The digitization of both volumetric and flat objects is the nowadays-preferred method in order to preserve cultural heritage items. High quality digital files obtained from photographic plates, films and prints, paintings, drawings, gravures, fabrics and sculptures, allows not only for a wider diffusion and on line transmission, but also for the preservation of the original items from future handling. Early digitization procedures used scanners for flat opaque or translucent objects and camera only for volumetric or flat highly texturized materials. The technical obsolescence of the high-end scanners and the improvement achieved by professional cameras has result in a wide use of cameras with digital back to digitize any kind of cultural heritage item. Since the lens, the digital back, the software controlling the camera and the digital image processing provide a wide range of possibilities, there is necessary to standardize the methods used in the reproduction work leading to preserve as high as possible the original item properties. This work presents an overview about methods used for camera system characterization, as well as the best procedures in order to identify and counteract the effect of the lens residual aberrations, sensor aliasing, image illumination, color management and image optimization by means of parametric image processing. As a corollary, the work shows some examples of reproduction workflow applied to the digitization of valuable art pieces and glass plate photographic black and white negatives.