on September 15, 2009
I have scanned about 8000 sheets so far. I have found these settings helpful with rack2filer:
1. Auto color detection, Duplex, Best image quality (300dpi Color/Grey 600dpi BW), Options [Only Blank page removal checked (no auto rotation - slows down page viewing)], Continuous scanning.
2. Same as above except change color mode to gray.
And in general I have found:
The multifeed detector works great and has detected many double feeds. It handles old thin thermal fax paper without double feeds - pretty amazing, because I would think that if anything would jam or double feed it would be that. The prompt shows the image of the detected multifeed and gives you the option of keeping it or discarding it - this has been helpful when it detects sticky notes on scanned paper that are supposed to be there.
It has handled many old papers - barely legible and has done an adequate job picking up light print.
Very light or old papers with light print or pencil hand writing are better handled by forcing the color detection to grey. Otherwise Auto everything works well.
Blank page detection - does not work with the other side of lined loose leaf paper or graph paper that has nothing written on it. That is to be expected - but a possible design improvement idea for this product. And to get around this, I have set the scanning side to single-sided. Otherwise blank page detection worked well.
Scans looked exactly like the originals and in rack2 filer the binders read and looked as well as the paper binders.
When it does jam (which was rarely the scanners fault and mostly from staples, taped paper or over loading), the prompt shows the last few pages scanned which makes it easy to recover.
Fanning and creating a step-like pattern of your paper stack before loading the paper makes a big difference in preventing paper jams.
Some of the advantages:
I can take many binders worth on information with me on my notebook without dragging the heavy paper binders in my bag - or one of those wheeled bags that my colleagues use.
There is the security of now being able to have multiple copies of my binders in physically different locations [desktop, notebook, and off site backups] all without using a copy machine.
I need less space for file cabinets [files], bookshelves [binders], and thus less office space.
Everything is now in one place. My office is too small to have all my binders and files together, but now they all fit in one folder on my hard drive.
Although I will still use paper to write on, I don't foresee a reason to ever need to bind or file papers anymore. Just take notes, scan, and recycle.
The actual images for Rack2Filer and CardMinder are in PDF files so if anything happens with Rack2filer - you can always access the data via windows explorer and acrobat.
I have used NeatWorks for my accounting (receipts), documents, and business cards for about a year now. The mobile scanner scans at 3 ppm black and white and 2ppm color - single sided only. So for duplex color ScanSnap is (20ppm x 2)/2ppm = 20x faster - a huge improvement. The NeatWorks software is also heavy and slow compared to Rack2filer and CardMinder.
However, NeatWorks is better than ScanSnap organizer or Rack2filer for receipts. And it can import the PDF scans from the S1500. So, I recommend using NeatWorks software (not the NeatWorks/Desk scanner) for receipts, Rack2Filer for documents and CardMinder for Business cards.
My old HP scanner (actually, it wasn't that old) died a few months ago and it was time for me to get a new one. I accidently came across the predecessor to the ScanScap S1500 (the S510) last week while I was having my taxes done and was amazed at the speed and compactness of it. My tax person also gave it glowing reviews. As I wasn't aware that Fujitsu manufactured scanners, I thought I'd do a little research which led me to reviews of the S510 here on Amazon. Rather amazingly, I was very surprised to find that the S510 had so many extraordinarily high reviews (something that I don't believe I come across too often, especially with items such as scanners). One of those reviews mentioned that a new model (this one - the S1500) had just been released by Fujitsu. After some more research (it wasn't yet listed on Amazon), I found that this scanner was available and that it had many new features. As it turns out, I was the "first kid on my block" to acquire one and I'm glad I did! This machine is incredible!
The speed is absolutely blinding - an incredible 20 pages per minute but, because it scans both sides of a page at the same time, double sided documents scan at 40 PAGES PER MINUTE! Wow! As with previous models, this scanner is very small and appears to be well built: it's quite heavy for its small size and fits very nicely on my small computer desk. The scanning quality is equally spectacular - it scans up to 600 dpi in color, grayscale, and black and white and mine came with a good assortment of software (Adobe Acrobat 9, Rack2-Filer, and ABBYY FineReader). It scans documents beautifully! While I've been too busy scanning the billions of pieces of paper that have cluttered my life for years (this scanner will actually do that quickly and efficiently - something I've always just dreamed would be possible), I haven't yet tried to scan photos; I suspect that this scanner will do a good job but that another type of scanner would probably do better for archival purposes).
