Thinking of equipping your office or home with a photo scanner? Good that you’re here, as the step you are taking is not a small one (financially).
You need to be super cautious when picking a photo scanner. They are all pretty expensive but for today’s lifestyle almost a necessity.
First of all, we will be talking about what should you look for when buying the best photo scanner, and afterwards, we will give some insights into the finest examples on the market.
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How to Choose the Best Photo Scanner
There are several simple steps that you need to take in order to pick the one that fits your needs perfectly.
Know what you will be scanning
Do you intend to use it for 4×6 or 8×10 pictures? Whatever your choice might be now, it can occasionally change, so instead of 4×6, you’ll need 8×10 format. You want to get a scanner that will be able to scan various formats.
There are flatbed scanners and film scanners. Flatbed scanners are more for the general public, those who don’t need them for professional purposes. On the other side, film scanners are meant for professionals. They are pricier, with more features (including various formatting), and better resolution.
Needless to say, the resolution is one of the most important things you should look for. It’s basically the quality of an image that’s being read. It’s expressed in dpi (dots per inch), and basically, you will need no more than 600 DPI scanner.
Of course, the more, the better, but even 300 dpi will do perfectly fine. There is a difference in dpi needed for pictures that are intended to be posted on the internet and those that will be printed.
So, if you plan to print these with a color laser printer lately, you will want to strive for more dpi and avoid those ugly looking pixels on your printed images. The highest you’ll need is 1200 dpi if we exclude enlarging images when you’ll need over 3200 dpi.
Attention: when looking for resolution specs, always keep in mind that you are searching for specs that show optical resolution. Enhanced and interpolated resolutions are there to measure different things, and not really determine the quality of an image. Some take these two as a myth about the resolution.
There are different bit depths (color depths) that scanners are working at. Bit depths determine how well the color from your image translates to a digital image.
In most of the cases, 24 bits will do the job just fine. For a slightly better color and performance, you might consider even 30 bits.
However, scanning monochrome laser printer images, or black and white photos at higher performance requires both gray and color bit depth a bit higher (let’s say the 30-bit color and 12-bit gray).
The speed is mostly determined by the resolution. So, at different resolutions, scanners scan differently. If you plan on using your scanner regularly, then speed is quite important (it will save a lot of time).
On the contrary, if you just intend to use it occasionally, then the speed is not a too important factor for you.
Obviously, the budget is the thing you’ll be considering first. And these scanners are quite pricey. Picking the one that fits your budget plus your all other needs might be challenging.
However, we’ve chosen some of the photo scanners that not only belong to the high-end price point category but can fit almost everyone’s pocket and yet offer good performance.
Extra tip: when looking for a photo scanner, choose the one that’s separated from all-in-one printers. Separated scanners offer really better image quality, and they are quite simpler to use than those incorporated into printers.
9 Best Photo Scanners
Epson FastFoto FF-680W
The Best Photo Scanner With Feeder
If you are looking something for personal, non-business use, then this absolute beast might be the thing for you. It can scan as fast as up to 1 photo per sec, which is pretty impressive (at 300 dpi).
You don’t need to worry about your photos being damaged, as this one has safe touch feature for scanning up to 8.5’’ wide, polaroid photos, postcards, and even panoramas without a single scratch.
There are modes for enlarging (1200 dpi), easy sharing and archiving (600 dpi TIFF).
It can even scan docs such as wills, tax records, receipts, etc. thanks to advanced Epson ScanSmart software with OCR. Moreover, the speed is blazing with up to 45 ppm/ 90 ipm.
- Good speed, up to 1 photo per sec
- Safetouch feature
- Various modes
- Scan docs, receipts, tax records, wills…
- Operating temperature is 41 ° to 95 °F
- Has a hard time with older black and white images
Doxie Go SE
The Best Portable Photo Scanner
If you are looking for something modern, this “new-age” scanner might be all you are looking for. It’s completely independent and portable, as it requires no PC to run and scan your pictures simply and clearly.
