Scanning Service: ScanCafe Logo

Company Information:

Company ScanCafe Inc.
Established 1990
Services Prints / Negatives / Slides / APS / Restoration
Walk-In Orders No
Address 1475 Rollins Road – Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone (866) 745-0392
International Orders Yes

Company Story:

ScanCafe started, oddly enough, at a funeral.

Many years ago, one of our co-founders, Laurent, had to travel back to Switzerland to attend the funeral of his grandfather. Every family seems to have a family archivist, and among his many gifts, Laurent's grandfather was an enthusiastic photographer, who left behind countless Agfacolor prints, slides and negatives.

As the engineer in the family, Laurent volunteered to scan in all those old photographs so that they could be shared with the extended family, who are scattered all over the world.

So at least it started well. Laurent promptly got home, spent $800 on equipment, and began his project. For the next 6 straight weekends, he had to wrestle with scanning, choosing resolutions, re-scanning, cropping, rotating, color correction, and all the other things that people who truly care about preserving memories need to wrestle with. And that was just for the first images — it turns out that he had 28,000 more to go!

Fortunately, Laurent was also attending business school at the time with our other co-founders, Sam Allen and Naren Dubey. He shared his frustrations with them and together they decided there had to be a better way. The essential problem: how to deliver the high quality that only craftsmanship and manual processing can bring to scanning, but at an affordable price. That required finding a labor force that fit those two bills. After looking at a number of locations around the world, they decided to locate our scanning facility, now the world's largest, in Bangalore, India. Then, in a nod to their collective experience in computing and wafer fabrication, they started work immediately on getting the logistics, quality assurance, and workflow systems right, so that we could ensure safety for every order.

A solid year of work and planning later, the first order was completed, safely and accurately, by hand.

Basic Pricing:

Prints: Prices are per scan up to 8″x10″ (B&W or Color)

Media600 dpi - JPEG600 dpi -TIFF
Prints29¢ 48¢

Slides/Negatives: Prices are per scan for 35mm standard slides or per image on negative strips

Media3000 dpi - JPEG3000 dpi -TIFF
Slide/Negative29¢ 48¢

Scanning Process:


“When you place your order, we charge you for the shipping cost of sending us your originals plus a 50% upfront payment for your estimated order size. We will then bill you for the remainder of the processing cost and the return shipping after you have completed the online review of your scans.”

Our automated shipment software generates the (UPS) shipping label for you so that you only have to print it and tape it to your package. It will cost you less and will ensure that your package is monitored from the minute you drop it off to the minute it is received.

Scanning Location:

“ScanCafe is a global company with facilities in Burlingame (CA) and Bangalore (the software capital of India). Most of our scanning is done out of Bangalore, India. We have scanned over 30 million images using our robust world-class logistics operation and have never lost or damaged an order.

We DO NOT send your individual packages via airfreight. Media processed in India are consolidated in Burlingame in secured and sturdy ScanCafe dedicated shipping containers that weigh 1000-2000 lbs! Your precious photos are packaged with 5 levels of protection during transport. These rugged containers are air-freighted using a publicly traded global leader in international shipping.

Digitizing Equipment:

Prints – “We use top-rated Epson 4490 flatbed scanners.”

35mm Slides – Nikon 5000ED for standard sized slides and the Nikon 9000ED slide scanner on irregular sized slides.

Included Corrections:

Every scan receives manual re-orientation, cropping, scratch and dust removal, color correction and red-eye removal.

We rely on Digital ICE for the initial processing but each and every image is manually processed using Adobe Photoshop to remove the remaining blemishes to ensure the highest quality.”

Turnaround Time:

“You will typically see your scans online for review in 4-6 weeks from the time we receive your photos. Your DVDs and originals will be returned to you within 10-14 days after you have reviewed and checked out. These are for typical orders that are less than 2000 photos. For larger quantities, please add approximately 4 days for every additional 1000 photos. Once we receive your order, you will be able to track progress online from day to day.”

Unique Benefits:

  • “Pro Scanning” – Film (4000 dpi) / Prints (1200 dpi) – $.09 extra per scan
  • “Pro Library” – Two complete sets of images (“raw” unprocessed lossless TIFF + processed JPEG) – $.24 extra per scan
  • Hard Drive Delivery – Western Digital Passport  (2.5″ / 320gb capacity) for larger orders that don't easily fit onto DVD's ($99.95 extra)
  • Carousels & Albums – Removal and re-placement with a photo album ($9.95 extra) or slide carousel ($4.95 extra)
  • Full Album Page – Scanning any sized page (600 dpi) – $.99 per page
  • Photo Restoration Department – “Detailed repair by a specialist” – (Free quote / $6.95 and up)


“You can review the status of your order at anytime by logging in to your account and clicking on order status. You get to review ALL your scanned pictures online. You select the pictures that you like (minimum 50% selection required).” $1000 “Safe-Handling Guarantee” awarded if any of the “original content” is damaged or lost in their “sole custody and contol.”

Scanning ServiceLocationEditor Review
BritePix Torrence, CACheckmark
Digital Memories Orient, OH
Digital Pickle Pasadena, CA
digmypics Gilbert, Arizona
DVD Your Memories San Diego, CA Costa Mesa, CA
FotoBridge West Berlin, NJ
PhotoBin San Diego, CA
ScanCafe Burlingame, CA
ScanDigital El Segundo, CA
ScanMyPhotos Irvine, CA

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