The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (2022)

By Ben Andrews

published

The best film scanners and best scanners for photos make it easy to digitize your old 35mm negatives, slides and cine film

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (1)

The best film scanners are the best way to take your film into the digital realms. Whether you've got an attic full of old negatives, or you're a young photographer who got their first SLR after falling in love with film photography on Instagram, a film scanner or flatbed scanner will fast become your best friend for sharing your shots online.

In this guide, we're going to be looking at two main types of scanner: dedicated film scanners, and general flatbed scanners. Film scanners are designed specifically for handling negatives, which is always what you should be scanning from if possible. There are plenty of cheaper scanners that can get through rolls of negatives very quickly, or more expensive ones that will take longer, but reward you with a high-quality file, resolving every point of grain.

A regular flatbed scanner, on the other hand, is more general-purpose, and can be useful if you've got boxes of old slides or prints that you want to revitalise and bring into life. It's also the better choice if you know you're going to be scanning other things as well as film, like documents. Be aware that if you're using a regular flatbed scanner, you may need to pick up an additional holder so that it can keep the film completely flat. This is hugely important when it comes to scanning film!

• See also Best scanners for documents (opens in new tab) & photo prints | Best VHS to DVD converters (opens in new tab)

Once you've got your scanner working, you may find yourself with the urge to start shooting film again; check out our guide to the best film (opens in new tab) to buy. We've also got a guide to the best film cameras (opens in new tab) around too if you need a new SLR or large-format camera. There's a huge used camera market and a surprising amount of know-how and expertise around classic film cameras.

The best film scanners in 2022

So what's the best film scanner? Right now, we think it's the OpticFilm 8100 from film scanning expert Plustek: it extracts phenomenal levels of detail from your film, is backed up by excellent included scanning software, and it's sensibly priced. We love it. If you're after something that'll scan multiple film frames automatically, though, and has the versatility to scan photo prints and documents, Epson's Perfection V600 Photo flatbed scanner is a great choice.

If you want something affordable and have a digital camera already, then check out the Pixl-latr. Available at a fraction of the cost of the other scanners, it provides a secure means of illuminating and holding your film so that you can scan it with a DSLR or mirrorless camera (and ideally a macro lens).

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (2)The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (3)

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1. Plustek OpticFilm 8100

A superb film scanner that delivers stunning results

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 7200 dpi

Requires computer: Yes

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives

Dimensions: 120 x 272 x 119mm

Reasons to buy

+

Unrivalled scanning quality

+

Superb software

+

Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-

Slow at max resolution

-

Not the best at shadow detail

-

No auto dust/scratch removal

This is the baby of the OpticFilm range, yet it still boasts a respectable 7,200dpi maximum scanning resolution. It’s also a real optical film scanner and not just a digital camera sensor in a scanner body. This does however mean the 8100 is no speed demon. Each 35mm film frame takes nearly 4 minutes to scan at max res, but 3,600dpi is more than adequate for most film stocks and you’ll have a scanned frame in 1 minute 20 seconds.

Though the front panel has a QuickScan button that automatically scans and saves a frame to you computer desktop, it’s best to load up the bundled SilverFast software that provides comprehensive scanning options and pre-scan image enhancement. Even without messing with the settings, and scanning at 3,600dpi, the 8100 is in a league of its own for scan quality, extracting bags of detail from our 35mm negs and transparencies. It also lets you scan the entire film frame with no overzealous cropping. The 8100 can struggle to reveal every detail in the shadow areas of high-contrast 35mm slide positives, but this is our only nitpick.

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2. Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE

Identical to the winning 8100, but with added dust and scratch removal

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 7200 dpi

Requires computer: Yes

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives

Dimensions: 120 x 272 x 119mm

Reasons to avoid

-

Pricier than OpticFilm 8100

-

Slow at max scanning res

Apart from its black rather than blue finish, the OpticFilm 8200i SE could be mistaken from its baby 8100 sibling. It's almost identical on this inside too, but that's no bad thing, as that means you're assured top-notch scanning quality, providing you're prepared to wait a while when using max 7200dpi scanning resolution.

