Actual cameras have been used to create special memories long before camera phones were invented. The film in the camera had to be developed and then printed into pictures. Most homes will have these treasured memories in pictures lying somewhere in a shoebox or a cupboard, degrading.
Technology and the cloud have made storing and accessing memories easier without worrying about losing them in a fire or mixing them in boxes while moving. With the best scanner for photos, you can have your old family pictures and films digitized and stored safely on the cloud. In addition, if you are concerned about the damaged state of the photos, the best photo scanners are equipped to enhance old damaged pictures and restore them to their initial developed state.
With mobile photography improving and making it easy to capture moments on the go, there is still a need for pictures taken on film cameras. However, if you prefer to shoot on film or happen to have many old prints that need to be preserved, the best photo scanners will make your work easier for you. In addition, digitizing your photos makes it easy to send them to an online photo framing or printing service for canvases and prints.
Investing in technical devices needs a lot of caution in choosing items that will serve you and last you ages. For this reason, we have taken it upon ourselves to research and come up with a list of the best scanner for photos. In addition, we have included a guide on the factors you need to consider before buying.
What is the best scanner to scan old photos?
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What is A Photo Scanner?
A photo scanner or image scanner is a device used to scan images optically and convert them into digital images. Photo scanners are typically smaller than the normal general-purpose scanners. In addition, they have a high resolution counted in the form of dots per inch.
The best photo scanners offer a means for preserving old photos, prints and film. Rather than having pictures degrading and getting dusty in boxes and shelves, you can conveniently store them digitally. In addition, since we are always on screens, having digital copies of pictures makes it easy to access and relive your old memories.
Having understood what a photo scanner is, let us now look at the best scanner for photos available on the market.
1. Epson Perfection V600 Scanner
- Create extraordinary enlargements from film: 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargements up to 17 Inches x 22 Inches. Maximum Scan Area 8.5 x 11.7 inches. TPU 2.7 x 9.5 inches
- Remove the appearance of dust and scratches from film: Digital ICE for Film
- Remove the appearance of tears and creases from photos: Digital ICE for prints
- Restore faded color photos with one touch: Epson easy photo fix included
- Scan slides, negatives and medium format panoramic film: Built in transparency unit
The Epson Perfection V600 is one of the best photo scanners and for good reasons. This scanner is versatile and is perfect for prints and can also scan film. This alone makes it a go-to option for people looking to get the most out of their photo scanners. In addition, you can use it as a negative and document scanner.
The Epson perfection v600 flatbed scanner has advanced image correction enhancement(ICE) to remove traces of dust, tears, creases and scratches from your scanned images. This photo scanner gives incredible results for 35mm and medium format photos. Additionally, it utilizes OCR software to scan documents and editable text.
This photo scanner has large trays for photo slides, negatives and panoramic film. If you are looking for a budget-friendly photo scanner with a high resolution, the v6oo scanner from Epson is an excellent choice. In addition, it provides up to 6400 dpi scan resolution for film, ensuring that it captures all the details.
2. Plustek EPhoto Z300 Scanner
- The easiest way to scan photos and documents. Supports 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 in sizes photo scanning but also letter and A4 size paper. Optical Resolution is up to 600 dpi ( PS: two setting: 300dpi/ 600dpi).
- Fast and easy, 2 seconds for one 4x6 photo and 5 seconds for one 8x10 size photo@300dpi. You can easily convert about 1000 photos to digitize files in one afternoon and share with your family or friends.
- More efficient than a flatbed scanner. Just insert the photos one by one and then scan. This makes ePhoto much more efficient than a flatbed scanner.
- Powerful Image Enhancement functions included. Quickly enhance and restore old faded images with a click of the mouse.
- ePhoto Z300 works with both Mac and PC : Supports Windows 7/8/10/11 , Mac OS X 10.10 to 11.x. User can download the latest version on Plustek website.
The Plustek Ephoto is a fast and affordable budget photo scanner. It supports photos with sizes 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 inches. In addition, this photo scanner is easy to use and has only two optical scanning resolution settings of 300 dpi and 600 dpi.
