Microfilm and microfiches can be rapidly and economically converted to optical disk using a microform digitizing system. That is good news since many libraries hold microform of locally filmed newspapers and government documents which could be converted without copyright infringement. Typical of the automated microform digitizing systems we recently examined is one from Mekel Engineering. We saw two units.
The M400XL Roll Microfilm Digitizer will transfer entire reels of 16mm and 35mm microfilm, or selected frames, to a digital stoYage media. The M400XL scans the microfilm continuously using a high resolution 5000 pixel CCD linear array camera. The system is designed to detect the beginning and trailing edge of each new image, so blipped film is not required. However, if desired, the blip sensing feature can be used for detection of each image or high-speed search for individual images. The M400XL accepts negative or positive comic or cine mode, blipped or unblipped images at various reduction ratios, on 16mm or 35mm roll or cartridge film.
The M46OXL Microfiche Digitizer will scan all standard formats of 105mm cut microfiche or jackets using the same high resolution 5000 pixel linear array camera. It features automatic loading of stacks of fiche or individual fiche. It is possible to digitize the entire fiche or select individual images.
The M400XL and the M46OXL Digitizers offer selectable resolution at 100, 200, 300, or 400 dpi. The actual resolution is dependent upon the original document size, reduction ratio and orientation on the film (comic or cine) . Typically, 400 dpi can be achieved with a 24X image and 200 dpi on a 48X image. The scan time to digitize an image is less than one second at 200 dpi with a throughput of 0.55 megabytes per second, prior to compression. Actual compression and storage time is dependent upon the image processing boards and digital storage media. The data may be stored on optical digital disk, magnetic tape or disk, or transferred to a digital printing system.
Image enhancement is incorporated in both digitizers as a standard feature. With image enhancement, it is now possible to restore poor quality images while maintaining the throughput of 60 images per minute. Therefore, faded or low contrast documents, such as photostats and carbon copies, can be restored to clean, sharp, legible images.
Many different image compression and file types are supported including G42D, Fax G31D, Tiff, PCX, IBM, and others.
The price of each unit is approximately $72,000.
[Contact: Mekel Engineering, Inc., 777 S. Penarth Avenue, Diamond Bar, CA 91789-3072; (714) 594-5158; Fax (724) 594- 1216.]