Digitizing your photo collection has to be one of the latest trends and more of a necessity these days. To keep the memorable photos safe and intact, a photo scanner comes in handy. A photo scanner helps to create a backup of your photos in case something terrible happens to your original copies.
Photo scanners serve to be a great preservation tool to scan images from an archive. This photo scanning machine is being offered by a lot of manufacturers but getting your hands on the right one depends on the user’s needs.
An everyday user might simply want to scan photos in order to post them on social media, while a professional photographer or archivist would require a photo scanner with extra options that can help them get into the details of the photo.
A modern photo scanner allows you to keep your precious photo collection preserved for years and years. Keeping the valuable photos safe forever allows one to find them easily, send, and share the memories with friends and family.
Top 10 Best Scanners for Old Photos
In the following article, we have listed a bunch of best photo scanners that can be used by both home and professional users. Along with that, we have listed some of the essential qualities to look for in a good photo scanner, and some frequently asked questions to help you pick out the best photo scanner!
1. Epson FastFoto FF-680W
- World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner (1) — scan thousands...
- Preserve Your Priceless Photos — Safe Touch Technology for...
- Second-Generation Epson Fast-food Software — Scan, Restore,...
- Flexible Scanning — offers modes for easy sharing (300 dpi),...
Epson FastFoto FF-680W wireless high-speed photo scanner is one of the best picks when it comes to buying a scanner specifically for old photos. It is also one of the best options available in the market today. This scanner is built in a way to please customers with its fast and user-friendly scanning options.
This scanner is capable of running new photographs, old photographs, and also polaroids through its pull-through feature. What’s amazing about this scanner is that it can recover damaged documents via the smart software integrated in this machine.
Epson FastFoto FF-680W is super-fast and offers users to simplify their workflow and systemize various processes with the aid of an auto document feeder and auto cloud backups. This scanner is capable of scanning 1 photo per second at 300 dpi.
This scanner offers versatile connectivity which includes both USB and Wireless options. The outstanding picture imaging system brings new life to old photos with the features of auto enhancement, red-eye reduction, and color restoration. Moreover, features of crop and rotate also come in handy while scanning the images.
2. Fujitsu PA03656-B005 Image Scanner ScanSnap iX500
Fujitsu PA03656-B005 is one of the best scanners and delivers great performance at this price range. Although the scanner is quite pricey, it definitely does justice to the quality and quantity of features offered by the scanner. It allows to scan multiple photos at a time which makes this scanner highly suitable for large offices and firms.
The scanner generates a password and digital ID each time to keep the personal information safe and secure. The scanner itself is highly fast and speedy as compared to other scanners in its league. The machine also has a built-in ground-breaking processing engine which helps the user to control the scanner through the mobile app.
Fujitsu PA03656-B005 allows its users to achieve organization. With a touch of a single button, the scanner offers a bunch of productive features that keep the user highly organized and managed. The ScanSnap iX500 helps the user at each step of the scanning process. It allows the users to access their documents at any place and at any time.
3. Plustek EPhoto Z300
- The easiest way to scan photos and documents. Supports 3x5, 4x6,...
- Fast and easy, 2 seconds for one 4x6 photo and 5 seconds for one...
- More efficient than a flatbed scanner. Just insert the photos one...
- Powerful Image Enhancement functions included. Quickly enhance...
Plustek EPhoto Z300 is a perfect choice for those who like entry-level user experience and a sturdy design. The scanner generates decent quality images despite being super-fast. It can scan 8×10 photos along with A4 size paper. EPhoto Z300 has a pull-through scanner, which is more competent related to a flatbed scanner.
Additionally, this Plustek photo scanner is much more compact, so it fits anywhere perfectly. It comes with image correcting software intended to reduce possible harm to old photos. Moreover, this scanner offers an optical resolution of up to 600 dpi.
This device comes with remarkable image editing options, which permit the user to improve their photo quality. Also, the scanner allows you to save your documents or share them via Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.
Plustek EPhoto Z300 can proficiently convert about 1000 photos to digitize files in a short span of time and share it with friends and family. It does not require a lot of effort, just insert the photos one at a time and then scan quickly.
This scanner also comes with powerful image enhancement functions that improve and restore old faded images in an instance.
