5 On Your Side

Photo scanners digitize old photographs in seconds

Posted April 24, 2012

— Portable photo scanners can digitize old photographs in seconds and save them to memory cards or directly onto a computer. Consumer Reports tested four models that promise to make moving photos into the digital age hassle-free.

The scanners all came with plastic sleeves to protect fragile photos, and at the lowest resolution testers were able to scan 100 pictures in 15 minutes.

However, some of the digital pictures had lines running through them, and some of the scanners cut off the sides of pictures with darker backgrounds. Consumer Reports found that the $80 Kodak P460 had the fewest problems with over-cropping and it can also scan negatives and color slides.

Even better, testers said, was to spend the same amount of money on a regular scanner. The resolution is higher and the quality is typically better, said Consumer Reports. The $80 Epson Perfection V300 photo scanner produced good results.

Another recommendation is an all-in-one photo printer. Consumer Reports likes the $140 Canon Pixma MG6120, which is a good choice for photos and wireless printing.


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  • anniesss Apr 25, 2012

    If you have 1,000's of photos, hiring someone who can bring a scanner to your home and scan 30 photos per minute at high resolution is the way to go!

  • monkeyboy Apr 25, 2012

    "Photo scanners digitize old photographs in seconds"

    really?!! is that what a scanner can do? thank you, wral, for another life-changing article? man, i sure am glad i wasn't scanning pictures 15 years ago! thank you! thank you!!

    [old man grumbles off, stage left, thinking of how dumb people can sometimes be...]

  • tjdebord Apr 25, 2012

    I have the Epson Perfection V300 and am very pleased with the quality it produces. I have scanned hundreds of photos and have had no problems with it. It's also very user friendly. For 80 bucks it's a great value.