The best Photo Scanners
Ok these really come in two forms. If you have prints then you want a nice flat bed scanner. If you want the highest quality though and you have negatives then you want something that can handle negatives and ideally has something called digital ICE which can remove scratches in the file emulsion (it’s a bit technical but basically it can tell there are scratches by shining a different light which only shows scratches.
This is a super nice category as the PC Magazine reviews show. But a film scanner now costs $3,200 which is pretty crazy. I got my now decade older Minolta Diimage 5400 II with digital ICE for $600.
But the other niche sites like Architecture Foundation, Creative Bloq and Fix the Photo have some better recommendations like the Epson V600 which scans 17x22” so if it huge and has digital ICE for film scanning. And can scan up to 6400x9600 dpi although I wouldn’t take that too seriously. The optical error is going to be large with a flatbed. It’s just $270 so a good buy. For real pros you can get the Epson V800 or the V850 which costs a cool $1200
The biggest category are flatbed printers. They are decent but don’t have the automatic focus of a dedicated negative or film scanner.
There are also bulk snapshot scanners now as well which let stack up a zillion old snapshots for a quick relatively low resolution scan.
As an aside 35mm film can get scammed at 4800 dpi. Film emulsions are really high resolution. But the typical print is more like 600dpi. That makes sense typical print is 4x6” so 4 time 600 dpi is 2400x3600 which isn’t bad but film is going to have the highest resolution.
And it brings up the fact that just taking a photo with your phone is actually not a bad solution. When you add an application that straightens it not bad for quick scanning.