Scan Cafe

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:

How can I scan a lot of slides?

Episode 1244

Arnie from Palm Springs, CA

Arnie has a bunch of slides that he wants to digitize. Is there something that will take a carousel tray and one by one feed the slide and scan it? Leo says that would be an interesting product, for sure. Leo says he can do that, but taking them to a service like ScanCafe is a better option. Not only is his time worth something, but they'll take the time to clean them up and remove dust. If it's an issue of cost, remember that he'd be buying an apparatus and spending the time. In the end, he's probably paying just as much.

How can I digitize 35mm slides?

Episode 1232

Leslie from Los Osos, CA

Leslie has a bunch of slides and negatives and wants to scan them all into her computer. She's looking at a pair of scanners by Epson and Canon that can do it. Leo says that it will take a very long time to do that. If she wants to take the time to do it, then she can. But why not have a service do it instead? Her time is worth something and Leo advises a service like Scan Cafe. They would send her a box, she'll stuff it and ship it to them. And it's cheap at $0.22 an image.