If you have a big box of old pictures of your family and some of your favourite artworks, you will definitely want to share them with your family and friends. A photo scanner will be the right equipment to transform your printed photographs into digital images. These days even professional photographers prefer buying a photo scanner to scan their artworks so as to show it to the clients. In the world of digitalization, photo scanners are the boss!

Not all scanners are created in the same way. Even if you buy an expensive one, it might not serve your purpose. It will become a complete waste of money. So you need to know which scanner will be perfect for your job. Scanners perform the same way by using a combination of mirrors, light, glasses and CCD chip. Though all of them capture images from a paper, what varies is the way they do it, the quality they offer and the amount of effort you have to put to load and scan each photo. While buying a scanner you need to consider the material you want to scan and the frequency at which you are going to scan it.

Follow the steps below to choose the perfect scanner for your purpose.

Steps to choose the perfect scanner

Step 1 – Consider what photos you are going to scan

Well, there is no specific format but most people prefer a particular size of the photo. For example, some prefer 8X10 pictures or 4X6 pictures or even negatives. While buying a scanner, always select a scanner whose surface glass should be big enough to hold your picture size. The flatbed scanner is one of the most popular scanners for artwork and it is pretty expensive. These flatbed scanners serve the purpose of most of the general public. Apart from scanning at high resolution, these scanners also come with a set of adapters so as to scan slides, film, transparencies and negatives. Some even come with inbuilt correction software.

Step 2 – Identifying the amount of resolution you need for canning your photos

What is “resolution“? It is the amount of detail the scanner pulls from the photo. Web images do not need to have a very high resolution whereas print images always need ultra-high resolution so that they can get printed clearly & not just get pixelated.

If you are going to scan general family photos a 300 dots per inch (dpi) resolution will work for you. For better clarity, the maximum you would need is 1200 dpi.If you’re looking for s scanner to enlarge photos you would need 3200 dpi resolution or even higher than that. Well, if want to post your pictures online or email your family and friends, try to buy a scanner with lower resolution. This will make the file size small and it would be easier for you to post online.

Step 3 – Consider how much color depth you need

There are different color depths that different scanner models offer. For normal photos, a 24 bits bit depth will work perfectly. If you want a bit higher quality you can choose a 30-bit scanner max. To scan black and white photos or a monochrome photo you will have to choose a scanner with a higher bit depth for both gray and color. Say a 30 bit colour & a 12 bit gray.

Step 4 – Determine the Speed of the scanner

When you need a scanner for regular use, consider a scanner which scans photos quickly without wasting time. The speed of the scanner completely depends on the model, but generally the costlier the scanner is, the quicker it’s speed. You can check specifications or online reviews of different models to determine the speed of the scanner.

Step 5 – Your Budget!

Photo scanners are pretty expensive. However, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Finding a sweet spot is tricky, but possible, so look for a scanner which suits your purpose but at the same time is within your price range.

Step 6 – Look for reviews

Before buying a scanner always look for what other customers who have bought the scanner have to say about the product. Some scanner companies might claim various things which are actually not true. So be careful!

Step 7 – Make Your Decision

After all of these steps you should be more familiar with the lay of the land when it comes to the digital scanner market.  You should have narrowed down your list to a few options, and now its time to make a decision and make your purchase. Don’t worry, you could always return the product quickly if it doesn’t live up to your expectations, but having gone through this process, chances are you will have made a good decision.

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