Scan Cafe

What's a good scanner for scanning slides and stills?

Epson 2750

Episode 1720

Tony from Hudson, FL

Tony has a lot of slides and images to scan. He bought a Brother scanner to do it, but the quality isn't that good. Leo says that Scanners are much better now, with up to 1200 DPI available. Leo recommends the Epson Fast Foto, it has a sheet feed to scan prints. About $600. But you likely have everything you need with a decent digital camera. Set up an easel and put your image on it. Have some ambient light. And then just take the picture one at a time. Slides, on the other hand, is another issue. It needs backlit lighting to illuminate the slide image.

How Can I Scan Slides?

SlideSnap

Episode 1673

Bill from Seattle, WA

Bill has over 30,000 slides he needs to digitize. Leo says that 30,000 slides are untenable to digitize. So Leo recommends triaging and culling that number to a more manageable collection of those he absolutely must archive. Then go to a company like ScanCafe.com. They will not only digitize them, but they will clean them and then save them to a DVD or thumb drive for him to have. He also wants to tag the photos with metadata like when, where, and who. Leo says Camera Bits PhotoMechanic is great for that.

What do I need to scan photos and create a photo book?

Photo Book!

Episode 1660

Lori from Santa Monica, CA

Lori wants to make a photo book of her dad's photos. She needs to scan them. Should she use a phone app or get a scanner? Leo says the Epson Fast Photo is excellent because it handles photos through a sheet feeder. But it's not cheap. Your phone or camera app will work. You just have to be sure it's evenly lit. There are a ton of apps that can do it. PhotoScan. PhotoMyne. Another option is ScanCafe, which will send you a box that you can fill and then send it to them and they will not only scan the images but clean them up and color correct them. Then they send it back with a DVD.

How can I scan my photos and videos?

DVD

Episode 1621

Steve from Chatsworth, CA

Steve wants to know a way to convert photos and videos into a DVD. Leo says that ScanCafe is a site that will send you a box and you fill it and then they will scan it all and return them with a DVD of your memories. It's not that cheap, but they will clean up your negatives and give you the best possible image. But you also have to be OK with mailing your photos and videos, trusting you'll get them back. If you're not, you can always just use a camera and an easel and take pictures of each image.

What service should I use to digitize home movies?

Film

Episode 1544

Stuart from Los Angeles, CA

Stuart inherited a box of old 8mm family films. He was thinking of digitizing it himself, but thought better of it. Now he's looking for an affordable and trustworthy service. Leo recommends ScanCafe. They will send him a box that he can stuff and send to them, and then they will not only scan them all, but they'll clean them as well. But the worry is shipping them. If the box gets lost, there goes a lifetime of memories. Leo says a big box store service gives better peace of mind because he isn't mailing them.

How can I capture my old VHS tapes?

Elgato video capture

Episode 1505

Lynn from Covina, CA

Lynn has a bunch of old VHS home movies. How can she convert them so she can watch them? Leo says that the best way these days is to go to a service, like Scan Cafe. They have professional equipment and can color correct. When factoring in the equipment she would need to do it herself; the VCR, the cables, the analog to digital converter to get it into the computer, and the time, she may as well just pay Scan Cafe to do it.

How can I convert old video tapes?

Grass Valley ADVC110

Episode 1283

Steve from Irvine, CA

Steve wants to do some video conversion of some old VHS and Hi8 mm video tapes. What does he need to get in order to convert them? Leo says he'll have to have the player to play it back. But really, Leo says to send it to a service and let them do it. When he factors in equipment and his time, it's not really worth it to do it on his own. They will also clean up the image and make sure the tapes can translate properly. Leo recommends ScanCafe.com.

If he does want to do it himself here's what he'll need: