Scansnap SV600 Review - Book Scanning Reimagined

Scansnap SV600 Review – Book Scanning Reimagined

Well, the ScanSnap SV600 is certainly different than any other ScanSnap that I’ve experienced. A question that I get all the time is this: “What’s the best way to scan books, magazines, or other things that won’t fit in a document feeder?”

I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to that question until now. Fujitsu hooked me up with a review unit, and I’ve been putting it through its paces.

ScanSnap SV600 Front

Don’t Call It A Book Scanner

The SV600 can scan books – there is absolutely no doubt about that. It has both hardware and software features to make scanning books and magazines easy and accurate, but it can scan any document that you either can’t or wouldn’t want to put through a scanner with an Automated Document Feeder.

I am confident that this will be the only scanner review that you read today that features Captain Underpants.

Captain Underpants

You don’t need to stop at documents. It can scan 3D objects as well. Just for fun, I decided to scan a “screamin’ green” crayon that was inexplicably on my office floor.

Crayon

Fujitsu’s specifications say that it will scan books or objects up to 30mm in height. From what I understand, that limit is primarily to ensure quality OCR. It will still scan “taller” items.

Size-wise, it will scan items up to A3 size, which for us North Americans is 11.7×16.5".

The Device

The ScanSnap SV600 has a vertical design. All the controls are on the base, but all the action takes place in the head.

ScanSnap SV600 Side View

The way it works is interesting. Instead of having the scanning part hang over the paper causing shadows and flash burn, the head sweeps forward and does some crazy depth of field calculations to adjust for the angle, height and curves of the page.

ScanSnap SV600 Controls

On the base there is the familiar blue Scan button, but it can be pressed from both sides. There is also a Stop button that will signal the end of automatic page turning (more on that in a second).

The device feels very sturdy and heavy, which is what you want from a vertical scanner. If you are nervous about it getting knocked over, it comes with optional braces with a slightly sticky bottom to hold it down.

Speed-wise, this thing is fast. You don’t need to go get a coffee while waiting for a page to scan like with most flatbeds. It takes 3 seconds to sweep a full A3-sized page. Combine that with some of the auto-scanning features outlined below, and you can rip through a book very quickly.

Windows Only… For Now

I’m looking forward to the day that I can erase this paragraph, but at launch the ScanSnap SV600 is only for Windows. Sorry Mac users.

I am told that the Mac version is coming “soon”, but don’t have any information on what that means.

Update 11/07/2013: The SV600 is now cross-platform for Mac and Windows. The Mac software can be downloaded from Fujitsu.

Software-wise, it comes with an enhanced version of Rack2-Filer with Magic Desktop[1], and a full version of Adobe Acrobat XI Standard.

Scanning Books And Magazines

Whenever a reader asked about book scanning in the past, I’ve had to point them to machines with mixed reviews, machines that cost thousands of dollars, the old chop n’ scan, or a DIY solution. None of the options were great.

You can tell that Fujitsu had book scanning in mind from the outset when they developed the SV600.

Image Correction

When you scan using the SV600, it will ask you whether you are scanning a book or scanning documents.

SV600 Scan Books

Most people will choose book and hit Save and keep going, and will generally get great results. If you want, you can hit Check/Correct and you can fine-tune the scan.

ScanSnap SV600 book viewer

If you go into the file-tuning mode, you can control how the book is cropped, how the edges are detected, and where the page break is. You can also control whether the scan has both pages together, or has one PDF page for each book page. By the way, that edge detection was automatic. I didn’t have to do anything.

Here is an example of the resulting PDF. The quality is quite good considering the angles of the pages, and the OCR is very good. Even my underlining didn’t mess things up.

Here is an example of a graphic novel. I didn’t do any adjusting of those colors. It is the default settings.

Finger Removal

You know how when you are scanning or taking a picture of a book, you sometimes need to hold down the pages to stop them from flipping up?

If you hate the thought of having your fingers co-starring in every image, you can remove them.

ScanSnap SV600 Fingers Before

For example, on this page I have clicked on my fingertips and it automatically selected them.

ScanSnap SV600 Fingers After

Then when I hit Apply, they are gone. Completely bananas.

Auto Page Turning

Having to turn the page and hit Scan every single time doesn’t sound very fun, so there is an optional automatic page turning detection setting. It is easier to show you this than describe it, so here is a video of it in action:

This works pretty well, but occasionally it did not detect my page turn for whatever reason. When that happened, I just hit Scan again.

If you want, you can also set it to scan every x seconds to speed things up a bit.

