The 5 Best Scanners for Artwork in 2024

Best Overall

Epson Perfection v600

1
A top-tier scanner offering exceptional clarity and color accuracy for artwork, ideal for professionals and enthusiasts.
Second Best

Epson Perfection V850

2
A close runner-up, this scanner excels in high-resolution scanning, perfect for detailed and professional-grade art reproductions.
Best Budget

Epson v39

3
The best budget-friendly choice for artists, providing good quality scans without breaking the bank, suitable for everyday artwork scanning needs.

One of the most common issues that traditional artists find when taking their work from the traditional world of brushes and paint to the digital world (be it for social media, marketing, or selling) is finding the right device to digitize their work. 

Some might pick up their phones and hope for the best, while others might invest in high-quality cameras and lighting equipment. However, there is no better way to digitize traditional work without worrying about inconsistencies in lighting, perspective, or color than using a scanner.

Having a scanner for your art is very important, especially if you’re a traditional artist looking to sell prints, build an online portfolio, or share their work; and I don’t mean any type of scanner, but a specialized one that does the job, with the right resolution, size, and accuracy.

In this guide, we’re going to learn the basics of digitizing your art, the pros and cons of using a scanner, and all we need to know about scanners and how to find the best for your needs. We’ll also present you with the top scanner brands and models that will help take your art to the next level. Let’s get started!

Why Do I Need A Scanner For My Art?

So, you’re thinking about digitizing your artwork, right? Well, getting a scanner is a game-changer because despite being in the middle of the age of technology with cameras and smartphones better than ever, they’re simply not enough. 

I mean, sure, snapping a pic with your phone or camera is okay for a quick share on Instagram, but if you want to really capture the essence of your art, a scanner is the way to go. Here’s why:

  • A scanner picks up everything – the texture of the paper, the subtle shifts in color, even the tiny nuances that you thought only you noticed. 
  • Ever tried to photograph your art and ended up with weird shadows or highlights? Or do the colors just look… off? Without the support of proper photography equipment and a very dark room, getting a good picture of your art is just…frustrating. Scanners cut out all that drama, you get consistent lighting every time, and the colors? Spot-on.
  • Scanners are super easy to use, you just lay your artwork on the scanner bed, close the lid, and hit a button. No fiddling with camera settings or trying to get the angle just right. It’s a huge time-saver.
  • Planning to sell prints? A high-quality scan is essential. It ensures that your prints look as close to the original as possible. Your buyers get a piece that’s true to what you created, and you can be proud of the quality.
  • Think of a scanner as an investment in your art career. It opens up so many possibilities – from selling prints to building an online portfolio and even entering art competitions. It’s a tool that grows with you.

How To Find The Best Scanner For Artwork?

Resolution

Think of resolution as the sharpness of your TV screen but for your scanner. High resolution means nicer, clearer images, better details, and colors, almost like comparing a blurry old movie and a crisp HD film. 

When checking the specs of a scanner, look for DPI, it’s all about how many dots per inch (DPI) the scanner can handle, a higher DPI means more detail. You’ll find scanners with 240 DPI and more, however for art, you want something that can go at least 1200 DPI. If you can go higher, that’s even better.

 

Color Accuracy 

Color accuracy is very important, a scanner with low color depth will not be able to properly capture the colors just like they are in the original piece and you’ll end up with washed-out pinks instead of vibrant reds. Look for scanners that talk about high color depth (at least 48-bit) and color fidelity.

Some scanners come with color calibration tools or software, which is super helpful for ensuring the colors in your scans match the original artwork as closely as possible.

The type of sensor in the scanner can also affect color accuracy. CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) sensors are generally better at capturing colors and details compared to CIS (Contact Image Sensor) sensors. If color accuracy is your top priority, aim for a scanner with a CCD sensor.

Size 

Before hitting the checkout button, or heading to the store to buy your first scanner, you gotta make sure you know the size of your art. If you’re a sketchbook artist then you’ll be fine with most scanner sizes, however, if you work on large pieces, you might have to go for the more expensive models or get a medium-sized scanner and learn how to process large images (part by part). Larger scanners cost more and take up more space. 