There's really only one key feature that separates the 8200i SE from the 8100, and that's its dedicated infra red scanning channel. Combined with the iSRD feature in the bundled SilverFast scanning software, any dust and scratches on your negs are automatically detected and then removed from the digital scan - clever stuff.

The downside? In some places, the 8200i SE can cost around 40% more than the 8100, making it rather less of a bargain. But if you regularly scan multiple negs that are likely to need dust and scratch removal, then the 8200i SE could be a real time-saver and worth the premium. The price difference between the two scanners is smaller in the US, making the extra convenience of the 8200i SE very tempting.

There is also a Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai available, a flagship model that adds color calibration software into the package - useful for color transparency scanning, albeit at a higher cost.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (5)

3. Pixl-latr

The best budget scanner for use with a camera

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: N/a

Requires computer: No

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives; 120 medium format; 5x4 sheet film

Dimensions: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent value

+

Very easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-

Slow for batch scanning

-

Needs lightbox and camera

As you can see from a glance at this list, film scanning can be an expensive process. The PIxl-latr is one of the most recent devices aiming at disrupting the market; it's more a scanning-assistant device than a scanner, requiring a lightbox and a camera with a good lens in order to work. Essentially it holds your film flat against a translucent diffuser, allowing you to evenly distribute light across the film plane for a smooth, even scan.

As mentioned, a lightbox is the best choice for light source, though if you're in a tight spot pretty much anything will do, from a bedside lamp to a tablet with its screen brightness turned all the way up. Pixl-latr offers a number of 3D-printed parts for helping you get the most out of the product, such as holders designed specifically for certain sizes of slide. You'll get best results from a macro lens, but again, if you don't have one, a decent 24-70mm will work.

It's not the fastest way to scan film, and if you have a lot of rolls to process, you might want something a bit snappier. But its asking price of about $50 makes it the most affordable choice by far, and the results you can get with it make it fantastic value for money.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (6)

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4. Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai

All the features of the 8100 and 8200i SE, plus even more advanced options

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 7200 dpi

Requires computer: Yes

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives

Dimensions: 120 x 272 x 119mm

Reasons to buy

+

Automatically removes dust & scratches

+

Great scanning quality

+

Packed with custom scanning options

Reasons to avoid

-

Extra features = hefty price premium

We couldn't have a list of the best film scanners without including Plustek's flagship 8-series model, the 8200i Ai. It looks identical to the cheaper 8200i SE (at #2), and for the most part it is indeed the same scanner, which means you get the same clever infra-red dust detection and removal tech, as well as top-notch scanning qualiy.

The 8200i AI differentiates itself primarily by including more advanced SilverFast Ai Studio software. This packs pro-grade scanning customisation features like a 16-bit histogram for a clearer, more true-to-life preview of scan quality. There's also an Expert Mode if you want to spend a little extra time fine tuning scan quality settings or apply protecting layers. The Ai Studio software even includes an IT8 color calibration target to ensure colors in the digital scan preview, the scan itself and a print of that scan all match each other

Naturally, these extra features command a significant price premium over the 8200i SE, so if you don't intend to delve into advanced scanning settings each time you wan to digitize some negs or slides, the extra outlay is tough to justify. However, if you really want to ensure those cherished memories are scanned as perfectly as possible, and you've got the time to do the necessary fine tuning, the OpticFilm 8200i AI could be for you.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (7)

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5. Epson Perfection V600 Photo

Best flatbed scanner with excellent film scanning quality

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 12800 dpi

Requires computer: Yes

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm color and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives; 120/220 medium format

Dimensions: 280‎ x 485 x 118mm

Reasons to buy

+

Good film scan quality

+

Automatic multi-frame scanning

+

Support for medium format film

Reasons to avoid

-

Plustek 8100 resolves more detail

Flatbed scanners are traditionally thought of as a more versatile but less finessed alternative to a dedicated film scanner. However, the V600 is impressively designed to cater to film photographers. Naturally it can scan photos and documents, but it includes holders for 35mm film, 35mm slides, and 120/220 medium format film.