Multiple Document Detection

At the beginning of this post, I said that the SV600 was not just a book scanner, and here is another example. It can detect multiple pieces of paper and detect that they should be multiple documents.

ScanSnap SV600 Multiple Documents

I laid out a bookmark, two business cards, and a cloth art project that has thick buttons on the front. This video shows the scanning and resulting PDFs.

About That Mat

The SV600 comes with a large soft black mat. It shows the placement for best results, and has a consistent black background.

I asked Fujitsu if the mat was required. They said no, it works without it, but that you will get the best experience with auto-detection etc. with the mat. If you have the space, I say use it.

It’s A ScanSnap

Even though the form factor is completely different, at the end of the day, this is a ScanSnap. If you are familiar with using any of the other models like the ScanSnap iX500, the ScanSnap S1300i, or the ScanSnap S1100, the workflow will be similar.

There is the Quick Menu, and most things can be automated using ScanSnap Manager Profiles just like any other model. The OCR is the bundled version of ABBYY FineReader, and you can send the resulting scans to Acrobat or any other application.

I have to admit, the SV600 is the most fun I’ve had with a scanner. I was late for a meeting because I was engrossed with erasing my finger[2]

Fun aside, I can see this having a wide range of uses, especially in a business setting. If you are mainly scanning documents, you will of course want to use a dedicated document scanner, but if you regularly need to scan things that won’t fit into a document feeder, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

The ScanSnap SV600 lists for $795, and as usual I will keep my eye on the various online sites to see when it is available in the wild it has popped up on Amazon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, fire away in the comments.


  1. I always feel like I should hear lasers in the background when I say that.  ↩

  2. Sad, I know.  ↩

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 76 comments

murali - February 6, 2017 Reply

hello sir,this is murali am using sv600 scanner but now am phasing one issue my client was asking multi tiff formate ,is there possible ,if it’s possible then tell me what are the settings and how can i set the settings ,i need this one ,please give me reply as soon as possible

Abu - October 18, 2016 Reply

Hello , do you have try scan a book over 30mm using this scansnap sv600 ?? Thanks!

Raffi Bearmant - August 10, 2016 Reply

Is there anyone here who can help me with a problem that I am experiencing with the software?
TIA
Raffi

Bob John - December 9, 2015 Reply

Hi Duncan,
I have failed to find a setting that allows me to scan in uncompressed TIFF format. Can you kindly point me to how I can get this done?
Thank you.

    Raffi - August 10, 2016 Reply

    Is there anyone here who can help me with a problem that I am experiencing with the software of this scanner?
    TIA
    Raffi

Lance - July 17, 2015 Reply

Hello,

The ScanSnap SV600 seems to be just what I’ve been wanting. I’ve been using a scanning pen to scan text from books I read to create notes. The pen makes lots of errors and takes too much time. Since this scans into Microsoft Word, what I’d like to know is can I edit the resulting file? I assume yes, but I need to know for sure. Basically, I’ll be scanning in the pages that have the text and then I want to delete what I don’t want.

Thanks & Regards

oraclepac - February 4, 2015 Reply

I like the scanner to convert books and magazine articles. It goes very well and fast.

However, an important gap in its technology does not allow to make it appears available directly in other applications usually able to importing images from a scanner connected to my computer.

So we must go through the native application coming with the scanner to pick an image or text.

For a scanner of this price is a bit frustrating because of this lack of fluidity usually available on mac.

peon2t - January 29, 2015 Reply

I got my ScanSnap SV600 yesterday. Until now I’m not fully satisfied.
My two main problems are:

1. The “intelligent” software that should be the centerpiece of this device is in fact grotesquely stupid. When I try to do book scans, it wont recognize the borders & pages on about 50% of the pages. This means that I have to manually adjust every second page. This is an incredibly bad performance of the software since I’m not talkig about “difficult” cases here… It just has to distinguish a white page from the black background. It isn’t able to.
And even after adjusting everything manually, the rectification is still quite bad.
Also cutting out the fingers is a joke. Not only that you have to mark them manually anyway (there is no auto-detection), even if you mark them, it won’t detect their “borders” and instead always places an identical shape on the position you click. So in fact it’s a white brush, no finger-detection.feature.

2. The camera in the device which is used to detect page-turining among other things shows up as a separate device in the system. If it’s activated, it bugs my computer to consume a lot of cpu power leading to an extremely slow system. As soon as I deactivate the camera, the problems are gone. But then I don’t have page-turning-detection and the software always bothers me with a “camera not available” message.

