There really aren't that many controversies of any serious nature that stir up the genealogical world (with the exception of the same one or two that get revisited every year). I've noticed, however, that there is one topic of conversation that tends to get people a bit heated. That is the preference for capturing digital copies of items either by a camera or by a scanner.
Now, let me say right at the start that I am a firm believer in calling ahead to a library or archive and asking them what their policy is. Regardless of your technological preference, following the repository rules is key.
But what if you have a choice? What if the archives says you can use either? Then which do you select?
I'm going to use deeds books as an example for this particular discussion. You know deed books, those big, awkward to hold and photocopy books? My preference is to use a wand scanner to capture the images of the page. The reason for that is the wand scanner lies flat on the book and curves with the large awkward curve of the book to give a nice flat, curve-less image when finished.
Cameras on the other hand, will capture all the text but also capture the curve. The result is that your line of text is not straight as with the scanner. In a low light situation that can make your photographs blurrier and more awkward than what is already created with the curve.
Mind you, many deed books are modern copies of original or older deed books. For this reason I have no problem with using a wand scanner. However, if this were an original document I wouldn't dream of using a hand scanner. In that case, I would use a Flip Pal, flatbed scanner or digital camera (digital camera being the easiest to transport to an archive followed closely by the Flip Pal).
It's not so easy picking your digital capture device is it? There are so many factors to take into consideration. The preservation of the documents being first and foremost and our digital capture preference next in line.
I've gotten into some serious "going no-where" discussions with folks who insist that using the camera is always better than using a wand scanner. Clearly I think the wand scanner has its time and place.
What about you? Which camp do you fall into and why?