Family archivists or photo buffs usually select a photo scanner for digitizing pictures and films. Common features of photo scanners include high resolution and the option to scan transparencies that includes negatives or slides.
Some of these come with dedicated software that helps in retouching scans or removing scratches. Although, these are specially built for photo scanning, some of them also come with added features such as optical character recognition.
There are photo scanners that help in editing photos and doing retouching that can help in enhancing the pictures or removing the scratches on them. Belonging to a niche segment, the market has limited number of options at the moment and most of these come with a long shelf life.
What is a photo scanner?
Photo scanners are a kind of optical scanners that are designed to scan photographs. They are comparatively smaller than the usual scanners but are much advanced in terms of resolution. Photo scanners are available in both sheet fed and flatbed forms that can scan images that are of the size of 3×5 inches or 4×6 photographs at 300 DPI. There are also advanced options that are on offer that have the capacity of scanning pictures with higher resolution and have the ability to scan both negatives and slides.
Features or Things Photo Scanners Do
Some important things & features that photo scanners are capable of doing have been discussed below:
On an average most of the scanners available are flatbed scanners. It is often recommended to avoid using shed-feed document scanners to scan photos as they are at the risk of damaging the original photos.
Pricing & their relevance
The market presents a wide variety of photo scanners that are available with different specs and varied prices. The budget or low cost photo scanners are limited in terms of scanning the photo prints.
Printers costing above $200 are fitted with features that allow people to scan slides or film negatives. These models also offer holders that adequately fit multiple negatives and slides. Additionally, they can do the most important job of securing them at the right place when scanning.
Multiple Modes to Select
Most of the scanners come with multiple modes which includes basic and advanced modes. They are accessible by the driver or the scan utility. As per the basic mode, it selects the general settings while the advanced mode offers the user to customize the settings as per the requirements. Among the latest additions to the modes the recent ones are also available with dust and scratch removal capabilities. Although the dust removal feature is pretty comfortable to use, it takes time and hardware based solutions to use the scratch removal option.
Apart from standalone photo scanners, the market offers a number of multifunction printers that include a flatbed. These printers are fitted with the ability if scanning photo prints as well as other materials. Depending on the brand as well as the hardware or software used, the quality f scanning varies from a printer to the other.
However, if one is actually looking for a very high quality photo scanner, it is recommended to buy a standalone scanner instead of multifunction printers. There are models that are known as home photo labs and are capable of scanning slides and negatives besides the prints. They also have other dedicated photo-centric features.
Reasons to Purchase a Photo Scanner
After understanding what photo scanners are meant to do, it is important to know the reasons or advantages of owning one. Some of them are:
Preserves for lifetime
Digitization of your photos is not only having them in soft copies but ensures that your memories stay preserved for the entire lifetime. The hard copies or the negatives are prone to get damaged over time but having a digitized photo means that you can preserve it as long as you want.
Share & Transport easily
With technology playing a key role in staying connected and updated, having a digitized photo of the negatives, films or the photos will make it a lot easier for you to share the pictures with anyone from across the planet.
There are multiple sources that use the internet such as email, social media or text applications that can be used to share pictures instantly. Additionally, when you are travelling regularly, its not at all recommended to carry your albums everywhere. Hence, photo scanners will ensure that you carry your favoured photos efficiently anywhere you travel to.
Relive memories & Browse Photos on Multiple screens
Photos scanned by using a photo scanner are scanned in different extensions that can be browsed on almost all kinds of screen. It may be the usual desktops, laptops, television screens or even the Smartphone. Hence, stored versions of your photographs can be checked and browsed from any device where they are stored and any moment when you feel like cherishing those old memories.
Recover photos when needed
Lastly, if by any chance the prints or the negatives get damaged or soiled over a period of time, digitized photos can be used to print them again and recover when needed. This is certainly one of the most important roles that these scanners play. Having a good photo scanner can help in keeping the photos safe with the right clarity. One can use the saved file to print them in any size when they want.
As the term suggests, Photo Scanners are made to scan photos. The market has evolved drastically over the years and the need for such a technology is on the rise. With digital pictures coming to the foray and printed forms getting limited, the best machines that can eventually help people save and convert their old memories and preserve for years are these scanners.
Most of the scanners do the task quite effectively but, checking specifications as well as additional features would help in ensuring that a customer gets the value for the money spent on purchasing the scanner.