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Best Scanners For Old Pictures For 2023

Brandon Forder
  Mar 31, 2023 6:29 PM

I'm sure you're like me and have a box (or boxes) full of old photos you'd love to scan and show off to your loved ones. But how exactly should one go about accomplishing this? Is a specialized scanner required, or will the camera on my phone suffice? In this article, we'll examine the many models of photo scanners on the market so you can select the one that best suits your needs.

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Last update on 2023-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Is a flatbed or feeder better suited to your needs? Perhaps a mobile app or portable device? Make a decision as to whether or not a stationary scanner is preferable, or whether or not portability is more important. It's possible that you frequently work in unfamiliar locations, in which case Choice #1 (which is both lightweight and highly regarded) might be ideal. There are both free and paid scanner app solutions available (although they are not typically designed for scanning photographs) if you are searching for something to use sometimes.


We all do this automatically, but it bears mentioning here. Investing in an excellent or fast scanner, such as #3, is probably going to be highly worthwhile if you intend to scan frequently for commercial purposes. However, if you're just seeking to scan a few photos as part of a one-time minimalist paper dump, a less expensive alternative may be more to your liking.

Automatic Vs. Manual Feeders

Out of the many available scanners, you must select one of the two feeders. Each document or photograph must be inserted individually into a flatbed scanner, which has a glass surface that can be laid flat. Scanning ancient, delicate images is a breeze with these devices, and the results are better than with automated scanners.

Instead, automatic feeders will stack your papers or photographs like paper in a printer and scan them all at once. Remember that scanners occasionally experience paper jams, which can severely damage your images if they are particularly fragile, and that the scanner will automatically sort through the photos and papers and scan each one.

Paper jams can cause serious damage to documents and original images, therefore it's best to scan them by hand using a flatbed scanner. While manual photo scanners do create higher-quality scans, automatic scanners are more efficient and better suited to processing large volumes of images.

Scan Resolution

The resolution of a digital picture or document is commonly referred to as its "dots per inch" (DPI) count. Scanners with a resolution of 4800 to 6400 dots per inch (dpi) are ideal for scanning high-detail sources like film negatives and slides, while 300 dpi is sufficient for social media uploads.

In terms of image quality, the greatest photo scanners will have higher dpi ratings and will always perform better than their less expensive equivalents. Keep in mind that the greater the DPI, the more finely detailed and high-quality your final product will be.

Scan Speed

Checking a scanner's page-per-minute capacity is essential if you regularly have a backlog of scans that needs to be processed quickly. To save time and effort, look for scanners that feature an automatic document feeder, which can greatly facilitate the scanning of photographs.

One Or Two-Sided

Some of the photographs are blank, while others have endearing old comments and the dates on which they were taken scribbled on the back. Do you require the use of a duplex scanner? Scanning on both sides is a common feature of flatbeds, and some feeder models are starting to catch up. You can still use a one-sided scanner to scan both sides of a small number of photographs and store them together if you need to see both sides. The decision is entirely subjective.

Ease Of Use

Is there going to be a steep learning curve? Many scanners can, and some of them are designed to be as user-friendly as possible without sacrificing quality. There are apps available if you want the convenience and usability that they provide. When shopping for a top-notch picture scanner, it's important to think about whether you want as few buttons as possible, if you want to control the scanning process from your smartphone or other devices, and whether you want to line up many images to scan at once.


Is it better to scan or photograph old photos?

When compared to utilizing a photo scanner, taking images of old photos with a smartphone is inconvenient.

How do I digitize thousands of photos?

Invest in expert help if you can afford it. If you need to scan multiple sheets at once, a sheet-feeding picture scanner, such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix1500, is a better option.

Is it better to scan photos as PDF or JPEG?

JPEG files are suitable for use with any content found on the web. Images with text in them work well as PDFs. The image quality is best preserved when saved as a TIFF.

Should I Scan Photos at 300 or 600 DPI?

Dots per inch is an abbreviation for dots per inch in case you were wondering. It's the quantity of information obtained from scanning a photograph.

Be sure to use a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) when scanning photographs. Because of this, you can safely print the digital photo without worrying about any degradation in the quality.

Scanning resolutions of 600 DPI, 1,200 DPI, and higher are all viable alternatives. By adjusting to those parameters, a higher-resolution image can be captured.

That makes it ideal for reproducing the photographs in a large size. One caveat is that a scan at a higher DPI will require more storage space.


It can be a hassle to look for the ideal photo scanner for your needs. This compiled list of the top picture scanners currently on the market is designed to save you time and effort by providing the information and resources you need to better organize your photos and documents.

You should be able to make a more informed decision about which photo scanner to buy now that you know the advantages of scanning, the best photo scanners, and the scanning process. Scan photographs instantly without having to perform any research because we already did it for you. One of these top 6 best photo scanners is the greatest way to ensure that treasured photographs and significant papers from your family's past are kept safe for generations to come.

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