While the second point probably is an uncommon issue, the first page probably affects every user of this product. (Since there is no reason to believe that the detection features of the software work better for some people than for other).
So I unfortunately have to say that it is a shame to release this software in such a poor condition.
And I think it’s alarming that more than one year after release of the device, the “updated” versions of the software are still so insufficient. Maybe Fujitsu doesn’t even plan to ship working software anytime soon…

K - September 29, 2014 Reply

Boy, do I wish I’d seen this article when it came out. I have to know if this is good enough for what I need. I own a ton of fat technical and engineering books. I sue them a lot, but they’re enormous and back-breakingly heavy. For years, I’ve been interested in digitizing them non-destructively, so I can read them all on my tablet or phone.

In the end, I came across http://www.diybookscanner.org/. Those guys are incredibly clever, but it’s the only place I could find anything that would turn out a reasonably priced scanner. I ended buying their standard book scanning kit and a couple of their recommended cameras. It was quite a rough journey after this, though, taking the scanner from a bunch of wooden parts and a couple of cameras to its properly-functioning form. I could write for pages about my trials and tribulations with it, but suffice it to say that it was way too much work, and I wouldn’t do it again. The total cost of this project well exceeded the cost of this Scansnap SV600, and my DIY scanner, while effective, is still too much of a pain in the ass for me to justify using it. It sits in my office collecting dust and probably wondering existentially why I went through so much trouble to birth it into this world and then abandoned it.

One thing that’s NOT a pain in the ass, though, is Scan Tailor, the free, open-source software DIYers use to convert their raw picture files (jpegs) into usable documents. It splits pages, deskews, rotates all pages straight by whatever fraction of degrees they’re off, autoselects the content of each page and aligns it all according to your choices. Then it converts everything to a pdf. And it does it in batches, so you just tell it to perform each step on the entire set of pages and it does it until it’s ready for the next one. It’s super easy to use and very impressive at fixing all the deformities of photographed pages.

Even as great as ScanTailor is, the DIY scanner is just too much work for all the book scanning and post-processing I need to do. This ScanSnap looks incredibly simple. My DIY scanner is the size of small copier. The ScanSnap could sit nicely on my desk in the corner. I desperately want this SV600 to work for me, but I need to know whether it’s equivalent to the thing I’ve already built (which, by the way, has 14 MP cameras attached to it, and I think I calculated the DPI of the setup to be between 250 and 350).

Questions:
1) Do you think the SV600 and its software could legitimately scan a 1000+ page book (maybe 2.5 inches thick), or would it be unable to properly deskew such the pages on such a thick book lying flat? I’m curious whether Fujitsu’s software is better or worse than Scan Tailor. I’m also curious, in case it is worse in some cases, whether the Scansnap can output individual, unprocessed jpegs of each scan (like photographs), so I could throw those into Scan Tailor and see if it could do better at processing them.

2) Is the resolution high enough to pick up really tiny text? Almost all books I own have fonts that are textbook size; some of the old ones might have slightly smaller text. HOWEVER, there are TONS of subscripts and superscripts in engineering equations, and they completely change the meaning of the variable or constant they’re attached to. If I cannot read these sub- and superscripts, I simply cannot perform necessary calculations.

3) What are the dimensions that the scanner can reasonably scan? It says on the website that it can handle a max size of 17 x 11.8 inches, and that’s probably just a little bigger than a normal-sized open textbook. Is there any guide to center the book so stays within the scanner area?

4) Are there any glare issues, especially if the pages are sort of textbook glossy? I see the thing works without any sort of outside-light blocking, but it may be able to do that because it doesn’t need a glass platen like my DIY scanner.

Most of my books are black and white or grayscale already, but they can have some fairly complicated and cluttered diagrams, especially the older books where the diagrams were done by hand. I’d say about 5% of my books have color pictures, but I imagine 100-200 dpi would be sufficient resolution for any color pictures I have. The small text is probably the bigger concern when it comes to resolution.

Finally, is there any news of a successor to this model? I’ve seen some reviews say it’s got a few bugs, which you would expect with a first model, and that it might be prudent to wait for the next, improved version. However, I’m drowning in papers and books right NOW, so if there are no new models on the horizon, all I need to know is if this will work for what I need, and if it does, I’ll have it in my hands within a week, warts and all. I appreciate any insight or advice on the matter.

    K - September 29, 2014 Reply

    Heh, I did my best to catch typos, but just to be clear in that first paragraph, I “use” my books a lot. I don’t “sue” them a lot, although when I end up at a dead end after grinding through hundreds of pages in them, I sometimes wish I could “sue” them, somehow. 🙂

      Anshay Sardana - September 5, 2016 Reply

      Hey K,
      Your issues seemed the closest i could relate to. Can you please tell me what did you finally resort to for scanning the big engineering books that you have?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 8, 2014 Reply

    Hi K, good questions and I’ll answer as well as I can.

