If you like photography, then you probably already own the best photo printer or at least a high-quality color laser printer that transforms every photo masterpiece into reality. However, if you are truly dedicated to this calling, the best photo scanner that would allow you to make photo manipulations, or allow for the transformation of your non-digital photo collections into digital form, is a necessity.
Of course, if you are in this industry for years, you will probably find the best photo scanner with ease. Nevertheless, there are numerous people that are just starting in this field and need a bit of guidance in order to find the optimal device. We’ve put together this article for the latter, to help them a bit and allow them to find good-quality photo scanners, without taking too much of their precious time.
How to choose the best photo scanner
When looking for the best photo scanner, pay closer attention to the following characteristics:
One thing is certain, speed is of crucial importance in any activity, and scanning photos is certainly one of them. You don’t want to waste your time when you don’t need to. Therefore, choose the scanner with the fastest scanning performance possible.
If you are into casual photo scanning that doesn’t involve large photo volumes, the lack of a feeder is acceptable. However, if you own batches of photos that need digitalization, a large capacity feeder is a necessity. For that reason, if you are in those waters, don’t forget about this little detail.
Although the resolution isn’t a decisive factor considering scan quality, the fact is that insufficient one will drastically deteriorate the overall quality of the scan, especially more delicate ones such as photo and artwork scans.
In other words, pay attention to this aspect of the photo scanner and choose one with the highest resolution possible. Have in mind that the majority of today’s photo scans provide the resolution of up to 600dpi; therefore, don’t go below that number.
The more connectivity you have, the better versatility of the scanner there is. Yes, there are numerous examples of great photo scanners with only one connection type; nevertheless, if you can find one with more of these options, you won’t regret it.
7 Best Photo Scanners
Epson FastFoto FF-680W
A Perfect Scanner for Large-Volume Photo Scanning
Finding the photo scanner that delivers excellent photo scanning performance and great versatility at the same time isn’t that easy. However, with the arrival of Epson FastFoto FF-680W, everything has changed and now, you can get great scanning speed (45 ppm), good connectivity (there is both Wi-Fi and USB3.0 connection), as well as a ton of features in a single device.
These features, among others, include robust ScanSmart software that provides automatic photo-scan enhancement functions, color restoration, red-eye reduction, as well as many other practical tools like a solid OCR program and auto upload to Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud services.
Epson FastFoto FF-680W allows you to scan postcards, Polaroid photos, even films (unfortunately, not with the dedicated film scanner quality) and comes fitted with a top tray that provides an easy way to scan photo batches and digitalize your entire photo collection in no time.
To make a long story short, if you want the best photo scanner there is, and its (a bit higher) price is no problem for you, Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a great deal without a doubt.
- Decent film scanning quality
- Fast performance
- Batch scanning
- A bit slower than its previous generation
Canon CanoScan Lide 400
An Affordable Photo Scan Solution
Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner is a lightweight and easy-to-use device that doesn’t deliver superb performance; however, what it does will be more than enough for the majority of users.
You should know that this is a budget-friendly device; therefore, you have to forget about the fancy features. Of course, the main stuff is there. There is good quality software (including OCR), a decent scanning speed of 15 pages per minute, as well as excellent accuracy.
Moreover, this scanner is compatible with both PC and Mac; it provides maximum scanning resolution of 4800 by 4800dpi and altogether, for its price, presents a great overall solution, not only for photo scans but document scanning as well.
Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner is reliable, compact and comes with a micro USB Type C connection. Unfortunately, it lacks mobile device connectivity and the ability to be used as a batch scanner. However, for an entry-level device that costs less than $100, that is simply too much to ask.
All in all, if you want the best flatbed photo scanner at an affordable price, Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner is the first name that should come to your mind.
- Good quality software
- Simple to use
- Decent scan quality
- Only USB connectivity
- It comes without a tray that would allow for batch scanning
Brother DS-640 Mobile Scanner
A Great Versatility in a Cheap Package
Similar to Canon CanoScan Lide 400 scanner, Brother DS-640 also doesn’t offer anything that will knock you off your feet; however, it does provide accurate performance and more importantly, it is easy to use, allowing for a great user experience.
Brother DS-640 is compact, lightweight, and cheap at the same time. It offers USB3.0 connectivity and can work with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.
When talking about its performance, you should know that this scanner can provide up to 16 scans per minute, which isn’t much but is still decent, and that it can scan at up to 600dpi resolution, and interpolate the scans at up to 1200dpi that should allow for decent usability.