Now, you can scan docs with great speed at up to 600 dpi. On average, it takes around 8 seconds. This photo scanner offers amazing portability, as its size is no bigger than a rolled up magazine. It can scan up to 400 pages per charge, and hold 4000 of them stored before needing to sync.
With advanced Doxie app, you will be able to send pics directly to your favorite apps. It also offers well-known ABBYY OCR letter recognition technology.
With 1 year warranty and customer support at your service, Doxie ensures only the best experience.
- No pc required
- The great scanning speed for 600 dpi images
- Portable, small-sized
- Import pics directly to your apps
- ABBYY OCR letter recognition
- A bit lengthy
Plustek Photo Scanner – ephoto Z300
The Best Photo Scanner for Mac
Some say this scanner is the easiest way to scan photos and documents. It supports various formats, from 3×5 all the way to 8×10 and letter and A4 sized paper.
The speed is quite fascinating, and it requires about 2 sec to scan a 4×6 photo and approximately twice more time for 8×10.
It’s even more efficient than flatbed scanners. Simply put one image by one and embrace efficiency. With some amazing image-enhancing functions, you will be able not only to enhance pictures but restore some old, faded images within 2 clicks.
With advanced editing functions, this scanner is all you will need. Most importantly for MAC users- it’s fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.8.x to 10.14.x. Of course, you can use it with PC OS 7/8/10 as well.
- Supports MAC OS
- Amazing enhancing features
- More efficient than flatbed scanners
- Supports various formats, from 3×5 to 8×10
- None so far
Epson Perfection V39
Highest Optical Resolution
Epson introduced us to one of their perfections! It’s a V39 model that has an optical resolution of 4800 dpi. Needless to say, clarity and details of the scanned images are just amazing.
It’s a great and versatile scanner with countless features. It scans directly to Google Drive and similar cloud services, archives, restores, shares family photos for generations to come.
Being easy to use, you don’t need any pre-knowledge about using scanners at all. All can be done within several clicks. It’s compact and space-friendly, as it has the built-in kickstand for vertical placement.
One of the most interesting enhancement features is advanced digital dust correction. You will be able to remove the “dust” from scanned photos. It’s perfect for scanning artwork, documents, or oversized prints.
- Enormous optical resolution
- Direct import to cloud services
- Compact with built-in vertical kickstand
- Digital dust correction feature
- A bit loud
The Mini Portable Scanner for Everyone’s Pocket
As our era becomes more and more accustomed to the rapid expanse of modernization, the large number of documents (both for personal and professional purposes) are becoming more numerous and detailed that carrying a laptop or having a computer close at hand is an absolute must for the best levels of productivity.
But the real question is, how do we deal with situations where editing and scanning documents become a must, yet we need portability as much as we need precision? The answer – the Brother DS-640.
Weighing 1.5 pounds, this miniature scanner can easily be carried around wherever you go and still pack a punch, scanning documents at the speed of 16ppm.
True to its reputation, this miniature portable scanner allows you to power it on through any device that is USB 3.0 capable.
Being 11.8 inches long, it is fully capable of scanning both the smallest and largest documents (up to 72 inches long) you have on hand and converting them into editable word documents in full color!
Supporting cross-platform compatibility, you are assured absolute speed, efficiency, and mobility with this miniature multi-purpose scanner.
- Works quickly and in full color
- Automatic color detection, picture alignment, and additional tools for adjusting your documents
- All the necessary drivers are downloaded online
- Can work with open source software
- Somewhat buggy software
Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner
Elegant, Powerful, and Slim High-End Scanner
Coming to the market as a lightning-fast response to a multitude of document scanners of questionable quality, this product is the real deal!
Being able to produce incredibly detailed images on your device in 4800×4800 dpi resolution within just 8 seconds, you know you found yourself the scanner you were looking for all this time!
This device can scan standing up straight or lying down without any change of overall scanning quality. It can finish the job so quickly that you will notice the files already appearing on your pc or cloud service before you know it!
It fits most office spaces and can work for long hours without any loss of performance quality.
It uses a USB-C for data transfer and power needs, remaining compact in overall size and utilization. With so much going for this 3.6-pound gadget, you are guaranteed satisfaction with its use for years to come.