    1) The SV600 is rated to scan max 1.18 inches thick. I’ve scanned taller than that, but 2.5″ might be pushing it. I think what I’d recommend doing is (if you were going to buy it) buy it from somewhere like Amazon where you could return it easily if it doesn’t work for you. Yes, it can export JPGs of the pages for you to import into Scan Tailor if you wanted to compare.

    2) Well, it is has a max resolution of 1200dpi at Monochrome or 600dpi at color which is pretty high. I’m sure you will still be able to read the equations if that is what you are worried about. However, if you are wanting to extract the text out of the documents, I’m not sure that the OCR software is really made for that.

    3) The black mat that you can see in the video above that comes with it does have size guides.

    4) I don’t think you’d have problem with a textbook. The examples above are from a textbook after all. One of the commenters above scanned with a piece of plexiglass on top holding the book open and didn’t seem to have a problem.

    I haven’t heard of any successor. I’m sure they’ll update it someday but I would be surprised if it came in 2015 (I have zero inside knowledge on that though!).

    Blueman - August 29, 2015 Reply

    I’m also a long-time experimenter from diybookscanner.org, and have built, used and worn out 2 of my own rigs. I was a relatively early buyer of the SV600, and was not aware of the lack of Twain drivers- they weren’t disclosing this massive shortcoming at the time- or I would not have purchased the unit. The ScanSnap software is terrible, and forces you into scanning only through it’s extremely limited interface. You can only save in pdf or jpg formats, not the standard tif format used by all OCR software, which makes it difficult to use the output of the scanner with real software. The basic scanning software has virtually none of the functionality of ScanTailor. Why a wealthy corporation can’t create software at least as useful as an unpaid open source project is baffling, and telling. It can’t even reliably pick out the outline of a book on its black scan mat, forcing you to hand match 6 points for every single scan. It forces you to use a lesser version of ABBYY Finereader, which does not interact with you by default, giving you no control over the outcome and completely bypasses OCR learning. I own full versions of both ABBYY FineReader and OmniScan, but can’t use them because the scanner doesn’t have Twain/Isis drivers… That lack of driver support utterly locks you into their third-rate software. They’ve obviously received a number of complaints, because Fujitsu’s sales manager created a web page in response condescendingly explaining that the scanner was for people who didn’t want to be bothered with troublesome things like drivers and choices. They also claim that if you use the included software, “it just works”. I’m undecided whether they’re cynical or just ignorant. If you install the software on a PC with 64-bit Windows, odds are good you’ll see crashing and frequent data loss. I finally resurrected an old 32-bit PC to run the software; it’s stable on that platform, but so slow… If they’d just wake up and put out a TWAIN/ISIS driver, even with a ‘this is unsupported’ disclaimer, this scanner would be a gem. Without it, it’s like a Ferrari car with a lawnmower engine.

cryptochrome - January 30, 2014 Reply

Ok, so I bought the SV600 the other day, and after a few first tests I don’t share everybody’s praise. First, the package arrived with software only for Windows. Had to download everything from the ScanSnap site and request download permission first by submitting a serial number for the device.

Second, if you buy this to scan colorful magazines (like travel magazines, for example) you have a hell of a job to do to get acceptable results. The problem is that the software has a hard time finding the correct boundaries of scanned images, because those magazines don’t tend to be simple black and white like books, there is lot’s of colors, photography, and whole pages inked in color. It just took me about an hour to correct the boundaries and remove fingers from a 22 page magazine article.

If you want to buy this to scan magazines, think twice. You will be MUCH faster by just cutting the magazines with a papercutter and scan the pages conventionally.

I’ll give this a couple of more tries and keep playing with it, but it looks as if I am going to send this back.

    Jeff - May 16, 2014 Reply

    That’s a shame about the magazine scanning. I have boxes of old magazines and comic books I want to scan and then get rid of so this product seemed like the perfect solution. The graphic novel scans in the above review looked great so I wonder if cryptochrome ever got better results. I still might buy this product just to try it out. If I end up returning it I suppose the most I’ll be out is $100 for shipping and a restocking fee.

    On another subject, can someone provide the dimensions of the black mat? I’d like to know if this will fit on my desk.