Scanning resolution can go as high as a whopping 12,800dpi, but you'll likely find 3,200dpi more than enough for your film stocks, producing a digitized image equivalent to around 12.2MP. You might imagine that laying out up to a dozen 35mm film frames over the flatbed would result in fast scanning, but the V600 Photo still scans each frame individually – albeit automatically – and takes around one minute per frame at 3,200dpi. Scanning with Digital ICE automatic dust and scratch removal enabled only adds around 20 seconds per frame.

Results are superior to the Plustek OpticFilm 135 dedicated film scanner, with noticeably more detail, plus better default color and contrast. However the V600 can’t match the top-ranking Opticfilm 8100’s ability to extract every speck of detail.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (8)

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6. Epson Perfection V850 Pro

An impressive piece of kit, but the cheaper V600 Photo makes more sense

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 12800 dpi

Requires computer: Yes

Supported film types/sizes: 35mm colour and mono negatives; 35mm slide positives; 120/220 medium format; 5 x 4 inch; up to 8 x 10 inch

Dimensions: 308‎ x 503 x 152 mm

Reasons to buy

+

Detailed film scans

+

Packed with features

+

Two sets of quality film holders

Reasons to avoid

-

Eye-watering price tag

Positioned at the pinnacle of Epson’s scanner range, the V850 Pro is aimed squarely at film fanatics wanting the best possible conversion to digital images. Its eye-opening price tag is a result of a dedicated scanning lens designed especially for film, and it being bundled with not one but two sets of film holders. The 35mm film strip and 35mm slide holders are an appreciable step up in quality from those included with the V600 Photo.

The scanner itself is also an absolute beast and feels like a premium product. Like the V600, resolution tops out at 12,800dpi, but again, it’s rare you’ll need such extreme resolving power. At 3,200dpi, the V850 does not perform significantly faster than the V600, but step up to higher resolutions and this top-tier model pulls ahead, taking just 2 minutes 30 seconds to scan a 35mm frame at 12,800 dpi.

However there’s precious little to separate the V850 from the V600 when it comes to scan quality. Both deliver excellent results that are almost indistinguishable, making the V850’s hefty price premium tough to justify unless you'll really benefit from its extra high-res scanning speed.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (9)

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7. Pacific Image PowerFilm Scanner

An efficient way to scan lots of 35mm negatives

Reasons to buy

+

Great quality of scans

+

Very fast and efficient

Reasons to avoid

-

More expensive

-

35mm negatives only

If you have a lot of 35mm film to batch scan, the Pacific Image PowerFilm Scanner is the way to get the job done. It's a beast of a scanner that does basically one job but does it exceptionally well and efficiently. Simply load your unmounted strips and it'll scan up to ten of them with a single command. You also have a choice between high-resolution 24MP scans or quicker 6MP scans if you don't need every image in pristine quality. These quicker scans can take as little as 24 seconds each, so this is an ideal way to digitize an archive as efficiently as possible.

All this talk of efficiency does belie the fact that the Pacific Image PowerFilm Scanner is also very good at what it does, producing images of excellent detail and quality. Pacific Image's proprietary infrared cleaning technology, MagicTouch, also works to remove dust and blemishes for a clean final image that's ready for printing. A fantastic tool for working through an archive.

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (10)

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8. Reflecta cine film scanner

Best film scanner for Super 8 and 8mm cine film

Specifications

Maximum scanning resolution: 3.53 megapixels (1080p video)

Requires computer: No

Supported film types/sizes: Super 8 & Normal 8 cine film

Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.3 x 23.2 cm

Reasons to buy

+

Exposure and framing control

Reasons to avoid

-

SD card not supplied

-

Not 4K

-

Doesn't record sound

Digitizing old reels of cine film used to be much more complicated, as you needed to find a working projector, as well as a video camera and a screen. But this ingenious device does it all in one – allowing you to convert your Super 8 and normal 8mm cine films into MP4 digital files. Sold under the Reflecta, Magnasonic or Eyesen brand names (depending where you shop), it converts film on 7in, 5in or 3in reels – and saves the output onto SD memory cards. There is a small 2.3in LCD so you can see the film before and during recording.

