Best Photo Scanners to Digitalize Prints

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 3, 2019
Got a mountain of old photo prints stuffed in your drawers, boxes and under the bed? Want to digitalize those precious memories to save them for ages? Then, a photo scanner is what you need. It can scan old photos with better contrast and enhanced clarity. Additionally, it can remove creases and scratches, making digital copies look like brand new. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
MAX SCAN SIZE
SCAN
OPTICAL RESOLUTION
COLOR DEPTH
TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA
CONNECTIVITY
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

You can scan either using a USB 3.0 connection or wirelessly (the product has a built-in Wi-Fi adaptor). The scan time is the same.

CONS

Curled photos might get jammed. 

OUR VERDICT

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner that is capable of scanning as fast as 1 photo per second (at 300 dpi mode). It's a great option for those who need to scan a huge number of photos and want to save time.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Roller, Desktop

MAX SCAN SIZE

8.5" x 11.7" 

A4 / Letter

SCAN

- Photo & Image
- Documents
- Postcards and Polaroid photos

OPTICAL RESOLUTION

600 dpi (up to 1200 dpi using a software algorithm to increase dpi)

COLOR DEPTH

30 bit 

TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA

None

CONNECTIVITY

Wi-Fi, USB 3.0

WEIGHT

8.2 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year limited

PROS

The unit is designed with the ultra-gentle roller that is made from special materials to protect your invaluable images from scratches.

CONS

No automatic color correction.

OUR VERDICT

For those sick and tired of slow flatbed scanning, the Plustek ePhoto Z300 offers a quicker way of scanning prints - just insert your photos one by one and in a matter of a couple of seconds you'll get their scans. The scanner features optical detection and doesn't require complex button operations.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Roller, Desktop

MAX SCAN SIZE

8.5" x 11.7" 

A4 / Letter

SCAN

- Photo & Image
- Documents
- Business Cards
- Receipts
- Stamps & Postcards

OPTICAL RESOLUTION

600 dpi

COLOR DEPTH

48 bit

TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA

None

CONNECTIVITY

USB 2.0

WEIGHT

3.26 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Thanks to DIGITAL ICE technology, the scanner will remove tears and creases from damaged photos, as well as dust and scratches from film.

CONS

This flatbed film scanner is quite bulky.

OUR VERDICT

This model is not the fastest in terms of photo scanning speed, but it's one of the most versatile products out there. It's a good choice if you need a reasonably-priced desktop scanner for a variety of different tasks. Not just for photo scanning. 

detailed parameters
TYPE

Flatbed, Desktop

MAX SCAN SIZE

8.5" x 11.7" 

A4 / Letter

SCAN

- Photo & Image
- Documents
- Business/Plastic cards
- Film & Slides
- Negative

OPTICAL RESOLUTION

12800 x 12800 dpi

COLOR DEPTH

48 bit

TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA

Built-in transparency unit: 8" x 10"

CONNECTIVITY

USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0)

WEIGHT

8.8 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

With this Doxie mini scanner, you can scan without a computer. And the smart software allows you to scan prints that are bigger in size than the scanner itself.

CONS

You can't enlarge the digitized image on the scanner's screen.

OUR VERDICT

The Doxie Flip cordless flatbed scanner is a win-win choice for people who need an extra-portable unit for scanning on-the-go. It's a lightweight and compact (about the size of a book) photo scanner with batteries and memory card, allowing you to scan anywhere and anything.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Flatbed, Portable

MAX SCAN SIZE

4" x 6"

SCAN

- Photo & Image
- Business/Plastic cards
- Scrapbooks
- Polaroids
- Stamps & Postcards

OPTICAL RESOLUTION

600 dpi

COLOR DEPTH

24 bit

TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA

None

CONNECTIVITY

Data transfer via SD card, Card Reader included

WEIGHT

1.26 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

It offers 4 settings (Automatic, Home, Office, Professional) allowing you to choose the optimal resolution for your needs.

CONS

It's rather loud. 

