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TOP 4: Best Scanners 2019

Already a member? Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. Get Started. Subscribers only Sign in or Subscribe now! Forgot password? Check this box if you wish to have a copy mailed to you. Kodak P Speed The photo scanners can be fast; as you might expect, they're slower when scanning at higher resolutions and faster at lower resolutions.

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Quality With all the photo scanners, we saw two major defects beyond color fidelity, saturation, and dust, which are issues with any scanner. The scanned version right of the original image left got over-cropped on the edge. Auto-cropping and white lines weren't an issue with the Epson flatbed scanner in our tests. Our take Kodak P Choose from cars, safety, health, and more! Already signed-up?

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Manage your newsletters here too. Ranging from the most basic models for simply producing a web-shareable image to the top-of-the-line versions for creating large-scale, print-worthy files, all film scanners, in their most basic sense, perform the same function—using a light source to illuminate your film and an image sensor to record the details. Where scanners begin to vary from one another is the precision and sophistication of this process, along with the technologies used for recording.

More than offering just an increase in resolution, higher-end scanners will also provide you with a longer dynamic range, higher Dmax, more accurate color balance, greater sharpness and, to put it simply—better, more realistic results. The ultimate goal of a scanner is to acquire as much information from the original as possible to give you latitude for further editing, retouching, and printing. Scanners should also be chosen based on how you plan to use them. From entry-level options that only support basic scanning of 35mm film strips to high-end variants that scan numerous mounted slides in batches, the most expensive or the least expensive model is not always the right one for you.

Consider the film format you plan on scanning most frequently, as well as the volume you intend to process, and the ultimate image quality you wish to achieve. If you're looking to archive your closet full of thousands of 35mm slides, look for a model that allows batch scanning of multiple originals with one command, to save time and effort. What do you plan on doing with your scans?

Are you looking to just create digital versions of your old photos to share on social media, or are you an active large format photographer without a darkroom looking to produce large-scale, fine art prints?

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX Scanners - Review - PCMag Australia

In addition to the scanners themselves, the software used to control the scanner is an important consideration. Many scanners come with a robust application that is capable of reaping all of the benefits afforded by the hardware, while other scanners support optional third-party programs to improve the overall performance. In the case of some entry-level models, as well as the top-quality scanners, proprietary drivers may compel you to rely on additional editing software to fine-tune your results.

Dust-reduction technologies will cut down on additional cleaning time of your photos after scanning. This should not prevent you from cleaning your negatives with a cloth , blower , or compressed air prior to scanning, regardless of how effective a dust-reduction feature claims to be. Scanning resolution: Note how scanner manufacturers report theirs. The two most common variants are hardware resolution and optical resolution. While there is no standard on what either of these terms means, precisely, it is a safe assumption that hardware resolution involves some kind of interpolation to achieve the increased resolution the scanner is purported to provide, while optical resolution tends to stand for an un-interpolated product and a truer measurement of the scanning sensor's capabilities.

Color depth or bit depth are other numbers to consider when making comparisons. The higher the number is for these values, the better. Simply stated, color depth is measured in bits, and is usually presented as the summation of the three color channels of an image—red, green, and blue—so 16 bits per channel would read as bit.

The greater the number of bits per channel, the wider gamut of colors possible for creating more nuanced images with smoother gradations. Dmax is a measurement of optical density and the amount of detail the scanner is capable of recording in the thinner parts of film shadows in negatives or highlights in positives.

The higher number represents a greater ability to reproduce detail in the deepest of shadows. Refer to our article on dynamic range for more information on Dmax. For the most basic analog-to-digital conversions, a range of compact, entry-level models is available to perform the straightforward task of providing you with a digital file of your film for online sharing or printing.

Designed to simplify the scanning process, these models tend to incorporate automated film handling and frame-recognition capabilities, along with auto exposure and color corrections. Typically quite affordable and compact in size, these scanners' merits lie in ease of use, stand-alone operation, speed, and convenience at the expense of resolution and control. They are typically intended for scanning 35mm film—either strips or mounted slides—or sometimes smaller formats, as well as an occasional 4 x 6" or 5 x 7" print.

Wolverine is a popular entry-level scanner manufacturer, and its key entry in this genre is the F2D Titan 8-in-1 Film to Digital Converter. Capable of scanning many popular film formats, including 35mm strips, slides, and smaller film formats, this scanner uses a 20MP sensor for producing JPEGs in as little as three seconds per scan.