Scanning is done at two frames per second – so a 3-inch 50-foot reel will take about half an hour to digitize. Once recorded, the unit can playback the footage to your TV so everyone can see it on the big screen. Unfortunately there is no support for audio, so if the film has a soundtrack this is not recorded.

5 things to look for in a film scanner

1. Pixel perfect

Don’t be swayed by sky-high scanning resolutions. Unless you’re digitizing extremely slow film speed, 3,200dpi will be more than enough. Film does not have the same resolving power as today's sensors.

2. Film or flatbed?

Dedicated film scanners can offer impressive image quality, but a decent flatbed scanner offers extra versatility and scanning convenience.

3. Software features

If you want the best possible results, good scanning software is a must. It’ll let you fine tune every element of the scanning process.

4. Ease of use

Standalone film scanners that save directly to a memory card are great for convenience, but don’t expect the image quality to be anything special.

5. Hold on tight

Cheaper scanners can often be let down be tacky film holders that are tricky to use and can compromise the quality of the final image.

Also read:

  • The best film cameras today (opens in new tab)
  • The best 35mm film, roll film and sheet film (opens in new tab)
  • Best slide viewers (opens in new tab)
  • Best darkroom equipment: enlargers, processing tanks and print trays (opens in new tab)
  • Best scanners for documents (opens in new tab) & photos
  • Best book scanners (opens in new tab)
  • The best camcorders (opens in new tab)
  • How to scan film (opens in new tab)
  • The best photo printing online (opens in new tab)

The best film scanners in 2022: give your cherished negatives and slides new life (11)

Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories –his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography!With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.

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FAQs

What kind of scanning devices are usually better for scanning negatives and slides and come with a slotted holder where the film can be placed? ›

Film scanners are built especially for digitizing slides and negatives. Thanks to their high resolution and their high density range and the hardware based dust and scratch removal function theiy achieve an image quality which exceeds most flat bed scanners and any CMOS scanner.

What is the best way to scan old negatives? ›

The best way to digitize negatives and slides is to use a film and slide scanner. These devices are similar to regular scanners, but they're specifically designed to scan negatives and slides that need to be backlit to view.

What photo scanner do professionals use? ›

Epson Perfection V850 Pro

If you want really high quality, one of the best photo scanners for professionals is the Epson Perfection V850. It can scan up to a huge 4800dpi for general photo scanning, and you can boost it to 6400dpi to scan film negatives and slides.

Are old negatives worth saving? ›

It's definitely worth keeping excellent quality negatives if you're a fine art photographer and sell your work. If you keep negatives, make sure you store them properly. Negatives are best stored in archival plastic negative sheets collected in a ring binder or archival quality envelopes.

What should I look for when buying a scanner? ›

6 Considerations in Selecting a Scanner
  1. How much space is available for a scanner? ...
  2. How many dots per inch (dpi) do you require? ...
  3. How much bit depth do you need? ...
  4. How much would you like to spend? ...
  5. Do you prefer a flatbed scanner or a sheet-fed scanner? ...
  6. Does this scanner suite all my document imaging needs?

Is it better to digitize prints or negatives? ›

In almost all cases, you will get a higher quality scan if you can the film, negative or slide instead of the print or photo simply because the negatives contain much more information than a print provides. A good way to think about this is to consider the negative as the 'original', and the printed photos as 'copies'.

What scanner allows you to digitize slides and negatives? ›

Flatbed scanners

This allows them to make digitized versions of the image line-by-line for better enhancement and quality. Without being specialized film scanners, they have the potential to scan negatives as well. Flatbed scanners are comparatively more affordable than their counterparts, despite their versatile use.

Do you need a special scanner to scan negatives? ›

Negatives get their names because all of the colors are inverted -- or negative -- of the actual photos they make. That means if you want your negatives to be converted into digital photos, you have to use a special sort of scanner. Some brands sell digital negative scanners that you can use at home.