OUR VERDICT

The Epson Perfection V39 is a versatile performer that can make everyday scanning tasks easier than ever. It can process everything from images to documents, including thick books. The thing is that it's fitted with a removable lid that easily accommodates bulky items.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Flatbed, Portable

MAX SCAN SIZE

8.5" x 11.7" 

A4 / Letter

SCAN

- Photo & Image
- Documents
- Stamps & Postcards

OPTICAL RESOLUTION

4800 x 4800 dpi

COLOR DEPTH

48 bit

TRANSPARENCY SCAN AREA

None

CONNECTIVITY

USB 2.0

WEIGHT

3.4 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year limited

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

World’s Fastest

Want to scan your old photo collections and save time? Then you need a really fast photo scanner, like the Epson FastFoto FF-680W. This model is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner that's capable of scanning 1 photo per second (at 300 dpi mode). This is faster than any standard copy machine works and this alone is worth 5 stars.

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W flawlessly scans Polaroids, panoramic format (up to 36-inch long), and prints up to 8 x 10 inches. After scanning, the unit automatically adjusts photos (white balance and color), so you don't need to photoshop them afterward. What's notable is that the scanner comes with a carrier sheet for fragile images like tear prints and bent snaps. It is a handy feature, but to get the most out of it, beware of putting curled pictures on it without flattening them first as this might result in jams and failure of the scanner.

Besides photos, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W can scan receipts, tax records, wills and more. It also works as a document scanner, enabling you to scan Legal size sheets as well as folded A3s. For documents, the scanning speed of the device is 45 ppm if you scan only one side, and 90 ppm for duplex scanning. The FastFoto FF-680W is able to scan docs as editable PDFs, MS Word, and even Excel files.

Review of Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System

Improved to be the Best

This is the second generation of the Epson FastFoto that has ironed out the niggles that popped up in the first-generation scanner. One improvement over the previous model is a wide range of intelligent file organization tools provided to help you scan, restore, and share your photos. Another one is a Wi-Fi option allowing you to scan photos and docs wirelessly. Also worth mentioning is that this scanner works much quieter than its older brother and looks more reliable and high-quality overall.

Of course, all standard features like duplex-scanning and ability to upload high-res images to the cloud are preserved in this model. Thanks to Single-step technology, the scanner automatically scans both the image and the writing/printing on the back. After that, you can set it to upload photos and notes directly to the cloud.

To sum up, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a definite leader in the world of photo scanning. It's quick, quiet, and delivers high-quality results. Naturally, it's expensive but if it fits within your budget, it deserves your consideration.

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

PLUSTEK ePhoto Z300

Great Alternative

If you're looking for a scanner that would work faster than a ftatbed one, we recommend the Plustek ephoto Z300. This model features impressive performance. Compared to flatbed scanners that usually take 1-2 minutes to scan a single photo, this one needs just 2 seconds to scan a 4 x 6 photo, fast enough to easily process up to 3,000 photos in one afternoon. More importantly, it does not compromise on the quality of scans, so whether you're scanning docs, cards or your old photos, you'll be pleased with the results.

Now, let's run over the printing specs of the Plustek ephoto Z300. This scanner supports 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 photos as well as letter and A4 size paper. To scan the largest 8x10 size photo, it takes only 5 seconds, which is really fast. However, fast scanning speed isn't the only attraction here. Another prominent feature in this scanner is customized software that auto-deskews and auto-crops each photo so that you don't need to do that yourself. This software is straightforward, easy to set up, and cross-platform. It provides an array of useful editing tools using which you can adjust the sharpness, exposure, and contrast of the photos, and allows saving images in various formats such as JPEG, PDF, TIFF, and more. You also get an option to save your files on your cloud account or upload them straight to your Facebook profile, Instagram, FLICKR and such.

Review of PLUSTEK ePhoto Z300 Photo Scanner

Safe

Not all scanners can be used with old photos safely, especially if these photos are really old and fragile. However, with the ePhoto Z300 things are different. Fitted with a soft scanning roller and due to its single-sheet feeding design, you can rest assured knowing that your photos won't be ruined, peeled or jammed. Made with special materials, the roller glides smoothly over the surface of photos to prevent scratches.

The ePhoto Z300 also benefits from a high-quality CCD sensor, which ensures high level of reproduction for color images, features an optical detection, and can automatically spot paper size, crop blank area, and rotate the image, if so required.