The Plustek Ephoto z300 sheet feed scanner is primarily suitable for scanning photo prints. Although it is faster than a flatbed scanner, it lacks an automatic document feeder system meaning that you have to feed each photo one by one by hand. This can be quite slow, especially if you are scanning hundreds of pictures.
The scan quality of the Plustek Ephoto Z300 is quite low and not suitable if you are a professional photographer looking for high image resolution and quality scans. However, for household needs, 300dpi will be more than sufficient. In addition, this photo scanner has image enhancement features that make old degrading photos look as they did before.
3. Canon CanoScan Lide 300 Scanner
- Scan documents quickly and easily with fast scanning up to 10 seconds
- Digitize documents and images thanks to 2400 x 2400 dpi resolution, and with image enhancements, such as fade correction and dust reduction, your photos will continue to look great
- Enjoy ease of use with 4 'EZ' buttons. With auto scan mode, the Scanner automatically detects what you're scanning; Built in PDF button, easily scans and saves pdf's that are editable and searchable
If you are looking for an easy-to-use entry-level flatbed photo scanner, the Canon CanoScan Lide 300 is a reliable choice. It has a scan resolution of 2400 x 2400 dpi, which is very decent and applicable for homes and small offices. In addition, this scanner is fast and takes up to 10 seconds for each scan.
This photo scanner has image enhancement tools, such as dust and scratches reduction and fades correction if you have old and dusty prints. This feature ensures that the image quality is restored. In addition, the Canoscan Lide 300 is small and light to avoid taking up too much space on your desk.
The Canon CanoScan Lide 300 is easy to use, especially for a beginner. It comes with 4 'EZ' buttons, pdf, auto scan, send and copy. The auto scan mode immediately detects the material you want to scan, while the PDF mode scans and saves editable and searchable PDFs.
4. Epson FastFoto FF-680W
- World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner (1) — scan thousands of photos as fast as 1 photo per second at 300 dpi (2); batch-scan up to 36 photos at a time
- Preserve Your Priceless Photos — restore, organize, protect and share photos; scan Polaroid photos, panoramas, postcards and photos up to 8" x 10"
- Share Stories for Future Generations — use the Epson FastFoto app (3) to add voice and text over your photos or create slideshows, right from your smartphone
- Perfect Picture Imaging System — bring new life to old photos with auto enhancement, color restoration, red-eye reduction, de-skew, crop and rotate
- Single-step Technology — capture both the image and any handwritten notes on the back of a photo in a single scan
The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a sheet-fed scanner perfect for scanning multiple photos at a go. This photo scanner handles a batch scan of up to 36 photos while ensuring that no photos get torn, damaged, or creased. In addition, scanning individual photos is just as fast, with a speed of 1 second per photo.
Although it resembles a typical desktop scanner, the FF-680W has an automatic document feeder and a forward curving bottom tray to hold scanned documents and photos. In addition, this photo scanner supports USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, slow mode and double-feed detection.
The FastFoto software features an automatic image enhancement tool to reduce red-color, crop, rotate, de-skew and color restoration. Scanned images are stored in folders named by month, season, or year to allow for easy access. In addition, you can scan graphics, postcards, panorama and polaroids at 300 or 600 dpi and save them in either JPG or TIFF format.
5. Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600
- Optimized user experience: ScanSnap iX1600 features an intuitive 4.3inch touch screen for complete end to end scanning and data utilization
- Customize your preference: The scanner supports up to 30 customizable profiles; Customize the profile on the touch screen based on your scanning needs and personalize scanning icons using color, icons or letters
- Scan anywhere you want whenever you want: Wi-Fi compatibility allows you to directly connect to your smart devices or cloud services without a PC, and allows for flexible placement wherever its convenient
- Ideal for team sharing: One scanner supports up to 4 user licenses each allowing user profile and icon customizations. Operating Environment (temp) : 5 to 35 °C (41 to 95 °F).
