Digital Check scanners and teller equipment

Area Scan Camera (Area Array)

Area scan or area array camera
An area scan, or area array, camera is designed to take still photos of a 2D area. In this example illustration of a microfilm reader, the film would need to stop underneath the camera each time a picture is taken.

An area scan, or area array, camera is what most of us would call a “regular” camera. It uses a single exposure to capture an image of a 2D area all at once.

This type of device approximates the analog process of taking a picture with a film-based camera – however, modern digital devices are so called because they use an array of sensors to assemble a 2D image of an area. This contrasts with line scan devices, which use a single row of sensors to capture single-pixel “slices” in rapid succession, and then reconstitute them into a full image.

The practical difference between area and line-scan devices can be summarized as: Area arrays are better suited for cases in which both the camera and the subject are stationary; while line-scan sensors require either the camera or the subject to be in motion. In scanning, this means that line-scan technology is usually the better choice, because it can continuously capture documents as they move past, whereas an area array device (unless it used a very high-speed camera) would need the document to slow down or stop in order to capture a good image without blurring.

Check scanners in particular use a special type of line-scan technology called a contact image sensor, which is designed to capture line-scan images at extremely close distances.

For a more complete comparison of line-scan and area-array technology, see our article on the subject here.


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Digital Check Corp.
630 Dundee Rd. Suite 210
Northbrook, IL 60062