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Top 12 Best Scanners For Pictures And Slides Features, Reviews, and FAQs

Brandon Forder
  Jan 30, 2023 8:22 PM

Looking for the top photo and slide scanners? Find exactly what you need right here. In the list down below, you'll find the greatest scanners currently on the market. And all it takes to decide amongst them is a few basic inquiries about your own preferences.

Is there a minimum and maximum amount of scans that will be required? Every once in a while, you might want to scan anything like a photo or a receipt, in which case a typical flatbed scanner, where you lay down and scan one sheet at a time, would be sufficient. A sheet-feed scanner, on the other hand, is preferable if you need to scan multiple sheets at once, as it has an automatic document feeder (ADF). You might also go with a hybrid scanner, also known as a combo scanner, which combines the features of both a flatbed and a sheet-feed scanner in a single unit.

As a second point, will your scanner be stationary or moved around a lot? When the second option applies, a desktop scanner is what you need. But if you're constantly on the go, a top-tier portable scanner might be a better fit.

You should also think about whether you'd like a USB or wireless connection for your scanner. Can you tell me how quickly you'll need your scanner to function? Is duplex scanning, or scanning on both sides of a page, something you'd like to use to save time? How high of a resolution do your scans need to be?

Listed below are some of the most well regarded scanners currently available. Or, if you'd prefer a single device that can both print and scan, check out our recommendations for the best all-in-one printers (opens in new tab). Check out the top film scanners if you only want to scan negatives and slides.

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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

Scan Quality

Whether you're scanning photos for business or pleasure, the quality of your scans has a significant impact on the end product, especially when printing. When evaluating quality, bit depth and resolution are two crucial elements.

Scan color quality is significantly affected by the bit depth. When scanning, a higher bit depth will result in more true-to-life colors. In general, 24-bit is fine for casual use but 30-bit is the bare minimum for any professional setting. Twelve bits of gray is typically sufficient for scanning in greyscale.

The sharpness of your scans depends on the image resolution you use. Avoid resolutions below 3200 dpi if you're into printing (dots per inch). However, if you only plan on using the scans for personal storage or on the web, a resolution of 300-1200 dpi should be enough.


For slide scanners, throughput is expressed in terms of pages scanned per minute (ppm). Manual scanner outputs vary in speed depending on how rapidly you load your slides, while high-end machines can scan at up to 7200 dpi in a short amount of time. Paper size and image resolution might have an effect on the ppm as well.


If you require a flexible gadget that can hook up to HDMI cables, SD cards, and other systems, connectivity is a huge selling factor. However, if all you need is a simple slide scanner, many models now include USB connectivity.

Media Type

What exactly are you looking to scan? Is it just business cards you're scanning? You might try using a handheld scanner. You should search for a scanner that excels at photograph scanning rather than one that is optimized for optical character recognition if you plan on digitizing old family images. Skillful text scanning is essential in the workplace. Depending on your needs and budget, high-end scanners can handle virtually any task you throw at them, and they may come with convenient extras like movable sliders, dedicated scanning bays, and other options designed to streamline the scanning process.


If your home office or place of work is relatively spacious, you won't need to worry too much about storage. On the other hand, a portable document scanner is ideal if you're limited on desk space or need to carry your scanning needs with you. A cumbersome answer isn't portable at all, and it's better off staying in the workplace permanently.


In order to digitize your material, you'll need to purchase a converter. You'll need to decide right away whether you'll be using Super 8 footage, physical prints, 35mm slides, or film. Super 8 isn't one of the formats that can be covered by all-in-one solutions like film, slides, and prints. Get the one you need for the majority of your tasks, and consider sending the rest to a conversion service.


You might be constrained by your budget, as is the case with most electronic purchases. The models discussed here range in price from $150 to $350, so they should cover most budgets. A professional look or scanning in quantity, though, will set you back more than $1,000. However, for the vast majority of uses, the cheaper ones will suffice.


It's important to remember that the screens on most converters are just 2.5 inches in size, so even with all the advanced editing options described above, you may see some blurriness. In reality, most people find that the clarity they achieve while editing their work on a computer is superior. However, most machines are about the size of a football, so going for a smaller one to conserve space is an option. Some scanners also function as SD card readers, so if you want to scan directly from a negative to a memory card without using a computer, keep an eye out for that functionality.


Are stand-alone converters adequate, or should you go with a solution that requires a computer? As was previously said, a computer-based device is optimal for image editing. In contrast, a standalone device that doesn't require a computer can save you time and money if all you want to do is transfer your negatives or slides to a memory stick.


Is scanning documents secure?

If you go with a dependable provider like RDS, then yes. When your papers are in our care, you may be assured that we have taken every precaution to ensure their safety, including round-the-clock surveillance, advanced security alarms, smoke detection alert systems, climate control, and more. For collections that are too sensitive to leave the office, we may bring our scanning equipment to you.

Can you edit a scanned document?

The answer is yes. However, this is only the case if you scanned the file using optical character recognition software. The indexing process assigns metadata tags to the document based on the information you provide. The document can now be quickly located via a web search thanks to this. When you find it, you can edit it like any other digital file. Sadly, no, you cannot make changes to a scanned document without optical character recognition software.

How do you retrieve a scanned document?

Scanned documents stored in a cloud-based DMS, such as Application Xtender (OpenText Application Content Management or ACM), can be accessed from practically any device or web browser in a matter of seconds utilizing the search command and role-based access.


There are no rewind or fast forward buttons in life, but a slide scanner allows us to relive priceless moments from years gone by. Slide scanners are similar to other sorts of technology in that the features improve with increased cost. But if you follow this checklist, you can be confident that the final result will be excellent.

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