Photo scanner

I need to get a photo scanner to very simply scan in a gazillion old photos we have around the house, in order to both archive them as well as try to touch some up in Photoshop. That’s all I really need - ability to scan photos into the computer maintaining high quality. Anything else is gravy.

Suggestions? Scanners to avoid?

I have a plain jane, pre-Civil War, good-luck-finding-drivers flatbed scanner that I got for like seven pesos after a mail-in rebate. It works like a charm on photos. I don’t like photo scanners because many of them pull the photo through the reader (rather than running the reader over the stationary image) and if you get some dust in there, it can scratch up your photos.

Spend like $30 on some closeout at Staples or Office Max and you’ll get something that does 1200x1200 dpi in 24 or 32-bit color. Scan them in at max resolution and you’ll have images of such size and quality that you’ll need 2 gigs of RAM to process them easily; in other words, they’re more than enough for simple photo archiving. :)

Well, this is one of the products where the price you pay translates very well into quality.
If you’re really serious then go with a high end Epson or Canon scanner. But since you’re not a pro photographer and don’t need to scan negatives I’d say go with a midrange canon, Epson or HP.
The Canonscan Lide 25 or 60 are both excellent at a fair price. The 60 is pretty fast, which matters if you have a lot of pictures to scan.

I have a Canon 4200F that works great for me.

Thought I’d resurrect an older thread to help me identify a good photo scanner.

I’m not a pro but I’m slowly building up my expertise, and would like a device that won’t limit quality. Much. My goal is to be able to support casual personal projects and professional projects alike, without spending much more than $300. My immediate need is to scan a large quantity of 4x6, 5x7 color prints (some very old, most only a few years old) and a large number of color 35mm negatives. I also have a quantity of bound documents I plan to deal with later on.

My eye is on the Epson Perfection V350 B11B185011 4800 x 4800dpi 48bit Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Interface Photo Scanner, which can be had from an online retailer for around $130 (or the Epson Perfection 4490 for $170). It looks like I’ll have to feed the negatives but will have the option of laying the prints down on the bed. Hopefully I also have the option of lay the negatives down on the bed, as I generally dislike feeders. My assumption is this device can output to pretty much any format and that the software is decent. I don’t have any experience with Epson or Canon devices (minus my camera) and only recall HP’s annoying software packages with my older 2175 all-in-one which still functions. Oh, and I’m on XP Pro.

Any opinions or recommendations?

Epson makes very good scanners and I remember this being reviewed well, so it’s a good choice.

I have a HP WiFi multifunction and no beef with the software, though.

Seems the Perfection V350 ($130) and Perfection 4490 ($170) are about a year old now. Both can do 4800 x 4800dpi. The Perfection V500 ($229) is a little newer and can do 6400 x 9600 dpi. Color depth is about the same. Leaning towards this later model despite the fact that it’s been out for such a short time, in the hopes that in addition to improved dpi the software might be more stable than the reviews for the older models seemed to indicate.

I just ordered a Canon 4400F, should be here Weds. I have been using an HP 4200C since about 1999, but over the last couple of years something seriously went wrong with the software. I reinstalled the software and updated the drivers, searched the web for clues, but it was bonked. Every scan job bogged my PC down to a dead stop. Took, 20 minutes and a reboot to do a scan.

HPs are workhorses. I can never complain about the hardware. The only time I ever had a problem with an HP was when I bought one used off an eBay auction for 20.00, and it was already beat up when I got it. Still managed to scan in a lot of images before it died a horrible death.

The multifunction Wifi unit I have now is excellent. 4800dpi with a “Scan” button that fires up the software on my PC and pushes the image to my hard drive zero interference.

The only quibble I have the HP these days is the massive amount of software they feel compelled to install. I don’t need any of the image manipulation or photo storage crap that they give me, but they complain that it’ll “destabilize” the system if I try to uninstall it. They aren’t kidding, either: If you push past their warnings, everything will still work, but be ready for the occasional BSOD.

If you’ve got slides or negatives to scan in, you may want to consider sniffing around eBay for a Nikon Coolscan. Even the ancient (read: 1996) units that go for under 50.00 will do you well. Sure, they’re not the fastest scanners around, but you can usually find one with an autofeeder that holds 50 slides, and just let it run. The only thing that you’ll need to worry about when scanning slides and negatives in is that older cameras (anything earlier than 1950, for example) will have been developed to film that will appear blurry when scanned in digitally. You can overcome this with some simple sharpening filters in Photoshop (some scanning software can do this for you automatically, as well).

All right, so I guess I decided to consolidate my early adoption habits to a single week and picked the Perfection V500 (that’s a Newegg link because the Epson links expire).

So far I’m in love with it and have had zero problems, but I haven’t even begun to put it through its paces. I need to discover issues right away so I can return it if I discover anything bad. So I’m starting my project early for this reason. Or at least, a representative portion of it which includes a bunch of color and b&w 35mm negatives as well as an assortment of prints and documents.

Can someone point me to a good online overview or tutorial on how to approach such a project? I do a lot of web stuff but this is still above my head. For instance, I’m not even sure what DPI to scan in for the important photos (I want maximum flexibility for future manipulation, but don’t plan to do anything specific with most of these images in the near term).

The book “Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Benchmarking for Preservation and Access” is probably the best resource, but since you specified online only, Cornell has a digitization tutorial at which is alright, though it lacks the details about why you might choose a particular format or quality level. If you just want a quick and dirty idea of what other people are doing, though, just google “digitization guidelines” and you’ll find more than you can shake a stick at.

These appear to be a couple of great resources, Udarnik. My Googling was failing me on Saturday but I’ll give it another (and longer) go. Thanks!