      Jeff - May 23, 2014 Reply

      I ended up buying the SV600 and can echo cryptochromes comments. I would not suggest buying this to scan magazines that have mostly photos. The problem cryptochrome mentioned is absolutely correct… the SV600 cannot always determine where the spine of a magazine is if the photos go right up to the edge. Also, if the magazine page is black or dark around the edge of the page it blends in with the background black mat that comes with the unit, so again, the SV600 cannot find where the border of the mag is. Yes, you can manually set all the edges and spine but if you have hundreds of magazines and comics as I do this is not really a practical solution.

      Having said all that I can confirm that the quality of the scans is very good… blowing them up to full size on my PC monitor shows nice smooth color reproduction… I did not see any moire effect or pixelation that you sometimes see with magazine scans. So if you just wanted to capture a full page scan of an open magazine either as a pdf or jpg file and the option of creating a pdf book is not important, or the idea of cutting off the magazine spines and feeding through a sheet feed scanner is out of the question, you might be happy with the SV600.

      At this point I think I will return the SV600. I purchased it from Buy dot com and they have a liberal return policy. I’ll just have to pay the return shipping which should be under $50 since the box weighs under 10 lbs.

      I am now thinking about buying a Fujitsu XI500 scanner. I had originally wanted to keep my magazines and comics in their original form but they really are not worth anything. Since the paper will just continue to yellow and fade I think I will bite the bullet and cut off the spines for sheet feed scanning and digital preservation. It’s probably the fastest and highest quality solution.

      I think the SV600 is really only for book or magazine scanning of text on white pages only unless you have the time to do extensive correction.

        Brooks Duncan
        Brooks Duncan - May 23, 2014 Reply

        Thanks for the review, Jeff!

        cryptochrome - May 23, 2014 Reply

        Jeff, I’d be curious to know if you find a solution that will easily let you cut off the spines of these magazines. That’s something I am currently struggeling with. Any thoughts? Producr recommendations? Thanks!

          Jeff - May 28, 2014 Reply

          Funny you should ask! I just ordered a Guillotine Paper Cutter off ebay for $99.99. I forgot the vendors name but if you do a search you’ll see several of these items come up. I learned about this item from some YouTube videos I found about scanning magazines. It does a much better cutting job than a typical paper cutter you could get at Office Depot because the machine presses down on the document and the blade goes straight down. You can use it to cut up to 100 pages, including paperback books. I might start digitizing my whole library!

          I also ended up getting an Epson DS-510 scanner for $279.99 from Best Buy. I decided against the Fujitsu ix500 because some of the reviews mentioned it did not handle thin pages (like those of a magazine or comic book) very well, either missing some pages or worse mangling them!

          So far I’ve been impressed. The Epson is not very fast and the scan quality is not perfect but its acceptable for my needs. The Epson software also has a “descreening” option that helps get better magazine scans and cuts down on the bleed through you can sometimes get with double page sheet feed scanners.

          Oh and in case anyone is curious the return shipping on the SV600 was only $23 with FedEx ground.

          Good luck!

        cryptochrome - May 28, 2014 Reply

        Jeff, thanks. Would you mind posting a link to one of those paper gouillotine? This doesn’t translate very well into my native language, and while I have an idea what you mean, I want to make sure I am correct. Because we do have these paper cutters over here too, but as you mentioned, most of them are kind of bad, and you seem to be making a distinction between a goillotine and a normal paper cutter…

cryptochrome - January 26, 2014 Reply

Question for you Brooks: When you use the book scanner mode I figure it will scan into the application that allows you to go into the check/correct process (to remove fingers and things like that). What happens after that? Can the results be directly pushed into Acrobat or Evernote once you did corrections? e.g. is the check/correct process just an intermediate step towards the final output?

Thanks

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - January 27, 2014 Reply

    I don’t have the SV600 in front of me at the moment, but when using the Quick Menu, the correction happens BEFORE it pops up the Quick Menu, where you can send it off to whichever application you’d like. If you are aren’t using the Quick Menu, I believe the same is true but let me know if you’d like me to dig further and I can.

      cryptochrome - January 27, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Brooks, I appreciate that. No need to dig it out though. I just ordered my SV600 yesterday so I can find out myself over the weekend 🙂

Mat - January 24, 2014 Reply

So, I already have a Scansnap s500M (have used it constantly for 7 years plus) and an Epson Perfection v500 Photo scanner. I bought the Scansnap SV600 because it looked like a great option for a huge ‘life’ scanning project I’m undertaking – photos, documents, books etc. In particular, I wanted something faster than my flatbed for scanning about 30 albums of 6×4 photos.

On the plus side, the scanner is fast and takes up very little room. Beyond that, I was prepared to be really impressed, but I have to say it fell short.

