Which products for a research degree

I’ve almost stopped carrying around my big DSLR. The little LX3 fits in a jacket pocked and has a faster (and perhaps better quality) lens than my DSLR. With its fast lens and optical image stabilization, it’s easy to take a sharp image of a book page that’s suitable for OCR.

Without a suitable compact copy stand, I probably wouldn’t tackle the task of copying an entire book in a library. But quick handheld shots of selected pages, including some with diagrams, works like a gem. It’s even easier if the book is placed in a little folding plastic book-stand.

Example: Below is the OCRed text content of a quick snapshot I took of a title page. The LX3 was set up for point and shoot. I made no settings changes such as white balance, etc. The image was saved as JPEG with a resolution of 180 dpi. I did no processing prior to OCR import into DTPO, except an autolevels adjustment. There was not a single error in the OCR conversion. The word “psychological” was broken by a hyphen, but that was in the original image.

Interactions of science and technology with major aspects of human experience—physiological, psy- chological, ecological, economic, esthetic, ethical, and political; interactive and evolutionary impact upon social structures, processes, beliefs, and values, transforming culture and society changing behaviors, expectations, relationships, and roles, and reshaping public policies, laws, and institutions.
Prepared by
Lynton K. Caldwell
William B. DeVille
and Others
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University Bloomington
December 1976

Is photography the best way to capture book pages at the library? I’m wondering whether anyone prefers a handheld scanner, and if so, what model. Thanks for any suggestions.


I have a smartphone app that uses the phone camera to capture the image, and then converts it to a PDF file. You can even upload it to Google Docs for OCR processing (which is not very accurate.) The PDF conversion is far superior to JPG storage, because it is searchable in DevonThink.

My app is called PDF Document Scanner, on the Android platform, but there are also versions in the Mac App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Good luck.