- Stress-free usability for any users: Friendly user interface enables even the most technology challenged users to scan and complete their tasks with peace of mind
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600 features a user-friendly interface that is compatible with technologically challenged users. It has a touch screen to support data utilization and end-to-end screening. In addition, this photo scanner supports up to 4 licensed users with individually customized profiles and icons.
The ScanSnap iX1600 allows you to scan photos, receipts, postcards, and business cards in terms of versatility. In addition, this photo scanner supports up to 30 customizable settings, depending on your scan requirements. Furthermore, the Fujitsu scanner is Wi-Fi compatible, allowing you to connect to cloud services or your smart devices conveniently.
How Do You Scan Photos at Home?
Scanning old photos at home is easy and does not require the help of a professional. However, below are a few steps you should follow:
- Select the photos, negatives and slides you would like to scan in a session.
- Clean the old photos and the scanner bed to remove dust and any unwanted particles.
- Check to ensure that the scanner is set to “color,” even for black and whites photos.
- Make sure to review and select the resolution settings of your choice. Here you can customize the settings to your liking if your photo scanning device supports customization.
- Go ahead and scan your photo prints.
How Do You Choose the Best Scanner for Photos?
Choosing the best photo scanner will highly depend on your specific needs. However, since there are many scanners on the market, below are a few considerations worth making before choosing the best photo scanner for your needs.
1. Flatbed vs. Sheet Feed Scanner
The best photo scanners are available in either a flatbed or sheet-fed scanner design. A flatbed photo or document scanner has a lid that exposes a glass platen. When photo scanning, you will place your film or print on the glass platen to be scanned. In addition, glass platens are available in different sizes, so you want to make sure you get one that fits your needs.
A sheet feed photo or document scanner requires you to feed each photo individually for scanning. This is monotonous and tiresome, especially when scanning hundreds of photos. In addition, using a sheet feed risks causing damage to your original documents, even when they are in a protective sleep. However, the Epson FastFoto is an exception as it is designed to be gentle on prints.
Scanning photos require high resolution that varies according to the brand. Scan resolutions are given in dpi optical resolution (dots per inch) to ensure that even the smallest details have been accounted for. The best photo scanners will have 600 dpi or higher for prints.
A photo scanner with 300 dpi will not give sufficient quality, especially if you are a photographer seeking high-quality digital images. In addition, the format of scanned photos is good to keep in mind. The best photo scanners will support JPEG or TIFFY. However, TIFFY is the best format for photo scanning.
The time to complete one scan determines how long it will take you to scan many prints simultaneously. Therefore, high-speed photo scanners will save you a lot of time, especially if you use an automatic feeding system rather than feeding photos one by one. In addition, the best photo scanners will support batch scans, hence saving you extra time and effort.
The best photo scanners should be able to scan more than just prints. A photo scanner that can handle documents, prints, panorama films and polaroids is always better than one that scans prints only. In addition, versatile photo scanners will save you money and space rather than having a dedicated device for different uses. However, you want to check that the hardware or software in use does not jeopardize the scan quality.
Different scanners have varying photo scanning capabilities. Depending on the price, the features found in the best photo scanner will not be present in another. For example, some scanners will have digital ice technology to take care of dust and scratches on old and damaged photos. In addition, others will have better Wi-Fi connectivity for fast scanning.
Similarly, some scanners on the market will feature basic modes while others will have advanced modes. The difference between the two is that the basic mode will select the scan settings for you, while the advanced mode will let you customize the settings according to your scan preferences.
When purchasing an electronic device, the price is really important to consider. While sticking to a budget is acceptable, you also need to realize that cheap often reflects in the quality and expensive things do not always have the best performance.
For example, cheap photo scanners have low resolution and limited features. In addition, they might be slow and less durable. On the other hand, although pricey, investing in the best photo scanner will last you years of high-quality resolution and performance.
Since the best photo scanners are quite expensive, you want to have assurance that in case of anything, you can return it to the manufacturer for fixing. A long-term warranty is often a sign of a good product, while a short-term warranty could mean that you are on your own in case of anything. In addition, it is important to check what is covered by the warranty before buying.