To wrap things up, the Plustek ePhoto Z300 photo scanner is reasonably-priced, doesn't require complex operations and delivers fast scanning results and great quality. So, no matter whether you’re a family archivist or just want to chop down that pile of old photos and documents you keep in your desk, the ePhoto Z300 is what you need.

PLUSTEK ePhoto Z300 Photo Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Epson Perfection V600

So Versatile!

If you need a versatile flatbed scanner from a reputable brand, the Epson Perfection V600 is worth your attention. It doesn't matter whether you're going to scan photos, slides, film, documents or 3D objects, this model is up to the task. The size of its glass area allows for scanning A4 images and 3D objects (8.5" x 11.7") alike. With four quick-scan buttons on the front panel the model can quickly make digital copies and send them via e-mail or instantly convert to PDF. It also can wirelessly scan to smartphones or tablets (Android/iOS devices) via the Epson DocumentScan App.

This large flatbed scanner can be connected to a computer via USB 2.0 interface but it's worth noting that it's also compatible with the USB 3.0 for faster data transmission. The V600 is supported by most modern operating systems and comes with pre-installed TWAIN and WIA drivers to enable all the scanner-supportive applications to work with this device.

The product has an Epson MatrixCCD™ linear array with the max optical resolution of 12800 dpi. And the 48-bit color depth allows for reproducing colors with high precision, really close to being identical to the original quality. Parameters like these make it possible to scan photos for further editing and printing without any distortion. The scanning speed depends on the dpi you set. For example, to preview the page you will need to wait 4 seconds, and scanning of an A4 sheet at 300 dpi will take 28 seconds or less. Scanning of 4 x 6 photo at 400 dpi will take approximately 18 seconds.

Review of Epson Perfection V600 Flatbed Scanner

Extras

As mentioned, the Epson Perfection V600 high-resolution flatbed scanner is good not only for photos and prints. It works perfectly well with 35mm film and 6 x 22 cm medium-format film (there are 2 film holders), meaning you will be able to digitize old films from your collection. The DIGITAL ICE technology is the feature that surely adds many scores to this scanner. Though it might struggle with heavily damaged photos, it should help restore most of them. With advanced technologies used, the Epson Perfection V600 effectively removes dust and scratches from the film, delivering high-quality photos.

Another strength is the Color Restoration function that will automatically correct color levels on the digital copies of your old photos, saving you the trouble of processing them afterward. Also included is a special software to simplify your interaction with scanned images. Thanks to this software, you can quickly share your images via email, post them online, or just modify by changing their size or resolution. For greater productivity, the Epson Perfection V600 includes ABBYY FineReader Sprint that is able to recognize the printed text and convert it to formats appropriate for text-editing applications.

As you see, the capabilities of this scanner are numerous. So, even though it's not as fast in terms of scanning speed as some other entries on this list, for those who seek versatility, the Epson Perfection V600 will be a solid choice.
Epson Perfection V600 Flatbed Scanner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

I have experimented with many different scanning resolutions and found the same thing others did, that if you scan at very high resolutions like 9600 or above and save the files as TIFF, you get a huge file that is high res but does not have any advantages over JPEG.

Scanning

First, this unit does a superb job of scanning both slides and film, so that part worked out very well. At first, I scanned at 4800 dpi, but after a bit, realized that 3600 dpi was more than enough resolution for most pictures. People have said that the carrier is flimsy, but it wasn't a problem.

Features

I have since solved the issue of it crashing. Somehow the software set itself for compatibility to Windows Vista. I've switched it back to Windows 10 and it has been running smooth like it should be. Hope that might help some people.
 

Doxie Flip Cordless Flatbed

Super Portable

The Doxie Flip is a super-mini flatbed scanner designed for capturing your history and creativity. Being smaller than a book, it can scan photos, coins, albums, sketches, ticket stubs, scrapbooks, Polaroids, stamps, letters, portraits, postcards, pocket notebooks, and more. Its scanning surface amounts to the A6 format, so you will be able to fit 4x6 images there.

Made to be as compact and portable as possible, the Doxie Flip has no exact connectivity interface - the data here is saved on an SD card from which you can copy files to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Importantly, it comes with a card reader for connecting an SD card to your PC, so you won't need to buy it additionally. As for the power source, this mini scanner is powered by 4 AA batteries. The batteries hold the charge long enough for you to create approximately 200 copies.

