If you’re looking to digitise your artwork, an art scanner will offer you the best quality and accuracy for capturing all the intricate details of your work. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best scanner, including price, resolution, size limitations, and connectivity options.
There are so many scanners available on the market for artists, coming at different capabilities and price points, so we’ve picked the best value scanners, ranging from the high end models, to the wallet friendly. With the right scanner you can ensure that your prints come out just as you expect them to—beautiful quality with colours true to form every time.
Disclaimer: Fine Art Tutorials is a reader supported site. When you make purchases through links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Epson Perfection V600
The Epson Perfection V600 is a reliable mid range flatbed scanner that will scan negatives, photos, artwork and slides. With a robust build and high-resolution scanning capabilities, the V600 is a great choice for anyone looking to capture and preserve high-quality digital images of their artwork.
The Epson V600 offers a resolution up to 6400 spi, allowing you to capture even the finest details of your work with accuracy and precision. High resolution scans mean you can scan up to A4 and create enlargements without losing quality.
In addition to its superior scanning capabilities, the V600 is user friendly, easy to set up and connects to a range of devices. The scanner is relatively easy to get up and running, with a clean and simple design, the buttons and functions are intuitive to use. It comes with several software packages, Epson Scan, Epson Creativity Suite, Finereader Sprint and Photoshop elements 6.0 for Mac and 7.0 for Windows laptops and PCs.
The scanner offers image correction and enhancement (ICE) software, to remove dust and damage from the image, however you can also opt to edit out any imperfections in Photoshop.
It’s not as fast as some of the other scanners on the market and the quality it produces isn’t as high as some of the higher end ranges, but it with a scan quality of 6400 x 9600 spi resolution, it is a great contender and would suit an artist looking for a reasonably priced device that is able to produce high quality prints.
Canon LiDE 400 Colour Flatbed Scanner
The Canon LiDE 400 Colour Flatbed Scanner is compact and budget friendly. It’s a great choice for illustrators, artists and designers who want a scanner with a small footprint that costs less than $100. It comes with smart connectivity and it scans artwork to an incredibly sharp resolution on 4800 spi.
The scanner has excellent colour accuracy, with a bit depth of 48 bit input (16 bit for each colour) and 48 or 24 bit output (16 or 8 bit for each colour). When scanning colour works, the scanner takes around 8 seconds to process the image.
With a maximum size of A4, you will have to scan larger artworks in sections. However, it would be more than suitable for artists who work on a smaller scale.
One of the drawbacks of this scanner is that it doesn’t come with mobile or wireless support. For the price, the advantage of it having a lightweight, space saving design and being able to scan in resolutions of 4800 x 4800 spi, it is a great option for beginners and those on a budget.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly art scanner that offers great image quality and user-friendly functionality, the Canon LiDE 400 Colour Flatbed Scanner is an excellent choice.
Epson Perfection V850 Pro
For professional artists and photographers, the Epson Perfection V850 Pro offers fast scan speeds paired with the highest level of image quality. This scanner will create professional quality digital images, ready to turn into giclee prints. It takes around 1 second to load fully, giving it a fast warm up time.
It scans at 6400dpi, from a variety of formats and scans up to A4. It’s a flatbed scanner that scans photos, artwork and film. It scans a high resolution of 6,400 spi, which makes it able to pick up subtle colour transitions, the deepest shadows and brightest highlights of an image.
The software that the Epson Perfection V850 includes beats the V600, V750, V800 models. With an improved version of LaserSoft Imaging’s SilverFast software, and better colour calibration software, which makes it a more suitable model for artists who want to create optimum colour accuracy with their scans. Alongside high pass optics, the quality of scans is better upon close analysis.
The V850 has a larger footprint than some of the more compact models on this list, so you may need a larger space to keep it.
Canon CanoScan 9000F
The Canoscan 9000F is a high performing scanner that provides professional quality prints. It is a great choice for artists who want a top of the range model. The CanoScan 9000F has a film adapter unit for those who want to scan in slides or negatives, as well as a contact image sensor for accurate colour reproduction.
It scans at 9600 x 9600 spi resolution with a 48 bit colour depth. Scan an A4 photo or artwork in 7 seconds, with zero warm up time. Like other top of the range scanners, it has automatic image correction, which erases particles of dust, scratches and imperfections. The intuitive design is easy to use, with seven buttons on the device for scanning, copying, emailing and more.
The scanner comes bundled with a number of different sophisticated software programs, including Photoshop Elements and ArcSoft Photo Studio.
One useful piece of software, for artists who want to scan in larger pieces of artwork, is the Stitch Assist program. Create A3 pages, by scanning the artwork in A4 sized sections.
How to choose an art scanner: Art scanner features
When choosing a flatbed art scanner, there are a few key factors to consider. One of the most important is resolution, as this will determine the level of detail that the scanner is able to capture in your artwork. A high resolution scan can provide sharper images and more accurate colours, so it’s generally best to look for a scanner with a resolution of at least 4800 dpi or higher.
Other factors to consider when choosing an art scanner include the size of the scanner bed, the weight and portability of the scanner, and any additional features that may be useful for artists, such as specialised scanning modes or built-in editing software. By considering these factors and doing some research into different scanners on the market, you should be able to find a high-quality art scanner that best meets your needs and budget.
Best scanner for budget and beginners
If you are looking for a high-quality art scanner that doesn’t break the bank, the best option is likely to be the Canon LiDE 400 Colour Flatbed Scanner. This budget-friendly scanner offers high resolution scanning at 4800 x 4800 dpi and has a variety of useful features, including fast scanning speeds, built-in editing software, and a variety of connectivity options.
One of the best things about this scanner is its compact design, which makes it easy to store when not in use.
Best scanner for professionals
For professional artists, the CanoScan 9000F, or the Epson V850 Pro, are both excellent options. These scanners offer high resolution, professional-grade results, and a range of advanced features that are ideal for professionals. They also come with a variety of software programs to easily edit your scanned artwork, so you can get the best possible results from your scans.
Scanning vs photographing artwork
The first step to making a reproduction of your artwork is to create a digital file of it. If you want to create digital reproductions with the crisp detail and the vivid colours of your art intact to share on social media, or a high resolution image to create professional quality gicleé prints, you will need to use either a camera or a scanner.
Using a scanner is the quickest and most straightforward way to create a digital file of your artwork. When using a camera to capture your work, you would need to spend time setting up the environment’s lighting, backdrop, stabilising and positioning the camera and the artwork, then finding the correct settings on the camera.
The possible drawback of using a scanner instead of a camera is that if your artwork is very large, it can be difficult to scan in multiple sections of the artwork then stitch it all together in Photoshop. If this is the case, consider getting a camera to create your digital file. If your works are small enough so that you would be able to digitise the piece in just a few scans (or less), then a scanner would be a more appropriate tool for the job than a camera.
Another drawback of using a scanner to digitise artwork, is that artwork on canvases, or textured artworks may not turn out how you expect. To be on the safe side, reserve scanning for flat and untextured artworks.
Ultimately, the best scanner for your needs will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, resolution requirements, and workflow preferences. To create digital prints yourself, you will also need a printer. In our review of the best art printers, find the best model for your practice, so you can start your own print production process!