Moreover, this scanner comes with a decent software solution that includes both scans management and OCR programs, making this device a multipurpose one.
- Simple to use
- Lacks mobile and wireless connectivity
Epson Perfection V39
An Affordable, but Excellent Photo Scanner
Although it has already been present on the market for a couple of years, Epson Perfection V39 still kept a lot of its charm and most importantly, remained one of the best home photo scanners on the market.
However, its excellence is mostly based on its outstanding scanning performance, while its list of features it kinda limited; there is no bundle scanning software, nor batch scanning, and you cannot scan films. On the other hand, this scanner delivers clear and detailed scans, with pretty accurate colors and optical resolution of up to 4800dpi, perfect for scanning artworks, oversized prints, and documents, with the help of ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch software.
Epson Perfection V39 comes only with a USB connection; it is easy to use and offers great overall value for the price. Yes, it isn’t perfect and has its downsides, but if you are seeking a quality photo scanner that won’t burden your budget too much, this scanner is simply the best option you have.
- Easy to use
- Excellent quality photo scans
- No batch scanning
- It cannot scan films
- No bundle scanning software
Canon imageFORMULA R40
An Excellent-Performing Photo Scanner
Canon imageFORMULA R40 is a fast and very efficient scanner that can deliver up to 40 scans per minute, as well as up to 4000 scans per day. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac; it comes fitted with a great software package that includes Canon CaptureOnTouch scanning software, free licenses for Readiris PDF and OCR software and ability to perform duplex scanning, making it a great solution not only for photo scanning, but as a multipurpose scanner in general.
If you are into batch photo scanning, you will be glad to know that this scanner comes equipped with an automatic feeder that has a 60-sheet capacity, which is more than enough to allow for trouble-free digitalization of your photo collection. More importantly, this device offers easy-to-use characteristics and altogether delivers great value, which makes it one of the more attractive photo scanners available on the market.
However, this device doesn’t come without drawbacks that are mostly presented in its limited connectivity that involves only USB2.0 connection, and a rather disappointing warranty of only one year, which certainly isn’t up to the standards of this, otherwise, great scanner.
To make a long story short, if you are after the best photo scanner with a feeder that can be used for plenty of other activities as well, Canon imageFORMULA R40 is the device made for you.
- Good quality software
- Easy to use
- Great accuracy
- Good scanning speed
- No network and mobile connectivity
Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi
A Decent Photo Scanner with Excellent Autonomy
If you are looking for a practical and easy to use photo scanner, with excellent autonomy, Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi is the scanner destined for you.
Due to its nature and built-in rechargeable battery (it can hold up to 400 scans per one charge), as well as a highly intuitive and functional software, this scanner allows you to use it literally anywhere, without a need for a computer. Moreover, its built-in storage of 500MB, reinforced with 8GB SD card that is included in the package, provides enough space for hundreds of photo or document scans, helping you convert your photo collections with an ease, from the accommodation of your living-room, garden, or garage.
Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi also provides solid connectivity that includes mini USB and Wi-Fi connection, as well as great compatibility that allows you to use it with Windows, Mac, and iOS-based devices.
Unfortunately, this scanner comes without a feeder; therefore, stack photo scanning is out of the question, just like the scanning thick documents and artworks that are too large to fit this small portable device.
All in all, if you are after the best portable photo scanner that can deliver a solid performance and provide photo scans in 300 dpi and 600 dpi resolutions, as well as great portability, Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi is without a doubt the best scanner you can find.
- It can work without a computer
- Easy to use
- It comes without a feeder
Plustek ephoto Z300 Photo Scanner
A Fast and Attractively Designed Photo Scanner
Plustek ephoto Z300 Photo Scanner is a device that offers fast performance, with the speed of 30 prints per minute and more importantly, excellent versatility and support for a variety of formats, including 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 photos, as well as A4 and smaller paper sizes.
This device can scan in 300dpi or 600dpi resolution and offers compatibility with Windows and Mac systems. Its connectivity is limited only to USB connection, while its good quality ePhoto Software allows for scan enhancements and involves multiple editing tools, including the OCR function.
Plustek ephoto Z300 Photo Scanner features an unusual design in blue and white color theme and overall offers fairly decent performance and quality for the price. However, have in mind that its photo scans aren’t of the highest quality. Therefore, if you are only into the best of the best, some other devices would probably better fit you.
- Fairly priced
- Good scanning speed
- Decent compatibility
- Excellent versatility
- It comes without a feeder
If you are looking for the best photo scanner, we are sure it is somewhere on this list. Pay close attention to your needs and their features, and get ready to start scanning!