Point-and-shoot for document capture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by spice weasel, May 3, 2010.

  1. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Hi folks,

    My office is currently looking into purchasing several point-and-shoot cameras for researchers to take into the field with them for a variety of uses: snapshot portraits and photographing documents that cannot be scanned or photocopied for whatever reasons. The latter is especially important.

    My first thought was to go with dSLRs and some primes, but that adds a lot of bulk for researchers to be carrying around (they will be lugging laptops, scanners, and digital voice recorders around with them too).

    Any suggestions on good, all-round point-and-shoots that can be used in a variety of situations and that aren't too big?
  2. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    What kind of field work? Any camera can take a decent picture of a document. If you want it to be more useful than that, you should specify what other uses it may need to have in the field.
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I don't think the camera is as important as the setup. If the camera is not square or the page or the page is not flat, or the camera is too close to the object, fixing each image will consume a lot of time (or be impossible depending on the defect).

    If you give someone a tripod with a pan-tilt head locked so it points straight down and tell them to extend the first set of legs and zoom in for appropriate framing, each image should be at least reasonable. If you are using cheap (and light tripods), use the self timer to take the shots to remove most of the camera shake.
  4. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Nothing too rigorous. These are historian researchers taking photos of people, buildings, locations, and that sort of thing. As for the document issue, I guess my main concern is that the camera do well in low light or indoor light and that the lens doesn't produce too much distortion.

    I'm thinking about the Canon S90 or the G11.
  5. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Thanks. These are all good points. In the past, I've always been able to use the book stands and tripods that a lot of archives make available to patrons. However, for this application that won't be the case. Any suggestions for good tripods? They would need to be as lightweight and as small as possible.
  6. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    Not sure how closely they'll fit in with what you need, but I know that several of the Casio Exilim line have built in features for straightening and cropping documents. It helps if they are on a contrasting background, but I know the camera I had several years ago worked pretty impressively (and automatically) in that respect.

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