Photo album and photo scanner recommendations

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by zzzz8888, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. I have approximately 3000 old family photos currently in old photo albums that I want to digitally scan and then place into new photo albums. The photos are mostly 4x6, but some are older and some are smaller than 4x6 (e.g. around 2x3 or so) and some are bigger. My retired mom will be scanning these photos and setting them into new photo albums, so time isn't too much of an issue. My questions are: - What photo scanner would you recommend for purchase to scan these photos? - If there is a photo scanning service that you can recommend, which one would you recommend? I am concerned photo scanning services may lose our photos, damage the photos, do a poor job, etc.

    I have a hodge podge of old photo albums that currently contain my photos. I want to purchase new ones to replace the old ones. I want to purchase albums that help preserve the photos, will not damage the photos, will accompany photos of various sizes, and is modestly priced. What photo albums would you recommend?
  2. For an inexpensive scanner, an Epson V600
  3. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    For scanning photographs and printing out directly on photo ink jet paper (not saving to digital files in the computer) just about any flat top scanner printer for around $100 should do - Canon, Epson, HP, etc.
  4. I have an older Epson 4990 that has served me well. If I were in the market today, I would get the latest Epson flatbed scanner that is within my budget;, e.g., V600, V800, V850, etc...

    For photo album replacements, it really depends on the style that you want. I'd say go to Amazon and pick out the ones you want. If you want artisan types of albums, go to Etsy.

    As for online albums, I use Costco for family albums. The image quality is reasonably good and the prices are low compared to others (you get more pages for the same price). Mpix is also a good option - slightly better quality than Costco but at a higher price.
  5. Scanners with film scanning ability like the Epson V series are a waste of money for scanning prints.

    All that's needed is a flatbed scanner capable of 600ppi scanning - I.e. almost anything on the market. Canon make very good quality scanners too.

    What's probably more important is software capable of making simple saturation, rotation and tone adjustment, and maybe also having a clone or healing tool to repair minor damage to any of the prints. I recommend the freeware GIMP.

    " time isn't too much of an issue."

    - Don't underestimate how time-consuming scanning is. Digitising 3000 prints is no small undertaking, although 6x4 prints can be scanned two or three at a time. Have a look at the spec. of scanners and compare scanning time.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  6. As said above; I have a Canon Lide 210, which costs less than $100, which was already perfectly capable of extracting every bit of info out of a print. So there is little reason to spend more than that.

    For albums, if you're going to scan everything, why not create a new album directly printed? There are plenty services for photo albums, where you create and send the lay-out with your photos, and they print it directly like that (on a choice of papers, choice of covers). No more glue or two-sided tape, no risk to further damage the photos.
    Which service is best/best value for money of course depends which part of the world you live.
  7. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    For what he wants done, the OP's mom doesn't need a computer to save digital files. She would just place the photograph(s) face down on the glass plate of the scanner, close the lid and then hit SCAN (or whatever) and in about 1/2 minute the photo(s) will come out printed on ink jet photo paper. Any $100 printer scanner will do the job.
  8. The V600 has a correction program that will remove creases and wrinkles in the photos to a certain extent.

    As an aside, I took my cousin's old album of 1940 photos of her parents and scanned them. I made a slide show using a video program (Adobe Premiere Elements) and put it on DVD's along with 1940's music, titles and credits. You can use Windows movie program too, I believe. The DVD's are played on a HDTV using a DVD player or Playstation if you have one. If the TYV accepts memory cards, you can use them instead of a DVD. You can also download the slide show onto Youtube and setup so other family members can see the slide show on a computer, cellphone, smart TV etc. without the DVD. So now she and her sister have something beside an album to look at.
  9. Thanks for all the recommendations.

    I have been thinking of purchasing a good multifunction printer/scanner for a while that also has duplex scanning and printing. Yes, I understand that I cannot use the duplex scanning functionality for photos as it may damage the photos, but I will use the duplex scanning functionality for other documents (bills, etc.). And yes, I do not need to scan film negatives. So would a multifunction printer/scanner scan as well as a dedicated photo scanner? I would be scanning in the 600 dpi range, although I can imagine scanning at 1200 dpi range as well.

    In terms of software, I was thinking the photo scanner software (e.g. with the Epson V600) would be better than the software that one would have with a normal multifunction printer/scanner. Is this a correct assumption? Is there software out there that I can purchase that would help me with scanning, e.g. scanning multiple photos at once, editing photo metadata (e.g. time, location, people in photos), automatically retouching the photos?

    I do want to create a fairly straightforward workflow for my mom to scan the photos, save the photos onto her computer, perhaps edit the photo metadata, and then putting the physical photo into photo protector sheets. I don't want her to have to perform any retouching of the digital photo, if possible. I definitely want to keep the old physical photos and do not prefer newly printed photo albums.
  10. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I am a bit lost. What is "duplex scanning and printing" and how will it damage photos but not other documents. As far as I know duplex scanning and printing means that the scanner will scan and print both sides of the document or photograph. I guess that would be nice to have if there was something written on the back of the photo but I don't see any damage potential.
  11. To clarify, when I wrote about duplex scanning and printing, I meant automatic document feeder scanning and double sided printing. I'm not interested in using a multifunction printer for printing photos. In terms of scanning, I know I don't want to run the photos through the ADF scanner. However, I would use the ADF scanner for other documents like bills, etc., i.e. stuff I don't really care if it gets damaged.
  12. I've had a multi-function Canon printer/scanner, the standalone scanner mentioned above - the scanning software between those two is identical. And for scanning prints, perfectly adequate too.

    Most normal consumer-level printer/scanners or flatbeds have no document feeder, and I wouldn't use a document feeder to feed pages with pictures glued on - accident waiting to happen. Typically such feeders don't take paper heavier than something like ~140gr/cm2 anyway.
    jamieconway likes this.
  13. I also have just purchased one PIXMA E410, a multi function Canon printer. It's price is quite cheap and it has all basic function needed of a printer.

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