I did a test on a 5 x 7 photograph on the three scanners, at both 300 and 600 dpi.

In first place, the Epson Perfection – great detail, excellent colour reproduction at 300dpi. I output to tif (not an option with the Scansnaps) and JPEG for comparison purposes.

Second place, interestingly, the Fujitsu Scansnap s500M. Not far off in terms of image quality, though colour reproduction heavy on the reds and a bit softer.

Third place, the sv600. I scanned in darkness, so no ambient light problem. Basically, it’s horribly over-processed / smoothed and very soft. No detail, and colour reproduction was poor.

I’m sure it’ll be useful for books and irregular objects, especially things bigger than A4, but I’m underwhelmed. Yes, it’s fast, and yes, it’s got a small footprint, but…the image reproduction is just not good enough for a scanner at this price. Shame.

Paul Maher - December 30, 2013 Reply

I am hoping someone can comment on the portability of the thing? I travel a lot from library to library to track down things I need and currently use the CanoScan LIDE 210. Does the ScanSnap travel well?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - December 30, 2013 Reply

    It is definitely not a “portable scanner”. It is fairly heavy, and they take great pains to warn you not to pick it up by the head which makes me think that the moving parts in the head are on the fragile side. That being said, if you are careful and have it packed well, there’s no reason you COULDN’T take it from place to place.

ScanSnap SV600 And Accessibility For The Visually Impaired • Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - December 23, 2013 Reply

[…] I did my initial review of the ScanSnap SV600, I focused mostly on the device’s book and object scanning […]

Ken - December 6, 2013 Reply

It amazes me what man can come up with. This is the best scanner of its type on the market, I also have a S1500 and the SV600 software works well with it. I use it on a Mac book pro with parallel and windows 7. The software is a little stronger on the windows side.

Thanks

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - December 6, 2013 Reply

    Yeah, I haven't even had a chance to post about using the S1500/iX500 together yet!

Brooks Duncan
Brooks Duncan - November 21, 2013 Reply

Hi everyone, I did another book sample just in case the underlining in the original sample was causing problems. Here's a link to the file. You can judge the OCR yourself. It looks pretty good to me, for scanner-bundled OCR. If you want anything more than this, you'd want to scan without OCR turned on and then use a third party OCR package.

Here's the link: http://cache.documentsnap.com/files/sv600-idbooks

@cryptochrome - November 18, 2013 Reply

This is exactly what I have been waiting for. Thanks for the review. Now all that needs to happen is Fujitsu make the scanner available in Germany.

Nelson Moreira - November 13, 2013 Reply

They should have hired some Italian designer to help with the thing… Then it would be something to have on my desk!

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Emilio - November 12, 2013 Reply

I was really happy with the review, and I was waiting info regarding accessibility, as I have some visual impairment as well. but, the last message broke my expectations… so which is the truth, is this scanner really so good to consider it or not?_and please if you have any idea I am looking for a very professional scanner, regardless of the price. it will be used in a project of converting thousand of books in accessible pdf files. there was a similar project designed by Cambridge university, of scanning large amounts of old books, without damaging them, as they were single copies.__I really appreciate your advices.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - November 21, 2013 Reply

    Hi Emilio, I'd talk to Fujitsu (or another vendor) directly about your requirements if you are talking thousands of books. Not to say that the SV600 couldn't handle it, it possibly could, but they might be able to tailor something directly to yours needs.

Paul Jimerson - November 6, 2013 Reply

I hate to ruin the illusion this reviewer has created for us but the scanner and software is not nearly as good as it seems nor is it as good as the reviewer indicates. I downloaded the pdfs of the scanned book (or is it a magazine) page. It occurred to me that it looked like the pdf contained a copy of the scanned image instead of containing the results of the character recognition and I was right. The recognized text has a lot of errors in it. Many of them are as a result of the underlining the author did of some of the text so it's not necessarily Fujitsu's fault but I'll let you judge for yourselves. To do so:
— download the pdf file http://cache.documentsnap.com/files/early-middle-
— highlight a part of the text from the left side of the pdf and then right click on it and choose Copy.
— then paste that text in to some other text editor and compare the text there with what the text appears to be in the pdf. You'll find a lot of discrepancies.
I will paste in below the text from the top of the page that I copied from the pdf.

i6o The Early Middle Ages
capital enabled Italian companies to offer attractive terms. They could
not only buy an abbey s entire wool clip for the current year; they could also buy
it for years in advance. By lading large sums to Henry III and Edward I, they
obtained, royal patronage and protection. In a very real sense late thirteenthcentury
England was being t^ated as a partially developed economy. Much of its
import-export business was handled by foreigners (Gascons and Flemings as well
as Italians). Its main exports were raw materials—wool and grain—rather than
manufactured goods. There had been, in other words, no jndustrial revolution.

