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The Best Scanners For Old Photos To Desktop: 2023 List

Brandon Forder
  Sep 27, 2023 8:59 AM

Nowadays, most individuals use their smartphones or digital cameras to take pictures, making it relatively simple to keep both digital and printed copies of your photographs. However, many families have physical photographs that span decades and must be preserved for future generations.

To safely digitize and store your photo collection, a high-quality photo scanner is essential. With no further ado, we present to you our top six photo scanners, perfect for rescuing those cherished family photographs.

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Last update on 2023-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

Speed and reliability

The rise of the remote worker has raised the need for smarter methods of work, and with the right home scanner setup, you can quickly and easily digitize large quantities of paper documents.

Comprehensive software

The software you use with your home office scanner should accomplish the heavy job of organizing and storing scanned documents, as well as allowing for quick image editing as needed.


Although you may have converted a portion of your home into an office, it doesn't mean you have to wire it like a commercial space. You'll have a simpler time scanning to your computer, mobile devices, and the cloud if the gadget supports Wi-Fi.


If you're like most people, the cost of the item you want to buy can be a major concern. The models discussed here range in price from $150 to $350, so they should cover most budgets. If you want a truly professional look or need to scan in quantity, though, you can spend more than $1,000. However, the more cheap variants should be adequate for the majority of uses.


Quality is crucial because you want the best possible output from your source material. Going for the largest MP number does not inherently improve the image; rather, it merely allows you to enlarge the shot, possibly for prints, without degrading the quality.

Color and exposure

Color and exposure are two other aspects of quality to think about. While feeding the slide or negative into some machines for conversion, you may be able to make modifications like these. Many programs simplify this step by doing it automatically, while others allow you to fine-tune the process by adjusting the brightness, hue, and saturation of each color separately.

Cloud Support

Do you wish to have access to your digitized files regardless of where you happen to be? If you select for a scanner that works with the cloud, you will have that option. These days, it's common to find document and photo scanners with built-in cloud-uploading capabilities. If you want the most out of your cloud storage solution, you should look for one that is compatible with Google Drive, Dropbox, or your chosen provider.


If your home office or place of business doesn't take up too much space, you won't need to worry too much about storage. However, if you're short on desk space or just prefer portability, keep an eye out for a compact and lightweight document scanner. A cumbersome answer isn't portable at all and needs to stay in the office.


Is it better to scan or photograph old photos?

It may be more easy to take images of old photos with a smartphone, but scanning them will result in far greater quality.

How do I digitize thousands of photos?

Invest in expert help if you can afford it. Otherwise, a sheet-feeding photo scanner, such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix1500, is a sensible investment.

Is it better to scan photos as PDF or JPEG?

JPEG files can be used for just about anything on the web. Textual images work well in PDF format. In order to preserve the highest possible level of detail, save your images as TIFFs.

Is it better to scan or photograph old photos?

Some people choose to digitize their physical photographs by snapping a picture of them with their smartphone or digital camera. Since smartphones are always on hand, they can be more practical than scanners, and the best camera phones(opens in new tab) do a decent enough job for a quick social media sharing. If you have the means, however, investing in one of the top photo scanners is a far superior option because the resulting scan is of greater quality and hence more suited to producing large prints or reproductions.

Does scanning a photo damage it?

Scanning shouldn't ruin most photos, therefore it's safe to do it with your precious memories. Flattening the images for the scanner may cause cracks or other damage if they have curled or are so old that they are physically fragile, although this is highly uncommon. Contact a professional scanning or archiving agency if your collection of photographs is particularly old or valuable.

What should you prioritize when buying a document scanner?

It's important to prioritize your needs because no scanner is perfect (although some are quite near). Document scanning might be less of a daily necessity if you just need to scan them infrequently. However, it is always preferable to seek out a precise scanner, since this will ensure that the final product is flawless. When scanning multiple pages at once, an automatic document feeder is a huge time saver, but it's not strictly necessary. Selecting a scanner that comes with helpful software is preferable.

Are different connectivity types essential?

Having a variety of connectivity choices for your document scanner is useful because your needs will vary. Increasingly, scanners come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which is convenient if you want to scan directly to a mobile device or don't want to be tethered to your computer. Support for wireless networks is convenient, but not mandatory in a well wired home office.


Keeping photographs in a physical archive without duplicates kept digitally can cause unease. What will happen if they are broken by accident? An excellent photo scanner is a worthwhile investment for keeping precious memories accessible for generations to come.

Can you tell me whether you have ever used a photo scanner? Do you have a favorite scanner that you'd like to share?

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