4. Epson Perfection V800
- Precise color and detail - get extraordinary scans with 6400 dpi...
- Remarkable tonal range - 4.0 Dmax for smooth gradations & fine...
- Exclusive Dual Lens System - selects from 2 lenses for optimum...
- Operating Systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows...
Epson Perfection V800 is a great option for people in the field of professional photography. This is a flatbed scanner that offers a ground-breaking dual-lens system to ensure the high-quality resolution. Undoubtedly, this scanner delivers stellar performance and awesome results.
This scanner is equipped with multiple features. It boasts Digital ICE® Technology that aids in removing tiny particles of dust and scratches from the photos automatically. Though this device is on the pricey side, it does justice to every single cent spent on it.
Epson Perfection V800 is suitable for both professional and home users. It helps to efficiently convert film and images into high-quality media. Along with it, the scanner features a batch scanning option for slides as well as film strip holders.
This scanner remarkably generates A1 scanning results due to the precise color and details. The scanner offers extraordinary scans with 6400 dpi resolution. It has a grayscale bit depth of 16 bit per pixel which is quite sufficient for high-quality scanning results.
5. Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner OS 1180
- ✔WE SCAN SIZES - A3 11.69""x 17" Large Format Scanning
- ✔NO MORE WAITING - LED Light Source, Save Energy, No Warm Up
- ✔HASSLE-FREE OPERATION - Pre Set Function One-Touch Button for...
- ✔POWERFUL SOFTWARE BUNDLE - Enhanced OCR Accuracy with ABBYY...
Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner is an A3 tabloid sized scanner that offers users to get high-quality scans of pictures, documents, scrapbooks, and much more. The scanner comes with a one- touch button that allows to control the scanner proficiently.
This scanner is pretty lightweight and portable. It fits perfectly even in a small desktop place. The LED light of the scanner is quite durable and doesn’t change its color frequently even when the scanner is on.
Plustek A3 Flatbed Scanner allows users to send scans to printers, folders, or emails easily. It also allows users to scan files directly to various apps. Along with the great features, a downside to this scanner is its disturbing noise which might not be an issue to some people but can be distracting at times.
This scanner delivers output beyond the expectations. The scanner does large format scanning. It uses less energy and does not warm up which makes it greatly environmental friendly and economical. The scanner offers 48 bit color and 16 bit grayscale depth which is amazing to scan art and historical documents.
6. Epson Expression 12000XL-PH Flatbed Scanner
- Professional large-format scanning — accommodates reflective...
- Extraordinary image quality — 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution, micro...
- Enhanced color with the colorful II imaging system — combines...
- One-touch color restoration — Epson’s exclusive easy photo...
Epson Expression 12000XL-PH is specifically designed for professional use. It houses a powerful Transparency Unit that helps you to scan slides as well as negatives. This scanner is universal and also supports batch scanning and large format scanning.
The scanner offers pitch perfect color accuracy due to the ground breaking ColorTRUE II imaging system. This feature is a combination of quick warm up LED lamp and high class processing which takes this scanner to whole another level when it comes to generating output.
Epson Expression 12000XL-PH is a high performance industry machine which is highly suitable for professionals such as photographers rather than day to day home tasks. This scanner is a great choice for those who work with slides, film, transparencies, and large-format images.
This scanner offers an extraordinary image quality of 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution. It has a micro step drive technology that ensures excellent clarity and well detailed picture. The scanner also features Epson MatrixCCD technology that brings out bold and vibrant scans.
7. Epson WorkForce ES-400
- Get organized in a snap scan upto 35 ppm/70 ipm (1); Single Step...
- Easily scan stacks of paper robust 50 page Auto Document Feeder;...
- Powerful software included easy scanning with intuitive Epson...
- Compatible with most software the included TWAIN driver allows...
Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a high end document scanner that is surprisingly affordable too. The scanner is powerful and compact and also has a small footprint that allows the machine to fit easily on any congested desktop.
This scanner has a 30 bit internal color depth that brings out the most accurate and vibrant colors. The scanner is also equipped with Epson Image Processing Technology that ensures auto image enhancement along with smart color and image editing.
