm or a little under 1 foot - from the bottom of the V a properly framed image of 2MP would give the same quality (as calculated by cropping the image to just the text and finding it to be 1817x975).

Note that the blue stripe is where there is a reflection from the built in blue glowing stripes surrounding the webcam that glow when it is on. The whole device is just on my bed in my room with a single power saver fluorescent (60W equivalent) for lighting.

The advantage of having more mega-pixels to play with is really that your camera can be further away before you see a drop-off in quality of OCR, especially important with webcams which normally have no optical zoom component. The top image taken holding the camera by hand from approx. 70cm away shows the significant difference in how easy to read the words are. I would suspect that I will end up with my webcams not more than 50cm away from the page just from these tests.
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CCDeye
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Joined: 20 Apr 2011, 12:28

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by CCDeye » 14 Sep 2011, 07:16

Thank you..
I took two pictures using my Logitech C310 web camera and my Canon A495 camera set to 2 MP resolution.
The C310 web camera
Picture 013.jpg
Logitech C310


The Canon A495 set to 2MP
Picture.jpg
Canon A495 set to 2MP

I have a feeling that my web camera has displaced lens or something. It always shoots better from the right side.

DSpider

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by DSpider » 23 Sep 2011, 08:30

reece.arnott, the Logitech C910 webcam still has mechanical zoom... While it may be good enough for OCR-ing, it probably won't last for 150 books (150 x ~250 pages... ~35000 pages). For someone with a bigger collection... It's probably not worth it.

I'm hoping the iPod touch gets a bump in camera resolution this year (4G's current 0.7 MP is pretty much a joke).

Can anyone post some samples from an Android phone? Preferably more recent models...

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daniel_reetz
Posts: 2780
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
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Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by daniel_reetz » 23 Sep 2011, 09:36

are those 3D printed joints on your scanner reece? incredible-looking design!

aku
Posts: 46
Joined: 02 Jan 2010, 08:38
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by aku » 23 Sep 2011, 12:23

daniel_reetz wrote:are those 3D printed joints on your scanner reece? incredible-looking design!
Regarding 3D printing, cameras and scanners, also see
http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2011/09/20 ... y-by-jman/

dtic
Posts: 463
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 18:03

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by dtic » 25 Sep 2011, 05:15

DSpider wrote:Can anyone post some samples from an Android phone? Preferably more recent models...
I don't have one, but I think phone cams will soon become the best option for book scanners. Many new Android phones have cameras in the 5-8 megapixel range already. And phone prices are dropping rapidly. Possible advantages over using webcams:
1. More portable. No need for a computer/laptop when book scanning.
2. Photo triggering could use either voice control or a small bluetooth device. A cheap bluetooth earpiece could be reprogrammed and attached to the platen handle as a trigger button.

Given how fast new and better Android phones keep being released maybe someone capable should already start looking into coding a book scanner Android app?

blueblazer

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by blueblazer » 24 Oct 2011, 12:00

I'm building my scanner on the basis of 2 android phones. I will post some results later this week when I have everything all hooked up. Some friends were gracious enough to donate an Incredible and a 1st Gen droid to do this. They are both 5mp cameras with decent focus setups.

The thing that i think is pretty snazzy that I'm setting up with these is that using a SMB server app you can use some scripts to pull the images off as you take them, further automating the process. I'm using AndroidVNC and some other script tools for triggering (and remote viewing on my laptop while I take pictures.).

I'm using xdotool to pass along keystrokes to the VNC viewer on the host laptop. I have my platen and frame mostly built so results will be up later this week.

I fully intend to post all my tools and scripts once I have it finished.

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daniel_reetz
Posts: 2780
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
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Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by daniel_reetz » 24 Oct 2011, 20:58

That's pretty exciting - can't wait to see the prototypes...

DSpider

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by DSpider » 05 Nov 2011, 17:56

Tablets are now getting 5 MP cameras (Motorola Xoom 2, Dell Streak, Acer Iconia Tab A500, etc). Hmmm... Scan Tailor is open source and can run on Linux (and Android is Linux' cousin underneath). Maybe we won't even need a computer at all. We could could digitize an entire bookcase shelf in one weekend, edit and read all on the same device.

CCDeye
Posts: 17
Joined: 20 Apr 2011, 12:28

Re: Do we actually need portable cameras ?

Post by CCDeye » 24 Nov 2011, 10:56

I wonder, since there arent any hi-res quality web cameras for PC, is there some kind of way to plug a Canon or other point-and-shoot camera to the PC and use it as a web camera. Windows has some standard web camera driver built-in so could write applications to grab the stream.
Is there a point and shoot camera that could be used as a PC camera via USb or something ?

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