The only problems I've had were with Acrobat (I already have Acrobat 9 Pro on my computer) - I found that importing previously scanned documents into Rack2-filer were always listed in reverse order (ugh!) and Fujitsu tech support replicated the problem. They suggested, however, that I completely uninstall (not just repair) Acrobat and reinstall it. That did the job. BTW, I received great tech support from Fujitsu.
One interesting thing is that this scanner does not come with TWAIN drivers. Because of this, it is not possible to use it to the same extent as other scanners. Just the same, my reason for getting this scanner was to create .pdf files and this scanner does it like no other.
Overall, I'm thrilled with the Fujitsu S1500 - there is no question that it is the best one I've had (and I've had many) and is well worth the money (the S1500 is also the most expensive scanner I've ever purchased). I would recommend this to anyone who needs to scan documents.
on December 26, 2009
So far, I love this machine! I originally bought it to digitize my book collection (I recently retired and will be moving into a travel trailer: there is no way I'm giving up my books but there is no way I'm going to have room for them all). I've done about 3500 scans so far (about 1000 were test scans while learning how to use the scanner and testing for settings to use) and the machine hasn't even started breathing heavily. The foot print is small when folded up and doesn't increase much when opened up. Firing up the machine is as simple as opening the top cover. Opening out the document out tray is optional. Not using the tray allows more documents to be fed without the already ejected documents getting in the way of the outgoing ones. The document out tray also sets slightly above the desktop so it isn't necessary to clear all paperwork from the desktop to use the scanner.
It's most impressive attribute has been its incredible speed compared to using a flat bed scanner with minimal misfeeds or jams (maybe one every 200-300 scans, mostly my fault). So far, I've scanned one book and a dozen magazines with good results. On magazines, I spend more time cutting off the spine with a rotary paper cutter than I do actually scanning. The same will be almost be true with books (mostly perfect bound paperbacks) once I get my band saw set up to cut off the spines (changing blades is a pain). I found that it is necessary to separate each page from the next prior to loading them (in batches of 20) into the scanner to avoid misdeeds or jams. Even so, once I separated 20 pages and loaded them into the s1500. I was able to get the next batch ready about the time the previous batch was finished scanning. Overall, it took between five and ten minutes to scan a 100 page magazine or book, a figure I'm happy with.
Post edit: While scanning magazines, I've found I can put up to 140 pages (70 sheets) into the scanner without so much as a gentle belch from the scanner. I've found it's much faster to just fan the pages along the cut edge, put them all into the scanner, and deal with any paper jams that may occur because a couple pages were'nt quite separated. The jams are rare and when they do occur, are easy to deal with.
Post edit: Anyone buying this scanner to scan books, be aware that using a saw to cut off the spines is not a good option. After scanning over a hundred books, I found that paper dust on the inside of the glass camera plattens was causing streaks in color and grayscale scans. The problem was caused by my using a bandsaw to cut off the book spines. The teeth of the blade left a fine, friable edge that shed paper dust like a long-haired dog in Spring. No amount of cleaning would eliminate that dust from the cut edge since more would crumble off in the scanner. Because of the large amount of dust, some managed to work its way inside the machine even though I didn't use compressed air (which is forbidden in the manual) to clean it (the band saw also accumulated huge amounts of dust and glue would get on the blade and tires; I had to spend unacceptable amounts of time frequently cleaning glue off the blade and the tires of the saw). I bought a guillotine type paper cutter and that almost eliminated the dust problem. When I called Fujitsu about getting it cleaned inside, they agreed to clean it under warranty but said the scanner was intended only for office work and not for book scanning since the cut edges crumbled so much but they did agree to "clean" it under warranty (they said the cameras were sealed units and would have to be replaced). After receiving the unit back, I cleaned the small amount of dust that accumulated in the scanner after each book (probably no more than 300 or more office documents would have left behind) with a small vacuum (per Fujitsu's suggestion) and a small brush design for dusting off LCD TV screens. The unit has been working fine ever since. If, after several hundred more books, dust gets into the scanner cameras again, I'll just get a second s1500 for scans other than books and save this one for books only. The streaks did not show up in B&W scans, which is what I use for the body of the book and only a small amount in the covers, which I didn't really care about as long as they are readable so the machine would still be acceptable for book scans.
