The CZUR Lens Pro would be particularly handy around tax time to digitise the shoebox of receipts. But it is unlike any flatbed scanner you have used. It does lots more.
To get the price out of the way, it is US$79 inc shipping to Australia (about A$109). That is the lowest Indiegogo price, and it is shipping in December 2021. Don’t worry, it has reached its goal – 25886% of it – and it will ship. Otherwise, it will sell for US$199, and that may not be that attractive.
What can you use it for?
The CZUR Lens Pro software drives two main functions:
Flatbed scanner – 330DPI
Video 3D presenter – 4:3 2592 x 1944 (5MP) or 16:9 1920 x 1080 (2MP)
In addition, it is a
1080p 2MP video camera
And a LED task light
It appears to be a maximum 8MP (3268 x 2448) sensor in Camera mode.
Let’s start with the scanner first (A4 maximum)
Load the CZUR Lens 1.0 software for Windows or Mac.
It offers colour modes of:
Colour – preserves colour information without post-processing
B&W – mono printed documents on white paper (smallest file size)
Greyscale – preserves tone
Stamps – for stamped official documents and stamps – changes the background to white
Patterns – preserves watermarks, stamps and official document embossing
Non-filter – what you see is what you get
Combining both sides of a document in one scan
As a document scanner, 300-330DPI is standard and well above fax quality of 200DPI. The scan quality and lens focus are fixed.
Compare the various modes with an HP Officejet scanner – all at 330DPI
This is suitable for receipt and office document scanning. We also noticed that you have to be careful with the overhead LED when scanning glossy images. You may also have to reduce the room light.
However, you can post-process the image – contrast, sharpness, or thickness. Various batch commands can standardise colours, exposures, add watermarks etc.
You can also OCR for Word or Excel and product searchable PDF, PFDF or TIFF.
OCR is adequate but depends on the quality of the original text. If you have Arial or Times Roman 10 point and not too many images in a document and scan in B&W mode, it will convert each ‘block’ to a text block.
Rating: As a flatbed 330DPI scanner, the image quality is average, but the post-processing options are good – best for flat documents.
Next video presentation
You have to close the CZUR app and reopen it to get video presentation mode – after all, it is only V1.0.
Now you have a video camera (fixed focus, so be careful of 3D subjects) that records at 4:3 5MP 3869×2979 or 16:9 1920 x 1080 (although the software says 2MP 1600x 1200. Interestingly regardless of the setting, it records at about 6MB per minute commensurate with a 2MP video.
My initial thoughts were that this would be great as a teaching tool projecting 3D objects to a screen, but the depth of field is pretty low.
But the video records at 15 frames per second (fps), so you see quite a lag if you move your hand into the shot. There is also a microphone in the sensor head that records ambient sound.
As an FHD Webcam
There is one fundamental flaw – when the arm is folded down, the camera is approx 14cm off the desk. If you are sitting at desk height, you need to raise it to about 30cm to get your image in frame.
Video quality is 1080p@30fps or 1944@30fps. Still image quality is 1920 x 1080 16:9 or 8MP 3624 x 2448 4:3 format.
The f-stop aperture is relatively high, meaning it needs good light levels – around 400 lux office light.
As a task light
It casts about a 30cm light cone with 300 lux at the centre dropping to 100 lux at the edges. Considering a 104 keyboard is about 40cm, it is not suitable as a desk-sized task light.
CZUR camera app V1.0
The app is for Windows and Mac. The problem was that it would not resize for the Surface Pro 7 screen nor a 1920 x 1080 16:9 or a 3180 x 2160 16:9 screen. We managed to find that it allows the selection of MPEG up to 3624 x 2448, add watermarks and more, but the app was flawed, and we could not use it.
The CZUR Lens is a great idea, and that is why we agreed to review it. It is well-made and should be a winner.
But its image quality is only adequate for flat text, quality varies from top to bottom, and there is key stoning.
CZUR Lens Pro is not a fail, but you will get a far better scan on a flatbed scanner. Me, I think waiting for version 2 of the software is a must. At the Indiegogo price, it is not much of a gamble. But its not a good buy at US$199.