A scanner for artwork is essential for artists for displaying their work in digital form.
When it comes to capturing the right amount of color with a scanner from you are pieces, you have plenty of options to choose from depending upon your budget and the quality of scan you want.
One of the most important consideration when choosing a scanner for professional work that involves color is to look at its dynamic range.
Dynamic range basically tells us how good a scanner is at capturing the tonal details of the object.
Of course, the higher the dynamic range, the more expensive a scanner tends to be and thus not all of us can afford such devices.
While dynamic range is the measure of Dmin – Dmax, a buyer should generally look at the Dmax to get an idea about the quality of the scanner. Higher the Dmax, the better.
Therefore, in this article we will look at the best scanners for artwork that you can use to digitize your masterpieces. We will look at scanners from various price ranges.
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You may be interested in learning about flatbed vs sheetfed scanners.
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Comparison Table of Top Scanners for Artwork
A4 / Letter
A4 / Letter
A3 / Tabloid
A4 / Letter
A4 / Letter
List of Best Scanners for Artwork
Here we have selected the following scanners for the artist.
- 1Canon CanoScan Lide 400 – Cheapest Flatbed Scanner for Artwork
- 2Epson Perfection V600 – Recommended All Rounder Scanner
- 3Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner OS 1180 – Mid Range Large Format Scanner – A3 Size
- 4Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII – High Quality 48 Bit 19,200 DPI Scanner
- 5Epson Perfection V800 – Professional Scanner 4.0 Dmax – Dual Lens Scanning
Let’s look at these best scanners for artwork in detail.
1. Canon CanoScan Lide 400 – Cheapest Flatbed Scanner for Artwork
- Enjoy high speed scanning in as fast as 8...
- Preserve detailed photos and images thanks to...
- Enjoy ease of use with 'EZ' Buttons. With...
- Paper size: 8.27 x 11.69, 8.50 x 11.69
Canon CanoScan Lide is an efficient option for low cost scanning. This is a budget scanner and therefore amateur artists can use it for digitizing their masterpieces.
It is easy to use, has a slim profile and comes with a USB Type C connection to match the modern needs.
This scanner has a flatbed that can support a maximum of A4 / Letter sized art pieces. For bigger artwork, we suggest you look at Plustek 1180 below.
The scanner offers high speed for making the scanning process quick and easy. It takes less than 8 seconds for the scanner to capture the image of your work and transform it into digital data.
With 4800 resolution, this scanner is great in case if you want to enlarge your artwork in the future. A higher DPI allows you to make banner sized printouts from a small A4 sized scan.
The scanner offers additional features for enhancing the quality of your work. With features such as dust removal, image enhancements, and color restoration, you can tweak your work and make it more presentable.
If you are an amateur artists and cannot afford to dish out top dollar for a scanner, then this simple scanner is currently one of the best scanners for artwork.
Also Read: Best Flatbed Scanners
2. Epson Perfection V600 – Recommended All Rounder Scanner
- Create extraordinary enlargements from film:...
- Remove the appearance of dust and scratches...
- Remove the appearance of tears and creases...
- Restore faded color photos with one touch:...
We recommend Epson Perfection V600 as the best all rounder scanner in this category because it is not only affordable, but offers fairly decent scanning results.
For starters, this scanner has a Dmax of 3.4. The top end scanners have a Dmax of 4.0 but they cost nearly a thousand dollars. As such a decent 3.4 Dmax is fairly sufficient for its price tag.
Furthermore, it has a fairly high optical resolution of 6400 dpi. This can be used to create very large enlargements of your artwork.
Another highly lucrative feature this offers is the ability to scan film negatives. Therefore, if you have old photo / video films lying around you can digitize those as well.
Finally, this scanner has a flatbed size of A4/Letter – which, unfortunately, may put some people off.
The printer comes equipped with multiple software and image restoration technologies that can help you enhance your scanned artwork.
All in all, this is an all rounder scanner. From affordability and quality perspective, this is one of the best scanners for artwork as far as performance/dollar value goes.
Learn about the best flatbed scanner in general.
3. Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner OS 1180 – Mid Range Large Format Scanner – A3 Size
- ✔WE SCAN SIZES - A3 11.69""x 17" Large...
- ✔NO MORE WAITING - LED Light Source, Save...
- ✔HASSLE-FREE OPERATION - Pre Set Function...
- ✔POWERFUL SOFTWARE BUNDLE - Enhanced OCR...
Plustek OS1180 is a large format scanner that can handle your canvas sheets and sketch papers. With this you can scan upto A3 sized artwork.
Large format scanners are hard to come by and since they are rare, they are also quite costly. Fortunately, this option from Plustek stands out as one of the best scanners for large artwork.
For large format art scanning, this scanner doesn’t really have too big of a competition.
The only issue is that this scanner has a maximum optical resolution of 1200 dpi. This may be an issue for those who want to enlarge their art pieces for large printouts.
