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Best Scanners For Pictures And Other Keepsakes : Review And Buying Guide

Brandon Forder
  Jan 30, 2023 9:02 PM

If you have a lot of printed images that you wish to save digital copies of, a high-quality photo scanner could be a wise purchase. In order to save pictures from deteriorating or getting damaged over time, digitizing them is a good idea. The best picture scanners are a must if you have recently uncovered an old photo album or are rediscovering the wonders of film photography.

By scanning your pictures with a top-notch scanner, you can easily upload them to the web and send them to friends and family in a variety of formats. From affordable all-in-one models to high-end dedicated picture scanners, consumers have a lot of scanner alternatives to choose from. Which method is ideal for you depends on the quantity and variety of photographs you intend to scan as well as the quality you require.

The greatest picture scanners for a variety of uses are outlined below. Epson and Canon are only two of the manufacturers with products we've tested, and we've rated them based on their individual merits in areas like resolution, scan speed, and footprint. We've taken affordability into account, offering a range of plans to suit a variety of price points (see how we test and review for more details of our review process). Check the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of the page if you're not sure what kind of scanner you need.

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Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

Optical Resolution

For picture scanners, the optical resolution is the most critical factor. The quality of the scan will suffer if the gadget you purchase has a low optical resolution. Since this is the case, thinking about the scanner's overall dpi is important.

An improved scan quality can be expected at higher dpi settings in this instance. The optical resolution of most of the available devices is anywhere between 300 and 1200 dots per inch (dpi).

A little photo can be scanned into a full-size poster on the highest setting. On top of that, the higher dpi mode will keep more of the finer details intact and provide the clearest image possible.

300 dpi is sufficient, though, for most written materials. We suggest that you aim for a scanning resolution of 300 dpi or above when taking photographs.

Scan Speed

Our days are usually so jam-packed that we hardly have any downtime. In this situation, you won't be able to complete the other duties at hand if you devote the majority of your time to digitizing your family album.

Therefore, it's important to think about the scan's total speed. Faster scans need less time spent in front of the scanner. The majority of high-quality scanners can process more than 25 pages per minute. We recommend going that route since it will speed up the process of scanning the entire album.

Automatic Feeder

The scanners' built-in automated feeders make it easy to stack and feed a whole bunch of images and papers into the machine in one fell swoop. These make it simple to manage a huge collection of images. You can skip the tedious process of scanning images one by one.

Here, you need to think about the feeder's capacity. If the number of pages that can be stored in the caddy at once is little, then it is not a very useful function.

Instead, go for the ones that have more space inside. You can use those to stack a ton of pictures and have the gadget scan them all at once while you focus on anything else.


Some scanners are portable enough to be carried in a backpack or laptop messenger bag. The Brother DS-720D is a great option for people who are always on the go because it just measures 11.5 inches in length, weighs less than 1 pound, and doesn't need to be plugged into a wall outlet. Scanners with a smaller lateral resolution (3.5, 3.5, or 3.5 inches) are also available for scanning miniature objects.


With the help of optical character recognition (OCR) software, images can be converted into searchable digital text that can be stored and retrieved with a keyword search. If you have a large image collection that needs updating, updating the file names individually could take many hours.

Scan quality

The best scanners have a resolution of at least 600 pixels per inch (dpi), which is perfect for reproducing genuine colors and creating legible text.


What does the duplexing stand for in the case of scanners?

The term "duplexing" refers to a scanner's capacity to read both sides of a sheet of paper simultaneously. Duplex scanners may not process many pages per minute, but they will save you a great deal of time in the long run.

In which format should I save my scanned photos?

Images are typically saved in the JPG or JPEG format. Unfortunately, though, most scanners will only support JPG files. Select JPEG if you can alter the settings, as it can cut the file size by as much as 80% without sacrificing image quality.

What is the best DPI to scan old photos?

The best resolution for scanning photographs is 300 dpi or higher. In order to achieve the best possible resolution, it is recommended that you use the scanner's highest possible setting.

How should I choose the best photo scanner?

Depending on your desired outcomes, a certain photo scanner type may be required. Select a scanner with a high resolution if you're after the highest possible image quality and level of detail. For comparison, most of the scanners on our list have a resolution of 600 dots per inch (DPI), while the two Epson Perfection scanners on our list have a resolution of up to an astounding 6400 DPI.

If speed is more important to you than quality and you have a large number of photos to scan, you may want to look into faster scanners. An excellent choice for this purpose is the Epson FastFoto FF-680W. Budget choices like the Plustek ePhoto Z300, which came in at number two on our list, are also available if speed and detail aren't top priorities and you just need to digitize a few photographs.


More advanced picture scanners accommodate a wider variety of film types and sizes, including slides, with purpose-built holders. Regardless of your scanning requirements, you may find a suitable picture scanner.

Is it better to scan or photograph old photos?

Taking a picture of an antique photograph using a smartphone or digital camera is one way to digitize it. A smartphone can be more practical than a scanner because it is always at hand, and the top camera phones(opens in new tab) perform a decent enough job for a quick social media sharing. A high-quality picture scanner, if within your budget, is a better option for generating large prints or reproductions because the scan quality is better.


We've looked at hundreds of different scanners, and we're confident in recommending every single one of the ones above.

Each one excels at its intended purpose in a special way.

In this section, we've included what we believe to be the finest photo and memento scanners currently available.

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