Preliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera

Posted: July 23, 2012 in accessories, apps, iPad, scanning, sheet music, tablet
Tags: ,

I’m thinking of building my own portable iPad scanning stand (which could also be used as an iPad document camera). As I mentioned in the earlier post Portable scanning of scores & reference materials: smartphones, iPad, scanners, it would be great for taking to the music library. My blog stats also indicate that there is a lot of reader interest in the topic, so I want to share what I learn.

As a first step, I want to figure out where the iPad must be positioned in order to photograph a US-standard letter-sized sheet of paper and maximize its size in the screen.

To do this, I turned the iPad’s camera on, then grabbed some random household items and used them to elevate the iPad above a page from a music score. Here’s how my setup looked:

Top view:

I then took some test photos of the music. You can click on them to view at full size and get a sense of the image quality (this is from an iPad 3). Here is a photo of the entire page, including margins:

And here is one where I lowered the iPad a little so that the margins are left out:

Image quality is quite good, even though I gave no special attention to the lighting (it’s a mixture of daylight and room light). I could totally read music off of this image.

Finally, I measured the position of the iPad relative to the page. Turns out it needs to be offset roughly 5.75″ down and 2″ to the left of the sheet of paper, and it needs to be raised about 9.3″-10.5″ above the paper in order to capture most or all of the page.   (Click on the images to view at full size and see the measurements.)

These measurements should help me choose, position, and assemble the components of my iPad scanning stand.

(Side note: I used Skitch to annotate the photos above.)

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Comments
  1. […] Preliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera […]

  2. Take a look at this. I think the iPad would fit on the top, but if not, maybe you could talk to them about it. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/scanbox-turn-your-smartphone-into-a-portable-scann

    • Tech4Singers says:

      Cool! That one is new to me. There are some other products out there that might work, with or without modification, as an iPad scanning stand…I’ll follow up on them in a future post.

  3. […] Preliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera […]

  4. […] reference materials.   (See my previous posts: iPad scanning stand / document camera products, Preliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera, and Portable scanning of scores & reference materials: smartphones, iPad, scanners.) […]

  5. […] scanning stand that was portable, inexpensive, and would work with bound books.  I was planning to make my own stand, but I got lazy and purchased this inexpensive locker shelf instead: Magna Card Locker Shelf / […]

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