Balance your need for a larger scanning area with your budget and the physical space you have in your studio or work area.

Also, always make sure to check the actual scanning area size of the scanner. Sometimes the scanner size is larger than the area it can actually scan. You don’t want any surprises where part of your art gets cut off. 

Software Compatibility 

Most scanners come with their own software, which is what you’ll use to actually perform the scans. It’s important to check if this software is compatible with your operating system – whether you’re using Windows, macOS, or something else. Additionally, if you use programs like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or GIMP for editing, you’ll want to make sure the scanner can seamlessly export scans to these apps. Some scanner software allows direct integration, which can be a huge time-saver.

If you’re serious about color accuracy, check if the scanner software supports color management profiles like Adobe RGB or sRGB. This is crucial for ensuring that the colors in your scans accurately match your original artwork, especially if you’re thinking of printing your work.

Price and Budget

When it comes to scanners for artwork, there’s quite a range in terms of cost, and what you decide to spend will depend on several factors. You’ve got your basic scanners that are more affordable, and then you’ve got the high-end ones with all the bells and whistles. High-end scanners offer better resolution, color accuracy, and larger scanning areas, but they’ll hit your wallet harder.

Before you start looking at prices, figure out what you actually need. If you’re doing fine art prints or your work is going to be displayed in galleries, investing in a higher-end scanner makes sense. But if you’re just scanning sketches or smaller pieces for digital display, a basic model might be enough.

Keep an eye out for sales or refurbished models. Sometimes you can snag a high-quality scanner for a lot less. Just make sure it comes with a warranty.

The 5 Best Scanners for Artwork in 2024

  1. Best Scanner for Artwork Overall — Epson Perfection v600
  2. Second Best Scanner for Artwork — Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner
  3. Best Budget Scanner for Artwork — Epson v39
  4. Best Professional Scanner for Artwork — Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII
  5. Best Large Format Scanner for Artwork — Epson Expression 12000 XL

# 1. Best Scanner for Artwork Overall — Epson Perfection v600

Selection Criteria

  • Resolution: 6400 x 9600 dpi.
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  • Color Accuracy: 48-Bit (External) 48-Bit (Internal).
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  • Size Compatibility: Up to 8.5 x 11.7″ Inches.
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  • Software Compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Linux.
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  • Price: $400.00.
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About the Epson Perfection V600

The Epson Perfection V600 is the perfect combination of performance, accuracy, size, and price. This scanner has an impressive optical resolution of 6400 x 9600 dpi. This high resolution is great for capturing the fine details in your artwork, but what makes or breaks the digitizing process is the color accuracy, another area where this scanner excels with its 48-bit color depth.

The maximum scan area is 8.5 x 11.7 inches, which is sufficient for standard letter or A4-size artwork. For larger pieces, you might need to scan in sections and stitch the images together.  A unique feature of the V600 is its ability to scan film negatives and slides, thanks to the built-in transparency unit. This is a great bonus if you also work with traditional film or want to digitize old negatives.

Pros

  • High-resolution scanning
  • Excellent color accuracy
  • Versatile film scanning

Cons

  • Slower scan speed
  • Bulky design

2. Second Best Scanner for Artwork — Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner

Selection Criteria

  • Resolution: 4800 x 6400 dpi.
    • Our Score: 
  • Color Accuracy: 48-Bit (External) 16-Bit (Internal).
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  • Size Compatibility: Up to 8.5″ x 11.7″ Inches.
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  • Software Compatibility: Windows, MacOS.
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  • Price: $1,278.99.
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About the Epson Perfection V850 Pro 

The Epson Perfection V850 Pro is a high-end scanner that’s a step up from the V600, catering more to professional artists, photographers, and archivists. One of the key features of the V850 Pro is its Dual Lens System, which automatically selects from two lenses for optimal results based on the media being scanned. For film, it uses a high-resolution lens capable of 6400 dpi, while for reflective media like photos, it switches to a lens that supports up to 4800 dpi.

