View Full Version : Buying a scanner

19-07-2007, 11:33 AM
I have a lot of photos of my daughter as a child which I would like to put on my computer.

What sort of scanner do I need? What features should I look out for and What should I avoid?

I have never used a scanner, so your advice is needed, please. :)

Speedy Gonzales
19-07-2007, 11:51 AM
Depends if u want to buy a scanner by itself or if you want to buy a multi-function printer.

Which usually includes a scanner, fax, printer, copier.

Which would most probably be cheaper, than a standalone scanner.

19-07-2007, 12:31 PM
If your just going to scan the actual photographs then any scanner will do the job as about 300DPI scan is about as good as you can get on a photo scan. If you zoom in on a scan from a photo it is normally not great quality at all even with a good scanner.

IF You have the negatives you will be able to scan way higher resolution and get a far better result. You can scan a lot more detail from a negative or slide than a Photo.

I use an Epson 4990 Photo and get great results.

Alternatively a film scanner if you want better quality than that.

A multi function imho is crap, its normally 4 or 5 average components built into one machine rather than a purpose built scanner/printer etc.

Check out http://www.scantips.com

19-07-2007, 09:53 PM
I think any scanner is ok ...
For film, Epson 4990 or V700 is like $950 I think or get a used Nikon Coolscan online used which is a dedicated film scanner or else something like a flatbed that does film is ok the ones at like $300 ....

Depends on your expectations.
But if you used cheap film they aren't that great anyway meaning the colors vs digicams these days, they a bit muted, more grainy but shouldn't matter if you don't print big. Muted is the big thing thou, you can push colors up with s/w but its like, the colors are not there to begin with .. so little use. If they were in good light conditions or bright days they aren't that bad ... I got a V700 since I intend to scan film larger than 35mm and those dedicated scanners are simply too expensive, the odd pix with cheap film on a cloudy day is muted colors. A Nikon will give more details but its not going to do much to the colors, they are good to print larger or if you want to crop, if you do only 35mm, get a $400-500 dedicated Nikon over a $300 flatbed or $950 IMO ....

19-07-2007, 10:05 PM
300 - 400 dpi would a good range that I would scan a good colour photo in at.

Poppa John
20-07-2007, 02:31 AM
I dont suppose you are going to be in Wanganui in the near future? I have an Acer flatbed scanner you could borrow. How many photos are you talking about.? PJ

20-07-2007, 09:22 AM
I dont suppose you are going to be in Wanganui in the near future? I have an Acer flatbed scanner you could borrow. How many photos are you talking about.? PJ

Thanks PJ

I can't see myself getting out of Christchurch in the foreseeable. :)

Maybe 200 pix, how many to scan is yet to be determined.

20-07-2007, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the link Bantu, it should set me on the right course.

I too have doubts about Multifunction devices. Audiophiles have recommended against that sort of thing in sound systems for a very long time.

20-07-2007, 02:30 PM
Make sure you have a decent sized hard drive as you will use the space up very quickly.

20-07-2007, 02:40 PM
If your wanting to do it as quick as possible then get the largest bed size you can afford, and ensure its smart enough to scan multiple images at once, then separate the images, name them, and save them without any user intervention.

I scanned a few thousand photos, My cheap scanner done all this with one touch of the button, Can't see it on my desk at the mo though, wonder what the hell happened to it...

20-07-2007, 03:13 PM
My Epson came with an SE Version of SilverFast scan software. It does a great job of just plain photos or any images, but when i do slides or negatives i use the Epson software. The scanner came with several plastic holders for holding negatives or slides or photos so they all scan properly.

It is 100% better than my old Microtek E6.

I did experiment with my negatives and slides. Scanned at various resolutions and save all to TIF which holds a lot more info about the image than JPEG etc.

Most of my slides are around 60-65Mb each in raw TIF format. I have done 3 x DL-DVD's of scans.

I still have a lot of Negatives to scan but I am waiting until I get a decent lightbox so I can view which ones i want rather than just scan everything.

Negatives of 7 years of travel I want to save while the negatives are still in reasonable condition. Some of the older ones are a bit faded already after about 20 years.