scanning vs taking picture

Scanning vs. Taking Picture – Complete Guide On What To Expect Leave a comment

Clicking an image using a digital camera seems almost similar to scanning. Especially when you have the quality digital cameras that are available anywhere on the go with easy to use applications, these cameras do capture the picture or document and help in preserving the digital image. Still, they differ a lot from the scanned file in the below ways.

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You may also like: The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Scanner That Best Fits Your Needs

Check out the scanning vs. taking picture compared in-detail for a complete picture of how they differ.

Image Quality: When using a digital camera, you need to manually focus the image, leading to motion blur, poor focus, low lighting, excess lighting, and similar capturing issues. A scanner captures the image using excellent lighting that spreads evenly throughout, and the enclosed chamber makes sure that the surrounding conditions do not affect it. This gives you an excellent quality result, which is far better than the camera captured image.

Editing: Since the capture is already the source’s replica, a scanned image does not require much editing. It may need some straightening and dust removal done automatically by modern-day scanners that are available these days. However, a camera captured image requires several corrections to make it look similar to the original. Though they have automatic correction facilities in applications that are useful to some extent, they are nowhere near the quality of a scanned image.

Customization: As scanners are devised explicitly for scanning, they offer several customizations that are not well conferred by a digital camera. The most important of them is the scaling, making it easier to print them out quickly after scanning if need be. Suppose you need to print out a large document into an a4 size document you can scan accordingly or resize it easily. However, when you use a camera, scaling is tricky and loses details easily when you resize.

Quick: Comparing the scanning vs. taking a picture when several documents or images are involved, it is more comfortable with a scanner.

Formats: You can scan the source into any of the several file types available for each type of document or image. They are quickly convertible into different file types without losing much information or properties. While a camera captured file has limited format options and even conversion does not pan out well as some information gets lost while converting.

Searchability: This feature is particularly used for word documents. The scanned text is easily searchable, and it can render most of the text without errors. Whereas digital camera captured text document is not readable. Even if you use an application to convert, it has far lower chances of getting the text right than scanners.

File Size: Your file size reduces when you scan a document rather than picture it.

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You may also like: How to scan oversized documents

Despite several disadvantages using mobile phones as scanners are still useful. It is due to the particular purposes and causes mentioned below.

  • Availability: They are available at every moment as people carry mobile phones all the time with them.
  • Portability: They are small enough to fit into your pocket and thus carriable to need anywhere.
  • Low Usage: When you intend to use it for one-time use, or you believe you will not use it more than a few times.
  • Quick Snap: When all you want is a copy, its quality or other aspects do not matter much.
  • Sharing: You can share your photos online quickly to many apps when you have it on your mobile. This is the most used quality of mobile scanners and gives a winning score to mobiles in the scanning vs. taking picture
  • Books Or Other Objects: Materials that are scanner friendly can use the mobile phone to capture rather than a scanner.

Only Scanners Can Perform These Functions

There are a few exclusive functions only scanners can perform over mobiles. These actions are in the capacity of a scanner only because they are designed specifically for scanning.

  • Capturing glossy photographs
  • Scanning curled or damaged photos
  • Negatives or 35 mm slides scanning
  • Scanning the document with high resolution
  • Captioning the handwritten notes conveniently
  • Scanning loads of documents or photos quickly

Mobile Scanners Ace In These Regards

Of course, there are few things that a scanner cannot do when you compare scanning vs. taking pictures, and here they are. As mobiles are versatile devices, they can outperform or easily accomplish a few tasks a scanner cannot. They are as below.

  • When you need to scan a time-sensitive document and do not have a scanner handy
  • They don’t need the support of another device
  • Upload then and there in a jiffy to the chosen host
  • Can print directly using wi-fi printer

This video shows you the process of scanning using the android mobile

You can also scan using the inbuilt iOS application as demonstrated in this video

Scanners do depend on applications to work, and sometimes they also have a mobile application that allows you to scan more conveniently than the PC application. However, this makes a whole new topic for discussion. The point here is scanners cannot work standalone and require the support of other devices where mobiles work on their own. It is the fact that they are custom made for scanning and give you quick and quality output that you need to consider them over the mobile phones. Just like any other digital device, your mobile is a temporary solution for your scanning needs but cannot accomplish anything near to a scanner.


When you want a quality output with reliability and high productivity, scanners are the go-to products. If you do not mind quality or do not need scanning regularly, you can get along using your mobile phone. When you try to compare scanning vs. taking pictures, they account for several aspects. Hence only your necessity will decide which is the best. However, here I attempted to provide all the possible aspects that help you make a better decision.

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