The scanner also allows users to crop an image, change the background, and also a blank page. This user-oriented device is extremely easy to set up and launch. The scanner also offers a Single Step Technology that captures both sides of the page in one pass.
Epson WorkForce ES-400 houses a powerful software that includes easy scanning because of the ScanSmart Software. This technology allows email, upload, automate file naming, and save time in object recognition.
All in all, Epson WorkForce ES-400 is a great scanner for both professiobal and personal use. The only con of this photo scanner is the paper output tray that may look a bit fragile.
8. Brother DS-620 Color Page Scanner
- Fast Scan Speeds up to 8ppm in color and black/white
- Compact and lightweight measures under 12 inches in length and...
- USB Powered included; No wall outlet required. Operating...
- The drivers and utilities on the CD ROM/ DVD ROM for Windows 8 or...
Brother DS-620 has a sleek innovative design and is ideal for those who can’t afford large space to set up a scanner. This scanner measures 12 inches in length and weighs under 1 pound, yet houses a pretty strong and authoritative software which makes this scanner run effortlessly.
Those people who love mobility and are looking for a small-sized scanner, this one is the best option to get your hands on. This scanner makes scanning photos, invoices, ID cards, business cards, historical documents, and other office paperwork extremely easy and proficient.
With the help of this device, delivering scanned documents to various locations becomes very easy which aids in organizing the images at one place. The software of this scanner can be installed on Linux, Windows, and Mac. This scanner allows you to save or scan files to a particular folder, email, FTP, or printer.
The only downside to this powerhouse is that it is not compatible with Windows. This scanner does not heat up and works like a breeze. It is great for any small office and in-house work.
9. Vupoint Solutions Magic Wand PDSDK-ST470-VP
- Easily Scan, archive and organize file
- Save files onto a microSD/microSDHC memory card up to 32GB
- Approximately 1.5-inch class color LCD panel to preview scans
- Uses rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery
Vupoint Solutions Magic Wand PDSDK-ST470-VP can serve as a universal option due to its combination of portable wand scanner and a manual-feed scanner with the dock. This scanner supports large format scanning with a scanning area of 8.5 x 125″.
The scanner features a 1.5 inch color screen which allows users to preview images and zoom them beforehand to see the quality of the scanned image. This feature makes this scanner stand out in its league of competitive scanners.
Vupoint Solutions Magic Wand PDSDK-ST470-VP is easy to use and very lightweight which makes this machine easily portable. The only downside to this brilliant product is that it lacks a memory card. Memory cards are essential in any scanner and must be checked before buying a scanner.
This scanner has an extraordinary 1200 dpi resolution and uses a rechargeable lithium polymer battery which is quite a great feature when it comes to buying a scanner specifically for old photos.
10. Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner
- Enjoy high speed scanning in as fast as 8 seconds, with the...
- Preserve detailed photos and images thanks to 4800 x 4800 dpi...
- Enjoy ease of use with 'EZ' Buttons. With auto scan mode, the...
- Paper size: 8.27 x 11.69, 8.50 x 11.69
Canon CanoScan Lide is an affordable option for scanning old photos. This scanner houses a bunch of great features despite its low price which makes it stand in our top 10 list of best scanners. Although this scanner is designed for light home tasks, it is super-fast and scans up to a maximum resolution of 4800 dpi. Furthermore, this scanner works with documents including the letter size.
This scanner by Canon offers super-fast 8 seconds scanning and surprisingly generates high-class results. The scanner enhances the photos with color restore dust removal options. Due to its compact and sleek size, this scanner is great for small desktops also because it can stand vertically due to the given upright stands. The position of the scanner does not hinder the quality of its work.
In terms of connectivity, Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim can be connected to a computer through USB Type-C. The scanner features five physical buttons on the front. They include Auto Scan, Copy, Start, Finish, and Send. This makes the scanner quite modest and user-friendly.
Best Scanners for Old Photos Buyer’s Guide
Before buying a scanner specifically for old photos, be certain about your budget, your lifestyle, and the magnitude of usage. This will assist you in choosing the right scanner. To find the best scanner for scanning old photos, follow the given buying guide:
Modern scanners normally use either a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) or a CIS (Contact Image Sensor) image sensor. CIS is more in these days due to its cost-effective nature and is a beginner level scanner, user-friendly for everyone. CIS scanners are generally smaller, cost-effective, and consume low power than the other type of scanner. However, CIS scanners don’t generate the highest quality images as compared to CCD scanners.
