How to choose a scanner for Regent Instruments software applications
Image Analysis for Plant Science
Regent Instruments Inc. since 1991



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Scanners for Regent Instruments products
An affordable and portable scanner
Stunning image quality, fast and built to last
Portable / Requires computer to scan
(Portable = can be used in field)
Yes / Yes
No / Yes
Optical resolution DPI / Minimum pixel size (mm)
(DPI = dots per inch)

4800 / 0.005
4800 / 0.005
Max. Scan Area (cm)
Max. Scan Area (cm) SLS / Included or not
(to scan thick objects such as roots, seeds or needles).
Bits per pixel
(Grey levels/Color)
Interface: U2=USB 2
TWAIN driver / File Transfer
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
Recommended for WinFOLIA

Portable. Can be used in fields with a computer.


Fast, precise and versatile.

Recommended for WinRHIZO
Recommended for WinSEEDLE
Recommended for WinCAM
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Recommended for WinDENDRO

Very high image quality. Not suitable for samples larger than its max scan area (the scanner glass is not at the same level as the surrounding plastic edges).

Included with all scanners
- 1 year warranty. Manufacturer's manuals and utility software to acquire images.


Scanners are not created equal

1-Optical resolution and minimum pixel size
These two specifications are related. A higher resolution is better (pixel size is smaller). The optical resolution is the highest resolution at which the images are scanned without interpolation. Maximum resolution is the highest resolution a scanner can produce with interpolation. Interpolated resolution is calculated after the scanner adds theoretical pixels to an image, it averages the colors of neighboring pixels to create additional pixels; something which may help to enhance details already seen by the scanner. The goal for a good scanner is to achieve the best resolvability to distinguish fine details (like tree-ring transitions). There are large differences among scanners and sometimes their theoretical specifications do not match their actual performances. This is because it is not only the sampling frequency (dpi) that is important but also the quality of the optical, electronic and mechanical components. Even if you don't plan to scan at 2000 dpi, a 2000 dpi scanner usually produce better scans at 600 dpi than a 600 dpi scanner.
2-TWAIN versus File Transfer:
There are two ways to acquire images for use with Regent's image analysis programs:
TWAIN is standard software protocol that regulates communication between software applications and imaging devices such as scanners. With twain drivers, an application that requires the acquisition of images can activate the scanning process and load the resulting images directly into system memory.
File Transfer is the process by which an image file is created through the use of the general scanning software that comes with the scanner, saved to disk and then opened (or transferred) with a second imaging application. Thus, this process is slower because it involves two extra steps: the saving to disk and opening of the files.

Why buy a scanner from Regent Instruments ?

1- Compatibility.
You are sure that the scanner, its accessories (see below) and software program(s) will work together as expected. Some features in our programs will only work for the scanners that we sell (we cannot adapt them to all existing models).

2- Technical Assistance.
We only provide technical assistance for scanners that we sell. In case you have difficulties installing or using it, it is easy to help you with scanners that we know and have at hand.

3- Calibration for precise measurements.
Scanners are made mainly for artistic applications. We calibrate our scanners with extremely precise standards. This calibration is automatically used by our programs to compensate for differences among scanners so that data produced by different models will give more similar results (when you ask a scanner to scan at 400 dpi it might scan at 380, this is what our calibration compensates for). Our calibration also compensate for differences when using a single scanner under different conditions such as when measuring an object at various orientation on its scan area and, for dual lenses scanners, when using different lenses.

4- Reliability and image quality.
You get a scanner that is well adapted (fast, precise and reliable) for long term repetitive scientific measurements. See 1-Optical resolution and minimum pixel size above for additional information.

5- Suitability.
Our scanners do not exhibit the shadow problems for seeds, needles and root scanning.

6- Accessories for faster and easier scanning. These include trays of different sizes to scan immersed roots and positioning systems. These accessories allow to do repetitive tasks such as placing samples at the same position on the scanner (to bypass the preview step) or to scan with an adapted color contrasting background. Another example is the cover raiser that allows to scan thick objects like roots in our trays. Accessories can easily be removed and installed by the user in a few seconds.

7- Additional instruction manuals. They teach how to install the scanner and our accessories and how to scan biological samples for analysis with our programs. They will help you get the best images from your scanner and will save you time by giving you some tips about the scanner that you have purchased.