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Scanning paintings and art for giclee prints: test the Cruse or Better Light at Parrot Digigraphic. Print E-mail

When searching for best scanner for paintings and art, there are several pretenders but only two pro-level contenders: Cruse and Better Light.

Over more than ten years we at FLAAR technology institute have studied and tested scanning and digital photography technology. In addition to our own experience we have studied how the leading giclee ateliers in Europe accomplish their giclee scans. Although several brands of reprographic scanners have tried to copy the Cruse, the only brand and the only technology that we trust is that of Cruse and of Better Light.

Preparing Better Light equipment at Parrot Digigraphic site visit, flaar image archive

So you can spend months trying to learn what is the best way to scan your art work, but we can resolve this in seconds (based on our years of being in this field): Cruse or Better Light. So this raises the logical question: which is better and what are the differences?

Buy your own scanner?
Or have a scanner facility do the scanning for you?

In the long run, if you are a growing giclee atelier, you will need your own scanning system in-house. But you might first wish to test the equipment. One of the few places in the world where you can test-before-you-buy would be Parrot Digigraphic. They have both a Better Light scanning system and a Cruse scanning system installed. Plus they can show you a Hasselblad system and a Canon system (yes, entry level digitization (scanning) of paintings is possible with a digital camera, but this method is not optimal for reasons we explain in our many FLAAR Reports on giclee workflow).

FLAAR is also one of the few institutes in the world which had both also (we have a 21 megapixel Canon and a 21 megapixel (Phase One) on a Hasselblad camera with Zeiss lenses. So we (and Parrot) know the good features of each system and which aspects of one are better than the other (both are ideal for some applications, but each has pros and cons, as with any other equipment in the world).

You can send your paintings to Parrot and they can scan them (we don’t know the price because FLAAR does not provide scanning services ourselves except in our studio in Guatemala). So please do not write us to do scanning. The place to have this done is at Parrot (near Boston).


Here we show the Cruse and the Better Light in action

Cruse scannes working at Parrot Digigraphic giclee atelier headquarters


Site visit at Parrot Digigraphic, scanning fine art with Better Light, flaar image archive
Cruse scanner at Parrot Digigraphic, fine art giclee scanning ateliers, during Nicholas Hellmuth site visit
Inspecting prints of a scan made with Cruse scanner at Parrot Digigraphic headquarters
A composition of vegetables scanned with Better Light during site visit to Parrot Digigraphic, flaar image archive

Contact: Parrot Digigraphic, telephone 877 727-7682, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our experience with flatbed scanning, repro scanning

One reason we got into advanced digital photography was because of our background in archaeology, art history, and architectural history. Since the Maya civilization of Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, and Honduras produced remarkable works of art (see our, we wanted to be sure we learned which were the best digitization technologies.

So when we evaluate scanners, digital cameras and wide-format printers, we do this because we ourselves have an interest in these technologies.

This giclee web site most recently updated March 9, 2012.

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