PHOTO SCANNING RESOURCES
Scanning and organizing your entire photograph collection is so much easier with the help of the right equipment, software and additional services. I thought it would be useful to you if I shared a list of what I am currently using and am really excited about. If it fits your needs, I recommend all of these for your photo collection.
I will update this list from time to time as I continue to learn about and review new products and services. So bookmark this page and check back regularly!
Disclosure: A few of the links below are affiliate links and will earn me a very small commission. Please know that these are all services, products and companies I currently use, find to be extremely helpful, and trust enough to recommend to you. I value our relationship. If you do purchase through one of my links, thank you so much for your support!
For many reasons, I'm very partial to Epson's dedicated photo scanners. Couple of examples: I had a scanning problem I couldn't figure out myself so I called their Technical Service number — no hold time, no fee (even though it's out of warranty) — fixed my problem in 2 minutes! Customer Service DOES still exist! And even though their bundled “EPSON Scan” scanner software still seems like it hasn't been updated in many years, in my opinion it's still better than the software that comes with other brands.
Entry Level Flatbed:
Epson Perfection V370 – a great blend of low cost with a great range of features.
Epson Perfection V600 – (This is the scanner I currently use) It's a fair price for excellent scanning quality and features. It has a great look and build, and because of its unique texture, doesn't scratch like other models.
Ultra High-End Flatbed:
Epson Perfection V800 / V850 – Both models come at a premium price, but they would probably be worth it to you if you plan on archiving a lot of negatives and slides, are seeking the highest quality, and don't want to pay extra for a dedicated film scanner. (Models replace the Epson Perfection V700 / V750-M)
Dedicated Film Scanners:
Nikon CoolScan 9000 ED – It's pricey, but it's considered by many to be the “king” of dedicated film scanners–if you can even find one of them (used).
Photo Scanning Software
If you have advanced goals and you are looking to gain even more control over the process of scanning, you might consider using one of these third-party scanning programs in place of the one that came bundled with your scanner. They both work on PC's and Macs.
Digital image manager software not only gives you a place to store and organize your photos, but they will also give you the ability to edit and restore your photos right inside the software without having to move them in and out of editing software. All of the ones I recommend are “non-destructive” in the way they handle (protect) your digital masters. For additional help choosing the best one for you, check out ” Use 1 of These 4 Photo Managers If You Care About Your Photo Collection.”
Picasa – It's feature rich considering it's free. And it's really easy to manage a vast photo collection wherever they are stored on your computer. [PC/Mac]
iPhoto – An experience similar to Picasa but with the additional slick Apple “Entire-OS” features integration. It steps-up organization by offering the ability (by default) to automatically manage all of your masters in a self-contained folder. [Mac]
Lightroom – PC users wishing for more control than Picasa has to offer should look no further. It's so feature dense, you may never think you need its big brother Photoshop CS for additional editing ever again. [PC/Mac]
Aperture – (This is what I currently use) It's like iPhoto with all of the additional features someone with advanced goals for their photo collection are screaming for. It's really easy to learn and so worth the reasonable price! [Mac]
Photo Scanning Equipment / Photograph Supplies
B&H Photo & Video – I really love this company. They have pretty much everything you could possibly want, shipped fast and great prices. I have ordered from them for years. Not just equipment like scanners and camera lenses, but even smaller items such as archival photo pages.
Photo Scanning Services
If you want to have your photos scanned, but you've decided you have no interest in doing the scanning yourself, a scanning service might be perfect for you.
Check out my Photo Scanning Services list to compare features and prices of the major photo scanning services.
Best Quality for the Price:
Scancafe – At only 29¢ per slide or paper photo, this is the best price for “hand-scanned” on a flatbed scanner, at the appropriate resolution of 600 dpi, and with enhancements “artistically” made by the technician. They are very hard to beat.
Smugmug – When flickr just isn't enough—there's my absolute favorite photo sharing website. I love not only how elegant and ad free it is, but also how they have no limit to how many photos and videos you can store and share with each of their plans starting at just $5 per month (14-day free trial).
This is the website I use to display public and private photo collections and videos with my family — because it's really easy for non-tech family members to navigate without lots of help or personalized instructions. You can also add photos directly from Picasa, iPhoto, Lightroom and Aperture.
Ancestry – The best place to go and find out information about your family's history and post your scanned photos of your relatives. I know this is the best because my wife can't stay off this site! And the best thing is a lot of the work might already be done for you–thank the Mormons for that!
Photobook Printing Services
My Publisher – I loved how my Aunt & Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary photobook turned out from them. And I believe they are the same company that handles the book printing when you order through Apple's iPhoto software.
Picaboo – They do basic and higher-end photo books offering a line of more exquisite paper stocks and cover materials. I have seen some really amazing books come from them.