Quality of magazine and book scans is not perfect but is still pretty good, depending on the material being scanned. Because magazines are loaded with color and grayscale illustrations, it is necessary to use the Auto settings and Normal compression to get decent scans. Text tends to be a bit on the faint side. As good as the OCR is it is still unbelievably slow so searchable PDFs are out of the question for this application. This means it will be impossible to read scans on anything other than a computer screen or a large e-book reader. Since I don't plan on scanning magazines until after I've read them, I won't be viewing them except on a large computer screen so that's not a problem for me. The quality of book scans depends on if there are any color or grayscale illustrations on the page. Exposure can be set only when doing black and white scans. Most so called black and white illustrations, even line drawings, are actually grayscale and will look horrible scanned on the black and white setting. If a page is all text, it will look fine when scanned with the auto setting or a grayscale setting. Any kind of illustration will cause the text to be fainter, especially color illustrations. Since most books limit color illustrations to separate pages and the covers so if it proves to be a problem, I can always scan the color pages separately and concatenate them in Adobe, an easy process. I plan on reading my scanned books on an e-book reader but I'm waiting for the prices to come down and the features to improve, such as adding zoom, backlighting (or, if not possible with e-ink, front lighting), etc. I won't be in any hurry for one for at least a year or two so I can wait. I'm guessing it will only take a year or so.
Post edit: I've found using Color and setting compression to 3 gives slightly better results with magazines. Even though the OCR for making searchable PDFs is slow, the desirability of being able to search magazines (all are tech or history related) outweighed my impatience. Even then, the overall process is much faster than it would have been using a flatbed without OCR.
Of course, the intended purpose of the s1500 is office paperwork reduction. Trying to scan all my receipts, statements, etc, on my Epson was painfully time consuming and did not always yield good results. Concatenating files was a pain involving copying and pasting into a Word doc, then converting to PDF with a virtual printer. The s1500 can be set to either scan pages into individual files or concatenated ones. The speed and quality is amazing. I emptied a drawer full of paperwork I had been procrastinating on scanning in about an hour. From now on, as soon as I get receipts, etc, that need scanning and tossing, I'll do it the instant I get them. It is so much more convenient and faster than using the Epson.
Most said that the machine was not suitable for scanning photos (I only have a thousand or two that need scanning). Based on the results and techniques of one reviewer, though, I decided to try scanning some photos. I was able to get slightly better quality from my old Epson 1660 Photo but each photo required one prescan, setting the scan area (basically, cropping the prescan), a second prescan to fine tune the scan area settings, reset the exposures settings, then , finally, scanning the darned thing. Every few photos, I had to take time to clean the platen (every once and a while I had to dismantle the machine and clean the underside of the platen and blow out the dust that somehow makes its way inside). With the s1500, actual scan time was maybe twice as fast as the Epson, but all I had to do, once the initial settings were made, was load about 10 or so photos into the machine, press a button (the only button), wait a bit for the machine to digest them, then load in some more photos from the same batch. The only setting that needed changing between batches was the file name. The machine would automatically append the photo number after the batch name on each photo. The result was I could scan ten photos on the s1500 in the time it took to scan one, maybe two (if I stayed focused; I have ADD--me, focused?), on the Epson.
