Looking for which scanner is best for artwork? We have reviewed 13 of the top options for you!
Introduction to Scanners for Artwork:
Scanners have managed to become an interesting technological intersection in the relationship between digital and traditional art.
While many designers and artists do most of their linework on tablet devices, some prefer to produce outlines in ink before scanning their handiwork and coloring digitally.
Some experienced artists also use scanners to upload their artwork onto their online gallery, send to print companies, upload into photo manipulation software and for self-promotion on their website and on Instagram. Having a digital archive of their work becomes a valuable tool for all artists.
Why can’t you just snap photos with a high-resolution camera? Well, every designer knows that the best scanner for artwork should help capture the essential vividness and essence of art pieces. The more data that is captured, the higher resolution that can be used to prepare the image for digital work, printing or archiving.
Still, there are multitudes of scanners to choose from in today’s market, and it can be difficult to pick just one product. However, if you keep reading on, all of that is about to change.
If You Are Short On Time, Here Is My List of the Best Scanners for Artwork:
- Epson Perfection V600 <<Beginner Price Point But Good Quality
- Epson DS-50000 <<Semi-Pro Price Point And Great Quality
- Epson Expression 12000XL-GA <<Professional Artist Price Point And The Best Quality
- Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII
- Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
- Canon CanoScan LiDE220
- Epson Perfection V850 Pro
- Epson Perfection V39
- Canon CanoScan Lide 400
- Epson Expression E11000XL-GA
- Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600
- Plustek A3 Flatbed
- Mustek A3 2400S
What is the best scanner for artwork:
1. Epson Perfection V600
When a scanner has the ability to precisely capture natural ripples found over both rough and cold press watercolor paper, then you already know that it is a quality product. If this doesn’t impress you, another great feature in this product is that you can manipulate scanning speed to vary the quality of scan you’re looking for.
You see, most basic scanners will scan your artwork in approximately 10 seconds. The V-600 can be set for a longer scan to produce higher resolutions. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t offer much for portability, the V600 is our best overall scanner for artwork.
- A high enough resolution to rival professional scanners
- Features built-in picture editing software
- Versatile scanning speed and output
- Perfect for watercolor drawings and sketchbooks
2. Epson DS-50000
Tired of folding larger artwork or scanning it in intervals to get the job done? The DS5000 can help you achieve one swift scan since it is a large-format scanner. This glass on either side of the scanner is flushed, therefore making scanning large artwork more convenient.
Considering its hefty body, the DS-50000 has a very surprising scanning speed. However, this also means that it may not be able to capture your work in-depth like the V600. Still, it delivers the best value for its affordable price.
- Incredible scanning speeds
- Excellent for larger artworks
- Paper won’t remain lifted or be crumpled
3. Epson Expression 12000XL-GA
Since we’re solving the problem of large artworks, here is yet another big flatbed scanner. The 12000XL-GA is perfect for A3-sized paper and delivers great resolutions at fast speeds. Also, this scanner has a minimalistic control panel made for a one-button-push-operation.
Everything about this scanner is designed to streamline your work with a user-friendly operation. The 12000XL-GA is the best high-end scanner in the market and a worthy purchase if you’re willing to invest in your art.
- Produces high resolutions at quick speeds
- No scanner warm-up required
- Perfect for larger artworks
- User-friendly operation
4. Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII
If the only thing that concerns you is scan quality, then we can guarantee that this scanner can produce breathtaking results. This scanner produces a maximum resolution of 9600×9600 dpi, with a color depth of 48 bits. In other words, each pencil or brush stroke will be discernable in your scans.
Additionally, this is the best quality scanner in the market because of its FARE Level 3 Technology. This feature ensures that your scans don’t get scratched in the process or get affected by dust.
- Offers the highest resolutions available in its price range
- Features a transparency unit that scans negatives
- Quick start feature makes scanning easy
- Ultra-quick scans
5. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300
Oftentimes, artists aren’t looking for portable scanners but still prefer working with something with a compact design. Whether they have a small workspace or prefer to lug the scanner around, the Fujitsu S1300 is the perfect solution.