The scanner offers a 4.0 Dmax optical density, which ensures exceptional detail in both highlights and shadows and excellent color reproduction.

The V850 Pro also includes Digital ICE Technologies for both film and prints, which helps to remove dust and scratches during the scanning process, saving a lot of time in post-processing.

On the downside, the V850 Pro is significantly more expensive than the V600. It’s an investment, but for professionals who need the highest quality scans and advanced features, it can be well worth the cost

Pros

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Dual lens system

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Larger footprint

3. Best Budget Scanner for Artwork — Epson v39

Selection Criteria 

  • Resolution: 4800 x 4800 dpi.
    • Our Score: 
  • Color Accuracy: 48-Bit (External) 16-Bit (Internal).
    • Our Score: 
  • Size Compatibility: Up to 8.5″ x 11.7″ Inches.
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  • Software Compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Linux.
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  • Price: $139.95.
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About the Epson v39

The Epson V39 is an entry-level scanner that is quite popular among artists who nееd an affordablе and yеt rеliablе scannеr. It has a 4800 dpi optical rеsolution and while it’s not as high as other Epson modеls it is still great for scanning art and photos and documents. 

This scannеr is lightwеight and slim, making it a grеat choicе for small workspacеs or for artists who nееd a portablе dеvicе and whilе it may not match thе color depth and fidelity of highеr аnd modеls and the V39 still delivers good image quality for its price range.

This scannеr is also vеry еasy to usе and with a singlе micro USB cablе to avoid cluttеr and straightforward controls. It also comеs with Epson scanning softwarе Easy Photo Scan and Documеnt Capturе Pro and for еasy scanning and sharing and and еditing. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact, lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Lower resolution
  • No film scanning

4. Best Professional Scanner for Artwork — Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII

Selection Criteria

  • Resolution: 9600 x 9600 dpi.
    • Our Score: 
  • Color Accuracy: 48-Bit (External) 48-Bit (Internal).
    • Our Score: 
  • Size Compatibility: Up to 8.5″ x 11.7″ Inches.
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  • Software Compatibility: Windows, MacOS.
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  • Price: $1,279.99.
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About the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII  

The Canon 900F MKII is a great choice for those who need high-quality scans of various media types and have the money to invest in a good scanner. Because yes, this scanner comes with all the bells and whistles, all the features that you might need on a scanner, however, it is quite expensive so we recommend it for professional use only.

The 9000F Mark II offers an impressive optical resolution of 9600 x 9600 dpi for film scanning and 4800 x 4800 dpi for all other media. This high resolution is excellent for capturing fine details in your art, ideal for printing and other reproductions. It has great color accuracy with it’s 48-bit color depth, plus it also has a very intuitive interface and seven buttons to automate the scanning process.

Pros

  • High-quality scans
  • Versatile media handling
  • Good speed

Cons

  • Older model

5. Best Large Format Scanner for Artwork — Epson Expression 12000 XL

Selection Criteria

  • Resolution: 2400 x 4800 dpi.
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  • Color Accuracy: 48-Bit (External) 16-Bit (Internal).
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  • Size Compatibility: Up to 12. 2″ X 17. 2″ Inches.
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  • Software Compatibility: Windows, MacOS.
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  • Price: $2,998.99.
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About the Epson Expression 12000 XL  

Now, for those who need a large-format scanner, the Epson Expression 12000 XL is the way to go. This scanner offers an optical resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi, ideal for professional artists and photographers who need top-quality, extremely accurate reproductions. 

One of its best features is its large scanning area, which makes it perfect for oversized art pieces, large photographs, and even multiple smaller items in one go.

The 12000XL comes with Epson’s Image Processing Technology, which includes features like Digital ICE for advanced dust and scratch removal, and color restoration capabilities, which is super useful for restoring old photographs or artworks and saves a lot of time in the post-production process.

Pros

  • Large format scanning
  • Excellent color depth
  • High resolution

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Large size
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