The Project Gutenberg FAQ - S-11

S.11. Can I use a digital camera in place of a scanner?

Digital cameras are getting better resolution all the time, and some volunteers have experimented with making a kind of home-made planetary scanner from a digital camera and a stand. So far, the results don't quite match a dedicated scanner, but as digital cameras improve, this may become a common option. One problem, which planetary scanners use specialized software to correct, is that the natural curve of the pages near the middle of the book tends to give a foreshortened aspect to the letters there, which can cause problems for OCR software, like guttering.

Whatever the current problems, the prospect of using digital cameras is exciting, because it will mean that non-typists will be able to produce old books borrowed from libraries without worrying about scan quality vs. damage to the spine.