Even though this product doesn’t qualify as a flatbed or a CCD scanner, it is both – reliable and efficient. While promising to capture colors effortlessly, it also has the ability to scan upto 12 pages/minute front and back!
- Can easily fit over compact spaces
- Speedy operation
- Can be lugged around very easily
6. Canon CanoScan LiDE220
Apart from being super compact and portable, this scanner looks ultra-futuristic. This scanner has a footprint of just 9.9”x 14.4”x 1.6”, which also makes it the slimmest scanner on this list.
It seems evident that this particular scanner was designed to be used in hectic classrooms or in college dorms. Since it is powered by a USB, it offers great mobility and can be used anywhere. However, it’s portable design sacrifices its resolution since it offers no unique edge in this area. Of course, it is still a great scanner if you want to upload your work online.
- Provides a super quick scan
- Extremely portable
- Compact design is easy to store or carry in a bag
- A perfect scanner for beginners
7. Epson Perfection V850 Pro
This 4th product from Epson deserves a place on this list because it combines all the right features. It delivers a higher-than-average resolution to produce stunning clarity while also boasting the ability to capture subtle details like soft shadows.
In addition, this scanner features an editing software that can control highlights/shadows gradations, global color, etc. Of course, with a combination of all the right features, this scanner is a tad bit on the pricier end.
- Features 4 extra holders to scan film
- Dual lens system offers versatility in scanning resolution
- No warm-up required
- Offers a variety of editing options
8. Epson Perfection V39
While the V39 is intended to be a portable scanner, it can still efficiently scan every aspect of large-scale sketches and paintings. This product was designed especially for small studios and art students who usually work on-the-go.
Making your job easier, this scanner has a removable lid that might get in the way of scanning larger artworks. However, it puts off many potential customers since it doesn’t have a transparency unit to scan negatives.
- Highly portable and USB powered
- Features Epson’s ArcSoft stitching software
- Removable lid for larger scans
9. Canon CanoScan Lide 400
Are you working with a tight budget and still can’t compromise on quality? If so, CanoScan Lide 400 is our budget option among the best scanners for artwork. Moreover, it offers the best resolution for its price, meaning amateur artists can enlarge and digitize their masterpieces without breaking a sweat.
Another great detail about this portable scanner is that it takes only 8 seconds to scan and transfer your handiwork. However, you can only work with A4 size papers to make banner-sized printouts.
- Delivers high-speed scanning
- Easy operation with only a couple of buttons
- USB powered and very portable
- Users can tweak their work with color restoration, dust removal, etc.
10. Epson Expression E11000XL-GA
The E11000XL-GA is a flatbed scanner, meaning it can scan larger works of art. While it may seem like any other standard product, its color depth is pretty exemplary.
Since it offers 16-bit in grayscale and 48-bit in standard colors, you will be able to scan intricate pencil sketches or digitally restore old photos. Of course, with such high-end features, it lacks affordability – which is a turn-off for most customers.
- Offers all the high-end features of most scanners
- Can scan larger artworks
- Offers great color depth for art
- Can restore old artwork or photos
11. Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600
The SV600 is what we call a document camera, and it is also used by librarians and archivists. It has a very unique ‘tower scanning’ design, and for this reason, artists can scan large artworks without digitally stitching them on Photoshop.
Rest assured, the SV600 will still be able to produce a quality scan as compared to any flatbed scanner. The only drawback of this product is that wrinkles or any other imperfection will really stand out.
- One-button operation
- Can scan A3 sized artworks in just 3 seconds
- Offers an automatic page-turn detection feature
- Additional rotation, de-skew, and cropping features
12. Plustek A3 Flatbed
Since this scanner is a flatbed scanner, it is an ideal product for not just large artworks but also simultaneously scanning 2 pages of magazines, scrapbooks, or spread books. Also, since it offers a 1200 DPI resolution for both color and grayscale scans, each scan takes about 9 seconds.
Users will find that the simple scan, email scan, PDF scan, and OCR buttons can make their scanning operation very straightforward and simple.
