If you have a bunch of photos you want to scan, Leo actually recommends getting an easel, tripod, digital camera, and good lighting. Put your picture on the easel, snap a digital photo, rinse and repeat. Modern cameras are so high-resolution that they can take pretty good photos of pictures when angled right. An alternative is to ask a service like ScanCafe, which takes mailed photos and scans them for you. Costco also has a scanning service of their own, where you can bring your pictures to them before they convert them.
Charles would like to use a Nikon film scanner to scan his collection of slides. Leo says that Nikon Coolscan 5000 is one of the best scanners out there, with a max DPI of 400 PPI. But they're expensive, and he'd still have to clean each slide or have spent a lot of time and money for nothing. Another option is a dual lit scanner by Epson, that comes with a bulk loader. On top of that, scanning takes a lot of time. Leo recommends a service like ScanCafe because for the same price, they'll not only scan your slides, but they'll clean them and color correct as well.
Jay has a stack of miniDV tapes and wants to digitize them to make DVDs. Leo says if he still has the camera, he can do it easily by plugging it into the computer. He wants a USB 3 or Thunderbolt connection if possible. Firewire to USB converter could also do it, but it may be easier just to have a service do it.
Peter has been spring cleaning and he's got thousands of photos that he'd like to scan and digitize. Leo says that's a great project. But he'll have to be sure he has several backups. Print photos are tough and time consuming. He can get a scanner and do it, but after factoring in his time, it's better to just use a service like Scan CafeEpson Perfection Series. It may actually be faster and better to use a good still camera to shoot the photos.
Tony has a ton of 8mm video tapes that he wants to digitize. Leo says that 8mm video was a great format back in the day, but it's important to get them digitized now. If he still has the camcorder that he used, and it still works, he can probably connect it to his computer. But if it's iffy, he shouldn't risk it. It may be better to get a Sony Hi-8 deck, and he could probably find one on eBay.