The resolution figure denotes the number of pixels a scanner can capture and is perhaps measured in dots per inch (dpi). Higher resolution scanners are proficient of capturing extra information from a particular image than lower resolution scanners. They provide higher detail and image quality. High resolution scanners are also skillful of generating brilliant images at resolution settings below their concentrated resolution.
The color or bit depth denotes the amount of information a scanner is able to record per pixel. The more the bit depth, the higher color gradations that particular scanner can scan and hence generate a higher quality image. Although the results are high-quality, the file size is also larger because more information is stored per pixel.
Dynamic range means optical density (OD) or density range. It is a degree of the scanner’s capacity to record diverse tones in an image. Dynamic range is dignified on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 4 (0.0 signifies textbook white, while 4.0 signifies pitch black).
The dynamic range is basically the variance between the shadiest and brightest optical density that the scanner can apprehend. The higher the difference, the greater the dynamic range can be, and the enhanced the image quality the scanner can bid.
The prominence of the speed of a scanner hinges on how frequent you plan on utilizing it. The speed may not be a problem if a scanner is barely used once or twice a day, which is usually the case with most home/personal usage. Of course, things can be completely changed for those who are regularly obtaining images or documents through the scanner.
This feature of the scanner is often overlooked by a lot of users. Customers don’t pay much heed on this aspect while buying a scanner. The bundled software primarily contains a driver program, color calibration software, image-editing software and optical recognition software (OCR). Most of the scanners do not come with the complete package of bundled software as mentioned.
Color calibration software
Color calibration software is very important in maintaining the authentic colors of the image during the processing. It means that what is seen on the monitor and generated through a printer are almost alike to the original colors.
Image-editing software, more frequently than not, offers you “lite” descriptions of image-editing programs. Fundamentally they can regulate brightness, contrast, color balance, and various image qualities. Expensive scanners at times offer full versions of image-editing software.
What does it mean to digitize a photo?
Digitizing a photo means transforming it into an electronic file. The file can then be saved on a computer drive or disc, shared with friends and family, posted on social media, and thus can be printed. Basically, digitizing a photo means to make copies of your photos without damaging the original copies. It also makes sharing easier.
Is it better to scan or photograph old photos?
The difference between scanning and photographing old photos is extremely large. The scanned photos are somewhat clear and precise in terms of quality whereas the photographed images aren’t. Also the smartphone method of scanning images is quite inn these days. However, it can never outshine the quality generated by the scanner machine method.
Will scanning an old photo damage it?
Yes, scanning an old photo damages it. You should try to scan the photos as few times as possible. It is due to the reason that every time a photo is scanned, it is exposed to a bright light. This light causes damage to the old photo which might not be visible at first with a naked eye. But it surely will show up when the photo is scanned. In actual terms, a scanner is just a fancy camera.
How do I digitize old photos on my smartphone?
Though the best way to digitize old photos is through a dedicated scanner with the appropriate settings. But sometimes when a scanner is not available, smartphones come in handy. Photo scanning apps and services offer an opportunity to scan photos. However, the quality of the scanned photos through a smartphone is not a tad bit similar to a dedicated scanner.
Can you scan and enlarge a photo?
Yes, a scanned photo can be enlarged for multiple purposes. If you want to print an enlarged photo and frame it for your room, you can do it through an image editing program. This type of program allows you to increase the image’s size without disturbing the pixels of the photo and maintain the same perspective intact.
All in all, before buying a scanner to scan old photos, photo scanning capabilities of the scanner must be analyzed. Above we have mentioned some of the best photo scanners on the market today. Each one is best in itself and offers you a variety of options.
There are various reasons why you would want to digitize your older photos. By using any one of the scanners mentioned on this page, you can make a backup of the photograph which saves a lot of anguish if something happens to the original copies.
These mentioned photo scanners are specifically built for use with photographs which means that they offer marvelously outstanding image resolutions and capture every tiny detail. These scanners offer a simple and candid approach of making your traditional photos into digital ones without muddling things.