In my opinion this device leaves a lot to be desired in it's OCR functionality, but perhaps this is not the perfect example upon which to judge the product because of the underlining that was done on the page.

    Paul Jimerson - November 6, 2013 Reply

    In all fairness I should point out some things …. first ABBYY Finereader (which comes with the scansnap sv600) is the finest OCR program that I know of. I notice that some of the text on every page I examined has considerable waves introduced in to it as a result of the very necessary manner in which the image is processed to compensate for the point of view of the scanner. This processing is essential but that doesn't mean that we have to accept the waves in the text that results from it. ABBYY Finereader has a very effective feature that straightens out wavy text … at least it does in Finereader Version 11. I wonder whether the reviewer might get better OCR results if text in the images are straightened first before the character recognition is attempted. I know that wavy text will cause problems recognizing text regardless of the program you're using. Finereader V11 also has a very adequate Levels feature which I routinely use to remove blemishes or noise from a page before the characters are recognized. I expect you could change the levels in an effort to remove some or all of your underlines from the images before they complicate the OCR processing. It's just a thought. Does the version of Finereader that ships with the SV600 include the line-straightening and levels features?

      Gary Roberts - November 26, 2013 Reply

      I'll add that, as long time Fujitsu user of a variety of their scanners, I scan to pdf without OCR, port to Acrobat Pro and OCR there for a higher level of accuracy. I realize that means you have to own a copy of Acrobat Pro too, but if you are going to shell out the cash for a machine of this quality, you should have pro level software too. ABBYY is excellent but no what is used in commercial shops for a reason, Acrobat is the industry standard. Fujitsu couldn't license Acrobat cost effectively, so, ABBYY.

    Bill DeVille - November 27, 2013 Reply

    I'm intrigue by the potential use of the SV600 to copy bound material. Like you, I found the accuracy of text recognition in some of the examples not very good.

    Unlike you, I want the image layer of searchable PDFs to be faithful to the original; as no OCR software can be completely error-free, I never want to see the converted text in the image layer (that's especially important for documents that have legal or financial significance, such as a contract).

    I do a lot of scanning of paper copy into my DEVONthink Pro Office databases using a ScanSnap iX500. This DEVONthink application includes a version of ABBYY OCR software, and I've found its text recognition more accurate than Acrobat Pro for Mac.

    As a test, I re-OCRed one of the examples, the one that includes Medieval images and references. I then compared the accuracy of my capture to the original cache PDF. The original had numerous recognition errors. My capture had only one error in the text conversion of page 163, "bedefined" instead of "be defined" in addition to those I would have expected that resulted from hyphenated words at line endings. all of the terms and phrases on that page that would likely be of interest for searching, such as "Domesday Book", were correctly recognized in my re-OCR using ABBYY in DEVONthink Pro Office. That certainly wasn't true of the original OCR of that page.

    That restored my faith in the quality of the scan images produced by the SV600.

    My remaining reservation is the degree of text curvature on some pages of book images. This seems variable in successive captures from the same book. Can practice improve this? Is text line curve straightening of the image as good on the Mac as on a PC?

Shadi - November 4, 2013 Reply

Thanks Brooks.

Did you try to scan a book over the scanner limitation (30mm thickness)?

Thanks again.

Fnord - November 4, 2013 Reply

ReadMe file for ScanSnap V6.2L10 (Mac) states that "Scanning with ScanSnap SV600 is now available".

ScanSnap SV600 Supported On The Mac (Sort-Of) • Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - November 4, 2013 Reply

[…] the ScanSnap SV600 was released, it was supported on Windows only. You can read my review of the ScanSnap SV600 here where I go through all the features of the […]

toddbeall - October 28, 2013 Reply

I just tried plexiglass (bought a sheet at Lowe's for around $9.00), and it seems to work fine. That way I don't have to erase my fingers from each page.

I'm still trying to learn the scanner and the software. I didn't like the default resolution for my book scan, so I will up it a bit. It occasionally does some weird things (doesn't recognize that it is a book, and saves the whole scan including the black background–so I later have to edit those pages or resacn them), but so far I like it. (I have only had it for 3 days!).

george - October 28, 2013 Reply

Thanks for the review. The brochure for this scanner mentions jpeg and pdf as possible file types. Are there any others? I'm specifically wondering if you can output as an uncompressed tiff. Also, what's the bit depth on the color/grayscale scans? Is it 24 (color) and 8 (gray)? Thanks so much.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 28, 2013 Reply

    Re: TIFF, no I'm afraid not. JPG and PDF only. Re: bit depth, not sure. I don't have that information. This is the only specs that I have: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/computing/….