The unit is straightforward and easy to use. To make scans, you simply need to remove the lid, place the scanner upside down on your photo, and watch the scanning process. With this portable flatbed scanner, you will be able to digitize images at the resolution of up to 600 dpi. This means you will receive clear and precise copies, good enough not only for uploading to the Internet but also for further printing. The scanning speed at 600 dpi resolution is 15-20 seconds, while the standard resolution (300 dpi) takes 7 seconds. The digitized document can be saved in JPEG, PDF, or PNG, depending on the data type it contains.
Review of Doxie Flip Cordless Flatbed Scanner

Additional Features

On the front panel of this cordless flatbed scanner, you will find a colored LED display and 5 navigation buttons. The buttons are intended to change the scanner settings, set the date and time, as well as adjust the turn-off time. In the upper part of the display, on the status bar, you will see the battery life indicator and the amount of copies left.The digitizing status is displayed there as well. On the side panel, there's the On/Off button, memory card slot, and Scan button. Such a layout is very convenient when you flip the unit for scanning.

Take note, though, you will need to install the Doxie software on your PC to edit images. The software will enable you to edit photos quickly and send scanned copies directly to the cloud storage. It's worth emphasizing that the unique AutoStitch Doxie feature can find several images that overlap and stitch them together to create one large seamless image. So, the small size of this portable flatbed scanner won't stop you from scanning large pictures. And the Intelligent Auto Adjust function will automatically recognize the image and crop it to the desired size. A win-win choice for people who need an extra-portable unit for scanning on-the-go.

Doxie Flip Cordless Flatbed Scanner in the use

VIDEO
Doxie Flip Portable Flatbed Scanner w/ Auto Stitch SD Card & Case with Meghan Murray
 

Epson Perfection V39

Amazing Clarity and Detail

The Epson Perfection V39 is a good flatbed scanner that deftly combines convenient design, reasonable price, sharp results, and good color reproduction. It's relatively lightweight to take with you and super easy to use wherever you are. It only requires USB power (no charging brick or extra AC adapter) and can be connected to your laptop whenever and wherever you need it.

Some might feel it's too slow, but we consider it works as expected for the price. Be ready that you won't be able to scan thousands of photos per evening, but the trade-off for that slow speed is exceptional quality. Featuring 4800 dpi optical resolution, the Epson V39 delivers high-quality scans. It offers 4 settings:

  • Automatic;
  • Home;
  • Office;
  • Professional.

The Automatic is the fastest setting with a limit of only 1200 dpi. On this setting, it will need approximately 50 seconds to scan a photo. So, once you get into a rhythm, 4 photos will take you a grand total of about 3.5 minutes. Naturally, if you choose the professional setting with 4800 dpi optical resolution, the speed will suffer even more. But that's the price you're willing to pay for clarity and detail.

Review of Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner

Convenient Design

At the size of a 13" laptop, the unit is quite compact and portable. It doesn't take up a lot of space on your desk and has a built-in kickstand allowing you to place it vertically if need be. On the front, it has easy-to-use buttons for various scan jobs. Positively, the scanner has a removable lid that easily accommodates bulky items and books. By the way, the unit scan documents and books much faster compared to prints. Just in 10 seconds.

In case you're planning to scan oversized prints and documents, you'll benefit from ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch bonus software. Also, the Epson Document Capture Pro and Easy Photo Scan software is included with the unit. It can help you restore color to faded photos, remove dust, and convert documents into editable text. Also, it enables scanning directly to emails, PDFs, as well as Facebook, Evernote, Google Drive, and other cloud services. From images to documents, this versatile performer can make everyday scanning tasks easier than ever.

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Photo Scanner?

Do you still store your old photos in shoe boxes, cabinets or somewhere in folders? A photo scanner can breathe a new life into your old prints. It's a very useful peripheral that can re-scan your precious memories, sort them, and renew using the sophisticated software. Photo scanners offer you a great way to preserve your invaluable memories for ages and share them with the ones you love.

Typically, photo scanners can digitalize not only photos but bills, receipts, application forms, cards, postcards, letters, etc. Most of them also allow you to scan documents up to A4 size and convert them into PDF file format. This way, a photo scanner can double as a useful addition to your workplace.

