Planning on scanning your photo collection? Well, if it’s anywhere over a couple hundred of photographs, then buckle up because your in it for the long run. If you will not be using a professional photo scanning service, then the epicentre of scanning your photographs is your scanner – it may sound obvious but a lot of people forget! As your scanner is so central to the laborious task of digitising a collection of prints, some time needs to be taken over choosing the right one. Your all-in-one printer may not be up to the task. Below I will outline my favourite five scanners.
Epson V370 – £90
This is not the prettiest thing you will ever see, but it does the job, and it does it exceedingly well. The scanning resolution is great, and is at the same resolution as Epson’s V800 model which costs well over £500 more! Also, it will scan transparencies to a decent quality, and is easy to set them up. Just connect a tray type adaptor and you are ready to go. The only cons are its aesthetics and scanning speed; it takes 37 seconds to scan an A4 size picture at 600dpi, which is quite a long time, especially if you have over a dozen photos to scan.
This is a fab little scanner and is well worth the money, the scans are great and its ability to scan slides and negatives can come in very handy.
Epson v550 – £200
Similar to the Epson V370, as outlined above, but it has a sleeker design that would suit an office environment far better. Again, the scans are very high quality for the price and you can scan transparencies. A big plus with this version is that you have the Digital ICE feature. This is built into the scanner for removing dust and blemishes on the slide digitally. What it does, is scan the transparency with infra-red light, which shows up the dust, allowing the software to remove the dust from the digital image – clever eh? Sadly, it does not come with an editing program and is cumbersome for documents.
A great scanner too, although it is over twice the price of the V370. It is worth getting if you will be doing many transparencies because the Digital ICE technology can make some huge improvements.
Canon LiDLE Canoscan– £64
Another scanner that packs great scan quality for the price. This scanner doesn’t feature any transparency scanning capabilities, though this is reflected in the price. The software is very limited but as a simple scanner it is simple and well worth a look.
Aimed at those who want to scan just photos, and save money on not having the transparency capability.
Epson V 800 – £550
This scanner is similar to its cheaper V550 cousin but comes with a higher quality scan due to better depth reception in the colours of images, although it does have the same maximum quality for scanning. The software it comes with is worth the £550 in itself; SilverFast SE 8 is included and is used by many professional photo scanning services due to its streamlined scan processing and vast array of editing features. This also comes with Digital ICE and its ability to pick up better depth in colours comes into its own with slides and negatives because the quality is noticeably better than the cheaper V550 or V370.
Professional quality photo, slide and negative scanning quality and powerful software to match this top notch hardware.
Kodak PS50– £1100
This is what we use at Scan and Share, a professional photograph scanning service, because of its outstanding scanning quality and speed. It can scan up to 50 prints per minute at 300dpi, which, makes scanning 1000 photos very easy and with outstanding results. The capital on this machine is big for most, although its price might be justified if you do have thousands of photos, after all you could always sell it on eBay once you have finished with it.
The professionals’ choice of photo scanner, with superior speeds and quality, at a cost.
After six years of dealing with these machines, I can safely say theses are five scanners worth considering for your photo collection. I hope this article has aided you in your quest for a new scanner. Good luck!
About the author:
Freddie Brown owns Scan and Share, a scanning service focused on keeping old photos up to date in this digital age. He is from Warwickshire and loves to go on long walks with his dogs and camera, taking many hundreds of pictures along the way! You can connect with him on Google +.