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Photocopy vs. Photostat: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 5, 2024
Photocopy refers to a duplicate made using a photocopier, while a photostat is an outdated duplicating process using a Photostat machine.

Key Differences

A photocopy is created using a photocopier, a modern machine that uses light, lenses, and toner to create duplicates of documents or images. Photocopiers are widespread in offices and commercial copying centers. In contrast, a photostat is a type of copy produced by a Photostat machine, an early duplication device invented in the early 20th century. It produced a negative photograph of a document on roll film, which was then used to make a positive copy.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
The term "photocopy" is commonly used today and is synonymous with making duplicates of documents or images using a contemporary photocopier. "Photostat", on the other hand is now an archaic term, primarily referencing the historical method of copying documents using the specific Photostat machine. This process is largely obsolete.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
Photocopies offer high-quality, accurate reproductions, with modern photocopiers capable of producing color copies, enlargements, and reductions. Photostats, in contrast, often had lower quality, were generally black and white, and were limited in terms of size and scale of reproduction.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
Photocopiers are easily accessible in many settings, and photocopying is a quick process, allowing for rapid duplication of multiple copies. While, photostat machines were less common, used mainly in specific professional contexts, and the process was slower and more cumbersome compared to modern photocopying.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
Photocopying technology has evolved significantly, with modern machines incorporating digital technology, network connectivity, and multifunction capabilities (printing, scanning, etc.). The Photostat process has been entirely replaced by more advanced technologies like digital scanning and photocopying, and it holds relevance primarily in historical contexts.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Technology

Uses light, lenses, and toner
Used a photographic process
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Usage

Common and contemporary
Historical and obsolete
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Quality

High-quality, color options available
Generally lower quality, black and white
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Accessibility and Speed

Widely available, fast
Limited availability, slower
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Evolution and Relevance

Continuously evolving, highly relevant
No longer used, of historical interest only
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024
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Photocopy and Photostat Definitions

Photocopy

A duplicate of a document made using a photocopier.
I need a photocopy of your ID for our records.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Photostat

A historical term for a type of photographic copy.
The museum's exhibit includes photostats of early 20th-century newspapers.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

The act of reproducing a document using a photocopier.
Could you photocopy these reports for the meeting?
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Photostat

A black and white copy produced by a Photostat machine.
We found an old photostat of the building's original blueprint.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

A process involving the use of light to replicate documents.
The office assistant spent the morning photocopying invoices.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Photostat

An early form of photocopy using a photographic process.
The archive contains photostats of original historical documents.
Huma Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

A machine-based method of copying textual or graphic material.
We have a new photocopy machine that also scans and prints.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Photostat

A dated method of document reproduction, now mostly obsolete.
My grandfather's office still has a functioning Photostat machine.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

A paper copy created from a digital or physical original.
The teacher handed out photocopies of the study guide to the class.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Photostat

The process of duplicating documents using a Photostat machine.
Before modern copiers, we used to photostat important letters.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

To make a photographic reproduction of (printed or graphic material), especially by xerography.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

A photographic device for making positive or negative copies of graphic matter.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A photographic or xerographic reproduction.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

A copy made with such a device.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A copy made using a photocopier.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

(dated) A photocopy, especially one made by a Photostat machine.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

To make a copy using a photocopier.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

A photocopy made using a photocopier.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A photographic copy of written or printed or graphic work
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

Positive (black on white) or negative (white on black) reproduction of printed matter or artwork made on a photostat machine, which uses photographic paper instead of a transparent negative, and uses a prism to render the paper negative readable instead of reversed.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

Reproduce by xerography
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

(transitive) To make such a photocopy of.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

A photocopy made on a Photostat machine
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

A duplicating machine that makes quick positive or negative copies directly on the surface of prepared paper
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

Photostat

Make a copy by means of a Photostat device
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

FAQs

Can photocopies be in color?

Yes, modern photocopiers can produce color copies.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

Is photostat still used today?

No, photostat is largely obsolete and has been replaced by modern photocopying.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

How does a photocopier work?

A photocopier uses light, lenses, and toner to create a duplicate of a document.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Were photostats in color?

No, photostats were typically black and white.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

What is a photostat?

A photostat is an outdated type of copy made using a Photostat machine.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

What kind of paper is used for photocopies?

Standard office paper is typically used for photocopies.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Can photocopies be enlarged or reduced?

Yes, modern photocopiers can enlarge or reduce the size of the copies.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

What is a photocopy?

A photocopy is a duplicate of a document made using a photocopier.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Were special papers needed for photostats?

Photostats required specific photographic paper for the process.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Can photocopiers do more than just copy?

Yes, many modern photocopiers also print, scan, and fax.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

Did the photostat process take longer?

Yes, creating a photostat was a slower process compared to modern photocopying.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Were photostats used for any specific purposes?

Photostats were often used for legal and archival purposes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

What has replaced the photostat in modern times?

Digital scanning and photocopying technologies have replaced the photostat.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

Is photocopying faster than photostatting?

Yes, photocopying is generally faster than the photostat process.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Was the photostat machine large?

Yes, Photostat machines were generally large and bulky.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Can photocopies be digitally stored?

Yes, many photocopiers can digitize documents for electronic storage.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Is there a difference in the quality of photocopies and photostats?

Yes, photocopies generally have higher quality and resolution compared to photostats.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Can photocopies be made from digital files?

Yes, modern photocopiers can print copies from digital files.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

How long does a photocopy take?

A photocopy can be made in a matter of seconds.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Are photocopies more accessible than photostats?

Yes, photocopiers are more widely available and accessible than Photostat machines were.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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