24 February 2011

My Take on Scanners for Genealogical Research

Lately there has been a lot written and said about the new selection of wand-type scanners for use in genealogical research.  My problem with my use of the wand scanners that I have tried is my inability to get a nice equal scan.  This is probably due to my lack of patience or shaky hands.

When I first got involved in genealogy, before the current popularity of wand-type scanners, a research assistant at NARA told me that the only scanners they would allow is flatbed.  My research led me to the wonderful portable-sized Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner
It is about the same size as a 17-inch laptop computer but much lighter.  It fits perfectly into my backpack right next to my laptop.  It scans at 4800x4800 resolution, scans in only fourteen seconds, and intelligently identifies the type of document being scanned and adjusts its settings accordingly.  But here is the kicker -- it powers off of my Laptop via USB!!  No bulky, heavy adaptor;  No extra wires!  I connect it to my laptop and go, that is all it takes.  I also got it for about half the price of what wand-type scanners sell for.  So for me the decision was clear.  Older models than the 200 are available with a little research, and there is a newer 500 model, all priced accordingly.

 I have to admit the size of the wand scanner makes it so-o-o-o tempting!  It takes up so little space!  But for me the Canon LiDE200 is easier to use and priced better.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker


  1. Thanks for the tip. If I can't get my HP repaired I will be in the market for a new scanner.

  2. I have the Canon Lide200 and it has traveled all over the United States with me while I have been researching - I love it. I also love my Flip-pal for copying photos out of other peoples magnetic photo albums. It works off of batteries. I have scanned about 500 photos from albums with wonderful clarity and I like being able to chose the photo I want to scan without removing it from the album. Both are easy to transport and the flip-pal does not need a computer. It will copy larger items if you want to "stitch" the larger photo together. I prefer to use the larger scanner.

  3. This is a great travel scanner because of it's size plus it really does a great job. I have it and also had a previous model, LiDE100 I think. I had the older one for years but had to replace it when it wasn't compatible with Windows 7. I liked the older one so much that I looked for a newer model of the same thing.

    I also have a wand scanner which I bought mainly for a large volume of legal size docs I wanted to scan. It does a good job for docs but I wouldn't use it for photos unless it was my only option.