How do I get a high quality film scan? ›

Getting high quality film scans usually means taking your film to a local lab or sending it to a not-so-local one if there's not a lab nearby. But there is a way to get high-quality scans done in the comfort of your own home using a flat bed film scanner; it's called wet mount scanning.

Can you get old photo negatives developed? ›

Services include processing for 35mm film, disposable cameras, Advanced Photo System film, black and white film, 110 film and slide film. In addition, you can have photos produced from old negatives that you've saved over the years. Disposable camera and 35mm film prints are available in as little as 7 to 10 days.

How long do old negatives last? ›

Kodak research has determined that negatives can last up to 1,000 years, however there is a catch to achieving this lofty number. In order to reach this 1,000 year lifespan, Kodak states that negatives need to be constantly stored at 30-32℉ with a relative humidity of 40%.

Who prints from old negatives? ›

The Darkroom allows you to scan negatives or convert slides to digital, which is the best method for saving your images and printing them in any size you might want. The Darkroom can create scans, reprints and enlargements from your 35mm, 120/220, APS, 110 and 120 Format Film. This includes Color, B&W and Slide Film.

What is the best scanner on the market today? ›

  • Brother DS-640 Compact Mobile Document Scanner. ...
  • Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Scanner. ...
  • Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W Wireless Document Scanner. ...
  • Epson WorkForce ES-50 Portable Sheet-Fed Document Scanner for PC and Mac. ...
  • Epson DS-530 II Color Duplex Document Scanner. ...
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Portable Color Duplex Document Scanner.
29 Jun 2022

What is the best brand of scanner? ›

  • Best Overall: Brother ADS-2700W. Buy on Amazon Buy on Best Buy. ...
  • Best Budget: Canon CanoScan Lide 300. ...
  • Best for Speed: Kodak ZY1534. ...
  • Best Wireless: Brother ImageCenter ADS-2800W. ...
  • Best for Multiple Document Sizes: Raven Document Scanner. ...
  • Best for Home Offices: Epson Workforce ES-580W. ...
  • Best Mobile: Brother DS-740D.
13 Sept 2022

What is the highest quality scanner? ›

Best scanner for documents & photos in 2022
  1. Epson WorkForce ES-500. The best scanner for documents overall. ...
  2. Canon imageFORMULA R40. The best scanner for documents if you don't need Wi-Fi. ...
  3. Epson FastFoto FF-680W. ...
  4. Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. ...
  5. Plustek ePhoto Z300. ...
  6. Epson Perfection V850 Pro. ...
  7. Epson Perfection V600. ...
  8. Canon DR-F120.
14 Sept 2022

Should I throw away photo negatives? ›

A good rule of thumb is to not throw away your old negatives or slides until you are absolutely sure that the quality of the digital copies meets your requirements. Being able to scan your negatives at the highest resolution possible may give you some peace of mind when deciding to throw out the negatives.

Is it OK to throw away old pictures? ›

Most photographs that were taken long ago can't be thrown in the regular trash bin. Photo paper contains plastics and metals, making them unsafe when mixed with other solid waste. These chemicals are also considered toxic to the environment.

Is there any reason to keep film negatives? ›

Negatives can be digitally converted

But what some might not know is that those little brown negative film strips can be digitized as well. And in a lot of ways, keeping those negatives is your best bet to preserving your memories as they can be used to create new physical prints or digitized copies.

What is the most popular type of scanner? ›

Flatbed scanners

A flatbed scanner is the most standard type you have definitely seen in every office. The most popular materials for such machines are documents, journals, photos, thin books, etc.

What are the 4 types of scanning? ›

The information will include; cost, and how its used The four common scanner types are: Flatbed, Sheet-fed, Handheld, and Drum scanners. Flatbed scanners are some of the most commonly used scanners as it has both home and office functions.

Is it better to scan old photos or take pictures of them? ›

Scanning Your Old Photos

However, the quality of the digital file created compared to simply taking a picture of an old photo is staggering. Scanning old photos will capture every detail of your picture and will result in a clear and precise copy, creating a digital backup that everyone can share.