As I mentioned, the quality of photos scanned with the s1500 is less than what I got from the Epson when scanned at similar settings (600 dpi and similar compression). File size was larger on the Epson. Still, one almost has to look at the on screen images side by side on my 22" LCD widescreen monitor to see the difference. When viewed on my 32" LCD widescreen TV, the pictures look fine from a distance of five to six feet. Scanning photos on my Epson was so slow, I was considering buying an ADF photo scanner but the ones I checked out didn't exactly get sterling reviews. I was seriously considering farming the job out, no matter the cost but the quality of photos scanned on the s1500 is good enough and the speed of the scans so fast, I'll probably do all of them on the s1500. Any photos of exceptional value or I plan on printing enlargements of I can also scan on the Epson (both of them).
A bonus use I hadn't anticipated involves my current project to digitize my CD collection. I kept all my CDs in a huge 400 CD changer (which was maxed out) so to save space, I filed all the CD covers in binders with photo album pages and tossed the jewel boxes. When I move, I won't be able to take the CD changer with me because, besides being huge and full, I would have to remove the CDs from the changer anytime I moved the travel trailer, a pain in the (ahem) I don't need. So I'm ripping them all to my computer. The binders with the CD covers in them also take up too much room and it's too easy to spill the covers from the binders so I've been scanning them with the Epson, pasting the resulting JPEGs into a Word doc (I didn't have Acrobat at the time), then using a virtual printer to convert the Word doc into a PDF. Talk about time consuming!
I tried pulling staples and cutting the CD covers to individual pages and scanning them with the s1500. Most of the time, this worked well at blazing speed. Covers that were multifold rather than a stapled booklet required single sided scanning and being fed one page at a time but it still went much faster than using the Epson. The only times I was forced to resort to using the Epson was when an illustration and/or text spanned more than a couple of pages. I found it was necessary to first scan to JPEGs, then combine them in Adobe. Scanning directly into PDF resulted in lower scan quality and considerably larger file sizes. Again, even with the extra steps, the process was amazingly fast. I can do at least ten covers in the time it used to take to do one using the Epson. The quality is generally better.
The deskew feature worked like a champ...most of the time. Every once in a great while, usually on a page with a predominance of graphics, it would lock on a near horizontal line and actually skew a page going through correctly. The fix is easy; turn off the deskew feature and rescan.
The biggest complaint I have concerns the software. I shelled out the extra $25 for the Deluxe package but, so far, the only extra software I've used is ABBYY FineReader. It works reasonably well but I do not expect to get a lot of use from it. I also installed Card Minder and Snap Scan Organizer. I get very few business cards and it's not that big a deal to manually transfer the info to my phone book. I would rather do that than maintain two separate data bases anyway. I already have a lot of data stored using Windows folder system and have been satisfied with that system so I don't need the Snap Scan Organizer. Again, having only one data base is more efficient. I read in a review importing data into SSO is a pain so why bother. For that reason, I haven't even bothered to install Rack2-Filer. Again, these are my needs and others may be more likely to have use for the extra software.
Post edit: When installing the software, the installer sets them up to start when booting the computer. This noticeably slows overall computer time. Since all I ever use is SnapScan Manager, I removed all the other programs from the startup sequence. I tried removing SnapScan Manager from th startup sequence but found when I fire up the scanner, it doesn't automatically open the Manager--I had to go into the start menu to open it--so I put it back into the startup sequence.
Another really big gripe is not being able to adjust scan exposure on anything other than black and white. That is a HUGE problem. There should be an option to change the default levels in the auto settings, especially since they tend to be a bit on the light side.
The carrier sheet is a joke. I tried using it to scan the CD covers and found out one has to preset the page size in. Otherwise, the entire carrier is included in the document. I found it to be one heckuvalot easier and faster to just cut the covers apart than to use that idiot carrier, preset the page size, then still have to crop the pages in Adobe. The only use I foresee is when scanning REALLY fragile documents. Even ripped documents are more easily taped than scanned using the carrier sheet. And there is always the Epson I can fall back on.