- Very budget-friendly
- LED lights can deliver very high-quality scans
- Offers a great color spectrum for both color and grayscale scans
- Quick operation
13. Mustek A3 2400S
Finally, we have another A3 scanner that easily scans and upload larger artworks. Of course, there are many scanners that could do so with a higher resolution, but most of those will have a higher price than the Mustek 2400S.
While most of its features are quite standard and befitting for any beginner artist, its time-consuming installation process was a turn-off for most consumers. Of course, if this is a non-issue, then it is a worthy contender for the title of the best scanner for artwork.
- Can create high-resolution images
- Scans large art pieces quickly
- Relatively affordable as opposed to similar products
- Minimal operation requirements
What Makes the Best Scanner for Artwork and Design?
First of all, you need to put away all notions of working with bulky beasts that belong to a 9 to 5 workspace nightmare. Ideally, the best scanner for artwork should be the stand-alone kind which can easily fit on your desktop.
Most experienced artists prefer working with flatbed scanners with a lid that can be pressed down on pages. On the flip side, most modern artists also prefer something a lot more portable since they take their work along wherever they go.
What Specs Are Necessary?
A decent scanner should offer a minimum resolution of 4800 dpi if you’re planning on working with colors. Anything higher than 4800 dpi wouldn’t make the difference any obvious. Of course, anything lower can easily be distinguished.
Additionally, a good scanner for design and art should have CCD (Charging Coupled Device) scanning technology. In other words, the scanner should use an actual lense to scan the image. That being said, all of the products we reviewed have CCD scanning technologies.
Do Scanners Go Beyond the Traditional A4 Size?
Large flatbed scanners like Epson’s Expression 12000XL-GA can easily accommodate A3-sized pieces. Of course, these models also tend to be a little pricier. Now some A4-size scanners might mention that they can go beyond these sizes, but this usually entails ‘stitching’ software.
Are Portable Scanners Reliable?
Portable scanners are necessary for anyone for whom a daily routine includes traveling. For this reason, a portable scanner can come in handy because they can be packed away with a laptop and set up wherever the need arises.
However, in terms of reliability, portable scanners usually trade-off specs. If you cannot work with average specs, scanners like the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i are great middleground. This scanner isn’t as thin as a dedicated portable scanner but is compact enough to be placed on any desktop.
Some consumers are very tempted to buy wireless portable scanners, but these are just an unnecessary cost since you’re going to be bringing your laptop along anyway.
Are the Latest Models Always Better?
Unlike other technological products, scanner models do not get updated as frequently. For this reason, it is safe to assume that you aren’t wasting your money on a scanner that is about to be outdated.
Also, scanner technologies aren’t exactly a rapidly evolving field. A model that was released 5 years ago may still be ample enough to cater to your artistic needs.
For some beginner artists, a scanner may just be a means of creating new artworks. For many artists on Pinterest and Instagram; however, the best scanner for artwork may be an integral part of gaining popularity on social media.
In either case, the better the scanner, the better the resultant art will look on their desktop or tablet screens. Since we have narrowed down all the products in the market to just 13 products, you should be well along your way to buying the right scanner for your unique preferences.
Would I Require a Film/Slide Scanner for Artwork?
Having a film/slide scanner should depend on your area of expertise, but it is definitely not a necessity. However, if you are considering opting for this feature with a healthy mix of other features, try looking into the Epson Perfection V600.
What Kind of Artwork is Appropriate for Scanners?
These scanners are best to be used on flat artworks such as those that involve colors and textures. Still, you can always use stitching software to reproduce digital images of larger artworks.
What Is Digital Stitching?
Digital stitching is the process of scanning surfaces that cannot be covered by a flatbed panel in just one-go and putting them together via an editing software. Most of the best scanners for artwork come equipped for digital stitching.
Which File Format Is Best for Artwork?
Even though a JPEG format is considered to be the ideal option for photographs, it may not be a good option for artwork. Instead, a TIFF format will prove to be more effective. This is so because the TIFF format works best with editing software such as Photoshop or Illustrator.