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What Are Digital Copiers and How Do They Work?

What are digital copiers and how do they work? We explain the answers here along with our top digital copier product recommendations.

Xerox released the first modern photocopier all the way back in 1959.

Technology has come a long way since then. Today, digital copiers offer speed and accuracy that they could only dream of back in those days.

What are digital copiers, exactly? How do they differ from the traditional photocopiers that came before them?

Read on to learn more.

What Is a Digital Copier?

A digital copier differs from an analog copier in that the physical image is captured digitally, rather than projected directly onto the drum of the copier. A digital copier stores the image and produces the copy from this digital image.

In an analog copier, the image reflects onto a drum that becomes electrically charged. This drum effectively holds an image of the document in electrical charge. This charge then attracts the particles of toner onto the paper, which fuse to the sheet, creating the copy.

How Does a Digital Copier Work?

A digital copier works very much like a scanner combined with a printer.

First, the image to be copied is digitally scanned. Light is shone onto the document, and the reflected light is captured by a sensor which translates this into a digital image. It’s similar to how the sensor in a digital camera translates the light it receives into an image.

Once the image has been captured, it is then printed out to create your copy. This is usually done by using a laser to apply a charge to the printing drum, in the same way, that laser printing works. In effect, the laser is using the digital image to create the image on the drum, instead of it being directly reflected onto the drum as with analog copiers.

Benefits of Digital Copiers

Why would a digital copier be better? There are a number of benefits.


Quality is one of the biggest benefits of digital copiers.

Since the copy is made from a high-quality digital image, the quality of the copy is usually far higher than an analog printer. By using a laser to copy the digital image onto the drum, you end up with a far more accurate copy.


Analog printers are usually much larger than digital printers. This is due to the additional parts required to transfer the image directly to the drum.


Although digital copiers can cost more upfront, they have fewer moving parts so they offer a much longer lifespan. That means that a digital copier will usually work out cheaper over its lifetime.


Since digital copiers create a digital image, they offer far more features. You can send documents via email or fax, use the copier as a scanner, or even print directly from an image file. Analog copiers usually do only one thing: make copies.

Are You Looking for Digital Copiers?

If you’re looking for digital copiers for your business, then we’re here to help.

We provide a completely free service to help businesses across the US find great prices on digital copiers and other high-quality office copy machines. We understand that getting quotes from different businesses can be a time-consuming process, so we offer a one-stop solution to help you get quotes from local suppliers within minutes.

Compare prices today and get a free commercial copier buyer’s guide along with your competitive quotes.

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