It also has the convenient ability of stand-alone use, features a 4. The Kodak Scanza is another 14MP scanner, with up to 22MP hardware resolution, capable of scanning up to 35mm films, and features a large 3. In the same league, but with a few more tricks up its sleeve, is the NovoScan 3-in-1 Scanner , from Braun. It, too, scan 35mm negatives and slides, at 5.

A bit unique for entry level, the Pana-Scan , from Pana-Vue, has the unique distinction of being a value-oriented medium format film scanner. Typically reserved for much higher-end scanners, this model is capable of scanning , , and film sizes, in formats ranging from to 6 x 9, using a 14MP CMOS sensor. It is a stand-alone model, although it can be connected to a computer via USB, and has a 2.

Best scanners UK

Closing out our look at some entry-level models is a device that you might be hard-pressed to classify truly as a scanner; however, it is a unique tool for simply digitizing your film for quick online sharing. Lomography's Smartphone Film Scanner makes use of your smartphone, a dedicated iOS or Android app, and a AA battery-powered backlight to allow you to photograph your film and quickly achieve a usable, shareable image.

The dedicated Lomoscanner app automatically converts negatives to positive imagery, allows you to stitch together panoramic photos, and can be used to animate movies frame by frame. A mid-range film scanner differentiates itself through the use of higher-resolution sensors, for recording at greater dpi values, as well as an improved range of manual controls for fine-tuning the look of your scan.

Models in this range also tend to include more sophisticated software applications, refined dust- and scratch-removal capabilities, and improved image quality and sharpness to support making larger print sizes, in addition to sharing your film photos online. Pacific Image is another popular scanner manufacturer, whose models begin at the mid-range, with the ColorScan and PrimeFilm , which are straightforward 35mm negative and slide scanners with and dpi resolutions, respectively.

Both use Magic Touch Technology for auto dust and scratch reduction and both come with proprietary software for performing some light color and contrast adjustments to image files. For users looking for an expanded feature set and improved scanning characteristics, the Prime Film XEs super edition allows you to record up to 10,dpi scans of your 35mm film strips or mounted slides with a 3.

Multiple-pass scanning, also called multiple-exposure scanning, is featured in this model and uses several scanning passes over a single frame to gain more shadow and highlight details than a single scan can record—similar to HDR photography. Additionally, this scanner has Magic Touch Technology, to minimize dust and scratches for cleaner initial scans.

For a higher Dmax of 4. Plustek also makes a quartet of what could be described as mid-range film scanners, each of which is designed to handle 35mm negative strips and mounted slides. The newest of this bunch is the OpticFilm , which offers an optical resolution of dpi along with a Dmax of 3. Motorized film handling permits batch-scanning multiple frames in one action and, with an active scanning area of 1.

Automatic film holder recognition also benefits switching between the various 35mm film formats. Full-resolution scans can be made in less than four minutes, while smaller, dpi scans take just 40 seconds. The OpticFilm is bundled with Plustek's Quickscan Plus software, which offers a variety of editing controls, as well as the ability to share finished images directly to social media sites. Moving on to the series of scanners, the OpticFilm is a sleek, blue model offering dpi hardware resolution along with a 3.

Faster speeds are available with this version, with full-resolution scans taking just under two minutes to perform, and half-res scans taking about 30 seconds to complete. This scanner is also bundled with SilverFast SE Plus 8 software—a more advanced software option for greater control over color, exposure, contrast, and other image adjustments.

A step up is the OpticFilm i SE , which adds an infrared channel to the dpi hardware resolution, 3. The IR channel adds the ability for the included SilverFast SE software to detect dust and scratches in scans more effectively, for instant removal using the iSRD function. Also, for both scanners, Silverfast SE Plus 8 also allows you to perform multiple-exposure scans for extended detail with less noise.

Rounding out Plustek's lineup is the OpticFilm i Ai , which features the same functionality as the i SE, and adds a more robust software counterpart, SilverFast Ai Studio 8, as well as an included IT8 calibration target. In addition to a greater range of control features offered by the software, it most notably includes the Auto IT8 Calibration feature that works to ensure consistent and accurate color balance from your scanner with a two-minute routine calibration.