    You could try contacting them or hitting them up on Twitter and see if they can provide it?

      Duncan - July 22, 2015 Reply

      Apparently it does:

      BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PDF (Multi-page, Searchable, High-compression PDF option)

        arpit jain - October 1, 2015 Reply

        I dont Find an option ro scan in tiff using sv600can u guide me how to do it

thanos - October 24, 2013 Reply

Thanks for the great review. What is the scan quality like? How good can they get? Can it pickup texture?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 24, 2013 Reply

    Quality is very good from my perspective. It scans 600dpi colour, 1200dpi mono. Regarding texture, yes I'd think so, but what specifically are you thinking of?

Igor - October 24, 2013 Reply

Hi Brooks,

thanks for professional review.

Is it possible to scan directly into Box.com instead of Dropbox?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 24, 2013 Reply

    I don't believe the ScanSnap has Box.com integration built in (surprising when you think about it). Off the top of my head, what you could probably do is install Box Sync on your computer and scan to a folder and have it upload that way?

      Igor - October 24, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Brooks,

      actually I am looking for a standalone contactless scanner that is connected to the cloud storage. Since all the documents are stored in the cloud, it would be great to have a scanner that operates without the computer.

      Maybe I am asking too much 🙂

        Brooks Duncan
        Brooks Duncan - October 24, 2013 Reply

        Yeah, the SV600 would not do the job because it needs to be plugged in to a computer. Maybe the ScanSnap N1800 could do the job?I believe there is a Lexmark all-in-one that has a Box app too.

Xander - October 22, 2013 Reply

Dear Brooks,

Thanks for this review!

I have a visual handicap so am looking for a way to scan books, ocr them and have them read to me by my computer. Professional accessibility toys tend to be huge, pricey and lagging at least 3 years behind current technology. The scansnap looks perfect for my needs.

However… consumer (non accessibility ) things have their share of niggles. They tend to be fiddly, inconsistent and operating them can be very sight intensive.

Can you give me some comments on the scansnap's workflow with accessibility in mind?

Kind regards,

    Karen - November 3, 2013 Reply

    I 'd also love to hear some feedback on accessibility as well.
    Thanks in advance,

      Brooks Duncan
      Brooks Duncan - November 3, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Xander and Karen. What would you like to know with respect to accessibility?

Ben - October 21, 2013 Reply

What about using it to scan photographs? Will it work as well as a flatbed for converting pictures into digital images?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 22, 2013 Reply

    Hi Ben, it works quite well I'd say.<p style=”color:#A0A0A8;”>

Taiho - October 12, 2013 Reply

Hi brook…this is nit wifi isnt it?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 12, 2013 Reply

    It is not. USB only.  -Brooks

    Jim - November 13, 2013 Reply

    The sv600 is not wifi – enabled.

Albert - October 10, 2013 Reply

When it comes to mac version coming "soon", do you have any more clarifications from fujitsu. Another question I had, if I did pick up the windows only SV600, is it possible that this will be the same unit used for mac and any possibilities of getting the mac software without purchasing the mac version, my hope is that they don't make another SKU like the S1500 M vs "non-M"

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 10, 2013 Reply

    I don't have any more information, unfortunately Albert. I'll try to see what I can find out about hardware vs. software when the Mac version eventually comes out. Generally Fujitsu is pretty tight-lipped about upcoming products, but I'll find out what I can.

ScanSnap SV600 Available on Amazon • Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - October 10, 2013 Reply

[…] promised in my ScanSnap SV600 review, I’ve been keeping my eye on the online sites to see when the SV600 would start being […]

jbenson2 - October 8, 2013 Reply

Yippee! No need to buy those scary $200+ professional Guillotine Cutters and the occasional visit to the emergency room.

@kyleemcd - October 7, 2013 Reply

Brooks, thanks for sharing this. I've been lusting for a while now after something that can copy books and magazines: this might be it. (The best alternative I found was the setup at http://www.atiz.com, but it looked to be pretty pricey.)

Did you keep the scans from your auto-page turn video? I'm interested to see how good the results are with a book that has a tight spine, or a thick spine so the inner gutters are significantly curved. Would it work using glass or perspex to keep it flat? Or a v-shaped stand, or a frame similar to the one discussed in your DIY post you linked to above?

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