Saturday, November 10, 2018

Czur Aura Book Scanner

UPDATE: Numerous delays but the ship containing my unit will arrive in LA by the end of May and presumably I will have the scanner in early June 2019.

Although I no longer have the need I once did, I continue to be fascinated by inexpensive, non-destructive approaches to book scanning. On paper at least (no pun intended), the Czur Aura scanner looks like a viable solution. It is still a crowd funding project, but 50x the amount needed has been raised, and shipping is projected for December 2018.

According to the website, the scanner will:

* Digitize books without unbinding them;
* Convert them to PDF, editable Word (2.5sec/page);
* Scan a wide range of documents and objects up to A3 size (i.e., what the US calls tabloid);
* Double as a versatile lamp with 4 light settings.

The company estimates that a 300 page book can be scanned in 30 minutes if saved as jpeg images. (There is foot operated button included for speeding up the process.)

You can buy the scanner at the moment for $179 (shipping extra). A battery powered version is $30 more for those wanting to take this portable device to libraries and other locations.

Lots of information can be found at

I have ordered the scanner and will report back on the results of scanning pages in the Blue Volume One as well as other philatelic materials.


Phil Boyd said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I've been looking for an affordable book scanner for awhile now and this just might be what I'm looking for.
Tell me.... how does this work with books that don't lay flat?

Bob said...

Hi Phil. Of course, I won't really know until I have a chance to play with the scanner, but it looks like there are three or four things at work. 1) A pair of small yellow "weights" that you can put on your fingers to hold down the page edges of books that don't lay flat (the scanner software knows to eliminate these from any scans, sorta like a blue screen). 2) Multiple lasers projected onto the book that help the scanning software flatten the scanned images. And 3) the scanning software itself that has additional correcting features. It also looks like you can manually stretch and otherwise manipulate the resulting images to do additional correction.

Phil Boyd said...

Well I will be looking forward to your review. Do you have a specific arrival date or is it still "December"?

Bob said...

No, just December. It is coming from Hong Kong.

Bud said...

I wish I had owned one of these when I scanned my BB Part I for Jim's blog.

Bob said...

Bud, scanning albums was the original reason for my interest in scanners a few years ago. My current thought is even at best this can't do a good job with pages still in the binder. (I expect to have better luck with one of the bound 1947 editions.) But the more I think about it, removing the pages from the binder would be worth it if you could scan a page or even two every say ten seconds. Regardless, it will be a fun to try.

DrewM said...

"My current thought is even at best this can't do a good job with pages still in the binder."

Unless I'm mistaken, the video your link goes to shows that the normal curve of the pages when a book is open is dealt with by the scanner to create a flattened image. It ends up looking the same as if pages had been removed from the book and laid flat. I'm not sure how that's done, but what it means for those who'd like a new copy of one of the classic old stamp albums could be really something. If an album is no longer under copyright, why couldn't a collector copy its pages with this scanner and then print them out to make a new album? Assuming you want normal album-sized pages, printing your images could be done on either a large format printer or on a good photocopy machine.

Bob said...

Drew, you, of course, are correct about the flattening as shown in the video. I'm just being pessimistic that the software can completely compensate for an album (as opposed to a smaller book with which you can also use the special finger "weights" to flatten out a page if needed). But I would love to be wrong on this.

That is an interesting idea about creating an album from the scanner.

albumfilling said...

Have you received the book scanner as yet? I am interested in what you think of it, especially its capability as regards content like album pages such as Scott Specialty and International size pages.

Bob said...

Current estimated shipping date will be in March. Hopefully that is when I will receive the scanner as the actual shipping time to the US is three weeks. I will be sure to update my status when the scanner arrives even though it may take a week or two for me to begin testing.

Phil Boyd said...

March?? Wow. The overall uncertainty of such a purchase is what kept me from ordering it.
I did find an Amazon "Flash Sale" on the Aura big brother, so to speak the ET16 -

I will be honest. I'm somewhat disappointed.
Other than the fact I couldn't get it to work with my Windows 7 machine (had to use my laptop with Windows 10), it works great. Very easy to operate and super fast.
What I am disappointed with are the scan results. I wanted it for getting images out of books that were difficult to scan with a traditional scanner. The images are very sub-par and absolutely useless from the glare. Images that weren't effected by the glare were so dark that I couldn't use these either. I tried numerous ways to scan with no good results. I also tried a graphics editor to lighten up the images. This didn't help either.

Maybe if I was using it for scanning documents or not so particular about the pictures I'd be more pleased with it but right now I'm considering putting it on Craislist.