Frequently Asked Questions
Following is some general FAQ regarding imaging. If you have Imaging questions then contact us for an answer on the Contacts Page
Q: What do I need to do before
A: You can Microfilm or Scan all types of documents. Before any
conversion of media occurs you need to "Prepare" the documents.
Preparation is the straightening of documents, fixing of dog-ears
and removing staples or any patching up of documents before filming
Preparation is not always required and preparation times will vary with each run. Preparation also includes the separation of large documents
or removing of documents that will not be processed or will be filmed in different ways, for example plans may be 35mm filmed and correspondence will be 16mm filmed. Documents are normally counted during preparation. This allows for final image counts to be double checked.
Documents then may need to be sorted into batches. Batches could just be a folder or a bundle on invoices for a day or week or client.
Q: Isn't Microfilm old technology, why should I consider it?
A: Microfilm technology is stable and therefore considered "old hat";.
Microfilm has some distinct advantages over digital for that same reason.
The reasons include the following amongst others:
- Infinite flexibility from a common base
- Legality (1958/2008 Evidence Act)
- Cheapest form of storage media
- Space savings
With the introduction of digital reader/printers, information can be transferred from microfilm to a PC, fax or laser printer without incurring large costs.
Depending on the number of users that need to view an Image and the acceptable time in which that Image may be located will help decide whether Microfilm or Digital is a better choice. Other factors such as distance between sites or users will also influence any decision.
In general Microfilm performs better in archival, single use and low retrieval situations. However, Microfilm is a very quick way to process large quantities of documents and if prepared properly can out perform a digital solution in a short time scale.
An example is cheque processing. As microfilmers are generally faster than scanners, you could create a backup of your documents, process and check the film quicker than you could scan and check the same documents. The proviso is that only one person at a time could view this information, but as it is only for backup this may not be the main concern.
Q: Why is Scanning more expensive than microfilm?
A: Scanning is a little more expensive than microfilm for the following reasons.
- High Speed production scanners are much more expensive than microfilm cameras.
- Scanners are slower than microfilm cameras meaning you cannot get the same throughputs or more simply you can process more documents per hour via microfilm.
- Preparation of documents can be slower for scanning if you have to use document separators.
- Microfilm is quicker to check than a digital image as you can view many images at once. Digital images have to be checked one by one.
- Digital Images need indexing otherwise you won't be able to find anything. Microfilm tends to be sorted before filming so things just run in chronological order.
- Reworking digital images is slower than microfilm due to the checking component.
- Completded data has to be held on RAID/Tape/DVD backup and requires ongoing IT maintenance and computer hardware during the period where we hold a backup copy of the customer data. This is typically a year or sometimes more.