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kdeemer

Problems scanning docs with iPhone Camera

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I would like to use the Evernote camera to scan in handwritten notes. When it works, it is great, but I have lots of problems. It is extremely sensitive to camera shake and flatness of the image. I am scanning a Moleskin type notebook and the pages are not perfectly flat. It sometimes takes several minutes of fussing to capture a page.And sometimes, it just won't capture it at all. There is no problem just taking a picture, but that doesn't keep the pages in the same notebook or trim them to their edges (and I'm not sure if the OCR works either). I've tried putting them under glass, but this just seems to fool the focus even further.

 

Oh, and the phone camera scanning sucks battery life unbelievably. In just a few minutes of scanning, it drained half of my my battery!

 

Any suggestions?

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Hi.  If you're doing a lot of this it might be useful to buy a phone tripod to keep the camera steady.  Other than taking pictures in a good light against a contrasty background however,  there's not a lot else to suggest.  The camera depth of focus should be sufficient to deal with uneven pages,  and the Moleskine bookmark is enough (usually) to mark the edge of the document on that side.  Evernote's current camera performance seems quite good to me - are you using the latest version of the app?

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I would like to use the Evernote camera to scan in handwritten notes. When it works, it is great, but I have lots of problems. It is extremely sensitive to camera shake and flatness of the image. I am scanning a Moleskin type notebook and the pages are not perfectly flat. 

 

If you plan to scan a lot of this type of documents, it might be worthwhile to invest in a scanner better suited to scanning than your iPhone.  For example, some time of flatbed scanner would be better for scanning notebooks, books, or any document where the all of the pages are attached.  There are a number of all-in-one printers/scanners/fax devices that can do this job, many of them for $100 or less.

 

The advantage of a flatbed scanner is that you can place the book/notebook face down, and the scanner lid will compress and hold the document in place.  Most of these scanners can also scan multiple pages into one PDF, and then OCR the PDF, making it immediately searchable when you attach it to an Evernote Note.

 

If you want to use your iPhone, then you might search/review the considerable number of iOS apps for scanning.  IMO, many of them are superior to Evernote for scanning.  Most can send the scanned results to Evernote.  My favorites are:

  • JotNot Pro
  • Genius Scanner+
  • Scanner Pro

You might also be interested in devices that can hold your book/notebook open for scanning.

Do a google on "scanning holder for books" for some options.

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