The printer takes about 15 seconds to scan a colored A3 sized art piece – which isn’t too bad considering that normal scanners scan A4 sized in about 8 seconds.
In the end, if you like to draw on larger canvases, then your options are limited. In that case this A3 size wide format option is one of the best scanners for artwork.
4. Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII – High Quality – 9600 DPI Scanner
- Fare Level 3 delivers automatic dust and...
- Zero warm-up time and lower power consumption...
- "Auto Scan Mode" automatically adjusts...
- Maximum Document Size: 8.5 x 11.7 Inch (21.6...
With this we have entered the realm of premium scanners. These are expensive and built only for professional artists and photographers.
This a versatile scanner that can scan all sorts of pieces including negative films. The scanner can scan films with a DPI of 9600 and can scan art pieces, photos and documents with a DPI of 4800.
Like most scanners of this range, this too offers a Dmax of about 4.0 and therefore you can be certain that the hue and tonal capture on this scanner will be second to none.
Another important feature to take into account here is that this scanner uses the CCD technology for scanning instead of CMOS that is used on cheaper scanners.
The high DPI, high dynamic range and the robust CCD technology makes this a fairly expensive machine to have.
One of the main functions of this scanner is negative film scanning. However, with a premium hardware as found on this, you can be certain that the scan of your art pieces will be highly detailed as well.
If you want some of the the highest pixel details in your scanned images, then this one of the best scanners for artwork.
5. Epson Perfection V800 – Professional Scanner 4.0 Dmax – Dual Lens Scanning
- Precise color and detail - get extraordinary...
- Remarkable tonal range - 4.0 Dmax for smooth...
- Exclusive Dual Lens System - selects from 2...
- Operating Systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 8,...
Epson Perfection V800 is yet another high end and an advanced scanner that features robust hardware and technologies.
Like the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII above, this too can scan film negatives. In fact, this scanner provides some of the most comprehensive solution for negative film scanning.
Coming to main point: how well does it perform for art scanning? well there are very few scanners out there that can match up to the level of details this has to offer.
No only does it use CCD sensors with Dmax of 4.0, it utilizes an advanced dual lens system with high pass optics. One lens has a DPI of 4800, the other has a DPI of 6400.
The scanner automatically detects the media and selects from the two lenses.
While this is an advanced film scanner and comes with multiple film holders for various film sizes, its high performance optical system makes this among the best scanners for artwork or for any work that requires high detail capture.
Unfortunately though, procuring a scanner as expensive as this only makes sense if you can justify its ROI.
Also Read: Best Scanners for Old Pictures
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What Type of Scanner Works Best for Artworks?
Though we have many good options for scanning artwork, sketches, water colored paintings and other work on canvas, but for actual representation a flatbed scanner works best.
A good flatbed scanner can scan any from any size of sketchbooks or canvas paper with or without a lid.
Do I need a Slide/Film Scanner for Artwork?
Well, having a slide scanner will be a good choice, but it’s not essential. Nowadays flatbed scanners like Epson V600 or V800 are fully equipped to be called slide scanner due to the performance and quality they offer.
They are high-end scanners that produce exemplary scanning result.
What Work is Appropriate to Scan?
Unless you have a large format scanner, scanning is best for small flat artworks, like on paper with textures and colors. But you can always perform the digital process of stitching artwork together if you have large format work to scan.
What is Digital Stitching?
Digital stitching is performed on artwork that has a larger surface than the flatbed glass panel can cover at a time.
In that case, the artwork is digitized in parts and then put together through digital stitching. Digital stitching is performed through editing software.
Most of the best scanners for artwork come equipped with this technology.
CIS or CCD Which Scanners are Good For Artwork?
CIS can scan flat surface while CCD scanners can handle textures, watercolour paper, or thick acrylic painting. CCD scanners let you accurately scan the artwork that has slightly raised the surface, making it easier for texture papers or sketchbooks.
Though they can be expensive than CIS scanners but they certainly worth the investment.
What File Format is Good for Artwork?
Though JPEG format is considered ideal for photographs but it may not suit very well for artwork.
JPEG is ideal for digital printing, but for artwork, the TIFF format is more suitable. TIFF can be used for opening in several high-end editing software like Illustrator or Photoshop.
Luckily, the software that come equipped with the best scanners for artwork can save in multitude for file formats.
The best scanners for artwork can be found in multiple price ranges. If you are an amateur artists who does not have the top money to spend on scanners, you can stick to the affordable options like the Canon CanoScan Lide 400 or the Epson V600.
However, if you make a living out of your artwork, then there is no reason why should not invest in the high performance scanners.
Since the high performance scanners are expensive, they can be seen as an investment for your business.
On the other hand, if you do not have a high volume of scanning, you are better of saving up on the cash. You can always get your scans done from the nearest creative studio shops.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.