How can I transfer negatives to digital? ›

Using a flatbed scanner is another easy way to scan negatives and convert them to digital pictures. Just place your negative on the scanner bed and scan it like you would a regular photo. Many flatbed scanners will have a film scanner option specifically for scanning film, so make sure to select that if you see it.

How much does it cost to have negatives scanned? ›

Slide, Film and Photo Scanning
Quantityup to 5300+
35mm Slides, Negatives, and Photo Prints$10.00$.49/each
Medium Format – Transparencies, Negatives$20.00$1.00/each
Large Format – Transparencies, Negatives$30.00$2.50/each
Oversize Scans items larger than 8″ x 10″$ 10.00
4 more rows

What is the best way to convert 35mm slides to digital? ›

Most standalone scanners are designed to digitize both 35mm negatives and slides. These units take the slide and project it onto a receptor that captures the image and digitizes it internally. You can pick and choose the slides you want to scan and retain or discard the rest.

How much does it cost to transfer slides to digital? ›

Starting at $19.99

Each slide is manually scanned into a digital JPEG file to share and enjoy.

What kind of scanner do I need to scan old photos? ›

If you want to convert your photos to digital copies at home, the best way to scan photos is by using a flatbed scanner. They are much less likely to damage your photos. They're also compact and will generally only require an ordinary laptop or computer to function.

What is the best quality to scan old photos? ›

The best DPI for scanning photos depends on your intentions. If the image will be displayed on a website only, 72 to 96 DPI should suffice. But if you wish to create new prints, you need to save the image with a minimum DPI of 300 and boost this to at least 600 to make enlargements.

Is it better to scan or photograph old photos? ›

Scanning Your Old Photos

However, the quality of the digital file created compared to simply taking a picture of an old photo is staggering. Scanning old photos will capture every detail of your picture and will result in a clear and precise copy, creating a digital backup that everyone can share.

What to do with old photos after scanning? ›

What To Do With Old Photo Albums: 11 Ideas
  1. Preserve And Restore Your Photos For Future Generations. ...
  2. Donate Your Photo Album To Historical Societies Or Local Museums. ...
  3. Find A Scanning Service And Make A Photo Book. ...
  4. Display Your Favorite Photos In Your House. ...
  5. Make A Presentation. ...
  6. Turn Old Family Photos Into Fun Gifts.
17 Sept 2022

How do I digitize thousands of photos? ›

The ideal machine for bulk scanning is one with a top load feeder that allows you to stack photographs and batch process them quickly. Make sure you're using a bulk photo scanner dedicated to handling photographs to prevent memories from getting destroyed during the process.

Does scanning ruin old photos? ›

Benefits of scanners

Not only do scanners not damage your photos, they actually do the exact opposite – enhance your photos. Perks like automatic color correction and various editing enhancers can give your old photos a fresh look.

How do I get a high quality scan? ›

How to scan high quality, high resolution images
  1. Carefully clean and dry the scanner's glass plate.
  2. Gently wipe your photo free of dust with a soft, dry cloth.
  3. Set your printer/scanner to save as high resolution jpegs, at 300 or 600 dpi.
  4. Opt for colour scanning, even if the photo is black and white.

What resolution should I use to scan 35mm slides? ›

Since they are the source for many photos, you should scan 35mm slides and negatives at a high DPI. A standard scanning is 2500 DPI, while a high-quality resolution would be 4000 DPI, the maximum scanning resolution for 35mm film.

Is it worth keeping old photos? ›

It's always wise to digitise your old family photos to preserve them; scan them or re-photograph them, and save them onto an external hard drive or cloud storage. And if you don't want old prints, pass them on to someone who does. If they're really old, consider donating them to a museum or local archive.

Is it better to digitize negatives or prints? ›

In almost all cases, you will get a higher quality scan if you can the film, negative or slide instead of the print or photo simply because the negatives contain much more information than a print provides.

Is it better to scan photos with a scanner or an iPhone? ›

The best way to scan pictures is by using an old-fashioned scanner. However, there isn't always one at hand when we need to digitize photos. Luckily, it is possible to scan photos with your iPhone camera; all you need is good lighting.

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