If you want to digitize and display your collection on the web, post in forums or want to sell stamps on ebay then you need to get a good representation of your philatelic item as a digital file. You need to weigh up how much you have to spend versus how much time you are going to spend scanning.
A flatbed scanner is the best option for scanning stamps and you probably won’t need a transparency hood unless you have negatives or slides to scan in.
If you buy a really cheap scanner and spend hours producing poor scans then that’s not ideal – spend a bit more to make your time more worthwhile producing better quality scans which you won’t have to redo in the future.
Epson Perfection V750 PRO
This is the scanner I use for this website which, for most people is probably a too high specification for your needs – it can scan reflective material as well as transparencies and negatives to a very high standard. Priced at around the £500 mark, this is a great Pro Am option and a very good quality scanner.
My Epson Perfection V750 PRO scanner was supplied with Silverfast software which is very good for colour matching and detail. I upgraded my Mac OSX software and suddenly Silverfast needed to be upgraded as it stopped working – that’s where it became expensive as the upgrade alone was 125 euros. At this point I tried the Epson Scan software which was supplied and free. The results weren’t bad at all and the scans were pleasing to the eye. Probably the best option is VueScan as it’s easy for beginners and professionals alike. You can buy it from $40-$80 for the Standard or Professional respectively.