- High-resolution scanning
- Compact and adaptable to your workspace
- It can scan multiple documents with its dedicated software
- Lightning-fast operation speed
- Uses a single cable for power and transfer requirements
- For everything that it offers, it comes an affordable price
- Despite all the pros, it can sometimes offer low scan quality on some documents
Canon ImageFORMULA R40
The Epitome of Simplicity and Efficiency
The brand name “Canon” has been one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality computer equipment widely associated with reliability and speed. This scanner follows that tradition closely and aims to please in every aspect.
This scanner has the power to finish scanning 40 pages per minute, with integrated one-touch operation capabilities that automate most of the work, allowing you to sit back and focus on different tasks. The 60 sheets automatic feeder allows you to scan 80 pages within just two minutes!
The integrated software allows you to instantly convert the pages into PDF, JPG, and additional formats. The automated process enables you to instantly upload the scanned files into your cloud service or computer.
The Optical Character Recognition feature ensures the output is always high-quality, regardless of where the transfer destination is designated.
The scanner has an energy star certificate, which guarantees efficient energy usage tested by an independent certification body.
Coming in a bundle with additional software licenses (Readiris PDF, OCR software, and Cardiris business card software), you get a sweet deal on your hands that is backed up by a one-year guarantee.
- Easy to install and intuitive to use
- Comes with additional software packed in
- Breakneck scanning speed on both sides
- Compatible with both Windows and MAC
- More pricey than most scanners on the market
- Weights more than the average scanner, making it best as a static device
Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner
The Ultimate High-End Scanner With a Lot of Potential and Power
This scanner is explicitly made to meet the most demanding needs of a professional user base who demand results beyond the standards definitions of exemplary quality presented on the market. This state of the art machine delivers on that promise by offering a whopping 6400 dpi performance rating.
The 4.0 Dmax allows for smooth details to be present – including realistic shadow details and different tonal ranges. The integrated reflection mirrors allow for optimal results that showcase every detail in life-like detail. The dual-lens and advanced optics ensure cutting-edge efficiency on both sides of any document.
The product’s performance is controlled by LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast SE Plus software, which ensures color global and selective color, scaling, descreening, and the capability to highlight different elements according to your demands. Easy Photo Fix effortlessly restores faded photos to their former glory within mere moments.
This piece of equipment reserves one of the best performances modern scanning technology offers, making it a fantastic addition for any professional.
- High-end scanning capabilities at 6400 dpi
- Powerful software for erasing any deformities out of your photos
- Compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems
- Allows for optional wet mount scanning
- Yea, this gadget packs quite a hefty price
Epson Perfection V600
The Best Professional Photo Scanner
If you want to create enormous enlargements of 6400 x 9400 dpi, you’ll be able to do it only with this Perfection!
It’s the optimum choice for those looking for a professional photo scanner that brings scanning to another level. The maximum resolution is 12,800 x 12, 800 dpi, which speaks pretty much for itself. Therefore, you will be able to calculate the exact dimensions in order to achieve the best quality.
With amazing features it has, you will be able to remove those eye-catching creases and tears of your photo.
Moreover, you will be able to remove the dust and scratches from film. The operating temperature is 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C), and the safety of your photos is guaranteed.
It’s compatible with both Windows and MAC OS, and it’s extremely easy to use it, especially with a manual that comes in the package. Now, we’ve seen that the scanner can read coins, plastic ID cards, etc. It goes even better with Epson Perfection V600, as this one can scan even 3D objects.
Overall, it’s a budget-friendly professional photo scanner of great energy efficiency and increased productivity. Use it to scan, scan to email, copy or create PDFs with it.
- Great working temperature
- Amazing compatibility
- Scans even 3D objects
- Enormous enlargements of up to 6400 x 9400 dpi
- You might have some problems with the software update, so we recommend reading the manual first
In light of everything that we previously mentioned, we can safely conclude that these are some of the best photo scanners on the market. Whichever you choose, you will not be mistaken, but be sure to check and compare your needs and the features of the products.