The documentation that comes with the machine is not as good as I would like. One receives two sizeable manuals, set up and safety precautions, but each one has only a few pages in each of several languages. I cut out the few English pages, scanned them, then tossed the manuals. There is a more extensive manual accessed from ScanSnap manager or the right click menu in the tray icon. I found it curious that the manuals, when instructing one to install the software on the Snap Scan disk, do not tell one to also install Adobe. Fortunately, even this computer challenged, old broad was able to figure that one out on her own. Navigating through the documentation is a pain because it is broken up into umpteen dozen separate documents that forces one to keep going back to the menu to go to another topic before continuing. It would have been one heckuvalot easier if it was one continuous document that was indexed. I did find a PDF manual online ([...]) that was set up that way. I've since found it was on the installation disk but accessing it is inconvenient.
Use of the final menus in a scan was a pain to figure out. I bypassed them until I figured them out (sorta).
A minor complaint is the brick power supply. Even when the machine is turned off, the brick is still drawing power. Add that to that all the power the other bricks my equipment use (seven total) and we are talking about a noticeable dent in the annual power bill. I would have been willing to pay more for a machine that had an onboard power supply, even if it was a tad bigger, so the AC could be turned off when the machine was not in use.
Despite my complaints, I'm giving this machine five stars simply because it has wildly exceeded my expectations and, due to the time it is saving me, worth every penny I paid for it, especially since Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard ($236 on Amazon) was packaged with it. Keep in mind this is not a do all machine but it does what it was intended (and then some) exceedingly well.
on May 23, 2010
I am a computer consultant, and have sold several earlier models of the ScanSnap scanner to my clients. All have tried other, cheaper scanners, and usually quit using them out of frustration. All complained at first about the higher cost of the Fujitsu, but once I set the scanner up in their offices, they are amazed and pleased. It just works, scans both side of a sheet at once, color, black & white, small, large, all with the touch of a single button.
Up front, you need to know, this is not a 'twain' supported scanner. You will not be able to just scan a sheet directly into MS Word or a photo editing software package. If you need that, get a little inexpensive flat-bed scanner. The ScanSnap is a high-speed, production scanner, that scans to PDF or JPEG file formats.
Now I am in the process of converting all my own files to digital format, the mythical 'paperless' office. I have worked with a variety of scanners over the years, and knew this model would work well. Set up is easy, you put in the disks and follow the simple install process (it does take a while though). When that is complete, you plug the scanner into a USB port, and it powers up, and is ready to scan. You can use the default settings for the scanner button, or make changes to suit yourself. Color, both sides, resolution, file naming, etc. can all be adjusted as needed.
It will hold about 50 pages to scan, based on the thickness of the paper, but you can set the software to ask to continue to scan when the paper runs out, so you can scan as many pages in one session as your computer's memory can handle. (or break the scan into sessions, and merge the files together with Acrobat)
The included Acrobat v9 is a great for creating all PDF files of your scans. And you can scan more and add to existing PDF files. You can even import old jpeg files and add them to your PDF files. Works very well. I am now scanning receipts and things as I get them, and add to existing PDF files as I go.
A typical scanning process for me, I have a folder set up on my computer called '2010 File Cabinet', and have set the scanning software to use that as the default location to save files to. I also have the program set to automatically ask me for a file name. Now for my example, I have some credit card receipts, (the scanner will take a variety of papersizes, and can rotate them as well) I stack them into the scanner, press the button, and the scanner scans each one, and at the end, prompts me for a file name. I enter 'May gas receipts', click enter, and it is done. I now have a PDF file with all my gas receipts for the month. I can open the file with Acrobat, and adjust images, or add other files as needed.
Of course once in a while you have a page that jams (oops fogot to remove a staple) or is crooked. The software stops the process, you can straighten the paper out, and click on the 'continue scanning' prompt, and the scanner picks up where it left off.
By the way, I have found there is no 'off and on' button for this model. My clients with older models for-the-most-part leave theirs on all the time. But I like to turn it off when not in use. I found that if you unplug the USB cable, the scanner powers down. And best of all, when you plug the USB cable back in, the scanner is more-or-less instantly available to scan, no warm-up time.
The really nice thing is, you can leave the whole system with default setting, which makes it real easy for the less technically inclined, or as I have done, get into the various settings, and create and customize several alternate scan set-ups to get exactly what you want in the most efficent manner possible.