In this article we will test the best book cradle for scanning, which also allows you to attach your mirrorless camera to it and shoot books or magazines. The product is called Klip Snap, and from what we’ve seen it ticks all the boxes of a very good solution to use either with a document camera or your personal mirrorless camera.
Let’s go ahead and see what the results of our evaluation test were, and why we think this should be your choice when it comes to a great cradle for scanning books.
|Brand and Model
|Manual with special book cradle and flattening glass
|300 x 432mm
|Check the price
Test parameters that we prioritized
We have selected quite a few parameters which from our experience are critical when it comes to a book cradle for scanning. So let’s see what those are and how we evaluate such a product.
- Construction and design – While the design is less of importance when it comes to such a device, construction is critical. The book scanning cradle needs to be a robust product that will last for a lifetime.
- Flattening glass – There is no proper book scanning without a flattening glass. In this case, we are looking for certain parameters in the glass, mainly safety of use and optical parameters.
- Book Cradle – The book cradle height is critical and also the adjustments, vertical and horizontal. It also should provide ease of use.
- Size and weight – Yes, size does matter, but in such cases we always prefer a device that is smaller and lighter.
We will now go into each of these parameters and see how the Klip Snap has performed on each of them.
Construction and design
The Klip Snap book holder for scanning is made out of industrial grade aluminum. While it will always be delivered with small scratches, which is to be expected with industrial anodized black aluminum, the device is as sturdy as you can expect. It has some plastic elements, especially the glass holders, but besides those, this machine will definitely last a lifetime.
Coming back to the plastics, some elements such as the cradle and as mentioned, the glass holders, are made from plastic. While it may seem like a downgrade, there are some tradeoffs to keeping a decent weight for the device. Still, the cradles will most likely never brake, mostly they will get lightly used over time. Still, they are easy to swap, and either purchasing them directly from the manufacturer or making them yourself is possible.
The design of the book cradle is nothing special, but given the use of the device, it is good enough. The all black look is indeed nice to have, and it also helps with the optics of the scanning, especially the cropping process. We have seen some slight scratches on the aluminum, but the manufacturer claims this will not impact the device in any way, and they are working on fixing the issue with the aluminum supplier.
All in all, the results of our test in terms of construction and design were fairly good. Even when we tried a 10kg weight on the cradle, it still functioned properly, and nothing really happened.
The flattening glass allows us to get perfect scans each time. In the case of the Klip book scan holder, the glass itself is not attached to a counterweight, therefore it will lightly press the pages and you will get flat pages every time, even with way pages. We ran it on a book that was dried out of a flood, and the results were really good.
The other feature that we like about the Klip Snap flattening glass is the tempered glass. This means that even in case of an accident, the glass will just crack to really small bits, and the risk of harming to the operator is near zero. It’s the perfect safety feature we want when working with a glass plate.
Another thing that we really loved during our test scans was the low iron glass. Yes, this is not your average flattening glass, it’s low iron glass which has increased transparency and near zero green tint. It means the color accuracy of the scans should be well improved over the typical random glass plate.
Now we get to our favorite part about the device, the actual book holder scanner. It has two plates, a left and a right one, all in black for improved cropping. Also, the cradles are independent, and they move vertically or horizontally.
The vertical movement is quite straight forward. This allows us to compensate the right and the left sides of the book, keeping both of them in perfect contact with the flattening glass. It’s a nice feature to have, but any book cradle that does not come with such an option, is not a proper cradle for book scanning. In the case of the Klip, we tested with a book that was 8cm thick, and the results were great.
Now, the really impressive part about this book cradle is the horizontal movement. Not all book cradle feature this, but actually the horizontal movement is nearly as critical as the vertical one. You see, because of what we call the book mechanics, the cradles have to be spread further or closer apart from each other depending on the book gutter. We tested this function with a magazine, where the cradles should almost be touching one another, and we found them to work really well.
When we spread them further apart, this was done reasonably quick and the scan came out really well. While spreading them apart while turning the knob will take a bit, approximately 15 seconds, this really helps when making fine adjustments, and that is where the Klip really shines.
Size and weight
Now, don’t get us wrong, the Klip Snap is not the lightest of the bunch. It weighs in at 12 kilograms, so it could be better. But I guess when you need a sturdy device, you have to expect that industrial grade aluminum will add a bit of weight. Considering that most people will be able to carry it around or loading it in a car, I think that it’s not such a bad thing.
In terms of size, I guess it all depends on the scanning area. So let’s think it through a bit, this scans an A3 + which more or less means a scanning area of 450mm by 320. In the case of the Klip, the manufacturer has done it’s best to reduce the size as much as possible and also keep a large scanning area. We found the Klip to be relatively large, but still smaller than other devices or book cradle. It fit well on our desk and also when we loaded it in a car, it went in quite easy.
This is really a nice device to have. Especially if you are into book scanning, this will be very easy to live with and to use. You don’t need training for it, just put a book on it and start scanning.
Some downsides are the lack of a camera holder and lighting. But after talking with Klip about this, they told us most customers want their own setup, such as camera tripod and custom lighting modules. So at the moment, they are delivering it without this kit. They are saying the camera mount is into testing, and they will come out with a self developed solution to eliminate the need of a tripod.
All in all, we love the Klip Snap, as it is built sturdy and has more or less everything you need to do proper book scanning.