If you are looking for a way to convert negatives, film or photographic slides into high-quality digital photos for you family, friends and future generations, you need to invest in a film scanner. Film scanners are pieces of equipment which are designed to scan your film and transfer them to your computer or a digital storage device.
Whereas flatbed scanners are designed to scan books and other media, film scanners are only designed to process film. Because the image is generated from the original film negative rather than from prints, it allows you much more control over elements such as the aspect ratio and cropping.
The original film also contains much more dynamic range and detail compared to prints, which can lose color data and tone during the process of generating the print. For this reason, film scanners are very popular with graphic artist and professional photographers.
When looking for a film scanner, it is important that you ensure that the equipment can deal with the film format you wish to convert. The majority of film scanners can process 35mm film, while others can also scan 110, 126, Super 8 film and slides. Below is a guide to 3 popular film scanners.
ClearClick 22MP Virtuoso Film & Slide Scanner
- 8GB Memory card slot with memory card
- Simple controls
- 4 inch Screen
- Adaptors for different types of film
- Editing software
- 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Preview screen
- Plug and Play
- Larger film formats will be cropped
Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII
- FARE Level 3 Technology
- Lower power consumption
- Auto scan mode
- 9600×9600 dpi (film) 4800×4800 dpi (documents and photos)
- 48-bit output
- Fast scanning
- Scan up to A4 size
- Intuitive one touch controls
- Compatible with Windows XP/2000/7 and Mac operating systems
- One-touch controls
- Unintuitive software with no tutorial
Jumbl 22MP All-In-1 Film & Slide Scanner
- 9600×9600 dpi (film) 4800×4800 dpi (documents and photos)
- 32GB Internal memory card
- Video Out Cable for TV connection
- 14 Megapíxel sensor
- Speed loading
- Built-in 2.5 inch screen
- High resolution
- Fast loading
- Scan directly to Dropbox and Evernote
- Low-speed scanning at higher resolutions
- Some cropping when scanning larger film formats
The ClearClick 22MP Virtuoso Film & Slide Scanner can scan a range of different film formats, including 35mm, Super 8, 110 and 126. The scanner features an 8 GB memory card which can hold 2000 plus images at resolutions of up to 22 megapixels.
You can quickly load film or slides into the scanner using the slide-through film loader, which features several adaptors for different types of film. Once you have scanned each frame of film, you can view the results on the built-in 2.4 inch LCD screen. The device has a simple control system and a fast scanning time of just 3 seconds.
The ClearClick is loaded with PhotoPad Pro image editing software, which allows you to edit easily, crop, resize and retouch the scans you have created. The ClearClick is a standalone system and does not require a computer.
You can simply scan your films or slides and save them directly to the removable memory card. This memory card can be used to transfer the digital images to a computer once scanning is complete.
The Jumbl 22MP All-In-1 Film & Slide Scanner can accommodate 35mm, 110, 126 and Super 8 film as well as slides and other negatives using various adaptors which are supplied with the unit. Loading each negative of the film is very easy thanks to the speed loading mechanism which saves a lot of time.
This photo scanner has a 14-megapixel sensor which produces high-resolution 4000 dpi images. The scanner also has a 32GB internal hard drive for storing scanned images and operates as a standalone piece of equipment which doesn’t require a PC.
You can instantly view the results of each scan on the 2.5 inch LCD screen, but you also have the option of using the TV cable to view your images on your entertainment system. However, when scanning at high resolutions, you may notice that you have to wait minutes rather than seconds for the scan to complete. You may also notice some cropping when scanning larger formats.
Finally, the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII is a flatbed scanner material which is up to A4 in size which is something the ClearClick and Jumbl 22MP cannot do. This film scanner offers super high-resolution images of 9600 dpi for film and 4800 dpi for photographs and documents.
Alongside high-resolution images, this film scanner also offers high-speed, taking just 18 seconds to scan a frame of 35mm film at a resolution of 1200 dpi and 7 seconds to scan an A4 color document at 300 dpi.
The one-touch controls are simple and intuitive to operate, and once you have scanned your image, you can choose to send it straight to your Evernote or Dropbox account. Or you may decide to save it to the internal memory.
The scanner features FARE Level 3 technology, which will automatically enhance and retouch images created using analogue film and slides, helping to remove any particles of dust or scratches which have been transferred to the digital image while also helping to restore the color balance of each image.
The Auto Scan mode will automatically detect which type of film you are using before adjusting the scanner’s settings accordingly. This means that you do not have to spend your time editing each image in order to get the best results.
This film scanner also offers zero warm-up time, which means you can start scanning from the second you switch it on. Energy efficient LED lights are used to illuminate each negative of the film which helps to reduce energy consumption, and the 48-bit output creates stunning high fidelity digital images.
The scanner is compatible with both the Windows and Mac operating systems. However, the inbuilt software is rather unintuitive and complex with many menus, and there are few tutorials available, which results in a lot of trial and error. However, despite this drawback, this film scanner offers the best results for the best price.