Guides and Reviews

The 4 Best Scanners for Artists and Artwork in 2018

Some of us still create art the old fashioned way — with pencils, paint, pens, and film. But this is a modern world, and even if your art is analog, you need a reliable way to make it digital. Enter the scanner. Ordinary scanners may be sufficient for documents, but to capture the color and depth of a sketch, painting, or photograph, you need a high quality, specialized scanner.

Here you will find the best scanners on the market for your individual needs. But no matter what, every artist needs their scanner to make true-to-life representations of their work.

Epson DS-50000

  • Resolution – 600 x 600
  • Color Depth – 16-bit
  • Max Document Size – 11.7” x 17”
  • Price – $1,552*

Summary

Marketed as “the large-format scanner built for professionals”, at a size of 11.7” x 17”, this scanner certainly can handle big projects. If you’re used to using a smaller scanner and then editing your images together, you should consider upgrading to save yourself a considerable amount of time and effort. Of course, it can handle small projects too, and everything in between. At 600 SPI resolution and 16 bit color, it’s right at the minimum requirements for good clarity and color representation, but still offers enough for quality scans.

Pros

  • One of the largest consumer scanners on the market.

Cons

  • A hefty price tag.

Epson Perfection V370

  • Resolution – 4800 x 9600
  • Color Depth – 48-bit color, 16-bit grayscale
  • Max Document Size – 8.5” x 11.7”
  • Price – $109*

Summary

Not only will the Epson Perfection V370 make high-quality scans of your photos, slides, and negatives (with the included transparency unit and film holder), it does a pretty bang up job with drawings, paintings, and anything else you’ve got. It boasts photo restoration capability, and comes with specialized software to stitch together individual scans of oversized work. All in all, it’s a lot of power packed into just over $100.

Pros

  • Lid opens completely flat, letting you scan a wider variety of sizes.
  • Starts instantly with no warm-up time.
  • Good price.

Cons

  • Doesn’t scan as quickly as some other options

Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner

  • Resolution – 4800 x 4800
  • Color Depth – 48-bit
  • Max Document Size – 8.5” x 11.7”
  • Price – $78*

Summary

Don’t let the low price fool you — this scanner delivers 48-bit color depth and 4800 spi. It scans at 8.5” x 11.7”, but has a footprint of approximately 10” x 14”, making it a great choice for small spaces. It’s also powered entirely by USB, making it convenient to set up and exceptionally portable. Ideal for college students, or anyone without a ton of space or money, but who still need a scanner that delivers.

Pros

  • High quality at a low price.
  • Fast scans — letter sized color scans in about 10 seconds

Cons

  • Pieces need to be flush against the glass to get a good scan, meaning it doesn’t work well for sketchbooks or other books.

Epson Perfection V39 photo Scanner

  • Resolution – 4800 x 4800
  • Color Depth – 48-bit color internal, 24-bit external. 16-bit grayscale internal, 8-bit external
  • Max Document Size – 8.5” x 11.7”
  • Price – $80*

Summary

Another excellent budget option, offering 4800 x 4800 resolution at under $100. Like the Canon LiDE 220, the V39 is small (a 10” x 14” footprint) and portable, being powered only by USB. Unlike the LiDE 220, however, the lid of the V39 is completely removable, allowing you to scan a greater variety of materials, and it comes with Epson’s Scan-N-Stitch software, so you can scan oversized items in pieces and digitally stitch the images together. One downside is the difference between the internal and external color depth. While the internal color depth is 48-bits, it will only output images at 24-bits. Granted, the images will be of a higher quality than if they were scanned at 24-bits, but you still won’t get the full 48-bits.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Great portability
  • Removable lid

Cons

  • Lower external color and grayscale depths.

Conclusion

You work tirelessly perfecting your craft. Getting just the right shade, the right line, the right tone. Naturally, you need your scanner to do the very same thing. Whether it’s to print, to edit, or to post on your website or social media, you want the digital version of your art to be as stunning as the real thing. Because when there’s nothing to obscure your work, there’s nothing stopping you from sharing it with the world.

*Disclaimer: Prices listed were accurate at the time of publication but are not necessarily reflective of current prices on Amazon.com or other retailers.

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