Scanner: should I go Firewire or USB

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mikemorris1, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. mikemorris1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    #1
    I'm in the market for a scanner. I need to be able to scan documents so I can edit them in Word. I will only be doing a few photos.

    I'll be using the scanner about once a week. Should I save some money and get a USB Epson, Canon, or HP, or should I spend the money and get a Firewire Epson or Microtek?

    What is the time difference between a FW and USB?

    Can anyone recommend a scanner?
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #2
    Go USB. As far as scanners go, I think we're still limited mostly by scan speed, not connection speed-- true I haven't worked with scanners in a couple of years, but my recollection is that firewire provides really no noticible speed bump--

    could be wrong tho... but i've always told people to ignore connector type on scanners, just choose it on other features...

    pnw
     
  3. maradong macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #3
    go for usb2
    usb1 is to limited @ 4 mb / sec. big pictures will take somewhat 10 secs, if you scan much that s****, if you don t scan that much, go for usb 1 .
     
  4. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #4
    Forget USB2 - unless you have a USB2 card you won't benefit. I have an EPSON 1660 Photo (sub $150), and it's plenty fast. OCR only needs a bitmap scan (2 color), which will not necessitate a Firewire connection. I would consider FW if I scanned 8x10 photos at 300% with 300 dpi.
     
  5. mikemorris1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago Suburb
    #5
    I don't even have USB2. I'm running a 1 gig tiPowerbook.



    It sounds like USB will do just fine, can you guys recommend a brand and model?
     
  6. Wardofsky macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    #6
    I'll have to stand by FireWire.

    I've used huge pro scanners that could not survive on USB 1/2 because the files are so big.

    Depending on what you do:
    Big scans (Hi-DPI): FireWire
    Small Scans (Low-DPI): USB 1.1/2
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    USB scanning sucks if you've seen the scan speed of a low end SCSI scanner.

    The SCSI scanner scanned about as fast as this Umax POS resets the wand at the end of the pass.

    On these machines that would leave Firewire as the only option.
     
  8. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #8
    I would say USB, the price difference is just not worth it. I have an HP scanner that uses USB 1.1 and is 100% fast enough for anything but the most detailed photos. I did have an Agfa, which is painfully slow. I think the HP must send data more efficently than the Agfa did, but all i know is that it rivals my old SCSI scanner...... :rolleyes:
     
  9. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    Re: Scanner: should I go Firewire or USB

    Hey guys, Wardofsky, SunBaked: love the support for the FW, but if you read the original post:

    I think he would be wasting a WHOLE lot of money for FW. He should be fine USB1. Just stay away from the Canon LiDE, superslim scanners which look cool but are excruciatingly slow from experience, but EPSONs are better. I have the 1660 and it previews in 2-3 seconds and scans a 8.5x11 B&W document at 600 dpi (I tested it) in under 30 seconds.
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    I was using the scanner for OCR, but the new set-up is painfully slow compared to the time it would take to scan the documents in the old scanner.

    If you're going for OCR... find the scanners that work with the OS & OCR software and work backwards to find a scanner.

    Then look at the duty cycle you need. If the documents are long, then a faster scanner would be worthwhile.

    A slow scanner/connection isn't bad if the documents are 3-4 pages long. But that same scanner for a 60 page document is insanely slow.

    Pictures aren't always the only consideration.
     
  11. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #11
    I own and Agfa 1212U USB scanner connected to my powerbook, it works fine. The speed is not that fast but it is not about the USB connection, it is the scanner. I use it once a week too. I would like to have an smaller one rather than this big one.

    I do not see any problem with USB scanners, now, If I was working with a lot of scanning I would do the investment in a Firewire but I'm sure there are fasters scanners than mine out there running under USB.
     

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