A scanner camera is a digital camera which uses no rectangular image sensor chip. Instead it uses a narrow long scan sensor bar with one row of light sensitive pixels on its surface for black&white scans or three rows instead for color scans, one pixel row for green, one for blue and one for red light. The professional scanner cameras belong to the modern repro cameras. The amateurs' scanner cameras are results of adventurous self-tinkering.

The principle of the camera is that the sensor bar is moved along the image plane by a stepper motor. During its travel its light sensitive surface is exactly in the image plane and faced towards the lens. The step movements are interrupted for the scan of each image pixel row. Thus the sensor bar's movement is comparable with the movement of the slit of a focal plane shutter of an analog camera. But the focal plane shutter opens just at fast speeds as slit whilst the sensor of a scanner camera might need more time for its travel.

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