In this review, we've rounded up the best photo scanners for any need and budget. However, if, for some reason, you couldn't find the perfect one, you may want to look through our document scanners and portable scanners reviews.

What Features to Compare

Type

To date, the market offers two basic options of photo scanners - portable and desktop, so it's important you decide where you're going to use this scanner and how. In case you plan to scan a lot and do so for study purposes or work, etc., we recommend selecting from portable models. These are usually lightweight, compact, and can easily slide into your backpack. They also do not require power, which means you won't to be tied to outlets. The strength of portable scanners is that they can be charged via a USB port or simple batteries, making them perfect for business meetings, trips, and other on-to-go applications. The trade-off is, portable scanners don't always deliver as well as desktop models when it comes to scanning quality. If your concern is high quality, consider stationary models. Though bulkier in size, you can't beat them in terms of performance. Plus, they often offer the bells and whistles you won't find in portable models, making them suitable for a variety of scanning tasks.

The scanning speed is the next important parameter. While it might increase or drop should you opt for higher or lower picture resolution, something that remains unchanged is the principle of operation - some scanners are equipped with flatbeds, others are with rollers. Both of them have their own pros and cons, but if speed is what you want, we recommend choosing among roller models.

Scanning Options

In case you're going to use the scanner not only for photos, you should take a closer look at models that can scan letters, A4 paper sheets, and more. Basically, A4-sized document scanners also work flawlessly with smaller images like ID cards and postcards. As for the scanning quality, the optical resolution varies significantly from model to model. For example, the average quality of 600 dpi will be enough for basic photo jobs. But if you're going to magnify the scanned images and print them afterward, a higher resolution is required. The best models can scan in ultra-crisp 12,800 dpi.

Many photo scanners use CCD sensors that provide higher image quality, yet they are more expensive and need more time to start scanning. Models with CIS sensors are quicker at starting since they require no heat-up time. They are also cheaper and more compact, but the downside is, compared to the former, the image quality delivered is slightly worse.

Software

Just like any other type of scanners, photo-oriented models come with powerful software to help you manage your projects. Check what functional features are included to know what purposes and goals you'll be able to achieve using the software. It'd be nice if the scanner was capable of optimizing contrast and colors automatically so you wouldn't need to edit your scans yourself afterward. And it would be great if the software provided some additional tools for restoring damaged photos, and more. Some even include filters, a welcome addition for photographers.

Did you know?

The Predecessors

Unbelievably but people began to scan and reproduce images more than 150 years ago, using the pantelegraph. It was an early form of facsimile machine that could transmit the signal over usual telegraph lines. Created in the 1860s, it used electromagnets to reproduce images within an area of up to 150 x 100 mm. It could transmit drawings, handwriting, or signatures.

Later on, in 1913, another prototype, Belinograph, was invented. It could scan through ordinary phone lines. It consisted of a rotating drum and a photodetector (the standard speed of 60 or 120 rpm). It could send even color photos using a linear analog AM signal through standard telephone voice lines. But the colorful scans were used only for very special events due to high transmission costs.

The First Scanner

The first photo scanner intended for use with a computer was built in 1957 by Russell A. Kirsch. It was a drum scanner that captured image information with photomultiplier tubes. The first image ever scanned on it was a photograph of Kirsch's son, Walden. Since then, many new types of scanners were invented, and a total-body scanner is among them.

The First Total-body Scanner

EXPLORER is the world’s first medical scanner that is capable of capturing a 3D image of the whole body. It uses positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) and can scan an entire body at the same time. It captures radiation much more efficiently than other scanners and is a strong performer in tracking disease progression. What is notable, it scans up to 40 times faster than PET scanners and can deliver a diagnostic scan of the whole body in just 20 - 30 seconds. In addition, it uses up to 40 times less radiation than PET scanners, meaning it’s a perfect option for repeated studies of patients. It’s now installed in leased space in Sacramento. And the first research projects with the scanner are expected to start in June 2019.

Scanning Film Is Better Than Scanning Prints

Did you know that scanning film is better than scanning the actual picture? This is because the film has more color resolution and can give you better dynamic range. So, it’s better to scan old negatives (if you have) rather than prints, as they contain more contrast, luminance, and color.

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Publish Date: 2019-02-20 14:59:53