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DSLR vs flatbed.


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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:49 PM

I got curious about the infrequent but ongoing DSLR vs flatbed scanner DIY DI question and did some fresh tests.

My Epson flatbed scanned an academy size frame, 4K, 48bit in about 70 seconds. It was about 8.5 times slower than my DSLR which clocked out at 8 seconds for a 5K RAW. Though I used two different negs for the tests, the DSLR did a better job resolving individual grains.

The Epson can do a 9600dpi scan which yields really small pixels. But it takes almost 2 minutes to do it. I did the tests because I was interested in the mention of 8K scans in Batman. Assuming I could build and .NET a successful film transport mechanism, it would take 240 days to get a 2 hr. movie scanned in.

Is that extra resolution worth the extra time and trouble? What do you think they paid per frame to have those 8K scans done?
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:37 AM

My Epson flatbed scanned an academy size frame, 4K, 48bit in about 70 seconds. It was about 8.5 times slower than my DSLR which clocked out at 8 seconds for a 5K RAW. Though I used two different negs for the tests, the DSLR did a better job resolving individual grains.

The Epson can do a 9600dpi scan which yields really small pixels.


Pixel count isn't everything. I am sure that the 9600dpi aren't optical dpi but interpolated. And keep in mind that a flatbed scanner always is a compromise for scanning transparencies because of the many surfaces of glass the scanner light has to pass. And the DSLR will be sharper by far too, that's why you see the grains more easily. Try the same with a high end scanner like an Imacon and you should see the difference to the Epson.

Cheers, Dave
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 10:33 AM

Pixel count isn't everything. I am sure that the 9600dpi aren't optical dpi but interpolated. And keep in mind that a flatbed scanner always is a compromise for scanning transparencies because of the many surfaces of glass the scanner light has to pass. And the DSLR will be sharper by far too, that's why you see the grains more easily. Try the same with a high end scanner like an Imacon and you should see the difference to the Epson.

Cheers, Dave


Plus, keeping a flatbed clean is a Goddamn nightmare! :ph34r:
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#4 Glen Alexander

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 11:32 AM

i just a 7200x7200dpi scanner, it's manual and slow, each pic is like 127Mb, but damn it's good.
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:17 PM

Is that extra resolution worth the extra time and trouble? What do you think they paid per frame to have those 8K scans done?



Northlight-2 was the scanner used, 8Kscans happen in a about 1.5 sec and they probably paid around $1.00 / frame..

-Rob-
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:50 PM

i just a 7200x7200dpi scanner, it's manual and slow, each pic is like 127Mb, but damn it's good.


My Epson micro-steps the 9600dpi. It interpolates up to 12,000dpi. Frankly, 8K looked like a bit of overkill. 12K is completely ridiculous. 4K is just about right. I can see why the industry has set 4K as the top end and 2K as the bottom end.

Another plus of the DSLR is the RAW file system. The 5K files are only 12-13 Mb per image. So, it's easy to store files for hard drive shipment- 2 1Tb SATAII drives for a 90 minute set of frames and 3 1Tb SATAIIs for a 2 hour set of frames. RAW is really a great file format. So powerful, so versatile, so efficient.

I trimmed the capture time down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds when I went to my dual core machine from my laptop. I'm crossing my fingers that SATAII storage drives will drop the time to 6 seconds compared to the PATA 133 that I'm testing with now. 2 seconds knocks my scan time on a 2 hour feature down to 12 days instead of the current 16 days.
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